Intellectual property in Belgium

ALTIUS

Paul Maeyaert heads the well-regarded IP practice at ALTIUS. The firm is noted for its expertise across the gamut of IP matters, especially in plant variety rights, patents, trade marks, unfair competition and parallel trade. The group is acting for Omega Pharma in a number of trade mark infringement cases; Dom Pérignon is another key client. Christophe Ronse, Olivier Vrins and counsel Jeroen Muyldermans are key contacts.

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird has a strong international presence for IP matters, and is adept at handling complex non-contentious and contentious IP work. Recent work for the team includes representing B. Braun Melsungen in cross-border patent litigation against Becton Dickinson. Other areas of instruction include trade mark litigation, copyright disputes, and protection of trade secrets. The well-regarded Jean-Christophe Troussel heads the practice, in which Benoit Van Asbroeck is a key figure. Bruno Vandermeulen left the firm in December 2018.

Crowell & Moring

Patent litigation is a significant area of instruction for Kristof Roox's team at  Crowell & Moring, particularly in the pharmaceutical sector; key clients include Novartis, Mylan and Synthon. Jan-Diederik Lindemans is also highly regarded. In 2018, Gunther Meyer joined from Eversheds Sutherland (Belgium) CVBA (a member of Eversheds Sutherland) and Christian Dekoninck moved to Taylor Wessing.

HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER

IP boutique HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER receives plaudits for its expertise across the full range of IP matters. Liesbeth Weynants, Carina Gommers and Benoît Strowel have been acting for Teva Pharmaceutical Industries in patent infringement litigation; managing partner Steven Cattoor is defending Umicore in a trade secrets case; and Carl De Meyer provides ongoing assistance to Philip Morris International with its trade mark portfolio. Benoit Michaux has a particular focus on technology-related IP issues. Senior associate Eva De Pauw is also recommended.

NautaDutilh

NautaDutilh's core strength lies in handling trade mark and patent litigation for clients drawn from the life sciences, luxury/consumer goods and food sectors; the firm has also seen an uptick in trade secrets work. Recent highlights include Tanguy de Haan and Florence Verhoestraete defending GlaxoSmithKline in a colour trade mark infringement case. Philippe Péters leads the team.

Stibbe

Stibbe garners praise for its 'dedicated focus' on IP matters and is known for handling niche areas, including biotech, nanotechnology and technology transfer issues. The practice supplements its strength by drawing upon the expertise of other practice groups from across its Benelux offices, notably in the areas of corporate, tax and competition matters. The 'commercially astute' practice head Ignace Vernimme successfully assisted radiopharmaceutical company Anmi with litigation against a Belgian medical devices company concerning the ownership of two patents. In May 2018, Simone Vandewynckel, formerly a senior associate with the firm, moved to an in-house position with Velcro Companies. Philippe Campolini was a new arrival from Simont Braun in September 2019.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy LLP has established expertise in handling the full range of contentious and non-contentious IP work for regulated industries, including life sciences, media, telecoms and consumer goods. The client base comprises prominent domestic and international companies. Recent work includes trade mark litigation, patent disputes, copyright infringement cases and trade secrets matters. Geert Glas, Peter Van Dyck and Filip Van Elsen are key contacts.

Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL

Koen De Winter heads the IP department at Baker McKenzie CVBA/SCRL.  The 'very proactive' team is adept in non-contentious and contentious copyright, trade mark and patent matters; in an example of its strength in the patent space, the group is defending 15 companies of the Becton Dickinson group in a patent infringement dispute brought by B. Braun Melsungen and B. Braun Malaysia. Elisabeth Dehareng is another name to note.

CMS

The team at CMS handles cross-border and domestic copyright, trade mark and patent work for a client base drawn from, among other industries, the chemicals, TMT and consumer goods sectors. The firm is also active in anti-counterfeiting and customs actions. Practice head Tom Heremans and Renaud Dupont are the key contacts.

Fieldfisher

In a recent highlight, Fieldfisher's IP team was appointed as exclusive counsel to the European Commission on contentious and non-contentious intellectual property matters, and has been advising the Commission on patent infringement issues. The firm is also representing Levi Strauss in trade mark infringement proceedings against Kenzo. The 'super efficient' Stijn Debaene and 'very responsive' Hakim Haouideg  are the key individuals.

Janson

Janson  is highly regarded for its expertise in IP litigation; cross-border work frequently features in the caseload. The client base takes in prominent names from the food, luxury goods, retail and chemical industries, to name a few. Mireille Buydens and Hans Dhondt co-lead the practice.

Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick

Liedekerke Wolters Waelbroeck Kirkpatrick provides 'pragmatic advice' across the full range of IP matters. The firm has seen an uptick in contentious work; recent highlights include practice head Etienne Kairis ('a tough but amenable litigator') successfully acting for a prominent lingerie manufacturer in a trade mark infringement dispute. Of counsel Bernard Vanbrabant is well known for handling complex licensing agreements. Counsel Sarah van den Brande was a new arrival from CURIA in April 2019.

Lydian

Trade mark litigation is a core strength of Lydian's IP practice, notably in the area of counterfeiting disputes; recent work includes acting for Gucci in a dispute regarding the counterfeit use of the brand name. Other clients include Burberry, Chanel and Toyota. Annick Mottet Haugaard heads the department, in which Bastiaan Bruyndonckx and senior associate Olivia Santantonio are other key names.

Simont Braun

Simont Braun's 'reliable' team garners praise for its 'deep knowledge' of IP litigation, advisory matters and transactional IP. Complex patent litigation is a core area of expertise for the team, which acts for clients drawn from the chemicals, mechanical engineering and life sciences industries in this area. Trade mark infringement disputes are also prominent. Fernand de Visscher and Eric De Gryse are 'reactive, clear and knowledgeable'; Emmanuel Cornu is also a key contact. Philippe Campolini joined Stibbe in September 2019.

time.lex

Recent work at time.lex included Frederic Debusseré advising Spotify on copyright limitations under Belgian law. IP transactional work and litigation are also prominent in the team's workload. Edwin Jacobs and Geert Somers are noted.

VAN INNIS & DELARUE

The ‘very professional, dedicated and responsive’ team at IP boutique VAN INNIS & DELARUE is adept at handling the whole spectrum of IP work, notably for well-known clients from the high-end fashion industry. Recent work includes patent litigation, trade mark acquisitions, and copyright and trade mark litigation disputes. Thierry Van InnisDieter Delarue ('very flexible and forward thinking'), and 'very dedicated' senior associate Anthony Van der Planken are the names to note.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper attracts praise for its 'pragmatic and service-oriented approach' to IP matters. The team is known for handling national and international IP cases for clients drawn from a broad range of industries, and has notable expertise in assisting start-ups with IP issues linked to new and disruptive technologies. Recent work for the group includes trade mark infringement cases and design protection matters. Alexis Fierens provides 'an exceptional level of service'.

Inteo

The team at Inteo is noted for its 'knowledge, drive and efficiency', and handles a broad spectrum of IP matters, including trade mark litigation, patent disputes and information technology cases. Clients from the pharmaceutical and design sector are prominent in instructions; recent work includes defending Ceres Pharma in trade mark infringement proceedings initiated by Omega Pharma. The 'thorough and tenaciousKristof Neefs 'shines in litigation'; he jointly heads the practice with Sofie Cubitt, 'an expert in copyright matters' who 'never misses the important details'.

IP Porta

IP Porta is perhaps best known for handling a caseload dominated by IP litigation, spanning trade mark, patent, and copyright issues. Karen Ongena and Laurence Hubert are the key names. Senior associate Christophe Du Jardin left the firm.

Linklaters

Pieter Van Den Broecke  heads the department at Linklaters, which handles the full range of IP work, with a key focus on patent and trade mark matters. The practice is well known for working in synergy with the TMT group.

Loyens & Loeff

Loyens & Loeff handles licensing matters, copyright issues, trade secrets, counterfeiting disputes and trade mark cases, among other areas, for its well established client base drawn from the telecoms, retail, automotive, food, and healthcare industries. Yves Van Couter leads the team; senior associate Stéphanie De Smedt is also recommended.

Monard Law

Monard Law has 'strong expertise in IP law'. The team is representing Rolex and Rolex Benelux in ongoing trade mark and copyright litigation. Department head Daan De Jaeger ('a sharp and creative mind') is 'a dedicated lawyer who goes the extra mile for his clients'. Senior associate Willem De Vos is also recommended.

Petillion

Name partner Flip Petillion is the key figure at Petillion, which is highly regarded for its expertise in IP litigation; top-level domains and domain names are a niche area of instruction for the team. The firm's copyright practice, which handles software, content and database protection matters, is another key strength. Recent work includes representing Ikea in a trade mark infringement case against a Dutch company.

Van Bael & Bellis

Peter L’Ecluse heads the IP practice at Van Bael & Bellis, which is best known for acting for life sciences and pharmaceutical companies in anti-counterfeiting matters, trade mark issues, patent litigation, and domain name procedures, among other areas. Senior associate Thibaut D’hulst is a name to note.

Ambos NBGO Advocaten

Kathleen Paisley and Bart Vandereeckt are the names to note at Ambos NBGO Advocaten. The firm's IP and technology practice handles transactional and contentious work; areas of instruction include licensing, trade mark disputes and the protection of domain and trade names. Clients include Sportsdirect.com.

Eubelius

Eubelius' IP and ICT practice handles patents, copyright, new technologies, data protection, trade mark and designs matters. Senior counsel Pieter Callens oversees the department.

KOAN Law Firm

Christine De Keersmaeker and Agnès Maqua are the key contacts at  KOAN Law Firm, which handles a range of regulatory, contentious and transactional IP cases from across the Brussels and Paris offices.

MVVP

MVVP' client base includes media, entertainment, design, and fashion entities. Recent instructions include trade mark disputes, copyright litigation, advertising matters and counterfeiting issues. Herman CrouxPeter Marx and Olivier Sasserath are key contacts.