Filing a patent application in the Netherlands |

Service menu right

Filing a patent application in the Netherlands


The patenting procedure begins by completing the application form. In addition to this form, our office also requires a patent document, in which you provide a description of your invention. This document must satisfy certain sets of requirements.

Your patent application must meet the following 2 sets of requirements:

A. requirements that need to be met to obtain an application number and a filing date;
B. requirements that need to be met for your patent application to be processed by our office. These are referred to as formal requirements.

A. Requirements for application number and filing date

  • A concise or general indication that you intend to file a patent application;
  • Name and address data of the applicant;
  • A text that serves as a description. This text may be written in any language. For example, if you submit a description in Spanish it means you meet this requirement. However, certain formal requirements still need to be met (see under B).

These requirements are set out in Article 29 of the Patent Act 1995.

B. Formal requirements

If you have not fulfilled all formal requirements, we will send you a missing details form. This document contains details of the information that is still required. You have 3 months to provide this information. Your application will expire if you do not respond to the missing details form or if you return it too late.

There are 2 sets of formal requirements:

  1. Details, payment and documents. These are particulars such as the inventor’s address data and the language in which the documents should be written.These requirements are set out in Article 24 of the Patent Act 1995 and Article 6 of the Implementation Decree Patent Act  1995.
  2. Additional regulations. These are particulars such as line spacing and margins. These requirements are set out in the Patent Regulation 2009 - Patent Act 1995.

Filing a patent application

You may file the application yourself but it is wise to have this carried out by a patent attorney. The final document has legal status and the quality of the application is therefore particularly important in terms of the right that you will ultimately acquire.

Filing an application in English

Since June 2008, it is permitted to file the description of patent applications in English. This came about as a result of the Protocol of London (London Agreement) entering into force. The claims of the patent application must however still be submitted in Dutch. If you continue your patent application in an international patent procedure in English within 1 year, you will save on translation costs by filing your documents with the our office in English where possible. After all, it will no longer be necessary to have your entire application translated from Dutch into English.

Online filing

Patent applications may also be filed online. The Epoline® system of the European Patent Office may be used to file the following documents:

  • National applications and any related subsequent items to be sent
  • Translations of European patents and any related subsequent items to be sent
  • International (PCT) applications

International (PCT) applications may also be filed via the PCT SAFE system of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). A patent application may still be submitted by post.

Our electronic systems are subject to maintenance work. Preventive maintenance provides the best possible guarantee that systems shall remain accessible at all times. However, in-house or external breakdowns cannot be ruled out. If technical breakdowns occur that hinder the use of this website (and of online filing via this website), we will do everything to rectify these as soon as possible.
We will report any planned shutdowns for maintenance work on our website at least 24 hours before the work begins.

Contact us

If you need more information on how to apply for a patent in the Netherlands, please contact the public information office.

Is this information useful?

Required fields are marked with a *
May we approach you for a user survey? *