International Patent Application (PCT)

After filing, the Application is searched & an opinion given on patentability. You have max. 2.5 years after the first filing to decide which of countries (up to 153) to pursue rights.

European Patent (EPC)

After filing at the EPO, the application is searched & examined. After grant, it may be validated in up to 38 countries including the EU states, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland & Turkey. With an additional fee, validation may be possible in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Cambodia, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco & Tunisia.

Dutch Patent

After filing at the NL Patent Office, the Application is searched & an opinion given on patentability. It is granted shortly after publication, which is 1.5 years after the first filing.

EU Registered Design

A Registered Community Design (RCD) provides protection for the appearance of a product for up to 25 years in all EU states. Protects the "look and feel" of these products - shapes, ornamentation, colours etc. Frequently used for User Interfaces. 

EU Trade Secrets

Most countries have provisions which may help if secrets are stolen. From 1 July 2018, a harmonised legal system will be in place in all EU states to take actions against those who steal Trade Secrets, and third-parties who profit from these stolen secrets.


To help protect Trade Secrets and sensitive company information like production processes, recipes & finishing steps. Online deposits may be made of videos, documents, drawings, source code, etc. (max. 100 MB per upload) can be regularly made to prove what was known on a particular date.

Why Startups should be filing i-DEPOT's

Subsidies & Financing

Articles and links about local, regional, national & European possibilites for Startups to find extra funds.

Searching for Prior Art

Before filing a patent application, check to see what is already known.

Doing a free Patent Search
Using Google Patents to search

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