Patent application in Europe: requirements

Published on:
19 March 2021

In order to be eligible for a patent in Europe, you must have devised a technical invention that complies with 3 material conditions. A technical invention is understood to mean a product or operating procedure in any technological field.

Material conditions

  • Novelty: the product or process may not have been made public anywhere in the world before the date of submitting the patent application, not even through the activities of the inventor himself (e.g. by means of a company brochure or a presentation at a trade fair).
  • Inventive step: the invention may not be obvious to a professional.
  • Industrial application: the invention must relate to a technically demonstrable functioning product or production process.

Services, natural scientific theories, calculation methods, undeveloped ideas and aesthetic designs cannot be protected by a patent. You can protect these by other types of intellectual property rights, such as copyright, design rights and trademark rights. Read more about the different types of intellectual property rights.

Questions about patents?

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

This webpage is part of Your Europe, an EU quality network. Let Your Europe know what you think of this page.
Leave your feedback

Commissioned by:
  • Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy
In association with:
  • Logo EU and logo Your Europe. This webpage is part of an EU quality network.
Is this page useful?