- SOUTH AFRICA
- BENIN – OAIP
- BURKINA FASO – OAPI
- CAMEROON – OAPI
- CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC – OAPI
- CHAD – OAPI
- CONGO REPUBLIC – OAPI
- EQUATORIAL GUINEA – OAPI
- GABON – OAPI
- GUINEA – OAPI
- GUINEA BISSAU – OAPI
- IVORY COAST – OAPI
- MALI – OAPI
- MAURITANIA – OAPI
- NIGER – OAPI
- SENEGAL – OAPI
- TOGO – OAPI
- BOTSWANA – ARIPO
- ESWATINI – ARIPO
- GAMBIA- ARIPO
- GHANA – ARIPO
- KENYA – ARIPO
- LESOTHO – ARIPO
- LIBERIA – ARIPO
- MALAWI – ARIPO
- MOZAMBIQUE – ARIPO
- NAMIBIA – ARIPO
- RWANDA – ARIPO
- SIERRA LEONE – ARIPO
- SUDAN – ARIPO
- TANZANIA – ARIPO
- UGANDA – ARIPO
- ZAMBIA – ARIPO
- ZIMBABWE – ARIPO
COUNTRY : KINGDOM OF BELGIUM
CAPITAL : BRUSSELS
LANGUAGE : DUTCH, FRENCH & GERMAN
MEMBER : HAGUE AGREEMENT, EUROPEAN UNION COMMUNITY TRADEMARK, BENELUX, BERNE CONVENTION, LOCARNO AGREEMENT
Designs Protection: Belgium provides designs protection by way of 3 systems that the applicant may choose from. They are as per:
- Benelux Registration – Protection limited to Belgium, Luxembourg, Netherlands
- EUROPEAN UNION COMMUNITY DESIGN
Kindly refer Treaties for the Community Design Registration.
- INTERNATIONAL DESIGN PROTECTION UNDER HAGUE SYSTEM
Kindly refer Treaties for International Design Registration under Hague System.As Belgium is a signatory to the Benelux Treaty along with Netherlands & Luxembourg, territorial protection in these countries is through the Benelux Intellectual Property Office BIPO.
Patents & Design is managed by Benelux Office for Intellectual Property
Following can file Design Applications:
a). Author of the Design
b). Employer of the author if Design made during course of employment
c). Person contracting the author to make the design
d). Person to whom the author has assigned the design in writing.
Two or more persons owning interests in the design must apply jointly.
- Copy of the drawings;( six views such as front, rear, left side, right side, top plan and bottom plan views. And additional drawings such as perspective and cross-sectional views also may be submitted) – photographs in jpg format
- The full name and address of each creator;
- The full name and address of each applicant;
- The name of article to which the design is applied;
- The filing date, application number and country of the priority application; and
- The priority document
- Statement of Novelty in respect of the articles to which industrial design is applied to. However, not required while registering wallpaper, lace or textile articles.
- Full payment of fees.
Statement of Novelty: Novelty refers to originality, something new or unusual. In this context, if the IP Office so deems necessary, may direct the applicant to endorse the application and the representations with a brief statement of novelty that he claims over the designs so submitted for registration.
Prior Disclosure destroys novelty of the Design so extreme care has to be taken to maintain secrecy of the Design. However, in Belgium, the applicant can file the application within 12 months after disclosure which will still retain novelty.
Search and Filing: Conducting a search prior to filing the design application is always advised to rule out conflict with prior registered marks.
Our Attorney will assist you in search, filing and protection of the Design application in Benelux BOIP conducts searches in the Benelux designs register for a fee. Community designs register and International designs register can be searched online.
To come under the scope of registration, a Design should:
- Be new and / or original
- Not have been disclosed to the public anywhere by publication in tangible form or by use in any other way prior to the filing date or where applicable, the priority date of the application for registration to which a 12 month exception is provided.
- Be significantly distinguishable from known designs or combination of known designs.
- Not contain scandalous or obscene matter, or be contrary to public order or morality.
- Not be a mere mechanical contrivance.
- Be applicable to an article, should appeal to the eye.Original here means, originating from the author of such a design and includes those cases which though old in themselves , are new in their application as well.
Aspects of Designs registrable:
- Two Dimensional, Three Dimensional, general appearance of a design.
- Drawings are 2D
- Designs are 3D
- Combination of 2D along with 3D such as Drawings and Designs together
- The exterior of the design is then determined accordingly.
- Products which do not have novelty and / or do not possess an individual character.
- An idea cannot as such be protected as a design: the idea has to be converted and developed into a product.
- The features of appearance of a product which are solely dictated by its technical function cannot be protected as a design. Patent law would offer protection.
- The design that is in conflict with an older design which has been made available to the public after the date of filing or after the priority date and which has been protected since this prior date by an exclusive right resulting from a Community Design, a Benelux filing or an International filing.
- A design may not use an older trademark without permission from the owner of this trademark.
- A design must not use an existing item which is protected by copyright without authorization from the owner of the copyright.
- The design must not make any improper use of the items referred to in Article 6 of the Paris Convention (arms, flags and other emblems, abbreviations and names of states or international organisations).
- The design must not contravene public policy and accepted principles of morality.
- Protection is impossible if the application insufficiently reveals the features of the design.
- Protection of mechanical connecting pieces is impossible in most cases. However, building blocks for construction toys may be protected as a design.
ParityPatents through it’s associate Law Firms in Belgium, is at hand to help you with Industrial Design registration and prosecution.
- Finding out whether such a design has been registered previously.
- Preparing a representation of the design
- Identifying the class of design.
- Providing a statement of novelty.
- Including a disclaimer that the design has not been in the public domain at any point in time.
- Claiming a priority date if the design Is registered in other countries.
- Determining the fee to be paid.
- Ensuring all enclosures are attached.
- Complying with objections if any.
- Providing full details pertaining to contacts and addresses.
- Full payment of fees.
Several designs may be combined in one multiple application as long as the products belong to the same class.
Designs can be registered directly with the BOIP office which gives protection to the entire Benelux area. Filing is to be done either in Dutch or French.
Disclaimer: refers to a statement meant to prevent an incorrect understanding of something. In this context, if the BOIP deems important, he shall direct the applicant to disclaim relevant portions of the designs which are likely to be confused with Trademarks, mechanical or other action of the mechanism, exclusive use of words, letters, numerals, flags, crowns etc., appearing on / along with the design.
ParityPatent along with specialised Industrial Design Lawyers and Attorneys in Belgium can assist you comprehensively with registration and protection of new Industrial Designs.
Upon receipt of the application, a formalities check is carried out, to confirm that the following requirements are met:
- Clear representation of the design
- Description of the product
- Proper entry of the name of the applicant
- Name of the applicant
- Payment of full feesIf these requirements are not met, the application is not admissible. The application date is then set once these requirements are fulfilled.
The BOIP conducts a further check to ensure that all the formalities are met. Applicant is informed of any objection or any missing detail, which the applicant has to rectify within the stipulated period of time, failing which the application could be deemed abandoned.
Substantive examination regarding novelty feature, individual characteristics and other features are not carried out.
Upon the design being approved it is registered and published in the Benelux Industrial Design Gazette.
Within The Territory Of Benelux through filing at the BIPO.
Convention Application claims priority of an application filed previously in a convention country.
(Deadline for claiming priority for a design application in Benelux is 6 months from the filing date of the priority application)
EUROPEAN UNION COMMUNITY DESIGN
Kindly refer our guide under
INTERNATIONAL DESIGN PROTECTION UNDER HAGUE SYSTEM
Kindly refer our guide under Hague system.
Term of protection and Renewal of protection.
A design registration is valid for five years counting from the date of filing of an application and can be renewed for four consecutive periods of five years.
The maximum period of protection, therefore, is 25 years.
We will send a reminder to the address referred to in the register six months before the renewal date.
The registration shall be renewed by paying the required fees. However, renewing your registration on time is and remains your own responsibility!
Our attorneys will assist you with renewals and maintenance of Industrial Design in Belgium.
WHY PROTECT DESIGNS IN BELGIUM? Patent law deals in ‘behind the scenes’ aspects of a company or organization as it deals with inventions that are not easily accessible by the general public. Designs along with Trademarks on the other hand, are the ‘visual medium’ which aid in brand projection, recognition, association and retention by existing and potential customers. To prevent rivals from copying industrial designs, it is therefore an important and strategic aspect in the protection of intellectual property rights. Therefore, as with all IP, it is better to begin protection of designs at the earliest before disclosure with the general public.
BENEFITS OF INDUSTRIAL DESIGN REGISTRATION IN BELGIUM: Certain countries that follow cumulative protection of Industrial Designs by Copyright as well as Design laws have the ‘Unity of Art’ principle that needs to be followed meaning, entitlement to copyright for applied and other art work shall be determined through the same criteria. In today’s highly impulse driven and temperament market, industrial designs provide the requisite edge to push products into consumers’ psyche. Such is he craving for fashionable and well crafted products that looks can often be equally or more important that the products’ functionality itself.
Registration of Industrial Design Rights becomes a valuable asset which gives the following benefits:
- A substantial return on interest (ROI) as the popularity of the product is directly proportional to its reproduction and counterfeiting thus enabling swift legal action in preventing copycats and frauds thereby ensuring that the design is not diluted.
- Infringement of designs can help owners obtain damages and recover costs for the same.
- Registration of designs can help owners work on bettering their designs through Research and Development (R&D) on bringing out superior industrial designs thus making it harder to knock off or scale up manufacturing by infringers in order to copy the original designs.
- Registered designs can be sold, licensed, franchised which can all earn royalty. The same can also be used as a collateral to secure loans.
- Industrial Designs complement even strengthen Trademarks hence making brand attention, brand association and retention, brand recall and usage much easier and interesting.