Patents in the Netherlands

Protecting your product or idea in the Netherlands by means of a patent? You will need a patent attorney to write the application and if necessary amend it, based upon the findings of the Netherlands Patent Office.

Applying directly for a Dutch patent

In the Netherlands, patents are granted by the Netherlands Patent Office (Dutch: NL Octrooicentrum), an agency of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.

  • The application procedure starts by completing the application form and sending a patent specification in which you describe your invention. This application has to meet all sorts of formal and substantive requirements.
  • Subsequently, you have to apply for a search into the state of the art within 13 months; otherwise, your application lapses. The Netherlands Patent Office sets out the results of the search into the state of the art in a Search Report and forms an opinion about the substantive patent requirements such as patentability, novelty, inventiveness and industrial applicability of your invention (the Written Opinion). You will receive the Report and the Written Opinion within 9 months. Sometimes the Report and Written Opinion form a reason to amend your application.
  • No more than 18 months later, the Netherlands Patent Office will publish your patent in the Dutch patent register. The patent will be granted as soon as possible after that.

Patent rights in the Netherlands by means of a European patent

Another way of securing a valid patent in the Netherlands is to apply for a European patent (after any PCT application). It is not possible to continue a PCT application directly as a Dutch patent application.

→ Read more about international patent applications

Language of the application

You can file your application for a Dutch patent in English; however, the claims will have to be drawn up in Dutch.

Duration of patent rights

The patent is valid for a maximum of 20 years. To maintain the validity of the patent, you will be required to pay annual renewal fees.