Belgium is part of the EPO. In order for an EP patent to be enforced in Belgium, the patent must be granted by the EPO and then validated in Belgium. During the application process renewal fees must be paid to the EPO. For more information, please visit our EPO renewal fee article.
Once a patent is granted by the EPO and validated in Belgium, the renewal fee is paid to the Benelux Office of Intellectual Property. The rules that apply to a national Belgian patent also apply to an EP patent in Belgium, which will be described in detail below.
Renewal fees in Belgium must be paid by certain dates. In this section you will find a description of how these renewal due dates are calculated, both the very first renewal due date and all subsequent renewal due dates.
The first annuity is paid 3 years from the date of filing to the Benelux Office of Intellectual Property. This annuity must be paid regardless of whether the patent has been granted or not.
For example, if the filing date of a patent is 2018-03-19, then the first renewal must be paid by 2021-03-31.
After the first annuity has been paid, all subsequent annuities must be paid annually on the last day of the month of filing.
For example, if the filing date was on November 9, then all subsequent annuities will be due on November 30 each year.
In Belgium, there are other types of intellectual property besides patents. These include designs.
We are currently working on articles which will explain the rules for the renewal of these types of intellectual property. If you need any help renewing these and are looking for a cost-efficient solution, get in touch with us.
Renewal fees must be paid in Belgium regardless of whether the patent is granted or not. You can find the rules for calculating the renewal due dates above in the Due Dates section.
The renewal fee in Belgium can be paid up to 6 months before the renewal due date. It is important to note that the renewal fee cannot be paid earlier than this. Any payments made before the opening of the payment window will result in the payment being rejected.
Yes, it is possible to renew a Belgian patent after its renewal due date. If you fail to pay the renewal fee before the due date, a grace period of 6 months is given wherein the renewal fees can still be settled. When entering the grace period you will incur a surcharge fee to be settled along with the renewal fee. If you wish to maintain the patent, both the renewal fee and the surcharge fee will have to be settled.
For example, if a patent has a renewal due date of 2021-05-31 and the due date is missed, the patent will enter the grace period from 2021-06-01. After this point both the renewal fee and the surcharge fee will need to be settled by 2021-11-30. Failure to pay these fees before the surcharge due date will result in the patent lapsing.
No, local representation is not necessary in order to carry out a renewal in Belgium. Anyone can renew a patent in Belgium if they submit the payment in accordance with the national regulations.
A patent will stay in force for 20 years in Belgium from the filing date if successfully renewed in accordance with the rules described above. If the patent is not renewed, it will lapse by the end of the grace period measured from the latest renewal due date.