The Belgian legislator further regulated the patent attorney profession by the Act of 8 July 2018. This new act completes the existing regulatory framework – which is primarily focused on the access to the profession – and contains three priorities:
- A more sophisticated control on the access to the patent attorney profession in Belgium for patent attorneys who are established in other EU member states and who invoke the freedom to provide services in Belgium;
- The establishment of an Institute for Patent Attorneys to which all patent attorneys who are active in Belgium will become members, which will ensure the representation of the professional group, the enforcement of deontological rules and the organisation of further training;
- The protection of the title of “patent attorney”, the obligation of professional secrecy and the possibility for patent attorneys to intervene in court with regard to the technical aspects of a patent file.
The act of 8 July 2018 as well as the establishment of the Institute for Patent Attorneys require further implementing measures. The Institute currently foresees to start its operations in the course of 2019.