Contributed By Linklaters
Jury trial is not available for intellectual property-related matters in Belgium.
The judges presiding over IP matters hold a law degree but are normally not scientifically trained. As patent-related court matters have been dealt with by a particular court in Brussels for a few years, the relevant seat has become much more specialised (both in first instance and at appeals level), allowing it to adjudicate in more technical and complex matters.
Should specific issues come up that require particular scientific, technical or financial expertise, a judicial expert may be appointed (the parties may have some say in this appointment, but the expert is ultimately designated by and only accountable to the court), so that the court can be advised on particular non-legal aspects of a certain matter. Although this is not normally the case, the court may also want to inquire into the views of a particular expert (or witnesses or experts offering views on behalf of any of the parties) during the oral presentation of the case.