Centexbel has founded a Patent-cell in collaboration with the department of Intellectual Property of the Federal Public Service Economy, SMEs, Self-employed and Energy to arouse the interest in patents as a protection instrument and to optimise the information on patents.


Being a recognized PATLIB centre (Patent Library) by the European Patent Office (EPO) we have privileged access to non-public data and very specialised and up-date EPO training programmes enabling us to perform a more refined research of online search possibilities offered by EPO.

US patent office

United States Patent Office around 1880

Near the beginning of his career, Einstein thought that Newtonian mechanics was no longer enough to reconcile the laws of classical mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic field. This led him to develop his special theory of relativity during his time at the Swiss Patent Office in Bern (1902–1909), Switzerland.


    A patent has a national territoriality, i.e. a patent is only valid in the country in which it is granted. Therefore one needs to file a patent application in each country in which one desires to protect one's invention. There are also simpler procedures by which one obtains a patent in several countries by means of one single application. The best-known examples of this are the European patent (valid for a maximum of 20 countries) and the international patent (for more than a hundred countries).

    In general, a patent has a maximum validity of twenty years. Once a patent has been obtained, the patentee may pay a yearly tax to keep his privileges.