Register a design outside the Benelux
A registration at the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) gives you protection in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.
Protection outside the Benelux is possible, and is advisable if you are going to market your products outside the Benelux.
There are a number of different protection systems. Registration is necessary in some cases, but not in others.
Floor van de Water (34) designs bags under the brand name ‘by LouLou’. Particularly her Smart Little Bags (SLBs) – handbags designed to hold a purse, keys and phone – have proven to be a real hit. As a result, her designs are regularly copied. ‘Seven major manufacturers have already copied my SLBs so far, right up to details like the little mirror and the lining.’
Thankfully, Floor registered her brand name ‘by LouLou’ and the various designs. ‘Invoking the registration is a really effective way of dealing with fakes. The main thing is to get the copycats to adjust the design in such a way that consumers can tell the difference between their product and my design. In most cases they tend to oblige, although I do have one court case pending at the moment. Still, I’ve finally got a leg to stand on now thanks to the design registration.’