National Belgian patents
In Belgium, a patent can be obtained as a national Belgian patent or as a European patent designating Belgium.
Application and grant
A national Belgian patent application may be filed in Dutch, French or German. Upon filing, it is possible to invoke the priority of an earlier application filed in Belgium or abroad, ultimately one year before. As soon as possible after eighteen months from the filing date or the priority date and upon issuance of the search report the patent is granted and laid open for public inspection. The grant of the patent and the date on which the application is laid open for public inspection may be brought forward at the applicant's request, but not before the search report has been issued.
Within eighteen months after the filing date (or priority date), the search report has to be requested. The search is conducted by the European Patent Office. After the search report has been issued, applicant is given an opportunity to amend the claims. The specification can only be amended by consent of the Belgian Office for Intellectual Property (OPRI). Grant of the patent on the (possibly amended) application follows without any further examination. The patent may be kept in force up to twenty years from the filing date of the application.