Background - Practices (Details)

Intellectual Property


Crowell & Moring provides a full array of intellectual property (IP) legal services to help companies obtain, manage, and enforce their IP rights whatever their commercial field. Our Brussels based IP lawyers offer a combination of skill and experience across the IP disciplines including patents, supplementary protection certificates, trademarks, designs, trade secrets and copyrights. With the backing of approximately 60 IP lawyers in our U.S. offices, our IP practice is truly international in nature.

"One client enthuses that the firm offers "the best service that I have found." An interviewee praises the lawyers for their "vast experience" and adds that they are "easy to work with, responsive and able to think creatively." '" Chambers Europe

Our litigation experience covers the full spectrum of IP disputes. We have particular experience in cross-border issues, and in designing and implementing strategies for both national and complex multi-jurisdictional IP disputes, particularly in Europe and the U.S. In Europe we represent clients at all levels of the civil and criminal court system, up to and including the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), and we act before all relevant administrative bodies. We are also well known for our wide experience in arbitration.

"Crowell & Moring handles thorny brand rights disputes with consummate skill: 'It functions as an elite IP litigation shop – of which there are very few in Belgium – and can handle the most complex cases, always bringing creative and persuasive arguments before the court.'" World Trademark Review 1000

Our lawyers provide counseling on all aspects of IP, including validity, enforcement, freedom-to-operate and infringement issues. We structure, negotiate, and implement IP transactions, including licensing and R&D agreements; we advise on IP portfolio management procedures and design proprietary information protection programs; and we offer training on IP protection, assist clients in establishing internal policing and enforcement policies, and conduct IP due diligence studies. In cooperation with our U.S.-based Crowell & Moring colleagues, we counsel clients on trade-related IP matters, focusing on antitrust, international trade, communications, labor and employment, health care, and corporate and government contracts.

'Crowell & Moring is a “fantastic firm” whose remit stretches from intellectual property to competition law and regulatory concerns: “It excels at addressing and supporting these issues, particularly when the three are intertwined. Its approach is very client focused and its team are outstanding strategic thinkers – a solid 10 out of 10.” IAM Patent 1000

Our IP lawyers are regular contributors to handbooks, legal journals, and blogs, and they teach students and speak at conferences and seminars throughout Europe. The Brussels IP practice is one of the largest,strongest and most diverse in Belgium.

Our Services and Experience

Patents and Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPC) Litigation

Highly regarded by clients and competitors alike, our patent practice deals with a wide range of matters and is best known for successfully handling complex, multi-jurisdictional litigation. Recent matters include several pharmaceutical molecules, amino acids, industrial machinery, medical devices, artificial sweeteners, bread spread, and gambling machines. In the life sciences sector, we have developed extensive experience in SPC litigation. Our experience as patent litigators in the life sciences industry has also led to our handling a variety of regulatory issues which often intersect with IP rights, including issues relating to market authorizations, pricing and reimbursement, parallel import and abuse of dominance.

"The go-to outfit in Belgium for generic pharmaceutical companies, Crowell & Moring provides sterling litigation counsel and receives glowing feedback as a result: “Unsurpassed in terms of its satisfaction rate, C&M’s team is extremely knowledgeable, hands-on and sharp. Their approach is professional but not stuffy, and they can effectively build bridges across European countries.”IAM Patent 1000

"Knights in shining armour to a selection of generic pharmaceutical companies, the partners at Crowell & Moring’s Brussels office 'offer prompt, creative and intelligent solutions to complex pharmaceutical issues. It’s a go-to firm for patent issues, regularly retained for its sound and innovative counsel.'" IAM Patent 1000

Trademarks and Designs

Our trademark and design practice provides strategic advice to trademark and design owners and assists them in the worldwide prosecution and enforcement of their portfolios. We litigate and represent clients in national courts as well as at the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), and the Benelux Intellectual Property Office, in all matters relating to the validity and infringement of trademarks and designs.

"Crowell & Moring maintains a glorious global trademark and design practice. […] the Brussels team steps up to the mark with confidence and poise, earning recognition as 'one of the top litigation outfits in the country.'" World Trademark Review 1000

Trade Secrets and Know-How

Crowell & Moring has substantial depth and experience litigating trade secret disputes, particularly disputes that have multi-jurisdictional dimensions. In addition, we assist our clients in developing the necessary policies and procedures to guide them through all facets of trade secret preservation and protection strategies, beginning with the initial genesis of an idea through to its development and commercialization.

“An appreciation of how best to protect know-how and prevent the misappropriation of trade secrets is a further strength.” IAM Patent 1000


We have a long-standing and highly-regarded copyrights practice, which is extremely active in content, software and database protection. We assist our clients in negotiating agreements of all types, ranging from simple license agreements with contractors or employees, through complex broadcasting agreements with film producers to cable re-transmission and digital television agreements with collecting societies and broadcasters. We also have substantial experience litigating copyright disputes, representing publishers, artists, producers, advertising agencies and distributors on all levels, up to and including the CJEU.

"Advises clients from the manufacturing, telecommunications and pharmaceutical industries on patent infringements, trade mark proceedings and copyright litigation." Chambers Europe

"Crowell & Moring advises on trade mark and copyright disputes. Kristof Roox, Jan-Diederik Lindemans and Thomas De Meese lead many of the disputes in this area. The team recently acted in a commercially important copyright dispute before the Brussels Court of Appeal." Managing IP Magazine, IP Stars

Our Industry/Sector Focus

We represent many of the world’s leading technology companies as well as SMEs from diverse industry sectors.

Our clients have included large pharmaceutical companies, network operators and service providers, broadcasters, film and television producers and distributors, operators of broadband cable/telephony, internet and digital television operators, social network operators, online retailers, gambling software vendors and online and land-based bookmakers, postal services, cosmetics, luxury, fashion, and consumer goods, advertising agencies, architects, authors and performers, and financial institutions and insurance companies.