top of page

Intellectual property (IP)

Intellectual property law (IP) is the practice area of law that protects creativity. It includes copyright, design right, trademark law, and trade name law.


Copyright protects any creatively made work from the moment it’s created. Take a product design, book, film, software, music or building, for instance. Registration of the work is not a prerequisite for its protection.


Design right

Design right protects any 2D and 3D drawing, sketch or image after it has been registered in the designated registers. A creative design of the model is not a prerequisite for its protection, but it needs to be novel and have its own character. The threshold for protection is lower in design right than in copyright. It’s even possible to claim design right without registration. You will then be protected against imitation throughout the EU for three years.

Trademark law

A trademark can protect a product or company name, but it can also protect a logo, a colour or even a music or video clip used as a trademark. To benefit from trademark right, the trademark must be registered in the designated registers.

Ruby Nefkens Legal works with specialised agencies to register designs and trademarks.

Trade name law

Trade name law protects the trade name under which your organisation carries on business. You do not need to register a trade name. However it is necessary that you can prove that you are using the trade name.


Written agreements also protect your rights. In IP, we draft or review various contracts, such as NDAs, IT and licensing agreements. We also advise on IP clauses in agreements, such as employment contracts. For more information on this, see Contracts.


Specific rules apply in E-commerce. What should your website and online shop look like? What content is needed? Issues such as trademarks and copyrights, domain names, trade names, advertising, privacy statements, the use of cookies and social media also come into play here. We’re here to advise you on this too.

Enforcement of IP rights

If a competitor copies your product, uses a similar trademark, starts a business with a confusing name or steals your trade secrets, you want to stop them quickly.

After all, the infringement of your rights is usually extremely damaging to your business. If necessary, we will fight for your interests in court. When IP rights are infringed, it is the infringer who pays most of the legal costs.

bottom of page