Patent and trademark firm Novagraaf celebrates 135 years in IP 

Amsterdam – European IP consulting group Novagraaf has reached another milestone this year, with 2023 marking 135 years of the group providing specialist IP services, solutions and customer support. To celebrate, we take a look back at Novagraaf’s 135 years of operation, and share our vision and purpose for the coming years.  

First established in 1888 as Van der Graaf & Co, a Netherlands-based trademark specialist, Novagraaf has successfully expanded across Europe in the last 135 years, with patent, trademark, design and domain name specialists now based in Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK, as well as offices in China, Japan and the US.  

This longevity and growth is a testament to our people, customers and ongoing appetite for innovation. We’ve expanded gradually over time by focusing on one key mission: To support our clients how, when and where they need us.  

Novagraaf: In milestones 

Here are some highlights from the last 135 years: 

  • 1888: Founding of the Van der Graaf & Co trademark department in the Netherlands, becoming Markgraaf in 1978. 
  • 1993: Expansion into the UK with the acquisition of J.E. Evans-Jackson & Co., followed by William A Shepherd (1997) and Hillgate Patent Services (2008). 
  • 2000: Merger with French company Novamark, leading to the creation of the Novagraaf brand name, and expansion into Switzerland with the acquisition of William Blanc. 
  • 2006: Global expansion, as Novagraaf opens sales offices in China, Japan and the US.  
  • 2018: Novagraaf retains its position as market leader (WIPO and Benelux), and is announced as the leading representative, with the most trademarks under management, at both EUIPO and WIPO. 
  • 2021: In January, Novagraaf acquires Thomsen Trampedach GmbH, a specialist in online brand protection and joins global IP service provider Questel on 1 September 2021, becoming part of the Questel group.  
  • 2022: Novagraaf expands operations in China, opening a representative office in Guangzhou
  • 2023: Novagraaf is recommended again for its trademark expertise in the Benelux, France and Switzerland in the 2023 edition of WTR 1000, with several Novagraaf specialists recognised for their individual expertise. 

Looking forward to the next 135 years! 

This latest milestone gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect not only on our history to date, but also our mission and vision for the decades to come. 

We’re justifiably proud of our long and distinguished heritage, but we also know that this success and longevity wouldn’t have happened without the right people or the ability to innovate. 

“Novagraaf never rests on its laurels,” comments Helma van de Langenberg, Managing Director at Novagraaf Netherlands. “Our people are always looking for new ways to better serve customers, from the creation of new services to the adoption of innovative technologies. We didn’t reach this old age by simply filing patents and trademarks on demand! We’ve evolved and adapted to provide our customers with a reliable and efficient IP business partner that supports them to realise their goals – and, as they have successfully grown, so have we!” 

Discover all milestones from our 135 years of history!

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