Application and validation

A patent is an exclusive right that protects a new product, working method or technology. A patent allows the inventor to benefit from his invention, forbidding competitors to copy the invention. A patent is granted by the government offering the inventor the possibility to act against companies copying the patented invention. Competitors are thus kept at a distance.

Patent applications

Patents are national rights. Each patent only provides protection in one single country. So basically protection must be requested wherever protection is desired. NLO will be pleased to arrange both national and international applications on your behalf, so there is no need for you to contact the patent authorities yourself.

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Preliminary novelty search

A patent will only be valid provided it is protecting an invention that amonst other things is new. If, during a patent granting procedure, it turns out the invention already existed, the investment in the patent application will basically have been in vain.

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Prosecution

A patent procedure usually begins by submitting a national, e.g. Dutch, a European or an international (PCT) patent application. Within the first 12 months – the priority year – from submitting the first patent application, a continuation application may be submitted for another country or region on the basis of the first patent application.

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Validation of European patents

Once the European Patent Office has granted a European patent, the patent will need to be validated in all desiredcountries that are party to the European Patent Convention (EPC). The validation procedure consists of meeting the national procedural requirements that prevail in each of these countries. In other words, each European contracting state has its own procedure.

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Renewals

In order to maintain a patent or a patent application, an annual fee has to be paid to the patent authority of each country in which the patent is in force. This is the ‘renewal fee’. If you fail to pay the maintenance fee on time, your patent, in the end, will expire irrevocably.

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Working at NLO

On a regular basis we are looking for people to join our company. Are you interested in a career at NLO? Please visit our special working at NLO website.

Intellectual Property: Cases

Intellectual Property is a valuable asset. From start-up to market leader, applying a smart strategy for patents, trademarks and/or designs adds value to every company. Examples of such successful IP strategies can be found at our page ‘Cases’. Read more