Search for a design
The Benelux Designs Register is the official publication medium for drawings and designs. It contains information on and images of drawings and designs registered in the Benelux and valid as of 1 January 2012 or registered at a later date. The register can also be used to consult information relating to renewals of registrations and changes to registrations. It does not contain any filings (pending applications) or registrations that have not been published.
Designs dating from before 1 Januari 2012 may be consulted in the Benelux Designs Gazette, which had previously been the official publication medium.
Community designs (European designs) and international designs are published in the EUIPO and WIPO registers.
If a drawing or design does not appear in the register, this does not necessarily mean that it is available for use. In the case of designs, even more so than in the case of trademarks, searching the register to see whether a design has already been registered is not sufficient. After all, a design is only valid if it is new and has its own distinctive character. What is truly relevant, therefore, is not only whether a design has been previously registered but also if it already exists.
As a consequence, researching the specialist literature, magazines or the Internet is just as important as searching the Designs Register. You can carry out that research yourself (you probably know your own sector best) or subcontract the work to an expert.
You can also ask the BOIP to search for you in the Benelux Register to determine whether a design that is identical to yours has already been registered and published. This paid service is referred to as an ‘identical search’. We can also check to see which designs are registered in the name of a certain holder. Please contact us if you would like to find out more on this matter.
“I developed the Tuliplu, also known as the tulip umbrella, in 1990. The model was registered in those countries where we saw the best markets. To prevent it being copied, I have the umbrella’s characteristic handle, shaped like a tulip’s calyx, attached in the Netherlands. The rest of it is produced overseas. I’ve already applied for and secured around six interim injunctions."
Joost Heetman, industrial designer