Intellectual Property

What is an i-depot and what can I do with it?

Erika Kremeike

Erika Kremeike

The creator of a work of literature, science or art has copyrights, there is nothing else to do but to demonstrate that this is the case. However, an idea itself, your golden idea, cannot be protected by law. Its concept does, such as an idea of a product or a concept of a service. By dating documents you can prove that the concept of the product or service already existed at a certain point in time. If someone claims it was earlier than your idea or even counterfeit your product you have proof of dating.

Depostit an idea

In the past, people had other means for this, such as, for example, having documents stamped at the tax authorities in the 1990s, or sending a closed envelope to yourself so that it received a date stamp of the shipment. Depositing a deed with an idea at the civil-law notary actually still happens. Close to this is the idea of depositing, or the i-depot.

The Tax and Customs Administration no longer provides this service and the i-depot is a more pleasant way than sending yourself an envelope. The envelope could get lost or end up in the mailbox with someone else. Then you will achieve the opposite of what you envisioned. Depositing your document with an official Register is therefore safer and faster. Applying for an i-depot is done at the Benelux Register in The Hague, department Designs. The Register always keeps your i-depot secret, but you can also choose to make it fully or partially public, immediately. The advantage of this is the direct publication and proof to other negotiating parties.

The direct order

The i-depot supplements the other intellectual property rights, but cannot replace them. If a technical invention is patentable, it is important to file a patent application before any other activities. Some intellectual property rights, if not applied for in the correct order, can work against each other rather than complement each other. The i-depot is for dating documents and does not give any intellectual property rights. We can request an i-depot for you directly online at the Register. If you prefer to have your envelope in a safe, we can request a hard copy. The envelope then consists of two parts, the first part of which will remain with the Register and the second part will be returned to you.


  • With an i-depot you can demonstrate when the idea arise
  • The i-depot is for dating documents and does not confer any intellectual property rights
  • An i-depot supplements, but does not replace, other intellectual property rights
  • With an i-depot, your idea remains secret, unless you choose to publish it yourself

Discover how we protect your idea and which form of protection best suits your golden idea. contactcontact one of our advisers and let us advise you whether an i-depot is the right choice for you.