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Apply for a patent

Apply for a patent

A patent protects your invention. The first step is actually applying for a patent. Your invention needs to satisfy three main criteria to qualify for a patent: novelty, inventiveness and industrial applicability.

Patentability search

A patentability search gives you certainty about whether or not your invention is patentable (to read more about a patentability search, click patenting-your-invention. If it should transpire that your invention is indeed patentable, we will help you draft a patent application. The application comprises a document containing a lot of legal jargon, which is important for the rest of the procedure. This is why we will help you draft this and ensure it is done properly and thoroughly.

Different routes

The next important consideration in applying for a patent is deciding in which countries you want your patent to be protected. In principle, all options are open to you, but we will briefly explain several of the most commonly used strategies.

Patent applications are frequently filed for the Netherlands, Europe or the rest of the world (through the PCT procedure – see below). We are also able to arrange national patent applications for you outside the Netherlands and Europe or through other avenues than the PCT procedure. NLO has US patent attorneys among its employees. They can help you secure a patent in the United States, whether through a national application or through the PCT procedure. For more information, read U.S. patent applications


The initial stages of each avenue (drafting and filing the application) are identical; it is only later in the process that the procedure can differ substantially depending on the avenue taken. For more information, please visit our grant procedure page.

grant procedure

Any questions?

Our patent attorneys would be happy to take care of everything involving your patent applications for you. Choose the expert you feel can best answer your questions.