Table of Contents

    Are you the owner of an intellectual property right and you would like to make the most of your right as a company, university, scientific research institute or citizen? Are you about to enter into a contractual relationship that includes intellectual property aspects and would you like to better understand the scope of these aspects?

    Are you an employee of a company and you are wondering about the terms and conditions of exploitation of the intellectual property rights resulting from the implementation of your contract?

    Are yYou are part of a research institute and you are considering participating in an R&D partnership? Do you want to protect the knowledge you bring to the project and determine how the R&D results generated during the execution of the contract will be disseminated and exploited?

    Have you been asked by a photographer, school or company to use your photos on their websites and you would like to know how to make the most of your copyright or image rights?

    Why a guide?

    The Practical Guide to Contractual Intellectual Property Clauses was developed by the FPS Economy to inform you about the provisions relating to intellectual property contracts and to increase your knowledge, and therefore your position, in contract negotiations and in the drafting, execution and termination of contracts.

    The guide addresses a variety of situations (pre-contractual phase, transfer of rights, licences, purchase order contract, employment contracts, etc.) to provide you with the most complete and accurate information possible about the possibilities available to the parties to define or share the intellectual property rights that arise from or are implemented in the course of the contract. The guide contains a description of the applicable legal provisions and recommended formalities. It also includes examples of standard clauses and checklists of useful or necessary elements to be included in such contracts. Lastly, the guide offers a map of institutions, organisations and services that can assist you in drafting, negotiating or monitoring intellectual property contracts.

    Main themes

    The main themes covered by the guide are:

    • What intellectual property rights are involved? (Chapter I)
    • Is a contract necessary?
      • Who owns the rights in the absence of a contract? (Chapter II)
      • How can a contract be useful? (Chapter III)
    • What are the conditions regarding validity and form of the contracts? What law applies to them? What are the effects of the contracts? What principles guide their interpretation? What can be the duration of the contract? Can I assign a contract or certain contractual obligations to third parties? (Chapter IV)
    • What should I pay attention to before and during negotiations on an IP-related contract? (Chapter V)
    • What type of contract do I need? What are the basic clauses generally found in the different types of contract? What specific clauses are found in a particular type of contract? What should I pay particular attention to? (Chapters VI and VII)
    • In view of the specific intellectual property rights which are the subject of the contract, are there any other aspects that should be taken into consideration when negotiating or drafting the contract? (Chapter VIII)
    • What should I look out for if image rights are involved in the contract I am dealing with? (Chapter IX)
    • What should I do if my co-contractor is in breach of contract? (Chapter X)
    • What services, organisations or institutions can I contact for help in drafting, negotiating and/or monitoring the execution of the contract? (Chapter XI)

    The guide is designed to be consulted directly on each of the aforementioned issues. A detailed glossary and table of contents will make it easier for you to find the answers to your questions.

    The target audiences of this guide is made of companies (small, medium and large enterprises), business federations, universities, research centres that use intellectual property rights, as well as intermediaries providing advice or support in the field of intellectual property (industrial property agents, lawyers, public institutions in charge of promoting innovation, in-house lawyers, PATLIB centres, patent units, collective rights collecting societies, etc.)

    Please note that the guide provides an overview of the legal system in force in Belgium (which also includes European Union law). The various topics discussed in the guide are therefore addressed based on the assumption that Belgian law is applicable. Furthermore, the proposed standard clauses must be adapted to each situation or case. We therefore recommend that you supplement the information given in the guide by seeking professional assistance.

    The guide is available in Dutch and French. It will be updated periodically in the light of changes in the applicable law and the lessons learned from making it available to users of the Belgian intellectual property system.

    Consult the guide in FrenchConsult the guide in Dutch

    Presentation of the guide (webinar)

    A webinar was held on 26 November 2020 by the FPS Economy to present the guide to interested parties. This webinar is available in Dutch and in French via the links below.

    Do you have suggestions for improving the Guide or would you like to draw our attention to any aspect of it? Do not hesitate to contact us.

    Last update
    22 February 2024