Bernard Vanbrabant is a member of the Commercial and Litigation Practice Group.
Through 20 years of practice, Bernard has gained considerable experience in all sectors of IP law, having handled cases concerning copyright, database rights, designs, patents, trade secrets, designations of origin, trademarks, trade names and domain names. However, Bernard’s expertise expands beyond the limits of core IP law, to encompass in particular the connected fields of (unfair) competition law and of contract law.
Part of Bernard’s practice is geared towards litigation: he regularly handles opposition proceedings, infringement actions and seizures in matter of counterfeit, up to the ultimate level of judicial review (petitions for squashing before the Belgian Supreme Court, in team with Liedekerke’s attorney at the Cassation bar). Bernard has also acted in referrals for preliminary rulings before the Benelux Court of justice and the CJEU, and in statutes cancellation proceedings before the Constitutional Court (with Public law partner François Tulkens).
Further on, Bernard has gained extensive experience regarding IP related contracts: he drafts, negotiates, reviews and advises on a regular basis in relation to license agreements, publishing agreements, assignments of rights (including between employees and employers), IP pledges (securing the repayment of a credit), R&D, consortium and joint venture agreements, without neglecting the (European) competition law aspects thereof (the so-called block exemption regulations and related guidelines).
When it comes to unfair competition, Bernard has developed particular experience in helping companies to recover evidence of trade secret infringements through ex parte discovery proceedings, and he is also advising regularly on trade dress issues.
Bernard Vanbrabant is also Professor at the University of Liège (ULiège), where he teaches intellectual property law to law and engineering sciences students. He is a member of the Belgian Intellectual Property Council, (an advisory body to the Belgian government), a member of the board of the Belgian group of the Association international pour la protection de la propriété intellectuelle (AIPPI) and a member of the publishing committee of the IP law journals “IR-DI” and “IC-IP”.
Bernard holds a Master Degree and a PhD in Law (ULg 1998, ULg 2013). He also holds an LL.M. in Economic law (ULg 2002) and in Intellectual Property law (Intellectuele Rechten/Droits intellectuels), organised jointly by the University of Leuven and the University of Brussels (KUL – HUB-KAHO 2003).
Bernard is a member of the Brussels and Liège bar. He joined Liedekerke as Of Counsel in 2014.
University of Liège (PhD in Law) 2013
University of Liège (LL.M. in Economic law) 2002
University of Liège (Master's degree) 1998
Representing a Collective Management Organization in several proceedings against operators of TV cable-retransmission services
Assisting the French speaking Community of Belgium before the Constitutional Court where the constitutionality of a new statutory exception to copyright, in favour of children sitting institutions, was challenged by collective management societies
Assisting an aircraft manufacturer in the negotiation of an R&D consortium agreement
Litigating a copyright case concerning the (alleged) copying of a shop trade dress
Organizing the seizure of several thousands of (hair) straightening irons on the basis of a European patent (ex parte proceedings, opposition and settlement negotiations).
Defending a Dutch sport clothes retailer accused of infringing a Belgian trade name by making its website available in Belgium for e-commerce operations.
Advising on the ownership of copyright in the design of works made for hire.
Advising a company from Singapore regarding the (re)negotiation of its patent and know-how licensing agreement with a German research centre.
Assisting, on a recurrent basis, a major consumer goods retailer with respect to IP-related matters in Belgium. This included in particular the representation of the client in cease-and-desist proceedings, claims for damages and discovery proceedings, as well as the negotiation and drafting of amicable settlements with the IP holders and the drafting and enforcement of “hold harmless” clauses in sourcing contracts.
Drafting and reviewing software licensing and/or software development agreements.
On a recurrent basis, providing information and legal advice about the intellectual property portfolio of M&A targets.
Assisting national and foreign companies in ADR and court proceedings concerning the abusive registration of domain names.
« La politique et la propriété intellectuelle », Administration publique, 2021, p. 294
« Contrat-façon ? », note sous CJUE, 18 décembre 2019, A&M, 2020, p. 265
La propriété intellectuelle. Nature juridique et régime patrimonial, Brussels, Larcier, 2016- 2018 (2 vol., 1500 pp.)
“La publicité légale doit-elle profiter aux contrefacteurs ? (Hassan) Non”, note sous CJUE, 4 février 2016, Revue de Droit Intellectuel - L'Ingénieur Conseil 2016, p. 403
Territorialité et droit international privé”, in 20 ans de nouveau droit d'auteur, Anthemis, 2015, pp. 327-381 (with P. Wautelet)
“Copyright Licensing in Europe”, in Research Handbook On Intellectual Property Licensing (J. de Werra ed.), Edward Elgar Publishing, 2013 (with A. Strowel)
“Belgian Report” in Balancing Copyright – A Survey of National Approaches (Reto M. Hilty and S. Nérisson, ed.), Springer, 2012, pp. 119 et s.
“La prescription en droit d’auteur”, A&M, 2010/5-6, pp. 414-437
Handboek Licentieovereenkomsten, Larcier, 2008, 416 pp. (with Y. Van Couter)
Le time-sharing, Larcier, 2006, 127 pp. (coll. Répertoire notarial)
“Corpus mechanicum versus corpus mysticum : des conflits entre l’auteur d’une oeuvre et le propriétaire du support”, Rev. fac. dr. Liège, 2005/4
“A propos de l’image des biens”, in Droit des biens-Zakenrecht, la charte/die keure, 2005, pp. 87-137
“La preuve des contrats conclus par voie électronique”, Act. dr., 2002/3, pp. 232 et s. (with prof. P. Lecocq)
Memberships & Admissions
Member of the Brussels Bar
Member of the Liège Bar
BMM (Benelux Society for trade mark and design law)