Simont Braun - Avocats advocaten lawyers

Patents Supplementary Protection Certificates Plant Varieties

Innovation is mostly a matter of technical invention, for which patents are the most obvious form of protection. However, the patent registration procedure is relatively complex and demanding: novelty and inventiveness are required, the invention is carefully examined, international aspects are often involved, etc.

Apart from the registration procedure for which the assistance of a patent attorney is recommended (if not mandatory), many other aspects involve complex legal rules, such as patent enforcement and securely exploiting these valuable assets within the appropriate legal frameworks.

In the pharmaceuticals sector, prolonged protection via supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) raises particular issues of scope of protection and enforcement. Regulatory aspects (data and marketing exclusivity) also come into play in this particular field.

A specific protection regime also exists for plant variety rights (PVRs).

Our fields of expertise

From developing a protection strategy to assisting in the registration procedures for patents or plant breeders’ rights, our team will first handle the various aspects of acquiring protection rights, often in cooperation with the client’s patent attorney.

Simont Braun’s expertise also covers various contractual, procedural, corporate, employment and tax aspects when dealing with research and development contracts, consortiums, invention ownership, employment relationships, co-inventor relations, incorporation of the appropriate company scheme, tax advantages, licensing, product distribution, third-party infringement, risk of infringing on IP rights held by others, etc. As and when required, our IP experts team up with our other departments to ensure comprehensive coverage of such matters.

Our extensive experience also includes complex disputes involving technical, regulatory and procedural aspects in a wide variety of sectors, including life sciences, pharmaceuticals (including SPC issues), medical devices, chemicals, weapons, engineering and automotive. Our team also offers expertise in all the intricacies of enforcement procedures, such as descriptive seizures (saisie-contrefaçon or saisie-description; beslag inzake namaak), a unilateral procedure of discovery at a potential defendant’s premises. Our multilingual team frequently cooperates with patent lawyers and law firms located abroad due to the international character of many litigious matters.

As long-standing and active members of EPLAW (the European Patent Lawyers Association), our team has also been closely following the Unified Patent Court (UPC) and Unitary Patent project since its very beginning.

Some recent projects

  • Successfully assisting a large Belgian company in its defence against a claim for infringement of a patent covering an insulation technique in the building sector;

  • Defence in Luxembourg of the sole ownership rights of a steel manufacturing group regarding a European patent, against the co-ownership claims by a rival group in the context of related procedures in Germany;

  • Conducting enforcement litigation of an SPC owned by a French pharmaceuticals group against a Belgian manufacturer of fine chemicals for export to the USA, with a preliminary descriptive seizure (saisie-description) and, following an initial ruling confirming the infringement, complex investigations by the court-appointed accountant into the loss of profits;

  • Successful defence of a weapons manufacturer against a foreign competitor claiming for patent infringement;

  • Enforcement of plant breeders’ rights (PBRs) regarding licensing aspects and European free movement of good rules in the fruit sector.

Market recognition

Patent contentious, IP Stars: Firm of the Year award 2018
IP Stars, patent contentious: Silver band
IAM Patent: Silver band