A patent is an exclusive right to an invention which allows you to forbid someone else from using the invention for commercial purposes in a particular jurisdiction, for a limited period of time.
A patent protects your invention in respect of a technical product or process. Whoever owns a patent can prohibit someone else from copying, selling or importing that invention. Even when that other person has come up with the invention himself completely independently. Each patent is valid in one or more countries and for a limited period of time. After a patent has expired, the technique is available for use by everyone.
In order to be eligible for a patent in the Netherlands, you must have devised a technical invention that complies with 3 material conditions. In order to maintain a patent in the Netherlands, an annual fee must be paid to Netherlands Patent Office, a department of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency. The first payment is due at the start of the 4th year after the application has been filed.