Beware the wolf, questions about the Dutch registration patent system

In 1995 the new Dutch Patent Act introduced a system of Dutch registration patents: these patents are granted on the basis of the application as drafted by the applicant without any examination of the merits of that application. In 2001 the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs published an Evaluation of the functioning of this new system. The conclusion was that although most interested parties were not enthusiastic about the new law, no real problems surfaced so that there was no reason for any change.

However, research conducted by Clifford Chance indicates that these Dutch registration patents are used much more aggressively as the basis for litigation than examined patents. In addition, such litigation also seems to be more successful. Given the shaky foundation of these registration patents these facts indicate that this new law is less harmless than expected and may even stifle innovation as opposed to stimulate it.

Patent World, December 2003/January 2004, pages 26-30