Gerard van Hulst

Commercial and global accounts director at Novagraaf
Ranked in Benelux: Agencies
WTR Research

The WTR 1000 focuses exclusively on trademark practice and has firmly established itself as the definitive 'go-to' resource for those seeking world-class legal trademark expertise

Recommended - Individuals

For over 130 years, Novagraaf has been a reliable source of innovative solutions to branding headaches. Having recently joined forces with Questel – a leading IP service provider that has been digitalising the industry for over four decades – it carries on this trailblazing legacy. The two organisations came together with the mutual goal of integrating knowledge and technology into a single practice and enabling clients to manage their IP in creative ways. In Belgium, managing director Ingrid Mennens ascends to the highly recommended tier this year on the back of her extensive experience in the field. She is a first port of call for those looking to optimise their portfolios. Over in the Dutch office, Gerard van Hulst, Monique Granneman, Helma van de Langenberg and Bart Schweitzer come to the forefront. A veritable encyclopaedia of trademark insight, Van Hulst has worked at the IP coalface for over four decades. Devising and executing practical strategies that emphasise the effective protection, enforcement and exploitation of rights is one of Granneman’s strong suits; while Van De Langenberg has sparkling negotiation skills and an impressive breadth of IP and business knowledge. Schweitzer thrives when managing portfolios for some of the most prestigious fashion and fast-moving consumer goods companies, and has a knack for due diligence proceedings too.

Gerard van Hulst's Profile

Gerard van Hulst has extensive experience in the field of intellectual property and is particularly active in providing multinational companies with advice on the management, development and exploitation of their IP portfolios. In addition, in his role as commercial and global accounts director and partner, Mr van Hulst focuses on expanding the international client base at Novagraaf, which involves working in close cooperation with other professionals within the group, including specialists in the patent field.

Mr van Hulst has worked as a consultant in the IP sphere since the early 1980s and is a certified trademark attorney at the Benelux Association for Trademark and Design Law. He joined Novagraaf in 2000.

Mr van Hulst advises clientele in Europe, the United States and Asia. He has a deep knowledge of the rules of conduct for international business transactions and has developed a unique approach for multinational companies.

Mr van Hulst practises in a wide range of sectors, including pharmaceuticals, tobacco and clothing. He is also responsible for managing the trademark rights of a world-renowned music band and is a regular speaker at national and international seminars. He speaks Dutch, English and German.

Mr van Hulst’s areas of expertise include:

  • trademark registration and portfolio management;
  • trademark prosecution;
  • trademark filing strategies;
  • trademark portfolio audits;
  • M&A projects;
  • anti-counterfeiting;
  • trademark clearing searches;
  • IP infringements;
  • registered and unregistered designs;
  • copyright;
  • domain names;
  • IP strategy;
  • dispute resolution;
  • litigation management;
  • unfair competition; and
  • pre-litigation and litigation.

Mr van Hulst has been recommended in the WTR 1000 rankings for several years.

Firm Profile

Novagraaf is an international IP consultancy firm and part of the Questel group.

The firm’s expertise includes advising clients on the protection of new ideas and inventions, and on developing strong brands and/or innovative new products through trademarks, patents, designs and other forms of IP rights.

Clients include innovative start-ups, organisations operating at a regional or national level, and multinationals with a global portfolio of strong brands and innovative technologies.

As the largest service provider of its kind in Europe, Novagraaf offers clients unrivalled scale, strength and operational excellence.

Spread across 18 offices in Europe, Asia and the United States, Novagraaf works on a broad spectrum of strategic IP issues, employing a consultancy-based approach that enables the firm to gain a more in-depth understanding of clients’ business needs.

A distinguished history

With more than 130 years of experience, Novagraaf has a long and distinguished heritage in the IP field and is constantly innovating to provide clients with tailored and intelligent solutions to help them to protect, manage, enforce and exploit their IP rights worldwide.

The firm remains today the European Union’s leading representative: it has the most trademarks under management at both the EUIPO and the WIPO, and it represents five of the top 16 Patent Cooperation Treaty filers.

Part of the Questel group

Driven by a strong tech culture and broad IT expertise, the Questel group has been digitalising and streamlining the IP industry for more than 40 years. As a result of both organic growth and 15 acquisitions made over five years, the group has expanded to include 1,500 employees and 30 countries, and to achieve a leading position in the provision of software and tech-enabled services on a global scale.

Services across the IP life cycle

Highlight trademark services include the following:

  • Brand strategy development – legal and commercial analysis designed to help clients to develop a registration and enforcement strategy, and provide strategic insight to company board members and financial stakeholders.
  • Trademark portfolio management – proactive day-to-day portfolio management to help companies to track and manage budgets, resources and suppliers, while ensuring rights are kept up to date and safely maintained.
  • Trademark searching – the first step in the registration process, Novagraaf’s trademark search examines all relevant trademark registers to identify identical and similar trademarks.
  • Trademark registration – local management of the formal requirements of the trademark and design application processes to identify conflicts and secure registrations, including the management of oppositions.
  • Trademark watching – automated monitoring of new trademark applications for infringement, provided with advice where required, ensuring oppositions are filed and prosecuted in a timely manner.
  • Online brand protection – one of the key challenges facing businesses today is how to establish and execute effective online brand protection strategies without expending valuable in-house time and resources. Novagraaf’s online brand protection services help businesses to meet that ‘more with less’ challenge by integrating and automating monitoring and enforcement to take the pressure off in-house teams. Novagraaf also provides complementary offline anti-counterfeiting and customs recordals services.
  • Trademark renewals – a wide range of tech-enabled trademark, design and domain name renewals services, so clients can choose the frequency and level of support that best meets their needs. Novagraaf also provides a leading patent annuity service, drawing on the same high quality of procedure, technology and global network, irrespective of case volume or IP management system.
  • Audit and benchmarking – IP portfolio health checks, including assessments of validity, strength and use/usefulness to a business, as well as competitive benchmarking of approach and budget.
  • IP recordals – full management of the documentation and procedures required to process updates to a chain of title in global IP offices. A dedicated attorney with knowledge of local laws and regulations will oversee the successful completion of such projects.
  • EasyIP – an easy-to-use web portal that provides clients with a single access point for all their trademark portfolio management and information needs, including budgeting. The IP management tool is provided to clients free of charge.


The following languages are spoken at Novagraaf: Chinese, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Swiss-German.

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