Frequently asked questions

About BOIP

How do I contact BOIP?

We are happy to answer your questions. You can contact us by telephone or by e-mail. Our Information Centre is open on the following days and hours (GMT+1):

Mo - Thu: from 9:00 - 12:00h and from 13:00 - 17:00h.
Fr: from 10:00 - 12:00h and from 13:00 - 17:00h.

T: +31 70 349 12 22

Is my data adequately protected at BOIP?

BOIP implements the Trademarks Act (BES Islands) (WMB) as instructed by the National Office for the Caribbean Netherlands. Protection of your data is of the utmost importance to us. We have, therefore, implemented comprehensive technical and organisational measures to safeguard the availability, integrity and confidentiality of the data we manage.

Our information security policy is based on the relevant international standards. Security audits and penetration tests are carried out periodically by reputable, external security companies. These audits consistently conclude that our information security is in excellent order. For security reasons, we do not provide further details on how our services are protected.

Outside the Caribbean Netherlands

How do I extend my trademark registration internationally?

You can apply for an international registration via BOIP. You cannot file an application directly with WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization).

You need a Caribbean Netherlands registration as the basis for an international trademark registration.

How much does it cost to extend my trademark registration internationally?

The cost of expanding your trademark registration to cover other countries depends on a number of factors, such as the number of classes, the countries and whether the trademark is in colour. You can calculate the fees yourself using the WIPO fee calculator. WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) is the official body that administers the register of international trademarks. The organisation is based in Switzerland, which is why the fees in the calculator are given in Swiss francs.

Registration & Maintenance

How do I pay the fees?

When you apply to register your trademark, you can make a bank transfer to:

Account holder: BOIP
Bank account No.: 402.880.05
Bank: Maduro & Curiel's Bank, Bonaire


Will I receive an invoice?

We do not send invoices. When you file your trademark application, you will receive confirmation of receipt by e-mail. The PDF appended to the e-mail contains an overview of the fees payable and is intended for your administrative records.

Trademark registration

Can I patent my name?

No, that is not possible. Patents are only granted for technical inventions. You can, however, protect a name, such as the name of your company or goods and services, under trademark law. Trademark law is different to patent law. To protect your name (as brand), you can apply to register it as a trademark.

Do I have a trademark?

If you use your trade name, for instance, as a logo or on social media, to promote your products or services, you are, in fact, using your trade name as a trademark. A trademark is a sign used to differentiate a company’s products and services from those of others.

Do I own a trademark?

Lots of entrepreneurs register their trade name with the Chamber of Commerce, and also register a domain name. That does not, however, make you the owner of a trademark or logo in the eyes of the law. Only when you register your trademark officially do you become its legal owner. It is therefore prudent to register your trade name or logo as a trademark too.

I have registered my trademark. Can I use the ®sign now?

Once your trademark has been registered, you can use the ®sign to promote it. This looks professional and inspires confidence in your customers. There is, however, no law prohibiting use of the ®sign with non-registered trademarks. The fact that a trademark bears the ®sign does not necessarily mean that it is actually registered. You can check whether a trademark is registered in the Caribbean Netherlands Trademarks Register, the official place of publication for registered trademarks.

The trademark I use has already been listed by someone else in the Trademarks Register. What do I do now?

If the trademark you use is already listed in the Trademarks Register, check whether the goods and services for which that trademark was registered are the same kind as those for which you use or want to use your trademark. If they are, it may be the case that your use of the trademark is infringing someone else's trademark rights. The best way to avoid a dispute is to stop using the trademark for the goods and services in question as soon as possible. In such cases, it is best to devise a new trademark that does not encroach on anyone else's territory.

If the goods and services for which you want to register the trademark are not the same as those covered by the trademark you found in the register, i.e. are of a different nature, in many cases you can simply proceed with your trademark application. This is, however, not the case when the pre-existing trademark is a well-known one.

If you are unsure whether your trademark can be registered, consult a specialist.

What is the difference between a collective and an individual trademark?

In the case of a collective trademark, the owner of the trademark guarantees that the products or services bearing the trademark have certain characteristics, for example that they have been produced in a certain way or meet certain quality criteria. Any entity can own a collective trademark, provided that it does not supply the relevant products or services itself. When the collective mark is registered, the regulations governing use and oversight of the mark are filed with it.
All other trademarks are individual trademarks, i.e. they are used by their owner to distinguish his or her products or services from those of others.

What is the difference between a domain name and a trademark?

A trademark is a sign used to differentiate a company’s products and services from those of others. A domain name is the unique address of a webpage. A trademark and a domain name can, of course, be practically identical. However, a registered trademark provides more protection than a registered domain name.

What is the difference between a trade name and a trademark?

A trade name is the name under which your business trades and is known. You register your trade name with the Chamber of Commerce. A trademark is a sign used to brand your company’s products and services and so differentiate them from those of others.

If, for example, you use your trade name to promote your products or services, as a logo or on social media, you are, in fact, using your trade name as a trademark. Be aware that in order to protect a trademark, you have to register it.

Where can I find a specialist to assist me?

If you wish to retain the services of a trademark agent or specialised lawyer when applying for a Caribbean Netherlands trademark, please note that he or she must be established in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. You can find trademark agents through the usual channels, e.g. internet, the telephone directory, etc.

Why is the Caribbean Netherlands Trademarks Register open to the public?

Access to the Caribbean Netherlands Trademarks Register is open to ensure that everybody can check: 

  1. whether an identical or very similar trademark already exists, before they file a trademark application;
  2. whether, after they register a trademark, an application is filed for an identical or very similar trademark for the same or similar goods or services.