What to think about when inventing?

Last checked on:
24 October 2023
Published on:
24 September 2023

The innovation process raises all kinds of questions.

Is your idea new?

An important question when inventing is whether your idea is new. Does your invention already exist? If so, you can quit your innovation journey or perhaps improve on an existing invention. Or contact the patent holder to collaborate and take out a licence.

Read more about whether your idea is new

How do you finance your research, production and beyond?

At RVO you will find various funding options, for example credits and tax schemes. You can use these to save on labour costs or finance equipment, for example. You can find more information on our funding page and in the subsidy and funding guide.


Want to get an idea of how much a patent costs? Consult:

How will you protect your intellectual property?

You can protect some ideas with a patent but other forms exist. With design rights or copyright, for example, or you keep it secret. Which protection qualifies depends on the nature of your idea.

Note that if you want to apply for a patent, you must keep your invention secret until the time of application.

Read more about:

Better chances to receive funding through IP rights

Did you know that startups that apply for a patent or other form of intellectual property right (IP right) early on, are up to 10 times more likely to receive funding than startups that do not? Read the study (pdf) by the European Patent Office (EPO) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) on how IP rights help innovative startups get funding to develop their ideas into market-ready products and services.

Who has the right to the invention?

If you make an invention in employment, who has the intellectual rights and gets the patent? You or your boss? And what should you regulate if you start collaborating with others? 

Read more about:

Secrecy during development

Until the moment you apply for a patent, you must keep your invention secret. If your invention is already known - even by your own actions - your patent will be worth little. Indeed, someone who infringes it can then rightly argue that the patent is not valid.

Read more about secrecy (in Dutch)

Questions about patents?

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

Commissioned by:
  • Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy
Is this page useful?