COUNTRY : THE NETHERLANDS
CAPITAL : AMSTERDAM
LANGUAGE : DUTCH, FRENCH & GERMAN
MEMBER : HAGUE AGREEMENT, EUROPEAN UNION COMMUNITY DESIGN, BENELUX, , BERNE CONVENTION OECD, WESTERN EUROPEAN UNION
Netherlands provides designs protection by way of 3 systems that the applicant may choose from. They are as per:
1. Benelux Treaty
2. European Union Community Design Protection
3. International Designs Protection Under Hague System
As Netherlands is a signatory to the Benelux Treaty along with Belgium & Luxembourg, territorial protection in these countries is through the Benelux Intellectual Property Office BIPO.
WHY PROTECT DESIGNS IN THE NETHERLANDS? Patent law deals in ‘behind the scenes’ aspects of a company or organization as it deals with inventions that are not easily accessible by the general public. Designs along with Trademarks on the other hand, are the ‘visual medium’ which aid in brand projection, recognition, association and retention by existing and potential customers. To prevent rivals from copying industrial designs, it is therefore an important and strategic aspect in the protection of intellectual property rights. Therefore, as with all IP, it is better to begin protection of designs at the earliest before disclosure with the general public.
BENEFITS OF INDUSTRIAL DESIGN REGISTRATION IN THE NETHERLANDS: Certain countries that follow cumulative protection of Industrial Designs by Copyright as well as Design laws have the ‘Unity of Art’ principle that needs to be followed meaning, entitlement to copyright for applied and other art work shall be determined through the same criteria.
In today’s highly impulse driven and temperament market, industrial designs provide the requisite edge to push products into consumers’ psyche. Such is he craving for fashionable and well crafted products that looks can often be equally or more important that the products’ functionality itself.
Registration of Industrial Design Rights becomes a valuable asset which gives the following benefits:
• A substantial return on interest (ROI) as the popularity of the product is directly proportional to its reproduction and counterfeiting thus enabling swift legal action in preventing copycats and frauds thereby ensuring that the design is not diluted.
• Infringement of designs can help owners obtain damages and recover costs for the same.
• Registration of designs can help owners work on bettering their designs through Research and Development (R&D) on bringing out superior industrial designs thus making it harder to knock off or scale up manufacturing by infringers in order to copy the original designs.
• Registered designs can be sold, licensed, franchised which can all earn royalty. The same can also be used as a collateral to secure loans.
• Industrial Designs complement even strengthen Trademarks hence making brand attention, brand association and retention, brand recall and usage much easier and interesting.