Category Archives: Jurisdisction Dutch Courts

Patent application and claims in the Netherlands

Requirements and procedure to protect patents in the Netherlands

In order to be eligible for a patent in the Netherlands, you must have devised a technical invention that complies with three material conditions.  Requirements for patent registration in the Netherlands are:

  • Novelty
    The product or process may not have been made public anywhere in the world before the date of submitting the patent application, not even through the activities of the inventor himself (e.g. by means of a company brochure or a presentation at a trade fair).
  • Inventive step
    The invention may not be obvious to a professional.
  • Industrial application
    The invention must relate to a technically demonstrable functioning product or production process

Patent protected?

Patent infringement and advise on Dutch law

A Dutch lawyer can advise on the aspects of the Dutch patent law system. The Dutch court is competent to hear cases of patent infringement taking place in the Netherlands. The infringing party in the Netherlands can summoned to Court by a Dutch attorney. Profits  earned with infringements and damages can be fully collected from the tort feaser.

Dutch agency provides support on Dutch patents and innovation

NL Patent Office is a service agency which is closely associated with many (inter)national organisations in the field of intellectual property rights. NL Agency supports international cooperation and development efforts, both private and public, and encourages knowledge institutes in knowledge valorization. Do you have an international project in a developing country or an emerging market? You can check out what NL Agency can do for you.

 The agency provides support and supervision to entrepreneurs, service organisations, scientists, researchers, students and other interested parties in the Netherlands, NL Patent Office provides training programmes, gives advice and publishes various brochures and other publications (in Dutch only).

If you are not from the Netherlands you also contact The European Patent Office or the National office of your own country.

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Dutch Supreme Court rules is favour of Samsung

Samsung has not infringed the patent op Apple with its table computers according tot the Supreme Court in the Netherlands is a decision of May, 31, 2013. Apple submitted that the Galaxy Tab 10.1v infringed its European patent on the Ipad tablet. The lawyers of Samsung were successfull in fighting the claim op Apple. In the earlier judgment of the District Court and the Court of Appeal the claim of Apple was also ruled out. In several other European countries Apple has also started infringement proceedings.
Samsung Galaxy Tab
According the Courts in the Netherlands the Apple design only has a character of its own to a limited extent. The elements of the design already exist in products that were marketed previously by others. Therefor the scope of legal protection of the design is limited. Various parts of the Samsung tablets are distinct and noticable for users. The Supreme Court confirmed the judgement of the appeal Judge.

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Preliminary Relief Proceedings: Quick Judgment of Dutch Judge

Preliminary Judgment Dutch Court

In urgent matters the president of the competent district court (voorzieningenrechter) can file for preliminary relief. The proceedings are called “kort geding “. A writ of summons can be issued at short notice. One court hearing will take place and usually the judge will decide within one or two weeks.

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Injunction in urgent matter in the Netherlands

It is a prerequisite that the matter requires an immediate provisional remedy. Only provisional measures can be granted by the judge. The facts of the matter should not be too complicated for such proceedings. If the case is too complicated, the judge will deny the relieve requested and parties will be referred to main proceedings. The judgment allowing preliminary relief does not prejudice the main proceedings. Therefore judgment in the main proceedings may be quite different than provisional judgment.

Remedies in Dutch Court

The available remedies are usually a prohibitory injunction (verbod in kort geding) or a mandatory injunction (gebod in kort geding). Usually the claimant will also request the judge to include a penalty in the judgment for each day the defendant fails to comply with the judgment.
Provisional remedies can also be requested for monetary claims and debt collection. The judge will investigate whether the claim is strong and if the facts and circumstances required an immediate provisional judgment. The risk of repayment will also be assessed.

Summary judgment by Netherlands Court

The Dutch attorney for the claimant will request a date for the court hearing. As soon as the date is fixed, the writ of summons will be issued and the defendant is not obliged to file a defense before the date of the court hearing. The defendant may defend itself orally at the court hearing. Documents should be filed by the defense 24 hours before the court hearing.

The normal rules of evidence do not apply in preliminary relief proceedings. The summary proceedings are not intended for examination of witnesses. The judge may, however, ask questions to people present at the hearing.

Appeal from Dutch Judgment

Within four weeks from the date of the judgment parties can appeal with the court of appeal. In the appeal both parties have to submit written statements. Only if requested by one of the parties an oral hearing takes place.

The judgment can be enforced immediately in appeal by the defendant and does not suspend the judgment.

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International jurisdiction Dutch Court over civil and commercial claims

International jurisdiction Netherlands Court over civil and commercial matters (principal rule)

A Dutch attorney can file claims with the Dutch Courts based on property law, the law of obligations, the law of contracts, the law of tort or on intellectual property rights. The claim has to be brought before a Dutch court by filing a Writ of Summons at the Registry of the court.  In the  Writ of Summons the defendant is invited to appear in the Dutch Court on a specific day.

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The Dutch court has jurisdiction if the defendant has his domicile or habitual residence in the Netherlands (the ‘forum rei’ rule). The domicile and habitual residence of commercial partnerships and legal persons are the Municipality that is appointed as seat of the commercial partnership or legal person and the place where its head office is actually located, respectively.

International jurisdiction Dutch Court over civil and commercial matters (alternative rules)

The Duch Code of Civil Procedure offers alternative criteria for jurisdiction with regard to legal proceedings initiated by a Writ of Summons, regardless of the domicile or habitual residence of the defendant. These criteria independently create  jurisdiction with the Dutch court has jurisdiction. These rules determine legal claim is linked in such a way to the territory of the Netherlands that jurisdiction of the Dutch court is justified.

Filing a Claim with Dutch Court

The Dutch attorney can also file a claim with the Court in the Netherlands in matters concerning:

  • contractual obligations, that have been performed or must be performed in the Netherlands;
  • an individual employment agreement or an agency agreement if the work is or used to be performed in The Netherlands;
  • an individual employment contract, if the work is performed temporarily in The Netherlands, concerning rights of action with regard to conditions of employment and labour conditions referred to in Directive 96/71/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 1996 concerning the posting of workers in the framework of the provision of services.
  • consumer contracs involving a consumer who has his domicile or habitual residence in the Netherlands and an opposite party who pursues commercial activities or his trade of profession (also) in the Netherlands;
  • obligations arisen from a tortious act, if the event that has caused the damage has taken place or may take place in the Netherlands;
  • real property rights in, as well as lease and farm lease agreements to immovable things located in the Netherlands (however, not over claims derived from a sale agreement with regard to immovable property in the Netherlands);
  • estates of a deceased natural person, if the last domicile or last habitual residence of the deceased was located in the Netherlands;
  • the validity, nullity or dissolution of commercial partnerships and legal persons established in the Netherlands;
  • legal claims and issues related to a bankruptcy, suspension of payment under a moratorium or the Debt Repayment Scheme for Natural Persons that has been proclaimed or granted in the Netherlands.

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Pre-judgment attachment under Dutch law

It is possible to attach assets of a debtor in the Netherlands before the Court procedure started. A Dutch attorney can prepare the attachment to seize assets available in Holland

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Attachment of Dutch Assets at short notice

This pre-judgment attachment (conservatoir beslag) is also effective and good pressure on the other party. Most often the attachment is used for recovery to pay claim and obtain to get security for this claim. All assets of the debtor are subject to attachment. Apart from the attachment for the collection of receivables (verhaalsbeslag) is it also possible to attach specific goods for the purpose of surrender (beslag tot afgifte) or attachment delivery of goods (beslag tot levering).It is also possible to make a third party attachment.

Garnishment of Dutch Bank Account

The funds in the bank of the debtor may be attached. So, goods held by a third party but to be delivered by the debtor may be attached. The third party, who is the target of the attachment, must declare within 4 weeks what he owes to the debtor.
To enforce intellectual property rights, it is also possible in case of alleged infringement of intellectual property rights, the attached assets for the purpose for preserving evidence (bewijsbeslag).

How to obtain a leaf for attachment in the Netherlands?

A Dutch lawyer can file the request to the competent court to obtain leaf for the attachment. The judge decided on the petition ex parte. Usually the defendant will not be heard by the judge. Only if the applicant request to sequestrate goods of the debtor, the judge will allow the debtor to respond to the filed request.

If the leaf for arrest for attachment is granted, usually is done under the condition the within 14 days from the date of the attachment the main proceedings of the underline claim are instituted.

Creating jurisdiction of the Dutch Court through attachment

In case the debtor is not domiciled in the Netherlands and the claimant can not obtain judgment in another country, which is enforceable in the Netherlands, then the attachment gives jurisdiction to the Dutch Court. For example: the Dutch Court can hear a case against a syrian oil company if an oil tanker of this company is attached in the Rotterdam harbor. The main proceedings are not attended then preliminary relieve proceedings may also qualify the main proceedings. This will be arbitration.

Legal Action to lift seized assets

The debtor who believes that the attachment is unjustified may start preliminary relief proceedings at short notice.

In all cases the attachment should be lifted if the debtor provides sufficient security in the form of a bank guarantee to a claim of the plaintive. The attachment will be lifted if the claim is without merit and if the attachment is considered this appropriate. An attachment will also be lifted if the formal requirements are not followed. However it is sufficient for the claimant to proof that the claim is not without merit and if a beginning of evidence is substantiated to the Court, it is very hard for the defendant to prevent or oppose the attachment. The pre-judgment attachment in the Netherlands is therefore very liberal compared to other countries. This attachment is used very often used by claimants.

Unlawful Garnishment under Dutch Law

If the claim of the claimant is not granted in the main proceedings, then the attachment was unlawful. The claimant is liable for all damages,  suffered by the party who was effected by the attachment. If the claim is only partially denied, then there is no liability for the claimant. If the claim is granted in the main proceedings, then pre-judgment of the attachment will be automatically be converted to an executory attachment. With the actual judgment of the claimant can then start execution of the arrested assets.

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