February 2018 | No. 02/2018


The Intellectual Property Office (Belgium) Delegates Receiving Office Functions to the European Patent Office

The Intellectual Property Office (Belgium) (OPRI) has notified the International Bureau (IB) that, with effect from 1 April 2018, it will cease to act as a receiving Office under the PCT.  As from that date, it will therefore, in principle, no longer be possible to file PCT applications with that Office.  The OPRI will delegate its duties as receiving Office under the PCT to the European Patent Office (EPO), which is already a competent receiving Office (in addition to the IB), for PCT applicants who are nationals of or resident in Belgium.

The OPRI has also notified the IB that, in accordance with PCT Article 27(8) and Articles 151 and 75(2)(a) of the European Patent Convention (EPC), and as is already the case, any PCT application where the applicant has Belgian nationality or has its residence or its seat in Belgium, and which could be of interest to Belgian defense or security will be subject to compulsory filing with the OPRI, and not the EPO.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to determine whether the PCT application could be of interest to Belgian defense or security within the meaning of Article XI.91, § 2, of the Belgian Code of Economic Law, and if so, to file the application with the OPRI.  Nevertheless, even in such a case, the OPRI will not act as a PCT receiving Office – it will receive these applications on behalf of the EPO in application of Articles 151 and 75(2) of the EPC and therefore the date on which the OPRI received such applications will be acknowledged as the date of receipt by the EPO.

This information updates the PCT Applicant’s Guide, Annex B1 (BE).

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