Patent protection in the Netherlands is regulated by law in the Dutch Patent Act 1995, which came into force on 1 April 1995. Until that time, the Patent Act 1910 was in force.
By means of the Patent Act 1995, applying for patents more cheaply and rapidly became easier. Applicants were given the choice between a 6- and 20 year-patent. For the 6-year patent, a search into the state of the art (novelty search) was not mandatory. However, the applicants could ask for a novelty search for 20-year patents. The deadline for the grant procedure was reduced to 18 months. From then on, the patent was published after the same deadline.
Amendments to the Patents Act 1995
The Dutch Patent Act 1995 and Implementation Decree 1995 have undergone a review in June 2008. The 6-year patent ceased to exist with as of 5 June 2008. The Patent Act 1995 was being amended in a number of sections. For all patents a novelty search is carried out. Together with the result of this search, the novelty search report, a so-called written opinion is published. This provides the applicant and others insight into the strength of the patent.
Other important amendments are described below.
Apply in English
The amended Patent Act made it possible to file a patent application in English. If you continue your patent application in an international, English-language patent procedure within 1 year, you will save significantly on translation costs. The claims of the patent application must however still be filed in Dutch. The Dutch claims are intended to make it easier for people to understand the content of the patents. Read more on our how to apply page.
- Online filing, changes to filing fees
The fee for filing a patent application on paper is €120.
The fee for filing a patent application online is €80.
This price difference is to encourage online filing.
- Search fees
The fee for a search into the state of the art that is restricted to the Netherlands is €100. The fee for an international search is €794.
- Charge-free period
The charge-free period is 3 years. If a patent is granted within the charge-free period, you only pay a maintenance fee once this period has elapsed.
- Maintenance fees
For the amounts of the maintenance fees, a new calculation basis has been introduced. As a result, the Netherlands now has the same fee system as Germany, France and the United Kingdom.
In the new system, the maintenance fee is based on the number of years that have passed since the patent application was filed. The maintenance fees are lower in the first few years. With effect from the tenth year, the fees become higher to prevent patent holders from maintaining their patent unnecessarily.