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Intellectual property cases

This is a print of a page on Rechtspraak.nl. Look for the most up-to-date information on Rechtspraak.nl (http://www.rechtspraak.nl). This page is printed on 01-01-1970.

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Intellectual property (IP) is the collective term for rights to invented ideas and creative concepts, such as texts, music, photographs, inventions and trade marks. Anyone who uses these without permission from you, as the inventor or creator, is infringing your intellectual property rights. 

If you do not reach a solution with the infringer, you have the option of going to court. For example, you can apply for a prohibition order and compensation.

These types of proceedings are governed by civil law. It is mandatory to engage the services of a lawyer, unless you file proceedings with the district court.

Are you unable to reach an amicable solution regarding the infringement of your intellectual property rights? Or does the situation demand immediate action? Then you can apply to a court. The type of proceedings you launch depends on the measure you are requesting and how quickly it is needed.

Compensation of € 25 000 or less (district court)

Are you only seeking compensation for the infringement of your intellectual property rights? For example, because your copyright has been infringed by the publication of your photo or the use of your texts? And is the amount of compensation you are claiming € 25 000 or less?

In that case, you can launch proceedings before the district court by way of a writ of summons (proceedings on the merits). It is not mandatory to engage the services of a lawyer.

Prohibition order and compensation exceeding € 25 000 (civil court)

Are you seeking a final decision on the infringement of your intellectual property rights and claiming compensation of more than € 25 000? In that case, you can apply to the civil court by means of an extended writ of summons (proceedings on the merits). A lawyer is required in this case. For example, you may ask for:

  • a declaratory judgment on the infringement (or non-infringement);
  • a ban on the infringement;
  • compensation;
  • payment of the profit made by the other party as a result of the infringement;
  • reimbursement of all reasonable legal costs.

 

 

Urgent intervention: interim proceedings at the civil court

If the case is urgent, you can launch interim proceedings. A lawyer is required in this case.

The court issues an interim ruling on the infringement. To obtain a final decision, you must subsequently start extended proceedings (proceedings on the merits). In interim proceedings, you can apply for the following:

  • a ban on the infringement;
  • information on the origin and distribution of the articles;
  • a recall of the infringing goods;
  • infringement rectification;
  • an advance on compensation;
  • reimbursement of all reasonable legal costs.

 

Emergency intervention in the absence of the other party (action by application)

Is the case so urgent that even interim proceedings would take too long? Then you can apply for special emergency proceedings in which the other party is not heard. This is known as an action by application. A lawyer is required in this case. You can apply for an immediate ban to prevent irreparable damage from occurring or deteriorating (ex parte ban). The judge issues a preliminary ruling and only grants the ban if the case is extremely urgent. To obtain a final decision, you must subsequently start extended proceedings (proceedings on the merits).

An action by application consists of the following steps:

>Alles uitklappen
  • Your lawyer launches the proceedings regarding intellectual property by sending an application to the district court. This is known as an action by application. You are the applicant. Your lawyer signs the action by application.

  • If the judge needs additional clarification regarding the action by application, they will contact your lawyer.

    The other party

    The district court does not inform the other party about the proceedings. In principle, the other party will not have the opportunity to put forward their oral observations on the application.

  • The ruling will follow as soon as possible, within a few days after the district court has received the action by application. The decision will be sent to your lawyer.

    Action granted

    In your intellectual property case, the judge will only grant your action by application if they find that there is not enough time to hear the other party. If the judge grants the action by application, they can:

    • ban the other party from producing and/or selling the infringing articles (ex parte prohibition); the judge will only do this if the situation is extremely time-sensitive and the judge has come to the provisional view that there is an infringement;
    • allow you to seize the administrative records or infringing articles (seizure of evidence);
    • grant you permission to take a small part of the articles (sampling).

    A bailiff must hand over (serve) the decision on the other party.

    Action rejected

    If the judge finds that there is enough time to hear the other party, they will reject the action by application. In this case, you must initiate interim proceedings or extended proceedings (proceedings on the merits), in which the other party will be heard. You can read the exact reason for the rejection in the written decision.

    Do you disagree with the ruling?

    Appeal

    Has the court rejected your application regarding the infringement of your intellectual property, and you disagree with this position? Then you can appeal against this.

    Lifting of a measure

    Has the application been granted and, as the other party, do you disagree with it? Then you can apply to the court to lift the measure. You do this by launching interim proceedings before the same court. You must engage a lawyer for this procedure.

  • If you do not agree with the decision to reject your application, you can appeal. In doing so, you submit your case to the Court of Appeal. This must be done within 3 months of the decision. If you disagree with an interim decision, you must appeal against it within 4 weeks. The appeal must be lodged by a lawyer.

Costs

You pay a fee for the court to hear your case: this is known as griffierechten (court fees). There may be additional costs associated with a court case, such as lawyer’s fees.

Processing time

The application process lasts a few days. Urgent proceedings (interim proceedings) can last from a few days to 2 months. Extended proceedings for intellectual property cases (proceedings on the merits) take at least 3 months.


Legal advice

Would you like personal advice on your situation? Do you need assistance with drafting documents or during the hearing? You have the option at all times to engage the services of a lawyer or other legal advisor. A lawyer is not required for every case.


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