Online filing at the Belgian Intellectual Property Office
The Belgian Intellectual Property Office (hereafter IPObel) offers online services that allow you to create and to file patents applications and supplementary protection certificate (SPC) applications electronically, as well as to create and send other patent/SPC-related documents electronically to the IPObel.
The online services offered by the IPObel use a software package developed by the European Patent Office (hereafter EPO) called « electronic On Line Filing » (eOLF) via a Belgian reception server as well as the smart cards issued by the EPO in order to ensure the security of online filing.
In this context the IPObel offers you the following online filing services:
- the filing of a Belgian patent application;
- the filing of documents produced after the filing of a Belgian patent application or the grant of the Belgian patent;
- the filing of documents relating to European patents in Belgium (Belgian national phase);
- the filing of a notification of an entry in the Patent Register (assignment, change of address, license, pledge, etc.) and filing of documents produced after filing a change request;
- the filing of an application for a supplementary protection certificate for medicinal products;
- the filing of an application for a supplementary protection certificate for plant protection products;
- the filing of a request for a pediatric extension in connection with an existing SPC application or SPC for medicinal products;
- the filing of additional documents to be added to an existing file of a SPC application or SPC.
How to access the online filing services offered by the IPObel?
To access the IPObel online filing services, please follow the following procedure:
- first of all, you must obtain your smart card from the EPO;
- the EPO will check your smart card application and, if you request is accepted, you will receive a package containing the startup software, a smart card and a card reader;
- you will receive the PIN code of your smart card separately by secure postal mail. (For more information about the EPO online services, please visit the EPO website);
- first of all insert your EPO smart card in the card reader, open the application « auto enrolment tools » (Automatic Registration Tool ) and complete the IPObel form;
- if necessary, if you are a patent attorney, you have to register in the IPObel database or identify yourself (you must have a representative number with the IPObel). You can obtain a representative number or identify yourself calling the Helpdesk at + 32 (2) 277 51 19 or sending a message stating "I request a representative number or I want to identify myself" at following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- after you have obtained your EPO smart card, registered it with the IPObel and, if necessary, have been registered as a representative with the IPObel, you will be able to use the IPObel online filing services;
- as a first step, it is advisable to try out the application in demo mode for each of the three filing services, submitting the required data and documents and following the indicated procedure;
- afterwards, you compile your filing applications in production mode and submit the documents after having signed digitally using the EPO smart card registered at the IPObel.
If the filing has been received successfully, an acknowledgement of receipt with the following information will be sent to you:
- the name of the organization;
- the date and time of receipt of the document;
- a list of the documents submitted ;
- a message called Digest (a unique character string created by the encryption of the message using the issuer certificate) ;
- a reference number;
- a provisional application number.
- if you do not receive an acknowledgment of receipt, please call the IPObel helpdesk at + 32 (2) 277 51 19 or send a message stating "I request information on my electronic filing" at following address: email@example.com.
You have renewed or replaced a card with the EPO?
Before using your new smart card, you must use the IPObel online automatic registering service in order to be allowed to submit new online filings at the IPObel.
Formats of documents
- Documents must be in PDF format (Portable Document Format);
- For lists of DNA sequences, the format can be ST25 (.app ; .seq ; .txt ; .zip).
Parameters of the workstation
- A Pentium 4 PC 1.8 Ghz or higher; 512 MB RAM or more; 300 MB of free hard disk space or more;
- A WIN 98 operating system (2nd) or newer;
- An updated antivirus;
- An internet connection (broadband if possible);
- An internet browser (IE 6.0 or more, …);
- The customized text size (PPP) should, preferably, be 100%;
- The minimum screen resolution is 1024 x 768,...;
- An active smart card reader.
The criteria for computer's random access memory (RAM) depend on the size of the applications to be filed, the power of the processor and the operating system.
List of existing items before creating the filing (check list)
- Active Internet with an email address;
- A smart card registered in the database of the IPObel;
- All documents in PDF format, possibly ST25 for DNA sequences;
- Data of the persons, holders, representatives, inventors, …;
- From case to case: specific exception data (exposition, biological materials, …).
Please inform the IPObel of changes after your registration
If your contact details (name, address or email) have changed after your registration with the IPObel, to be able to use your smart card and the IPObel online services, please use the « auto enrolment tools » (auto enrolment tool), or send the following message: "I want to send you a change of information regarding the registration of my smart card" at following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Illegible or incomplete documents
If the documents filed electronically are illegible or incomplete (for example, because of a virus), the Office will consider the filing as not received.
The date of receipt of a patent application filed electronically is considered as the filing date of the provisional patent application. The patent application must meet the minimum requirements set out in Article XI.17 of Title 1"Patents" of Book XI of the Code of Economic Law in order to receive a filing date.
Do you still have questions?
- If you have problems installing or using the software or if you have questions about the IPObel online services, you can contact us by phone at + 32 (2) 277 51 19, fax + 32 (2) 277 96 97 or send the following message : "I wish to send a question to the Belgian Office" at following address: email@example.com.
- Further information on the "EPO Online Services" is available on the website of the EPO.