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    Which intellectual property rights (IPR) does your business own? Are these rights protected? If not, is it possible to protect them? How much will it cost? What are the advantages of protecting IPR? What are the risks of not registering IPR?

    You might not have a cut-and-dry answer to all of these questions. No need to worry: the prediagnostic service for intellectual property, made possible and subsidized by the Belgian Intellectual Property Office (IPObel), might be the solution.

    Have your business assessed by an expert, free of charge! An accredited expert will map out your IP rights, determine which rights are not protected, and give recommendations so you can continue to innovate and invest, powered by your intellectual property.

    Who can use the service?

    We recommend the use of the prediagnostic intellectual property service for innovating businesses that are not yet acquainted with IPR or have no experience with IPR, the so-called ‘unawares’. Businesses that already have sufficient knowledge about IPR, but want to explore new domains, can use the service in order to adapt to their new professional environment.

    IPR will allow you to increase the value of your innovations and turn them into an engine for growth.

    Please note that only businesses with a company registration number at the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises and with a head office in Belgium are eligible for this free service.

    What can you expect from the service?

    An IP expert of your choice will map out the following elements during the interview:

    • the potential intellectual property rights of your business;
    • the contractual clauses with partners and employees regarding intellectual property rights;
    • the necessary steps to register your knowhow.

    Then the expert will determine which IPR you are able to lay claim to. Finally, the expert will write a report with recommendations tailored to your specific business, such as:

    • investigating the technical state of affairs, with a view to applying for patents;
    • broadening or narrowing the geographical distribution of brands;
    • adding a better description of IP rights in the IP contractual clauses between the business and the employees or business partners working with you;
    • protecting more domain names;
    • etc.

    What are the advantages of the prediagnostic IP service?

    The prediagnostic IP service offers several advantages:

    • An objective and qualified analysis of your business, free of charge, by an independent expert who respects the confidentiality of your data and the ethical code of their profession.
    • All domains of intellectual property rights are taken into account: patents, copyright and related rights, plant breeders' rights, brands, domain names, and designs. The practical aspect of contracts, licenses and the use of IP databases is also discussed.
    • The prediagnostic IP service allows businesses to assess their competitiveness from a different perspective: the intellectual property rights perspective. This can provide new insights regarding potential licenses and partnerships, technological and legal monitoring, the development of assets, etc.
    • The expert will write a report that will allow you to develop a specific plan of action. Using the prediagnostic IP service, a business can further determine which actions are needed to work out an intellectual property policy, taking into account the costs and chances of success.

    Procedure and timeline

    After having received your application, it will take 3 months to provide the report. Both the applicant, the expert, and the IPObel are expected to meet the predetermined deadlines.

    The key moments during the procedure are as follows:

    1. The business files the application (using the form, see “How to apply for the service?”).
    2. The business is contacted by the IPObel and chooses an expert.
    3. The IPObel contacts the expert.
    4. The three parties sign the contract.
    5. The business and the expert set a date for the interview.
    6. The interview takes place.
    7. The expert draws up a report.
    8. The IPObel carries out a quality check.
    9. The expert finalises the report. The expert and the IPObel sign the report.
    10. The expert sends the report to the business (within 90 days of the application).

    How to apply for the service?

    Please fill out the online application form (French version (PDF, 565.31 KB)/Dutch version (PDF, 568.04 KB)) in order to use the prediagnostic IP service. The IPObel will then contact you to discuss the next steps.

    How to choose an expert?

    When applying, you can choose an expert who is accredited by the Belgian Intellectual Property Office. Consult the list of experts (PDF, 265.38 KB) accredited by the IPObel to carry out the prediagnostic IP service.

    How to become an accredited expert?

    Are you an intellectual property expert and do you wish to apply to carry out prediagnostic IP services? Please fill out the online form (PDF, 923.17 KB). In addition, you have to send a cover letter and your CV to the IPObel.

    Please read the selection criteria (French version (PDF, 311.45 KB) Dutch version (PDF, 289.85 KB)) and the charter for public contractors for more information about the procedure and the conditions (French version (PDF, 433.45 KB) Dutch version).

    If you fulfil all of the obligations of your role as expert, you will receive a remuneration of 1,500 euros (including VAT) from the FPS Economy.

    Candidate experts must attend a training organised by the IPObel. The next trainings will be organised on 19 March and 17 September 2024 at the IPObel offices (City Atrium, Vooruitgangstraat 50, 1040 Brussels).

    SUBSCRIBE VIA PREDIAG@ECONOMIE.FGOV.BE

    Questions?

    Please contact the IPObel’s Contact Point directly:
    - by email: prediag@economie.fgov.be

    - by phone: 02 277 90 11

    Last update
    23 February 2024