A patent is an exclusive right to an invention which allows you to forbid someone else from using the invention for commercial purposes in a particular jurisdiction (more info available at:
A patent protects your invention in respect of a technical product or process. Whoever owns a patent can prohibit someone else from copying, selling or importing that invention. Even when that other person has come up with the invention himself completely independently. Each patent is valid in one or more countries and for a limited period of time. After a patent has expired, the technique is available for use by everyone.

In order to be eligible to be granted a patent in the Netherlands, you must have devised a technical invention that complies with three material conditions. A technical invention is understood to mean a product or operating procedure in any technological field. The material conditions are as follows: 
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.

Other rights
Services, natural scientific theories, calculation methods, undeveloped ideas and aesthetic designs cannot be protected by patent. Other forms of protection can be used for these, such as copyright, design and model rights or trademark rights. 

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