The Benelux Intellectual Property Office has developed and provided the i-DEPOT service, which is a register of information whose confidentiality has been maintained. Another similar service is WIPO PROOF, which was developed by the World Intellectual Property Organization. Anyone can take advantage of the service by depositing their information in a digital safe, as a result of which they receive a digitally signed certificate (PDF with stamp and date), which is legal proof that the deposited intellectual property existed on a certain date. As a form of proof, there is no territorial restriction for i-DEPOT. This means that you can use i-DEPOT as proof anywhere in the world. Practice shows that courts in Europe accept i-DEPOT as evidence. The service is extremely affordable – 37 euros for five years. Users are only permitted to upload the following file types: pdf, jpg, jpeg, png, txt, doc, docx, tif, tiff, xlsx, xls, pptx, ppt, png, gif, bmp, mov, mp3, mp4, m4v, avi, wmv, mpg, psd, wav, m4a, wma, aac. Users also can submit the information on paper.
The ability to verify the availability of the information deposited at the time of its creation is key to protecting it from potential misuse or infringement. I-DEPOT does not replace national, regional, or international intellectual property registration systems, but rather complements them by adding another tool to the intellectual property management strategy. I-DEPOT does not certify a valid intellectual property right, but rather certifies the existence of the relevant information as of a certain date. I-DEPOT provides evidence to verify the existence of the information deposited at a particular time and is a type of insurance for resolving future disputes.
Who can take advantage of the i-DEPOT service?
The i-DEPOT service can be used by absolutely anyone. It would benefit not only a trademark or industrial design owner who claims earlier use, but also artists who protect their works from plagiarism, or researchers who want to certify that they were the first to make a breakthrough in a given field of science.
Why take advantage of i-DEPOT?
The creation of an object of intellectual property is a long and laborious process, as a result of which remarkable results are achieved. It is therefore particularly important to prove that a text, sketch, or any original creation existed before that of another person. This can be achieved through i-DEPOT, as this service of the Benelux Intellectual Property Office provides creators and innovators with reliable evidence that their work existed at a given time. In this way, abuses are prevented and evidence can be used to resolve legal disputes.
The Benelux Intellectual Property Office has also taken the necessary technical and organizational measures to protect the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of i-DEPOT. In the first place, the Benelux Intellectual Property Office is certified in accordance with ISO 27001, which is an international standard for information security. Furthermore, the content of i-DEPOT is not sent anywhere but remains in a secure (encrypted) environment in the Benelux Intellectual Property Office. The end result is a digital certificate bearing a reliable date stamp, which ensures that the contents of your i-DEPOT have not changed since it was deposited.
Advantages of using i-DEPOT
Evidence – The content of your i-DEPOT is legal proof (PDF with stamp and date) that your intellectual property existed on a particular date. By using the i-DEPOT service, you will receive reliable and irrefutable digital evidence that the deposited intellectual property object existed at a certain time. I-DEPOT is useful for activities related to complex investigations, audits, protection against counterfeiting and falsification, and more. Also, the content of your i-DEPOT can be used as valid evidence in the event of a legal dispute, as if someone else claims to be the owner of the deposited intellectual property object, they should prove it.
Confidentiality – I-DEPOT is a register in which the confidentiality of the deposited information is guaranteed, and the applicant is the one who decides whether to make the information or part of it publicly available.
Financially profitable – The service is extremely affordable – 37 euros for five years.
Reliability and Security – The Benelux Intellectual Property Office has taken the necessary technical and organizational measures to protect the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of i-DEPOT. The Office is certified in accordance with ISO 27001, and the content of i-DEPOT is not sent anywhere but remains in a secure (encrypted) environment in the Office.
Method of finding partners – In case you decide to make the information deposited in i-DEPOT or part of it publicly available, you have the opportunity to find partners to finance or help develop your concept, format, software, or innovative product.
Recognized worldwide – As a form of proof for i-DEPOT, there is no territorial restriction. This means that you can use i-DEPOT as proof anywhere in the world. Practice shows that courts in Europe accept i-DEPOT as evidence.
For which intellectual property objects can i-DEPOT be used?
I-DEPOT can be used to prove copyright in works, prove earlier use of an industrial design, the existence of trade secrets, scientific developments, trademarks, computer code, data, research, contracts, documents, and more. I-DEPOT can be used as a first step in not disclosing original IP objects in development until the right holder chooses the most appropriate way to protect their creative product.
If you need assistance in depositing your information at i-DEPOT, please do not hesitate to contact us. We have successfully deposited files at i-DEPOT.
EACH CLIENT WILL RECEIVE A FREE E-BOOK CONTAINING ARTICLES WITH USEFUL INFORMATION ABOUT TRADEMARKS.
FOR YOUR NEXT ORDER OF ANY OF OUR SERVICES YOU WILL RECEIVE UP TO 15% DISCOUNT.
Legal Disclaimer: This material prepared by Krasimira Kadieva aims to provide information about the online service of the Benelux Intellectual Property Office – i-DEPOT. It does not constitute a legal opinion and cannot be interpreted as individual consultation on any concrete facts or circumstances. The advice of an intellectual property specialist should be obtained for specific questions and situations. For more information on the above-mentioned issues and individual consultations, please contact Krasimira Kadieva at 00359 882 308 670 or make an inquiry using the contact form of this website. Krasimira Kadieva is a Bulgarian and European trademark and design attorney.