Proof of the date of existence of a creation

Do you have an original concept, creation, or a new process which could interest certain manufacturers? Or maybe you would like to prove that you are the first creator?

It is possible to register your creation with official institutions in order to facilitate the proof of the date of existence of this creation. If your intellectual right over the creation is ever disputed, this registration could help you defend your case. For example, it would allow you to prove that your creation predates that of your opponent, or that the creation took place before the beginning of your employment contract and therefore you and not your employer are the sole holder of intellectual rights.

Registering a creation never confers an autonomous intellectual property right, nor does it prove that the conditions of protection by an intellectual property right (such as copyright) are met.

Common law provides two ways to prove a date of creation. The first way is to contact any registration office of the Federal Public Service FinanceExternal link. You may only register “paper” documents with these offices (so no diskettes, CD-ROMs, etc.). Registering a “non costing” document (documents other than rental contracts or real estate sales contracts, which are defined in the Belgian Code on registration, mortgages and court fees) currently costs (2017) 50 euros per document. In this case, a dated seal is affixed to the document.

A second possibility is to prepare a notarised deed on the existence of the work. The notary may keep the documents provided and date them. You may also register your diskettes and CD-ROMs with a notary, who will keep copies of these items.

Another way to prove the date of creation of a work is with the i-DEPOT envelope of the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (OBPI).

The i-DEPOT envelope includes two compartments. In each of the two compartments you can place an identical document describing or showing your creation as clearly as possible. You can put this document on the data carrier of your choice: paper, microfilm, diskette, CD-ROM, etc. Then close the envelope and send it to the OBPI. Once it is received, your i-DEPOT envelope is sealed by the OBPI. The OBPI will register your name and the date you submitted your creation. The i-DEPOT envelope may also be submitted online.

Click here to learn more about the i-DEPOTExternal link

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