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Blog 8 Mar 2019

"What does a patent look like?"

In this rubric, the basics regarding Intellectual Property will be explained. #YouAskWeAnswer.

A patent is a text describing the invention concerned. In this text, the inventor clearly explains why he requires protection. The text has a front page stating the patent holder’s details, the filing date of the patent application and the inventor’s full name. This is followed by a description of the invention itself, including the advantages of the invention in terms of the current situation. A patent usually includes drawings in order to illustrate the invention. The so-called claims are at the end of the text. These describe the aspects of the invention for which protection has been acquired. A patent does not need to contain all the details of the invention, but experts should be able to copy/reproduce the invention using the information provided in your patent application. There are two reasons for this.

The patent system

You need to comply with the patent system. You will have the right to forbid others from doing something for a long period (20 or 25 years in some cases), but you will be obliged to share your knowledge with society. This knowledge is used as a source of inspiration for further innovation.


The patent right is an exclusive right against third parties (e.g. competitors), so they must know what they are not allowed to do. This is only possible if the patent clearly describes what is protected. If the invention is not described in a way that others can understand and copy it, a patent may even be nullified.

For more information on patents and IP rights and how they may be beneficial to your business, take a look at the government website of The Netherlands Enterprise Agency.

Read more about patent services at NLO