Intellectual property in Belgium
The 'highly experienced' team at ALTIUS has established strength across the full range of IP work; unfair competition, trade marks, patents, and parallel trade mandates feature prominently in the group's workload. Paul Maeyaert, Christophe Ronse ('a master of IP litigation'), Olivier Vrins and plant variety rights expert Philippe de Jong share leadership of the practice, in which counsel Jeroen Muyldermans is a name to note.
Other key lawyers:
Sanoma Media Belgium
- Acting for Heineken in a patent infringement case against AB InBev.
- Assisting Gilead with enforcing patent rights of medicinal products for treating HIV.
- Assisting US biotech company Biogen, Swiss pharma company Roche and its US affiliate Genentech with patent litigation relating to cancer medication.
Bird & Bird has been especially active in big-ticket patent litigation, often with a cross-border flavour, and reports an increase in licensing disputes. The group also handles copyright disputes and trade mark litigation, as well as non-contentious IP mandates. Jean-Christophe Troussel heads the practice; Benoit Van Asbroeck, associate Guillaume de Villegas de Clercamp and counsel Domien Op de Beeck are key contacts.
- Representing B. Braun Melsungen in ongoing cross-border patent litigation against Becton Dickinson.
- Acting for AB InBev in a high profile patent infringement dispute against Heineken.
Crowell & Moring's 'very solid' team counts pharmaceutical patent litigation as a core strength of the practice; the firm also handles trade mark infringement disputes and copyright infringement matters. Kristof Roox leads the team, in which Jan-Diederik Lindemans and senior counsel Gunther Meyer are key names.
‘Kristof Roox is a major player in the Belgian scene. A shrewd strategic mind and a combative advocate. He is really excellent‘.
‘Jan-Diederik Lindemans is fully dedicated to his clients and the matters entrusted to him‘.
- Acting for Sandoz and Mylan in a dispute regarding the validity of Gilead’s Supplementary Protection Certificate (SPC) for the combination of tenofovir disoproxil and emtricitabine, marketed by Gilead as Truvada.
- Representing Alcon Research Institute in a patent infringement dispute with Hoya Surgical Optics.
HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
The 'strong' team at IP boutique HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER is highly regarded for its extensive expertise across the gamut of IP matters. The firm reports an increase in instructions from the life sciences sector; the client base also includes pharmaceutical, automotive, consumer goods, food and beverages, fashion and media companies, among other areas. Recent highlights included managing partner Liesbeth Weynants, Steven Cattoor and Benoît Strowel assisting Pfizer with patent issues concerning the launch of one of its first biosimilar products, while Carina Gommers and senior associate Eva De Pauw acted for Bet365 in a trade mark infringement case. Carl De Meyer provides ongoing advice to Philip Morris International regarding its trade mark portfolio. Benoit Michaux is a key figure.
Other key lawyers:
The Jimi Hendrix Estate
Philip Morris International
Procter & Gamble
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries
- Provides ongoing assistance to the Jimi Hendrix Estate regarding its Benelux trade mark portfolio.
- Acting for Solvay in a trade secrets case, brought against a former employee of the company.
NautaDutilh's team is 'well-known and highly regarded for the intellectual property area'; 'they are very sharp, straight to the point and pleasant to work with'. Key sector strengths include food and beverages, luxury/consumer goods and life sciences, with patent and trade mark litigation forming the backbone of instructions. In an example, the group is acting for GlaxoSmithKline in an ongoing colour trade mark infringement case. Florence Verhoestraete, Tanguy de Haan and Philippe Péters are the key contacts.
Other key lawyers:
‘Tanguy de Haan- a brilliant IP litigator who combines superb legal knowledge with a commercial perspective‘.
- Representing Star Fruits and APAL, who hold the ‘Pink Lady’ trade mark for apples, in EU trade mark infringement matters.
Patent litigation is a key focus for Stibbe's 'deep and knowledgeable' team, especially within the pharmaceutical sector. The 'very business-oriented' group is also noted for its strong capabilities in handling instructions involving technology transfer and biotech matters. Ignace Vernimme and Philippe Campolini are the names to note.
‘Ignace Vernimme is sharp, available, and able to explain complex concepts in simple words‘.
The Belgian Chocolate Group
The Benelux Office for Intellectual Property
- Acting for Mundipharma in two patent infringement disputes concerning the distribution of biosimilar products Herzuma and Truxima in Belgium.
- Representing Teoxane Laboratories in patent infringement litigation against Filorga.
- Advising audiovisual company Zodiak on the copyright law aspects of the direct injection transmission technique for television programmes.
Allen & Overy LLP
The 'ultra-reactive and available' team at Allen & Overy LLP is very well known for advising clients drawn from regulated industries on a wide spectrum of non-contentious and contentious IP work. The group has been particularly busy handling trade mark litigation, trade secrets matters and patent disputes for notable companies in the life sciences, technology and consumer goods sectors. The 'very professional' practice head Peter Van Dyck is 'a highly skilled IP lawyer'. Senior IP counsel Geert Glas is a key name.
Other key lawyers:
The team at Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL handles contentious and non-contentious trade mark and patent matters, and is also adept at assisting clients with anti-counterfeiting mandates. Koen De Winter leads the department.
The Becton Dickinson group
Van Ratingen NV
British American Tobacco
- Represented model Lesley-Ann Poppe and her beauty and wellness school before the Court of Appeal in Antwerp in trade mark infringement and unfair competition proceedings against a competitor.
- Defending Van Ratingen NV in a design infringement claim brought by electronics company Philips.
Tom Heremans and Renaud Dupont are the key individuals at CMS, which is perhaps best known for its capabilities in domestic and cross-border patent, copyright and trade mark work. Clients from the chemicals, media, technology and consumer goods sectors are prominent in instructions.
- Assisting FIFA with registering the trade mark QATAR 2022.
- Representing Hotel Julien in a trade mark infringement dispute.
- Acting for DNS Belgium in a case involving alleged trade mark infringement and anti-competition issues.
Stijn Debaene leads Fieldfisher's 'very pragmatic' team. Contentious work has featured prominently in the group's recent caseload, including trade mark, patent and design infringement issues. Advisory work is another area of instruction. Hakim Haouideg ('an excellent lawyer') is the other name to note.
Other key lawyers:
The European Commission
- Acts as exclusive counsel to the European Commission on contentious and non-contentious intellectual property matters, and provides ongoing advice to the Commission on patent infringement issues.
- Representing Studio 100 in copyright infringement proceedings against Greenpeace.
IP litigation forms the backbone of Janson's practice, often involving a cross-border flavour; the 'very knowledgeable and hands-on' team has been advising well-known clients from the fashion, food, luxury goods, medical and retail industries. The 'pragmatic' Mireille Buydens 'has an incredible degree of knowledge in IP'; she jointly heads the practice with Hans Dhondt.
‘The team acts fast, is very approachable and friendly‘.
‘Hans Dhondt is an intelligent and experienced yet down-to-earth lawyer‘.
Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick's IP team provides 'hands-on pragmatic advice'. Contentious work remains prominent in the group's workload, spanning copyright, trade mark, domain and brand name disputes. Etienne Kairis leads the team; of counsel Bernard Vanbrabant has extensive expertise in handling complex licensing agreements. Counsel Sarah van den Brande is 'very charismatic' and 'a master negotiator'.
The Belgian State
Honda Motor Europe
- Assisting Befimmo with protecting its brands, Befimmo, Beway and Axento.
Annick Mottet Haugaard leads the IP team at Lydian, which has 'great knowledge of IP law' and is adept at handling copyright, design and trade mark litigation, notably for well-known clients drawn from the luxury goods sector. Bastiaan Bruyndonckx and counsel Olivia Santantonio are noted.
- Acting for Toyota in a dispute regarding the counterfeit use of its trade mark.
- Representing BattleKart in a dispute with one of the company’s shareholders concerning alleged copyright and software infringement.
Simont Braun's 'responsive' team has solid expertise in IP litigation, with patent and trade mark infringement disputes prominent in the group's workload. Transactional IP is another area of instruction. Fernand de Visscher and Eric De Gryse jointly head the practice; Emmanuel Cornu, who advises clients drawn from the luxury goods and telecoms sectors on IP matters, is a name to note.
Other key lawyers:
‘They are very commercial in their outlook, thinking about practical solutions for clients rather than just the letter of the law‘.
- Acting for ArcelorMittal in a patent dispute with Tata, which is claiming co-ownership on a patent application filed by the client.
- Representing machinery company Caterpillar in trademark infringement proceedings against forestry equipment company Clohse Group.
time.lex has 'a broad intellectual property practice with a responsive team of lawyers that provide thorough, practical and cost-efficient assistance to clients'. Frederic Debusseré ('detail-oriented and pragmatic') shares leadership of the practice with Edwin Jacobs and Geert Somers.
‘Geert Somers and Edwin Jacobs are not only very knowledgable but also very practical in their advice‘.
- Representing bag manufacturer FREITAG in trademark opposition proceedings.
VAN INNIS & DELARUE
IP boutique VAN INNIS & DELARUE has well-established expertise across the gamut of IP work, particularly for prominent clients drawn from the high-end design and fashion industries. Media and entertainment are other sector strengths; for example, Thierry Van Innis led the advice to Penguin Random House in a trade mark infringement dispute with a Belgian fabric manufacturer regarding the latter's use of the Beatrix Potter trade mark. Van Innis and Dieter Delarue jointly head the practice; senior associate Anthony Van der Planken is also noted.
Other key lawyers:
‘Dieter is very passionate about his practice. He provides practical and comprehensive solutions to complex matters‘.
Penguin Random House
- Successfully represented shoe designer Christian Louboutin before the Brussels Commercial Court in trade mark infringement proceedings against Amazon regarding the counterfeit use of the ‘red sole’ trade mark.
- Advising global music festival Tomorrowland on trade mark enforcement proceedings against a Belgian company offering helicopter flights over the festival.
DLA Piper's IP team stands out for its 'pragmatic advice'. The group continues to advise clients from a wide spectrum of industries on a range of IP matters, most recently on trade mark infringement cases, copyright and design disputes and patent litigation. Practice head Alexis Fierens made partner in May 2019.
- Represented a real estate company in a copyright dispute regarding architectural plans and golf resort designs.
- Acting for a prominent life sciences company in a European-wide patent infringement dispute.
Inteo is very experienced in assisting clients from the design and pharmaceutical sectors with a wide range of IP matters; the team's recent workload includes patent disputes, trade mark registrations and litigation, and licensing matters. Kristof Neefs and Sofie Cubitt are the key contacts.
Siemens Industry Software
Rain Bird Corporation
- Representing Rain Bird Corporation in appeal proceedings concerning a trade mark opposition action.
- Assisted technology company Darts-IP with the licensing proceedings concerning its artifical intelligence-based trade mark image recognition software.
- Defending Ceres Pharma in ongoing trade mark infringement proceedings initiated by Omega Pharma.
Karen Ongena and Laurence Hubert jointly head the practice at IP Porta, which counts IP litigation as a core strength and reports an uptick in instructions from the media sector. Instructions include patent and trade mark infringement disputes.
Renson Sunprotection Screens
- Acting for Renson Sunprotection Screens in a dispute with a former partner of the client concerning alleged unfair competition.
- Representing Sinelco in a trade mark infringement dispute against DOVO Solingen.
Benjamin Docquir is the key figure at Osborne Clarke, which has been kept busy handling trade marks, domain names, licensing matters and copyright disputes. Other areas of instruction for the group include advising clients on IP issues relating to blockchain and artificial intelligence.
Belgian Mobile ID
- Assisting interactive experiences producer Skemmi with IP-related aspects concerning the use of virtual reality technology.
- Assisting Belgian Mobile ID with IP and licensing negotiations with the developers of a mobile identification project, permitting users of the itsme mobile app to register as clients and remotely approve transactions with banks and financial entities.
- Successfully represented manufacturing conglomerate Doosan in a trade mark and domain name dispute.
Petillion's 'very knowledgeable' team attracts praise for its 'unique expertise in the area of online IP infringement and domain name matters', including top-level domains, and has an excellent reputation for its solid expertise in IP litigation. Practice head and name partner Flip Petillion is 'a true expert with a high reputation in the IP field'.
‘Flip Petillion is extremely experienced and gives top class advice in a friendly and intelligent way‘.
- Acted for Ikea in a domain name dispute concerning the use of a phishing website.
Peter L’Ecluse and counsel Thibaut D’hulst jointly head Van Bael & Bellis' IP practice. Recent instructions include handling trade mark disputes, patent litigation, data protection issues and trade secrets matters for clients drawn from the pharmaceutical, life sciences and sports industries, to name a few.
Super League Triathlon
- Assisting Super League Triathlon with global trade mark registrations.
- Acting for Canon in anti-counterfeiting matters, concerning the import of counterfeit goods.
Ambos NBGO Advocaten's 'reliable' IP and technology team provides 'pragmatic' advice on contentious and transactional matters; recent work includes trade mark disputes and licensing issues. Bart Vandereeckt and Kathleen Paisley are the key names.
New Yorker S.H.K. Jeans
- Representing Aurea in ongoing litigation concerning a licensing agreement with Belgian tax authorities.
- Acting for New Yorker S.H.K. Jeans in ongoing litigation regarding its alleged infringement of Levi Strauss’ trade mark.
Belgian Office for Intellectual Property
Johnson & Johnson
Brussels Airport Company
British American Tobacco
Financial Services and Markets Authority
- Representing the Belgian Office for Intellectual Property in judicial proceedings against an international pharmaceutical company concerning a dispute relating to the validation of a European patent in Belgium.
- Assisting Johnson & Johnson with developing a European platform to share anonymised data from university hospitals for the purpose of patient recruitment and clinical trials.
KOAN Law Firm
KOAN Law Firm's client base includes fashion, media and telecoms entities. Recent instructions include licensing agreements, trade mark disputes and designs matters, which the group handles from across the Brussels and Paris offices. Christine De Keersmaeker and Agnès Maqua are names to note.
At Monard Law, the team continues to assist Rolex and Rolex Benelux with ongoing copyright and trade mark litigation. Daan De Jaeger leads the group, in which senior associate Willem De Vos is a name to note.
Other key lawyers:
MVVP's IP practice handles copyright litigation, trade mark disputes, counterfeiting issues and licensing matters for clients drawn from the fashion, entertainment, media and design sectors, to name a few. Herman Croux, Peter Marx and Olivier Sasserath are the names to note.
Patent and trade mark infringement litigation features prominently in Taylor Wessing's IP practice, especially for clients drawn from the life sciences and healthcare sectors. Design and copyright disputes are other areas of expertise for the team. The client base also takes in names from the food, fashion, design, retail and construction sectors. Practice head Christian Dekoninck, who joined from Crowell & Moring in 2018, is 'very hands-on' and garners praise for his 'forte in trade marks'. Counsel Marie Keup is 'very intelligent' and has extensive experience in copyright and design rights disputes. Associate Isabelle Verschueren is also noted.
- Representing Sandoz in ongoing litigation regarding a colour trade mark infringement case.
- Defending Multipharma in a design and copyright infringement dispute brought by Mobil M, regarding the interior design of pharmacies.
- Acting for aviation company Sky Fresh in trade mark infringement proceedings against Emirates.