From the 1st of January 2017 onwards, the filing of a translation with the Belgian Intellectual Property Office will not be required any longer in Belgium for European patents delivered in English.

Please note: the new regime will only be applicable to European patents of which the mention of the grant or the maintenance, in amended or limited form, are published from the 1st of January 2017 onwards.

If the mention is published before that date, the filing of a translation of the European patent will still be required.

See here the letter of the Belgian Intellectual Property Office of 30th of September 2016.

F. de Visscher, E. De Gryse and Ph. Campolini


In Belgium, as well as in France, many strived for years in order to introduce a new copyright exception, which would allow the reproduction and communication to the public of works which are permanently situated in public places (the so-called « panorama exception »). Next to France, Luxemburg, Italy and Greece, Belgium was one of the few EU Member States, which did not foresee such an exception in its copyright laws.

In the court decision of 7 July 2016 (C-567/14, Genentech) the Court of Justice of the European Union reaffirmed the solution as presented by the Court in its decision of 12 May 1989 (C-567/14, Ottung): the prohibition on anti-competitive agreements (article 101, §1 TFEU) does not affect the contractual obligation of a fee for the use of a technology that is not or is no longer covered by a patent, on the condition that the licensee is at every moment in the possibility to end the existing agreement.

L. de Brouwer "Le droit des jeux plublicitaires", Larcier, 2016.

Parmi les méthodes de promotion des ventes, les jeux publicitaires occupent une place singulière : les loteries, tombolas, jeux et concours publicitaires n’offrent en effet au consommateur que l’espoir d’un gain, mais chargé, il est vrai, d’un pouvoir attractif souvent convaincant.

Les nombreuses règles légales qui les gouvernent se situent à la croisée de deux secteurs d’activités réglementés de manière presque antinomique : d’un côté, les loteries et les jeux de hasard sur lesquels l’État exerce un monopole et un contrôle souverain ; de l’autre, le commerce où règnent les principes de liberté et de libre concurrence, mais encadrés par les dispositions protectrices des consommateurs.

La mise en œuvre d’un jeu publicitaire oblige son organisateur à se poser des questions essentielles avant de porter son choix sur l’une ou l’autre formule : concours ou loterie ? jeu ou jeu de hasard ? opération à lancer sur des supports classiques, on air ou on line, via un site internet ou des réseaux sociaux ? lots en espèces ou en nature ? intervention d’un huissier de justice ? risque de disqualification ? Quant à la rédaction du règlement,
il soulève d’autres questions : les clauses sont-elles toujours licites, pertinentes et opposables à chacun des participants ?

Le lecteur trouvera dans le présent ouvrage des réponses aux multiples questions que posent le choix, la mise en œuvre et la gestion des jeux publicitaires. L’ensemble des règles qui leur sont applicables sont exposées d’une manière ordonnée et synthétique, ce qui n’exclut ni l’approfondissement ni la critique. Les nombreux exemples pratiques, tous tirés de la jurisprudence, illustrent le commentaire. À dessein, l’auteur utilise un langage clair et accessible à tous ceux auxquels l’ouvrage s’adresse : les professionnels de la communication et du marketing, les juristes et les joueurs.


Within the European Union, the rules on processing personal data are still governed by the Directive 1995/46/EC. These rules were conceived before the era of social networks, big data and the Internet of things, and were often misunderstood and misapplied by companies and organizations. Its revision has been at the agenda since 2012. After several years of intensive discussions, a final text was finally adopted in December 2015. It should be voted by the European Union legislator and published in the Official Journal in the following weeks.
The modernization of the system of protection of personal data should have important practical consequences for most companies and organizations. In particular, those who, within these organizations, are responsible for ensuring the respect of the rules, will be faced with new multiple challenges. It is not only about applying new legal requirements, carrying out new administrative procedures or adapting the  phrasing  of some clauses of general conditions or privacy policies. The requirements of the regulation, mainly through the concept called "accountability", go well beyond that.
In this document we give a complete overview of these new obligations, but also of new powers which will be allocated to the regulator, at a national and at the European level. These powers can result in investigations and investigative measures, positive injunctions and even administrative fines.



Publication of the book “Actualités en droits intellectuels” under the coordination of Benjamin Docquir

This book includes two studies authored by lawyers of Simont Braun : Philippe Campolini discusses the recent developments on the creation of a European patent with unitary effect and the future Unified Patent Court, and Benjamin Docquir (in collaboration with Edouard Cruysmans) examines the limits of copyright in the digital environment, in particular the exceptions for research and e-learning, the private copying levies, etc

The book also reports on several other topics of great relevance in the field of intellectual property rights: the proposal for a Directive on business secrets, the recent case law of the European Court of justice on registered designs, customs measures, injunctions under the new Code of economic law, etc.

For more information:


Pursuant to article 1, §1 and article 3 §3 of the Law of 30 June 1994 concerning copyrights and neighbouring rights (hereafter: Author Rights):

  • the author of a literary or artistic work has the exclusive right to reproduce the work or to authorize reproduction by any means andin any form (whether directly or indirectly, temporarily or permanently, or in whole or in part) ; and
  • the author may assign the Author Rights with respect to the works created by an author in the execution of an employment contract or a statutory function to the employer, provided (i) that the transfer of Author Rights is expressly agreed and (ii) that the creation of the work is within the scope of the employment contract or statutory function.

The transfer of these Author Rights is sometimes remunerated. Until recently, the tax and social security treatment of this income was unclear.

The Belgian rules on invention patents underwent certain changes in 2011, one of which was the introduction of a restoration procedure (1).  This restoration procedure, which came into effect on 13 March 2014, allows applicants for or holders of patents that missed a deadline in procedures before the Belgian Office for Intellectual Property (OPRI), to commence proceedings before it aimed at restoring the rights lost owing to the failure. The main cases in contemplation are failure to meet the deadline for paying the annual taxes or that for filing a translation of a European patent (which, for some time now, has only concerned European patents issued in English).


Supreme Court, 12 September 2014, Syral Belgium v. Roquette Frères, C.13.0232.N, available here.


Section 1369bis/1 of the Belgian Judicial Code provides that the court ruling on a petition for a counterfeit seizure must examine the prima facie validity of the intellectual property right invoked.

In order to challenge this prima facie validity, defendants frequently cite cases in which the patent relied on has already been ruled to be void. These may be either first instance decisions that are not yet final (otherwise, were the patent to be finally set aside, it could not be founded on for a counterfeit seizure petition) or foreign decisions whose grounds the defendant argues must apply by analogy to the patent relied on in Belgium.

However, challenging the prima facie validity of a patent based on a decision from foreign court or that is not res iudicata is often no easy task. Based on the rule that issued patents are in principle to be considered valid, the Belgian courts often reject such arguments on the ground that a patent is to be considered valid until revoked by a final decision or, at least, one that is provisionally enforceable. Foreign decisions are often rejected outright by the court on the ground – correct in and of itself, though questionable as to its relevance – that they relate to foreign rights that are of no effect in Belgium.