What is an i-DEPOT?
In the event of a dispute, the i-DEPOT is a fully reliable tool that allows you to prove that a certain idea, concept or process already existed in your name on a specific day.
This evidence is useful in numerous situations, particularly when intellectual property rights are at issue – for example copyright, design and model rights and patent rights – but also in the case of unfair competition.
...but no intellectual property right
The i-DEPOT can be an important first step in your innovation process, for example in the preliminary phase of an application for a trademark, design or patent. However, the i-DEPOT is not based on any law, but is an established practice of the Benelux Office.
This means that you will have to seek legal protection after the design phase. It is up to you to use the possibilities offered by the existing statutory regulations. Given that the BOIP will not reveal the contents of your i-DEPOT, the novelty required for a design or patent is not jeopardised. However, you will also have to observe secrecy regarding the i-DEPOT yourself if you want to be able to apply for protection through patent or design law at a later stage. We shalll be glad to discuss the advantages and possibilities of this very cheap documentary evidence.
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