Patents provide protection to technical inventions. This can either be a product or a process. The owner of the patent can prohibit others from commercially exploiting the invention. Competitors may therefore not produce, sell or apply the invention without the owner’s permission. In the event that a competitor still opts to do so, the owner of the patent is entitled to intervene by ordering the competitor to either stop the infringement and/or repay the damages incurred. It is also possible to enter into a license agreement with the competitor, allowing him/her to keep on using the invention in exchange for the payment of a license fee.


Conditions for protection

An invention is not automatically protected under patent law, as is the case with copyright and database rights. To obtain a patent, an application must be filed. An application must meet three requirements before it can be granted:

I. New: the invention has not been disclosed before. Not even by the person who has invented it and/or applies for the patent.

II. Inventive: the invention must be sufficiently inventive: the invention described in the patent must not be obvious for a person that is skilled in the relevant technical field.

III. Industrial applicability: the invention should be able to be made and or used in any kind of industry. If the design of an invention is primarily aesthetic, then it cannot be protected under patent law.

The patent application must also describe the invention in a manner that is sufficiently clear and complete so that it can be carried out and/or produced by a person that is skilled in that specific technical field.

Areas of expertise

Patent law exists at the crossroads of law and technology. It is therefore wise to engage a lawyer who specialises in both fields. The lawyers at SOLV have gained experience within various technical fields, including chemics, mechanics and electrical engineering. Drawing from our niche, we have also acquired in-depth knowledge on (the legal aspects of) software, AI and (high)tech.

Competition law

Competition law may impose restrictions on the enforcement of patent rights. Owners of standard essential patents (SEP) are for example required to provide licenses under ‘fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory’ (FRAND) – terms. Restrictions can also be imposed on so-called patent pools, when the arrangements between the participating parties create an unfair competition. Together with SOLV’s competition lawyers, we can also offer advice with regard to the aforementioned topics.

Our services:

  • Advice: benefits and drawbacks from different types of application procedures (national, international (PCT), European and/or Unitary).
  • Research: conducting freedom-to-operate (FTO) and feasibility analyses (in cooperation with a patent attorneys).
  • Contracts: drafting, reviewing and negotiating contracts, such as licence agreements, cooperation agreements, non-disclosure agreements (NDA) and deeds of assignment
  • Enforce and representation: drafting and responding to letters and notices of infringement.
  • Litigation: assisting patent holders, licensees and interested parties in legal proceedings, including interlocutory proceedings (kort geding), main proceedings and appeals. It is also possible to file a request for a written opinion with the Dutch Patent Office (OCNL), in order to get a patent revoked which does not meet the conditions for protection.