De Clercq & Partners

IAM Research

The Patent 1000 focuses exclusively on patent practice and has firmly established itself as the definitive 'go-to' resource for those seeking world-class legal patent expertise.

Gold - Firms: prosecution

“When it comes to pharmaceutical and biotech patents, De Clercq & Partners is the leading firm in the country and has an exceptionally strong team of experts calling the shots.” It specialises in establishing, evaluating and maintaining IP portfolios with a view to enhancing a company’s competitive edge and ensuring effective use of its intangible assets. In the words of one interviewee: “We are extremely happy with the input of De Clercq’s professionals and warmly recommend them for their ability to think strategically and outside-of-the-box, and propose commercially viable solutions.” The beating heart of the practice is Ann De Clercq, “an absolutely brilliant attorney” who has hand crafted a solid team around her. With vast experience in the biomedical sphere, Liesbet Paemen “is timely, insightful and practical. Her knowledge of European biotech patent prosecution and breadth of experience are unrivalled, as is her ability to work with technically complicated subject matter.” Koen Vanhalst and Andrej Michalík join her in the biotechnology sphere. “Koen’s strength is his clarity; he distils very complex subject matter into very clear lines of argument, and the longevity of his client relationships is testament to his excellence.” “Andrej has an exceptionally bright mind. He is capable of grasping complicated science quickly and interacts positively with internal research teams. He gets to the core of the data, recognises opportunity and understands how to turn it into a successful patent claim.” For those in the field of plant variety rights, Caroline Hennin is the name to note. “She is one of the best IP practitioners I have ever met”, enthuses one source. “I am always confident in the success of her work and would suggest her for any brief. She is an absolute ten out of ten.” Chemist Sakina Bounaga “is extremely efficient and professional. She is a brilliant practitioner and always produces excellent results”. The team also has a cracking track record outside of the life sciences, with mechanical engineer Jeffrey Gyi paving the way. “Jeff is highly accommodating, precise, dependable and super smart. He swiftly grasps the nuances of new inventions in highly specialised sectors, advises effectively and provides a clear plan of action in the event of a dispute.”

Firm Profile

De Clercq & Partners is your partner for personalised intellectual property protection and enforcement. We have extensive experience in assisting clients in building up, evaluating and maintaining a relevant intellectual property portfolio which will both maximise your company’s competitive advantage as well as ensuring optimal use of intellectual property assets.

Based on the concrete needs of each client, our services may extend from assisting in addressing specific intellectual property issues, to ensuring the complete development of an intellectual property strategy. Where necessary, we help our clients to understand and feel comfortable with all aspects of intellectual property processes and their requirements. We aim to give our clients complete peace of mind in relation to all intellectual property issues and strive to provide advice tailored to clients’ specific requirements.

Who we are

De Clercq & Partners is an established firm of experienced and highly motivated patent attorneys and trademark and design attorneys. We currently have offices in Sint-Martens-Latem, Leuven and Hasselt in Belgium, all very close to Europe’s capital city of Brussels.

Our attorneys have strong academic and technological credentials with PhD degrees in science and/or LLM degrees in intellectual property law. The combination of high-level scientific skills and strong expertise in IP law enables us to provide you with the highest standards of service in all aspects of IP practice in Belgium, Europe and across the globe.

It is also important to be able to rely on the same quality for the prosecution of your IP abroad, while maintaining a handle on the costs involved. De Clercq & Partners has a strong link with carefully selected and trusted IP firms all over the world, who also rely on our firm for their IP prosecution. This reciprocity ensures that both quality and costs are very closely controlled.

Thanks to the international diversity of our professionals, we can offer our services in at least seven different languages.

Customised IP protection

  • De Clercq & Partners offers expertise in determining a tailor-made IP strategy and also provides strategic advice in that regard. Such services include, among other things:
  • Identifying optimal protection strategy
  • Developing an appropriate IP portfolio, tailored to the product and market
  • Management of IP portfolios with a clear view on costs involved
  • Advising on tax benefits related to innovation income in Belgium
  • Providing strategic advice on the acquisition, maintenance, exploitation and valuation of IP as part of the company’s overall business strategy


De Clercq & Partners provides services in all areas of technology, encompassing among others drafting, filing and prosecution of PCT, European and national patent applications, and representation of parties in examination, oppositions and appeals. We can directly file and validate EP patents in Belgium, and provide worldwide IP services via our extensive network of trusted foreign associates.

In order to obtain adequate patent protection for technological developments made in different specialised fields, it is important to know how to bring out aspects of the invention which can be protected and to be aware of the recent developments on these issues. Through its extensive experience in these specific areas of patent protection, De Clercq & Partners is able to provide guidance to clients on how to obtain optimal protection for inventions in these fields as our patent attorneys closely follow both national and international case law.

Trademarks and designs

Our team of experienced trademark and design attorneys offers expertise and services such as the drafting and filing of trademark and design applications. We advise on validity, infringement and the enforcement of our client’s portfolio. To that end, De Clercq & Partners can initiate and conduct opposition, cancellation and/or revocation proceedings before the competent administrations, help clients negotiate friendly settlements, draft co-existence agreements, and so on.

We represent our clients directly before the Benelux Office, the European Intellectual Property Office, the World Intellectual Property Office, the French Institute for the Intellectual Property, the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office, and through a network of trusted foreign associates in all other countries worldwide.

Awards and recognition

We pride ourselves on our continuous rankings and awards from leading industry publications such as Managing Intellectual Property (MIP), the World Trademark Review (WTR), Intellectual Asset Management (IAM), Leaders League and the Financial Times.

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