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Opposition Term

02 Months

Registration Term

10 Years

First Renewal Term

10 Years

Subsequent Renewal Term

10 Years

  • The Benelux Convention on Intellectual Property (trademarks and designs), which entered into force on March 1, 2019 – is the primary law governing trademark registration in Belgium.

  • The trademark authority for Belgium is the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property, which acts as the official body for trademark and design registrations in the Benelux union.

  • It follows a 'first-to-file’ system, which means that it is necessary to register a trademark for obtaining rights over it. However, in exceptional cases, well-known trademarks can be protected even if they have not been filed yet.

  • Belgium follows the 11th edition of Nice Classification. Multi-class trademark applications are not acceptable.

  • An opposition may be filed in writing at the BOIP within two (02) months following the publication of the application.

  • In Belgium, registered trademarks have a validity of ten (10) years from the date of application, which can be further renewed indefinitely for successive periods of ten (10) years each.

  • The grace period to renew a trademark after the date of expiry is six (06) months. 

  • The term for cancellation of a registered trademark based on non-use is five (05) years from the date of registration. 

  • Belgium is a signatory to the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), the European Patent Convention, and the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property.

  • The Belgian Code of Economic Law (CEL), in particular Title 1 (Patents), Title 9 (Civil Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights), and Title 10 (Legal aspects of Intellectual property rights) of Book XI, contain the substantive rules on patent law.

  • In Belgium, either a national Belgian patent application or a European patent application can be filed. National patents are filed before the Belgian Office for Intellectual Property. A European patent will be granted following a patent application before the European Patent Organization (EPO).

  • In Belgium, an invention that satisfies the conditions of novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability, subjects to patentability. In addition, the invention has to be sufficiently disclosed in the patent and needs to be described clearly therein. Process patent and product patent are the two types of patents that can be protected.

  • The types of patent applications that can be filed include Non-Convention Application and Convention Application. 

  • Belgian patents are granted without any examination by the Belgian IP Office and no opposition is, therefore, available. Oppositions against the grant of a European patent are possible at the European patent Office or at the Benelux Office for Intellectual property.

  • The term of patent protection is twenty (20) years and it cannot be further extended.

  • Industrial Design registration in Belgium is governed by the Benelux Convention on Intellectual Property. The Community Design is the second important piece of legislation for design law in the Benelux countries.

  • For getting an industrial design registered in Belgium, an application has to be filed with the Benelux Office of Intellectual Property, which administers the entire process of registration.

  • The Benelux Convention on Intellectual Property does not provide for protection of unregistered designs. However, the EU Design Regulation does, which means that all operators in Benelux can benefit from three (03) years of unregistered design protection.

  • The types of industrial design applications that can be filed in Belgium include Non-Convention Application and Convention Application.

  • Opposition against an industrial design application cannot be raised in Belgium. 

  • A design registration is valid for five (05) years from the date of filing of an application and can be renewed for four (04) consecutive periods of five (05) years each. The maximum period of protection of an industrial design in Benelux is twenty-five (25) years.

  • Belgium is a signatory to the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works. 

  • The Belgian Code on Economic Law governs the copyright law in Belgium.

  • Under Belgian law, copyright protection is automatically granted as from the creation of the work. No registration is necessary. However, it is possible to register a work with a notary public or with the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP). Such registration grants the author a proof of date.

  • The standard copyright protection term lasts for the lifetime of the author plus seventy (70) years following his death.

  • In case of multiple authors (‘collaborative works’), the protection period is seventy (70) years after the death of the last surviving author.