Contributed By Linklaters
Article XI.57 §1 of the CEL provides the following legal grounds upon which a court may revoke or cancel a granted patent:
A patent can be revoked or cancelled in whole or in part, as per Article XI.57 §2 of the CEL, which states that: “Should the grounds for revocation only partially affect the patent, the patent will be modified by a corresponding amendment of the claims, and if necessary, the description and the drawings, and revoked in part. The amendment will need to be recorded at the registry.”
The CEL also provides that the patent cannot be amended by means of a revocation or cancellation if such would result in the subject matter of the patent reaching beyond the content of the patent application as filed (Article XI.57 §3, first part of the CEL). Finally, the patent cannot be amended by means of a revocation or cancellation if doing so would extend the coverage of protection compared to the latest enforceable version of the patent (Article XI.57 §3, second part of the CEL).
See 4.2 Partial Revocation/Cancellation.
As per Article XI.56 of the CEL, a patentee can personally withdraw the patent (in whole or in part) at any time (ie, during proceedings and following a claim for (partial) revocation or cancellation).
See 2 Initiating a Lawsuit, above on the rules governing court litigation in Belgium and the initiation of a procedure.
Issues of infringement and validity are almost always litigated in the same proceedings (ie, there is no system of bifurcation in Belgium). If both types of proceedings would nevertheless have been filed separately, they are likely to be joined in order to avoid decisions that would be irreconcilable.