Do you have an original concept, could your new process be of interest to certain manufacturers, or have you created something? And do you want to prove that you are the first creator...
Filing with official institutions
You can file your creation with the official institutions to make it easier to prove the date of existence of this creation. This could prove very useful for defending yourself in the event of a dispute regarding your intellectual rights to your creation. For example, it will allow you to prove that your creation is prior to that of your challenger, or that it was created before the start of your employment contract, so it is you and not your employer who is the sole holder of the intellectual rights.
Under no circumstances, filings grant autonomous intellectual property rights or prove that the legal conditions for protection by intellectual property rights (e.g. copyright or patent rights) were met.
Under ordinary law, there are two ways of providing evidence of the date of creation.
- The first possibility is to contact any registration office of the Federal Public Service Finance. It is only possible to register « paper » documents with these offices (so no CD Roms, USB keys, etc.). The registration of a « non priced » act (i.e. documents other than, for example, contracts for the rental or sale of property as defined in the Code of Registration, Mortgage and Court Fees) currently costs 50 euros per document. A seal stating the date is then placed on the document.
- The second possibility is the creation by a notary of an official record stating the existence of the work. The notary can keep the documents and assign them a date. You can also, for example, file your CD Roms and USB keys with a notary, who will keep these copies.
The i-DEPOT envelope
Another way of proving the date of creation of a work is the i-DEPOT envelope provided by the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP).
The i-DEPOT envelope has two compartments. In each compartment you place an identical document describing or representing your creation as precisely as possible. You can place this document on the data medium of your choice: paper, microfilm, disk, CD Rom, etc. Then, you seal the envelope and send it to the BOIP. The BOIP seals your i-DEPOT envelope on receipt. The BOIP registers your name and the date on which you submitted your creation. The i-DEPOT envelope can also be submitted online via the BOIP website.