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Searching for trademarks

Before you start using your trademark and before you have it protected, it is, of course, a good idea to check which trademarks are already protected.

How do I search?

You can search for trademarks yourself for free in the Caribbean Netherlands trademarks register. The register contains all valid trademarks filed and registered in the Caribbean Netherlands, so not only Caribbean Netherlands trademarks, but also international trademarks which designate the Caribbean Netherlands.

If a trademark does not appear in the register, it does not automatically mean that it is available.

By searching in the register, you can get an idea of what trademarks have already been registered. However, it can never be guaranteed that you will not run into problems with a third party. In particular, rights other than those associated with older registered trademarks can cause problems, notably rights to trade names, but also, for example, rights to designs or copyright. Moreover, it is difficult to predict who might object to your trademark and on the basis of which trademark. Your chances of success will depend on the factual and legal aspects of the particular case.

Who can help me?

You can hire a trademark agent or a lawyer specialised in intellectual property to carry out the search. Specialist knowledge is required to carry out a proper search and, more importantly, to interpret the results accurately and gauge the risks. A lot of companies do not have the necessary know-how in house and so, prudently, use the services of a specialist. More about trademark specialists

Registering a trademark

You can apply for a Caribbean Netherlands trademark by filling in a form and paying the necessary fees. You can file your application online or in hard copy. We advise you to use the online filing facility if possible. This is a much faster method and it reduces the risk of error.

Filing online

You can apply to register a trademark directly online using our free downloadable software application. The application will guide you through the form and help you to fill it in correctly.

Filing on paper

You can also register your trade name, product name or logo as a trademark by filling out the paper form. The form can be saved using Acrobat Reader version 8 and higher. Send the completed form to, by post or fax. You will receive confirmation of receipt within a few days.

It is very important that payment be received by BOIP at the same time as the application. Otherwise, the filing date will be postponed to the date of receipt of your payment.

Need help applying for your trademark?

If you have any questions about filling out the form, you can contact our Information Centre. We can provide you with information on the relevant procedures. If you would like specific advice, please contact a trademark agent or specialised lawyer established in the Kingdom of the Netherlands (the Netherlands, Caribbean Netherlands, Curaçao, Sint-Maarten, Aruba).

What are the steps in the procedure?

Your trademark will be registered at the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP), the organisation that handles trademark registration for the Caribbean Netherlands, under the authority of the National Office for the Caribbean Netherlands. More about the procedure

A standard trademark application costs 310 USD. Please note that if your trademark ultimately cannot be registered, the filing fees paid will not be refunded. To the fees

The registration is valid for a period of ten years. Your trademark will be protected for the duration of this period. You can then renew your registration at the end of the ten-year period. To retain the right to your trademark, you need to take active steps. More about monitoring a trademark

Should you do it yourself or have a specialist do it?

We do our best to make the registration procedure as straightforward as possible. However, do consider that various practical and legal issues play a role in ensuring optimal protection of your trademarks. Trademark law is a specialist field and a lot of companies do not have the relevant know-how in house. It may therefore be a good idea to entrust the matter to a trademark professional. More about trademark specialists

Frequently asked questions

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.