Belgium

May 1, 2018

Benelux: Trademark Regime to Change in June 2018

The Benelux Convention on Intellectual Property (BCIP) will be amended by two protocols which will enter into force on June 1, 2018. Effective June 1, 2018, all appeals from decisions of the BOIP (refusals, oppositions, etc.) have to be brought before the Benelux Court of Justice (BCJ).  This Court established a new chamber consisting of judges from national courts of the Member States of the Benelux.  It is expected that this change will result in a more consistent and harmonious case law. With regard to opposition proceedings, the BCIP will also allow holders of well-known trademarks to oppose to the registration of younger marks. Currently, opposition can only be based on an identical trademark, a confusingly similar trademark or a well-known mark. Invalidation or cancellation actions before the BOIP:  Effective June 1, 2018, it will be possible to seek invalidation or cancellation of registered marks with the BOIP in administrative procedures.  It will no longer be required to initiate judicial proceedings. Source:  DeClercq & Partners, Belgium and Arnold & Siedsma, Netherlands
January 3, 2017

Belgium: Patent Law Changes Effective January 1, 2017

The London Protocol reduces the translation requirements for a granted European patent upon validation in EPC member states that subscribe to the protocol.  A European patent granted in English, French or German will now have the same effect as a Belgium patent without any further translation requirements.  The new law will be applicable to European Patents granted on or after January 1, 2017. Patents which were granted before this date will still require a full translation of an English specification in either French, Dutch, or German.   Source: www.nlo.eu
February 4, 2016

Belgium: Changes to the Annual Maintenance Fees for Patents Effective January 1, 2016

Effective January 1, 2016 the annual maintenance fees for Belgian patents and European patents validated in Belgium will increase.   Source:  Belgian Office for Intellectual Property (OPRI)