Created by Marie-Paule Vandeberg, MPV Patent put its expertise of patent of invention at the service of businesses, start-ups, universities and industries active in Europe or planning to be active in Europe and at the service of their representatives .
With a background of Chemical engineer, and qualified before the Belgian and European Patent Offices, Marie-Paule Vandeberg is specialized in the areas of industrial chemistry, inorganic or organic chemistry, but also chemical engineering and mechanics as well as the textile industry , and building. She has developed a sharp technical and legal know-how and performs missions related to:
- Patent analysis:
- Freedom to operate ; Analysis of the validity of patents;
- Assessment of the potential infringement of a patent.
- Oppositions and appeal before the European Patent Office and revocation actions before national courts.
- Technical and legal expertise for one of the parties or as independent expert appointed by the Court. In Belgium, since January 2015, all patent actions are centralized before the Commercial Court of Bruxelles.
- Administrative tasks before the Belgian Patent Office.
1. Freedom to operate with Analysis of the validity of the patents found
Prior to their installation in Belgium or in a European country any company must ensure that their industrial production processes are free of patents. This allows in particular to avoid a possible infringement action initiated by a competitor, owner of a patent right. This study is also compulsory prior to any commercialization of a new product and prior to any exportation in a new country.
MPV Patent so undertake to :
- carry out a full technical analysis of the process or product to market, so as to identify each step in this process or each feature of this product which could be covered by a patent;
- on the basis of this analysis, search for patent titles relevant with regards each step of the process or characteristics of the product to market;
- for each patent found, check its administrative status: pending, abandoned by its owner, rejected by the examiner, expired, granted and not oppose, granted but opposed by a third parties ;
- for each patent title in force, check its scope in relation with the process or product to market;
- for each pending application, assess its chances of being granted by the examiner;
- for each patent granted, check its validity by searching for additional prior art;
- where appropriate, this analysis of the validity can lead to an opposition before the European Patent Office, action dealt with by Marie-Paule Vandeberg, or an action for revocation before the national Court relevant for the concerned country ; this action is managed in cooperation with a lawyer of this country.
2. The assessment of the potential infringement of a patent
MPV Patent examine, on behalf of its clients, holders of patents or pending patent applications, potential infringement by the products or processes of a competitor.
This work helps to enforce the patent rights of his clients with regards potential infringer.
In this context, MPV Patent undertakes :
- the technical analysis of the competitor's product or process;
- the study of the scope of the claims of the patent or patents of his client;
- the verification of the patent strong in case of counterclaim for revocation by the competitor;
- where appropriate, the advice for starting an infringement action before the relevant Court, with the assistance of a specialized national lawyer .
3. Oppositions and appeal before the European Patent Office
MPV Patent can represent either the opponent or the patentee. Qualified since 1996, Marie-Paule Vandeberg has a great experience of oppositions, preparing the ground for opposition, filing the opposition before the EPO as well as defending the arguments at oral proceedings before the examiners. She works in English or in French, its mother tongue, which can be used for oral hearing without translations.
4. Technical and legal expertise
Patent MPV provides expertise related to patents. This work is done in different context:
- As an independent judicial expert:
- appointed by the Commercial Court (centralization in Brussels since January 2015) for litigation on the merits in validity and/or infringement actions concerning patents. The expert report helps the Judge to decide on particular technical issues.
- appointed by an order of the “judge des saisies” to carry out an ex-parte descriptive seizure in Belgium. This procedure which was called in French "saisie-description", now "saisie contrefaçon" aims to collect evidence of an infringement prior to start the infringement suit. In this case, a “saisie-contrefaçon” report is established. The expertise is done with the assistance of a bailiff.
- As the representative of a company in a litigious context based on patents of invention.
This advisory work can be done both for a plaintiff or a defendant.