Modifcation of Belgian Law on Patents

The newly introduced Belgian Law on Patents aims at harmonizing the law of March 28, 1984 with two international treaties, i.e. the Patent Law Treaty (PLT) of June 1st, 2000 and the Decree on the issuing of European Patents of November 29, 2000.

The PLT harmonizes the formal aspects of the application procedure and the relationship between the applicant and the patent office.
The Decree on the issuing of European Patents aims at modernizing the Treaty reckoning with the newest technological and juridical developments.

Major changes:

  • simplification of the minimum requirements for granting an application term to the introduction of a patent application;
  • notification at the Service of Intellectual Property of an irregularity having consequences to the patent application and the possibility that the applicant regularizes his/her application and comments. The applicant may also regularize his/her application at his/her own initiative;
  • introduction of a system to restore the rights of the applicant or patent owner if he/she did not respect the term established to perform an action in a procedure for the Service of Intellectual Property;
  • introduction of a voluntary procedure of total or partial recall of Belgian Patents with retroactive effect. This procedure allows the applicant of patent owner to voluntarily limit or recall the tendency of his/her application, in tempore non suspecto, ir in the framework of litigation. In the latter cas to respond to the objections against the validity of the application or the patent in question;
  • automatic publication of patent applications at the end of the term of 18 months after the introduction date or primacy date. This measure aims at augmenting the juridical certainty of the patent holder's competitors.

The law also aims at facilitating the possibility to introduce and manage patent applications and patents. The Service of Intellectual Property must be enabled to manage the different steps in the procedure and to communicate electronically with the applicants in the future.