As part of a broader initiative to improve its services for designers, the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP) has introduced the option to submit design right applications online.
As of 27 January 2014, the procedure has become available on the website www.boip.int, and registrations can be applied for and managed via a personal account ("My BBIE"). Filing for Benelux design online is quite straightforward, leading to faster and simpler registrations:
- rather than having to print out forms, annexes and/or explanatory notes, and returning them by mail or fax, or submitting them in person, designs can be filed electronically;
- the applicant is provided with guidance throughout the 5 step application process, thereby reducing the risk of deficient filings;
- online filing allows for better graphical quality. In a system where the importance of clear and correct representation of the design cannot be overstated, this offers obvious benefits;
- the registration process will take about 4 months and, for a simple design, will cost 108€ plus 10€ per representation;
- the applicant receives confirmation once the application is received by the BOIP. Assuming all formalities are met, the BOIP will provide proof of actual registration, and the Benelux design right will then be protected.
Whereas traditional methods of applying for Benelux designs remain available, it is to be expected that online filing will soon take over almost completely, just as it did upon introduction of the online filing system for registered Community designs (almost 80 % of which is now filed online).