Patent application worldwide: requirements

Published on:
19 March 2021

In order to apply for an international patent, your technical invention must fulfil 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.

In contrast to a patent applied for in the Netherlands, a PCT application is always examined against the requirements of novelty, the inventive step and industrial application.

Requirements regarding the application form

In addition to the material conditions, the following requirements have been set with regard to the application form:

  • The title must be in English and correspond to the title above the description.
  • The application field must have been completed as fully as possible (including country of origin and country of residence).
  • If applicable: the field for the address of the attorney or for correspondence must be filed.
  • In the event that the right of priority is invoked: the right of priority must be invoked within 16 months following the application in relation to which this right is invoked.
  • The application must be signed by the applicant/attorney, stating his/her name.
  • We must have received payment within 1 month following receipt of the application. If a deposit account is being used, the payment form must be signed and be in possession of our office.

Questions about patents?

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

 Here you will also find our bank account details.

Commissioned by:
  • Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy
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