Since Holland is part of the Benelux, it must abide by the same TM requirements as the rest of the countries it’s made up of. So, let's take a closer look at the procedure for registering a TM in the Netherlands & settling TM disputes in the EU.
Registering a TM entitles one to the following benefits:
- more means of TM protection;
- having access to specialized courts;
- being able to use customs mechanisms against illegally imported goods;
- getting TM protection throughout the Benelux.
Procedure & Documentation
Applying for TM registration in the Benelux requires completing an application in the languages of the countries it’s made up of. An application must include:
- applicant’s name & address;
- accurate representation of a TM (so it can be instantly identified);
- list of services/products to be covered by a TM;
- TM type;
- applicant or their agent’s signature.
Attorneys or law firms submitting registration-related documentation on behalf of TM owners mustn't provide a PoA. E-registration of a TM in the Benelux is also possible.
It takes approximately three months to register a TM in Holland. A TM owner gains exclusive rights to their TM once it’s registered with the BOIP. TM registration in the Benelux may take longer if:
- there’s an objection from 3rd parties;
- it’s temporarily impossible to register a trademark in Holland due to BOIP’s refusal;
- an application doesn’t meet minimum requirements.
If there's an emergency, expedited registration is possible; however, it requires paying an additional fee. Fast track registration enables a TM to be protected once all formal requirements are met. Normally, such a registration takes several days. A TM application can be filed in several categories; however, applying for each subsequent class requires paying a fee.
The following criteria must be met for the BOIP to review an application:
- filing requirements are to be complied with;
- a registration fee is to be paid (no later than thirty days since the submittance date);
- there mustn't be any formal grounds for refusal.
If a TM hasn't been used for 5 years, its registration can be cancelled.
Special Symbols & Duration
There’s no particular words or symbols denoting the fact that a TM is used or registered in any of the three countries of the Benelux. A Benelux-registered trademark is protected for 10 years; it’s also possible to extend registration of a TM in Holland for another 10 years. Before the 10-year period expires, the BOIP must issue a notification to a TM owner. Renewal is possible only after a renewal fee is paid. There’s no requirement for using a TM isn’t within the first five years.
Filing a lawsuit for TM rights violation in Holland requires keeping in mind that the Benelux has no courts of appeal or 1st instance courts Therefore, civil claims must be filed with courts of each of the three countries it’s made up of. Settling TM disputes Holland provides TM owners with an opportunity to seek these remedies :
- injunctions preventing further violation of TM rights;
- recompense for damages;
- payment of profit obtained from selling fake products;
- withdrawing from market non-original products & destroying equipment used for their manufacture;
- withdrawing from market & destroying products violating TM rights (including equipment & materials used for their manufacture);
- getting an offender to publish a court decision or excerpts therefrom at their expense;
- imposing a ban on dissemination of info about distribution channels & origin of non-original services/products.
Planning to register a trademark in Holland? Why not order an individual consultation with IQ Decision UK? Our experts are going to be happy to provide you with advice on TM regulation in the Benelux. They will also help you understand the intricacies of TM legislation & determine the scope of TM protection in Europe.