Company name 

De Clercq & Partners

  Intellectual Property
Company address  Edgard Gevaertdreef 10a 9830 Sint-Martens-Latem
Jurisdiction  Belgium
Contact person  Contact person: Mr. Joost Muylle
Phone  Tel: +32 (0)9 280 23 40
Fax  Fax: +32 (0)9 280 23 45
Website  Web: www.dcp-ip.com
Email  Email: info@dcp-ip.com
  • Year of establishment

    1999
  • Total number of practitioners

    26
  • Jurisdictions

    1
Company details 

Company description

De Clercq & Partners (DCP) is an established firm of experienced Patent and Trademark and Design attorneys providing a full range of Intellectual Property and legal services with offices in Sint-Martens-Latem, Leuven and Hasselt in Belgium. Our location allows convenient access to the main European Patent Offices (EPO) in Munich and The Hague.
 
Our firm offers a range of expert services covering all aspects of intellectual property. For patents, these services encompass amongst others drafting, filing and prosecution of PCT, European and national patent applications, and representation of parties in examination, oppositions, and appeals. We can directly file and validate EP patents in Belgium and the Netherlands, and provide IP services in all other countries via our extensive network of trusted foreign associates.
 
Our team of legal counsels and trademark and design attorneys renders proficient services on both administrative (prosecution) and substantive level in often challenging cases, including ex-officio examinations, oppositions, invalidations and appeals. We represent our clients directly before the Benelux Office, the European Intellectual Property Office, the World Intellectual Property Office, the French Institute for the Intellectual Property (INPI) and the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office, and through a network of trusted foreign associates in all other countries worldwide.
 
We also assist clients in evaluating IP rights, conducting searches, revocations, prosecuting supplementary protection certificates (SPCs), advising on IP protection optimization strategies, portfolio management and strategic IP advice, legal IP opinions such as freedom-to-operate, infringement or validity opinions, due diligence, and advising on licensing matters.
 
DCP provides renewal and translation services as well, and through our financial experts we can advise on the Belgian tax deduction for innovation income. Our firm also offers the full range of services in the field of trademarks, designs, domain names and copyrights.
 
We provide expert advice in patent, trademark and design invalidation and infringement procedures before the Belgian, Dutch and European Community courts and we also act as court or party-appointed experts in proceedings before the Courts in IP matters in Belgium and the Netherlands, such as descriptive seizure proceedings and proceedings to the merits in infringement or invalidity disputes. Joost Muylle is also consular judge in the Belgian courts of commerce.
 
Our professionals are supported by a dedicated and experienced paralegal department, finance department, and legal counsel, and also by our computerized systems for communications, docketing and billing that allows our clients up-to-date web-based access to their IP portfolios.
 
DCP has a strong expertise in life sciences including all domains of green, red and white biotechnology, in chemistry, pharmaceuticals, food industry, mechanics and engineering. The firm thrives on a highly specialized and experienced group of over forty enthusiastic experts that have a common aim to serve clients to the highest standards for very competitive prices in a European setting.
 
Our multinational team of professionals and their experience enables the firm to provide a high quality service in all aspects of IP practice. Thanks to the international diversity of our professionals, we can offer our services in at least 5 different languages.
Practice areas
Patents; Trademarks; Designs; Copyright; Domain names
Practitioners 

Leading practitioners

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Ann De Clercq, PhD

European Patent Attorney

Belgian Patent Attorney

Founding Partner

Ann De Clercq holds a Licentiate in Biology (Zoology) and PhD in Plant Molecular Biology from the University of Ghent, Belgium at the Laboratory of Genetics, Department of Plant Molecular Biology (under supervision of Prof. Van Montagu and Prof. Joel Vandekerckhove) carried out in collaboration with Plant Genetic Systems (PGS). After her PhD she worked as a substantive examiner at the European Patent Office in Munich, Germany. She afterwards headed the Patent Department of Innogenetics NV (Belgium), a biotech company active in human healthcare. She is a qualified Belgian (2000) and European Patent Attorney (1995).

End 1998, she founded Ann De Clercq & Co BVBA, a private practice patent attorney firm which, in its turn, founded De Clercq Brants & Partners CVBA in 2000. This firm was renamed De Clercq & Partners CVBA as from January 2010.

Her areas of practice include:

Drafting, filing and prosecution of European and PCT patent applications

Drafting and prosecution of national patent applications

Drafting, filing and prosecution of Belgian patent applications as a qualified Belgian Patent Attorney

Oppositions and appeal proceedings before the EPO

Oral proceedings before the EPO in examination and opposition and before the Boards of Appeal

Validations of European patents in Belgium as a qualified Belgian Patent Attorney

Filing and prosecuting SPC’s in Belgium and advising on SPC’s in general

Legal IP advice on Belgian Patents

Acting as an expert for the Belgian courts or parties in descriptive seizure proceedings

Acting as an expert in litigation before Belgian civil courts or parties in intellectual property matters

IP litigation experience in Belgium, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Japan

Opinions regarding patentability, freedom-to-operate, infringement and validity of intellectual property rights

lP due diligence

Portfolio management, advice and strategy

General strategic and legal advice in IP matters

Ann is the Chairwoman of the Biotech Committee of the Institute of Professional Representatives before the European Patent Office (EPI) and an EPI Council Member for Belgium.

Ann is further a member of LES, AIPPI and the ”Genootschap voor Intellectuele Eigendom” (Society for Intellectual Property in Flanders).

Ann has lectured on several IP related topics, at conferences (such as C5 and IBC), the Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, the University of Antwerp and the Free University of Brussels, and is also a lecturer at the CEIPI courses (KVIV in Antwerp) for patent attorney trainees and patent paralegals.

Languages

Ann is a native Dutch speaker and is very fluent in English and fluent in French and German.

Competences

Ann has extensive patent practice experience in all fields of biotechnology and related life sciences as well as mechanical engineering inventions. For instance Ann has worked in the fields of biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, biopharmaceuticals and chemistry. She has particular knowledge and expertise in the area of recombinant microorganisms, genetically modified plants and animals, protein chemistry, stem cells, regenerative cell therapy, genome editing, diagnostic assays, proteomics, biomarkers, diagnostics including nucleic acid- and protein-based diagnostic and screening assays, pharmaceuticals, food processing, medical kits, veterinary products and others.

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Joost Muylle

Benelux and European Trademark and Design Attorney

Partner

Joost Muylle holds a master degree in chemical and biotechnology engineering from the University of Ghent (Howest, 1986) with additional training in intellectual property (EPI CEIPI, 1990 — University of Leuven, 1993) and management (Vlerick Leuven Ghent Management School, 2008). He started his professional career at the Vandemoortele Group, first as a patent expert, subsequently in charge of intellectual property rights and finally as a member of the strategic committee on product and market development.

He qualified as a European Trademark and Design attorney in 1996.

Prior to joining De Clercq & Partners, Joost joined the intellectual property private practice in 1999 as director of Gevers & Partners in Brussels, opened its branch office in Ghent and was appointed managing director in 2003. He was operational director at Novagraaf in Paris from 2010 to 2011 and founded iprmanager in December 2011. Through iprmanager, he developed and launched an electronic platform enabling intellectual property holders and their counselors to monitor and manage their intellectual property rights themselves, in real-time and in a reliable, transparent and most affordable manner. In 2012, Joost was appointed consular judge in the Court of Commerce.

In October 2013, Joost became a partner at De Clercq & Partners through the merger of De Clercq & Partners and iprmanager. Joost is heading the trademark, design, domain names and copyright activities of De Clercq & Partners.

His areas of practice include:

Joost advises small, medium and large corporations as well as individuals, institutes and investors with regard to prosecution and litigation in all areas of intellectual property worldwide. He has extensive expertise in trademark and design prosecution, including formal proceedings before the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), in anti-counterfeiting through customs measures and in IP due diligence. Joost often acts as a court appointed or party appointed expert in IP matters in litigation.

Joost often lectures on several IP related topics, at conferences and universities. He is a member of BMM and AIPPI.

Languages

Joost is a native Dutch speaker, is fluent in English and French and has working knowledge of German.

Competences

Joost has scientific experience in various fields of technology, including biochemistry and food technology, in legal aspects of intellectual property, particularly trademarks and designs, and in product and service development in various areas of intellectual property.

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Liesbet Paemen,PhD

European Patent Attorney

Partner

Liesbet Paemen holds a PhD in Animal Biology from the University of Leuven, Belgium. She has several years of post-doctoral experience at the Department of Neuroimmunology at the State University of New York and at the Department of Molecular Immunology of the REGA Institute (University of Leuven, Belgium).

Prior to joining De Clercq & Partners in 2008, Liesbet worked as a patent counsel in the Intellectual Property Department of Bayer Cropscience NV and headed the biotech IP department in the firm Bird Goe'n & Co. In 2010, Liesbet became a partner to the firm and she is heading the Leuven Branch of the firm. She is a qualified European Patent Attorney.

Her areas of practice include:

Analysis of patentability
Drafting, filing and prosecution of European and PCT patent applications and national patent applications
Oppositions and appeal proceedings before the EPO
Oral proceedings before the EPO in examination and opposition and before the Boards of Appeal
Opinions regarding freedom-to-operate, infringement and validity of intellectual property rights
Acting as an independent expert for the Belgian courts in descriptive seizure proceedings
Acting as an expert in litigation before Belgian civil courts in intellectual property matters
Portfolio management, advice and strategy
General strategic and legal advice in IP matters

Liesbet often lectures on several lP related topics at conferences and is a lecturer at the University of Leuven and the CEIPI course (KVIV in Antwerp). She is a member of LES and AIPPI.

Languages

She is a native Dutch speaker and English speaker, is fluent in French, and has knowledge of German and Spanish.

Competences
Liesbet has experience in handling intellectual property issues in different fields including medical devices, biomedical, agricultural and industrial biotechnology, biologics, cellular therapy, genome editing, screening systems and diagnostic methods, and renewable energy.

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Sakina Bounaga, PhD

European Patent Attorney

Partner

Sakina Bounaga holds a PhD in Bioorganic Chemistry from the University of Huddersfield, UK. She has a Master of Advanced Studies in Chemistry of Biomolecules from the University of Montpellier, France, and holds a Master in Plant Chemistry and Biology from the University of Perpignan, France. She was a Senior Scientist and Project Leader at Cropdesign N.V., a leading Belgian biotech company.

Sakina joined De Clercq & Partners in 2001 and qualified as a European Patent Attorney in 2006. She became a partner in 2010.

Her areas of practice include:

Drafting, filing and prosecution of European and PCT patent applications

Drafting and prosecution of national patent applications

Oppositions and appeal proceedings before the EPO

Oral proceedings before the EPO in examination and opposition and before the Boards of Appeal

Opinions regarding patentability, freedom-to-operate, infringement and validity of intellectual property rights

IP due diligence and advice on licenses and IP acquisitions

Portfolio management, advice and strategy

General strategic and legal advice in IP matters

She often lectures at conferences and is a member of LES and AIPPI.

Languages

Sakina is a native French speaker, is fluent in English, and has a working knowledge of Dutch and German.

Competences

Sakina has a scientific experience in various fields of technology including chemistry, life sciences, material sciences, as well as mechanical engineering inventions, and in particular in organic and inorganic chemistry, polymer chemistry, pharmaceutical chemistry, agrochemistry, food processing, molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry and biotechnology.

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Andrej Michall’k, PhD

Partner

European Patent Attorney

Andrej holds a Master of Science degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry from Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovak Republic, and a PhD in Molecular Genetics from the University of Antwerp, Belgium, under the supervision of Prof. Christine Van Broeckhoven (Flemish Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology,VIB).

He joined De Clercq & Partners in 2004 and qualified as a European Patent Attorney in 2008. In 2017, Andrej became partner to the firm.

His areas of practice include:

Drafting, filing and prosecution of European and PCT patent applications

Drafting and prosecution of national patent applications

Oppositions and appeal proceedings before the EPO

Oral proceedings before the EPO in examination and opposition and before the Boards of Appeal

Opinions regarding patentability, freedom-to-operate, infringement and validity of intellectual property rights

IP due diligence and advice on licenses and IP acquisitions

Portfolio management, advice and strategy

General strategic and legal advice in IP matters

Andrej often lectures at conferences and is a member of LES and AIPPI.

Languages

He is a native Slovak speaker, is very fluent in English, fluent in Dutch and Czech, and has a working knowledge of German.

Competences

Biotechnology, biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology, biopharmaceuticals and chemistry. He has particular knowledge and expertise in the area of recombinant microorganisms, genetically modified plants and animals, stem cells, regenerative cell therapy, in vitro cell-based assays, proteomics, peptides, glycoproteins, biomarkers, genome editing, diagnostics including nucleic acid— and protein—based diagnostic and screening assays, immune cell therapy, vaccines, organic chemistry and pharmaceuticals, food processing and personal care products.

 

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Koen Vanhalst, PhD

Partner

European Patent Attorney

Belgian Patent Attorney

Koen Vanhalst holds a PhD in Biotechnology from the University of Ghent (Belgium), at the Department of Molecular Biomedical Research, Molecular Cell Biology Unit under Prof. Dr. F. Van Roy of the Flemish Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology (VIB).

Prior to joining De Clercq & Partners in 2007, Koen worked for 4 years as an Examiner in the European Patent Office — The Hague Branch where he was involved in both Search and Substantive Examination of patent applications in the field of Biotechnology in general and Medical Diagnostics in particular. He qualified as a European Patent Attorney in 2009 and qualified as a Belgian Patent Attorney in 2011. In 2017, Koen became partner to the firm.

His areas of practice include:

Drafting, filing and prosecution of European and PCT patent applications

Drafting and prosecution of national patent applications worldwide

Oppositions and appeal proceedings before the EPO

Oral proceedings before the EPO in examination and opposition and before the Boards of Appeal

Drafting, filing and prosecution of Belgian patent applications as a qualified Belgian Patent Attorney

Validations of European patents in Belgium as a qualified Belgian Patent Attorney

Filing and prosecuting SPC's in Belgium and advising on SPC’s in general

Legal IP advice on Belgian Patents

Acting as an expert for the Belgian courts or parties in descriptive seizure proceedings

Acting as an expert in litigation before Belgian civil courts or parties in intellectual property matters

Opinions regarding patentability, freedom-to-operate, infringement and validity of intellectual property rights

IP due diligence

Portfolio management and general strategic and legal advice in IP matters

Koen often lectures at conferences and is a member of LES and AIPPI, and is a council member of AIPPI Belgium. Since 2015, Koen is also a guest professor at Ghent University where he lectures Intellectual Property to Master students in (PIant)BiotechnoIogy.

Languages

Koen is a native Dutch speaker. He is also very fluent in English and French and has a working knowledge of German.

Competences

Koen is active in all areas of life sciences including for example: biotechnology, industrial biotechnology,chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, genome editing, pharmaceutical formulations, medical technologies, bioinformatics, agricultural- food- and nutritional technologies, green energy, clean-tech, and water-, soil- and waste treatment.