Validation of English Language European Patents in Belgium: Translation of Specification No Longer Required

By: Francesca Giovannini

Until recently, in order to validate a granted, English language European patent in Belgium, it has been necessary to file a translation of the specification in French, Dutch, or German.  In anticipation of accession of Belgium to the London Agreement, Belgium has revised its patent legislation with effect from January 1, 2017, to remove this requirement. Under the revised patent legislation, proprietors of European patents granted in English are no longer required to file a translation into a Belgian national language of the specification of patents granted in English. This change in the validation requirements applies to all English language European patents for which the mention of grant, maintenance in amended form or limitation is published in the European Patent Bulletin on or after January 1, 2017.  Submission of a translation of claims of a pending European patent will remain a requirement for those seeking to establish provisional protection in Belgium.

Patent owners who excluded protection in Belgium for cost reasons may now consider validating their European patents in this country as well.