The first blow is half the battle. That is the motto under which various parties have collectively drawn up a protocol which will enable inventors to prepare themselves properly for a patent application.
The protocol provides inventors with a great deal of practical information and raises a number of critical questions about their invention ahead of the actual application. This ensures that an inventor is fully prepared when he wants to have a novelty search done by the Netherlands Patent Office. By only turning to a legally certified patent attorney once this has been carried out, the inventor will get cost-effective, solid and objective advice about a possible patent application. The protocol furthermore increases the chances of a qualitatively sound patent.
The protocol (in Dutch) is an initiative of the NOVU, in collaboration with all relevant parties in the field of innovation and the protection of Intellectual Property such as the Netherlands Institute of Patent Attorneys, VNO-NCW, the Chamber of Commerce, MKB Nederland, the Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland, Contactgroep Vrije Octrooigemachtigden and Werkgroep Octrooiinformatie Nederland.
Chairman Robbert-Jan de Lang of the Netherlands Institute of Patent Attorneys feels that the protocol is an excellent way to help inventors on their way towards Intellectual Property protection. "The protocol can furthermore help inventors nurture realistic expectations for the future. This is important because the commercial success of an invention at least depends on a combination of the five factors of product, price, promotion, person and patent. Each of these factors play a role and the patent can contribute to the success, as long as it is properly applied", according to De Lang.
In addition to being the chairman of the Netherlands Institute of Patent Attorneys, De Lang is a European patent attorney at EP&C. "Various colleagues at EP&C helped draw up the protocol because we feel it is important to ensure that small inventors are successful as well. We are there to help people with protection. If we feel that the time is not right to apply for a patent, we will obviously say that. It is also in our interest to ensure that patents do not lead to disappointments."