What is a patent in Belgium
A patent in Belgium is an official document that describes a technical invention. This document has the power to establish a legal situation where the described technical invention can be made, sold, or commercially exploited only with the authorization of the inventor. The patent holder has exclusivity over the production, use, and distribution of the patented technical invention for a limited period of time in a particular country.
Having a technical innovation or invention protected by a patent is an extensive but essential process. You can count on Bureau M.F.J. Bockstael’s professional guidance from the preparation and filing of applications to the granting of the patents. During the patent prosecution, we are the best link between the inventor and the official authorities.
We will take care of all questions and queries about patentability and infringements, side-steps, and any unexpected twists with tailor-made advice.
Benefits of a patent
Thanks to the protection obtained by patenting a technical invention, the product acquires a progressive identity.
In Belgium, the company holder of the patent or patent application benefits from tax incentives which, in short, mean that your company can obtain up to 90% tax reduction on the results linked to the product in question.
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A published and granted patent can be the subject of an opposition or invalidity action by third parties. Or you may have to deal with infringements such as counterfeiting. You can count on professional assistance in every possible scenario, from the application to the final granting of the patent and beyond. We will take care of all questions, side-steps, and possible unexpected twists with tailor-made advice.
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Novelty & inventiveness
A patent is an official document that protects a technical invention. The technical invention can be translated into a completely new way of looking at things, but it can also be an improvement on an existing product or method.
The technical invention can only be patented if there is no prior publication or use of the exact concept or product anywhere else in the world. This requirement is called novelty.
Not only must the technical invention be new, but it must also be sufficiently inventive to be eligible for patent protection. This requirement is described as inventiveness.
Attention: even a technical invention of your own that was published too early, makes patenting impossible.
Formally speaking, to be eligible for a patent, the technical invention must not belong to the state of the art. The state of the art is formed by all publicly available technologies, be it through an application, written, or oral description.
Inventiveness is determined by looking at whether the problem you solved was not already solved in the same way by a related technology before. The correct determination of the possible presence of inventiveness is done by testing using the so-called “problem & solution approach”.
An unexpected or surprising effect can be an indication of inventiveness. Solving a long-standing technical problem is also an indication of inventive work. For example, a new click system was developed by Quickstep® that simplifies the ease of use when laying a laminate or parquet floor.
Duration of a patent
A patent offers protection to the patent owner against counterfeiting by third parties for up to 20 years. Given that the patent is maintained by paying the annual fees, the patent holder has exclusivity over the production, use, and distribution of the patented technical invention for a limited period of time in a particular country.
Exploit a patent or licence
Even if you don’t market the patent product yourself, revenue can be created by renting out the technical invention. In technical words, this is called licensing. The fees are then called royalties.
The right to use a technical invention that you establish in a product can be acquired through a license agreement between, for example, the producer of the patent product and the patent holder. The manufacturer agrees with the patent holder, under rigorously worked out terms, what fee he will pay per product sold.
For example, Samsung® may have protected a technology for touch screens which it “leases” to a medical device manufacturer.
The patent application is a complex process where many factors must be taken into account. Let our team guide you and get the right and efficient protection for your innovation.
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