While ownership rights offer the owner of a house or car protection against unlawful acts of others, intellectual property rights protect owners of creations of the mind. Intellectual property results from the expression of an idea. This can be music, design, inventions, texts and photos, but intellectual property also protects brands and patents. There are four main types of intellectual property rights in the Netherlands: copyright, trademark law, trade name law and patent law. RPS Legal’s team of intellectual property attorneys both advises and litigates in the entire spectrum of IP rights.
Copyright is the exclusive right of the author of a literary, scientific or artistic work to communicate that work to the public and to reproduce it, subject to the limitations laid down by Dutch law (exceptions are made in order to protect the freedom of press and for educational purposes). Only original works are protected by copyright. A work is original when it is the result of independent creative effort.
A trademark is a sign that a company uses to distinguish its goods and services. A trademark can be a word or a sign. In order for a trademark to be protected in the Netherlands it has to be registered with the Benelux Trade Mark Office. For worldwide protection a trademark must be registered with the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva.