As of today, two acts which insert book XI “Intellectual property” in the Code of economic law (click here and here), and a Royal Decree fixing their entry into force on 1 January 2015, were published in the Belgian State Gazette*.
Also available in Dutch and French.
The objective of these two acts is to codify the existing legislation in relation to intellectual property (patents for inventions, supplementary protection certificates for medicinal and phytopharmaceutical products, copyright and related rights, plant variety rights, computer programs, databases and topographies of semiconductor products).
They nevertheless contain a number of changes, both in relation to this existing legislation as well as the Judicial Code. Several substantial modifications are adopted in relation to patents and copyright. Little changes are, however, to be noted in relation to plant variety rights, and rights in relation to computer programs, databases and topographies of semiconductor products.
The codification is also the opportunity for the legislator to implement certain sections of European legislation related to intellectual property into Belgian law.
The law on trademarks and designs remains subject to the Benelux Convention on Intellectual Property, except for the provisions relating to civil proceedings and criminal penalties, which remain subject to Belgian law.
The provisions of the Act of 15 May 2007 on the punishment of counterfeiting and piracy of intellectual property rights are inserted in book XV “Enforcement” of the Code of economic law and the provisions in relation to the cease and desist orders (“action en cessation”/“stakingsvordering”) are inserted in book XVII “Special judicial procedures” of the same Code.
It should be noted that the Act of 10 January 1955 relating to the disclosure and use of inventions and manufacturing secrets concerning the defense of the territory or state security is, however, not part of book XI of the Code of economic law.
*Upon publication in the Belgian State Gazette, there was an error related to the title of the Act of 10 April 2014 regarding the insertion of Book XI, "intellectual property" in the Code of Economic Law and on the insertion of provisions specific to Book XI in Books I, XV and XVII of the same Code. The title shoud be read as follows: "loi du 10 avril 2014 portant insertion des dispositions réglant des matières visées à l'article 77 de la Constitution dans le livre XI "Propriété intellectuelle" du Code de droit économique, portant insertion d'une disposition spécifique au livre XI dans le livre XVII du même Code, et modifiant le Code judiciaire en ce qui concerne l'organisation des cours et tribunaux en matière d'actions relatives aux droits de propriété intellectuelle et à la transparence du droit d'auteur et des droits voisins / Wet van 10 april 2014 houdende invoeging van de bepalingen die een aangelegenheid regelen als bedoeld in artikel 77 van de Grondwet, in boek XI "Intellectuele eigendom" van het Wetboek van economisch recht, houdende invoeging van een bepaling eigen aan boek XI in boek XVII van hetzelfde Wetboek, en tot wijziging van het Gerechtelijk Wetboek wat de organisatie van de hoven en rechtbanken betreffende vorderingen inzake intellectuele eigendomsrechten en inzake transparantie van het auteursrecht en de naburige rechten betreft". We expect that an erratum will be published soon.
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