BOIP is growing. Welcome to our new colleagues!
2022 saw as many as 14 new colleagues starting to work at BOIP. For example, the Legal Affairs department recruited 3 experienced legal officers with a background in the world of IP representatives and the judiciary. 3 new colleagues were also welcomed by the Customer Services team. BOIP now counts 76 employees who assist entrepreneurs in discovering the possibilities and taking advantage of the opportunities open to them to best protect a trademark, design or idea.
In 2022 we received more than 19,000 Benelux trademark applications; this is a drop of approximately 20% compared to 2021. Political and economic factors, among other things, contributed to this return to the level before the COVID-19 pandemic. Compared with 2019, the decrease was less than 5.5%.
Due to the decrease in the number of trademark applications, we were able to reduce the processing time for trademark applications in 2022, to an average of 4.7 days. This is well under the key performance indicator (KPI) of 10 working days. The number of files remaining open has also considerably reduced since the summer. This drop is a result of our efforts in relation to the time periods for oppositions and reactions to provisional refusal decisions.
Finally, behind the scenes we worked hard on the further automation of internal processes for handling international trademark registrations where the Benelux is designated (Madrid system). This also helps us to improve the speed and quality of our services to customers who choose international trademark registration.
BOIP’s 50th anniversary in 2021
In 2022 we were at last able to celebrate live our half a century of existence. That took place on 14 September during a celebratory evening with our business relations and partners from the IP world in the Louwman Museum in the Hague. The following day was a big party on the beach in Scheveningen for all the employees, their partners and retirees. It was a wonderful week and a fantastic celebration!
Communication and promotional activities
Record in organising online events
During the past year we organised more online events for entrepreneurs and IP professionals than ever before. At the end of 2022 we held 2 webinars for IP professionals on absolute and relative grounds. Both webinars scored well with more than 300 participants per webinar and an average satisfaction score of 4 on a scale of 1-5. In cooperation with the Netherlands Patent Office we gave 4 online guest lectures to high schools with 99 participants in total.
We organised several online events for entrepreneurs regarding protecting your idea, how to apply for the SME voucher and how to choose a good tradename for your company.
Launch of the Create, Protect & Benefit platform
On 26 April 2022 (World IP Day), together with 4 partners (the Netherlands Patent Office , the Belgian Federal Economic Service, Flanders Innovation and Entrepreneurship (VLAIO) and Wallonie Entreprendre) BOIP launched the new platform for intellectual property rights: Create, Protect & Benefit. The platform offers entrepreneurs smart guides, testimonials and referrals to experts in the different IP rights. The launch was supported by an online media campaign. The platform is continuously evolving.
A new intranet site: BOIPinsite
In June 2022 we launched our new intranet: BOIPinsite. The new intranet is a social platform and makes it easier for colleagues to connect, work together and share knowledge. The celebratory launch afternoon, which was themed ‘the energy of moving forward’, emphasised that we move forward with each other and are taking great strides in our cooperation.
In the Benelux
The results of the econometric study into the characteristics of Belgian businesses seeking to protect their intellectual property were presented at the Belgian Federal Economic Service in Brussels on World IP Day in 2022. This study was commissioned by BOIP and the Belgian Federal Economic Service and was carried out by the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven and the research agency IDEA Consult. Among other things the study confirms the positive effect of intellectual property on SME growth and productivity.
In 2022 cooperation within the EU network of national IP offices has intensified. This resulted in, among other things, a joint campaign for the SME Fund and the continuing development of the Ideas Powered for Business website. The first steps were also taken in the development of a number of common products, such as an 'IP welcome pack' for start-up companies.
Actively taking part in the European cooperation various BOIP employees visited a number of national trademark offices in the European Union. These visits enabled us to exchange knowledge about and experiences with the daily tasks of an IP office with our European colleagues.
Naturally we also enjoyed close cooperation with the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), in particular within the framework of the European Intellectual Property Network (EUIPN). Together with EUIPO we developed a tool to improve the quality of the assessment of a potential refusal on absolute grounds by the national services: TMST (Trade Mark Support Tool). TMST is part of the Integrated Multiple Assessment Tool project (IMAS). We will be phasing in the use of TMST throughout 2023.
In 2022 we completed 2 ‘design sprints’ (‘classification’ and ‘the black hole after applying’) using the Design Thinking method. This method allows 5 days to consider 1 sticking point from a customer journey (a customer problem), work out a solution and then test that solution with customers. We received highly valuable feedback from customers regarding the solutions we came up with. We used that feedback to make various improvements, for instance in information provided regarding the classification of a trademark application.
Sustainability is high on BOIP’s agenda. In 2022 we implemented various sustainability projects:
- In our offices in The Hague we replaced the lighting system with sustainable led lighting. As a result, energy consumption has dropped by 20%;
- We installed 4 charging stations for electric cars;
- Several contracts with suppliers were reviewed to enhance sustainability;
- We fleshed out the plans for complete renovation of our office premises (exterior facade, roof and solar panels) to enable us to obtain an A+ energy label. This will take place in 2024.
Below is a selection of our projects and activities:
- Launch of the trademark campaign in the Dutch Caribbean, developed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy in cooperation with BOIP;
- Start of the ISO 9001 certification process for our primary processes for trademarks, designs and i-DEPOTs;
- Delivery of input for the review of design law in the EU (Design Package);
- Development of an ‘easy TM e-filing module’ for entrepreneurs with little or no knowledge of IP;
- Launch of the ‘Naamchecker’, a tool we are developing together with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce whereby visitors can search directly in both the Chamber of Commerce Trades Register and the BOIP Trademarks Register.
Over the coming years we will continue to make efforts to increase awareness of IP for both our existing and our new customers, in cooperation with our partners in The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. We also want to further improve customer satisfaction, inter alia by continuing to innovate and optimise our services.
We will continue to invest in the international playing field where we conduct our work through intensive cooperation with European and global IP organisations. BOIP being a learning organisation, we are confident that it will strengthen all the competencies required to live up to future challenges.
The Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) is the official body responsible for registering trademarks and designs in the Benelux. In addition, BOIP can record the existence of an idea as at a specific date in an i-DEPOT. More about BOIP
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