The WTR 1000 focuses exclusively on trademark practice and has firmly established itself as the definitive 'go-to' resource for those seeking world-class legal trademark expertise
Recommended - Individuals
De Clercq & Partners’ first-class, commercially oriented offering garners effusive praise from patrons. “I am delighted with the diligent, high-quality and reasonably priced service we received,” reports one. “It has been instrumental in creating the right IP structure for our company, which will undoubtedly boost our long-term competitiveness and business sustainability.” The ensemble has recently bolstered its local presence through a third office in Hasselt, enhanced its internal systems and implemented a bespoke online portal through which users can manage their intangible assets in real time. Division spearhead Joost Muylle has won many fans in the automotive and food and beverage industries: “One of his most impressive skills is his feeling for entrepreneurship and ability to explain complex matters in a practical way. He is a true expert with a pragmatic approach and any discussion with him reaches a higher level. Kind and dynamic, Joost really cares about his clients and is the ideal sparring partner for complicated files.”
Joost Muylle is a partner at De Clercq & Partners where he heads the firm’s trademark, design, domain name and copyright activities.
Mr Muylle advises small, medium and large corporations, as well as individuals, institutes and investors, on the prosecution and litigation of all types of IP rights worldwide. He has extensive expertise in trademark and design prosecution, including formal proceedings before the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property and the EU Intellectual Property Office, in anti-counterfeiting through customs measures and in IP due diligence.
In 2012 Mr Muylle was appointed consular judge in the Court of Commerce in Ghent. Additionally, he often acts as a court-appointed or party-appointed expert in IP matters in litigation. Mr Muylle is also a sought-after speaker and lecturer on several IP-related topics at conferences and universities.
After obtaining his master’s in chemical and biotechnology engineering from the University of Ghent, followed by additional training in intellectual property and management, Mr Muylle started his professional career as a patent expert at the Vandemoortele Group, one of Belgium’s leading companies in food production. In 1999 he crossed over to private practice with senior positions at Gevers in Brussels and Ghent (Belgium) and at Novagraaf in Paris (France).
Before joining De Clercq & Partners in 2013, Mr Muylle founded iprmanager. There, he developed and launched an electronic platform enabling IP rights holders and their counsellors to monitor and manage their IP rights themselves, in real time and in a reliable, transparent and most affordable manner.
With over 25 years of experience in intellectual property, Mr Muylle has built a strong reputation in the industry. Managing IP has featured him as an IP Star for the past five years and he has repeatedly been listed in the WTR 1000.
De Clercq & Partners is your partner for personalised IP protection and enforcement. We have extensive experience in assisting clients in building up, evaluating and maintaining a relevant IP portfolio that will both maximise your company’s competitive advantage and ensure optimal use of your IP assets.
Based on the concrete needs of each client, our services may extend from assisting in addressing specific IP issues to developing a complete IP strategy. Where necessary, we help our clients to understand and feel comfortable with all aspects of IP processes and their requirements. We aim to give our clients complete peace of mind in relation to all IP issues and strive to provide advice tailored to our 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 have offices in Sint-Martens-Latem, Leuven and Hasselt, all very close to Europe’s capital city of Brussels.
Our attorneys have strong academic and technological credentials, with PhDs in science and/or LLMs in IP 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 that also rely on our firm for their IP prosecution in Belgium and Europe. 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. These services include:
- identifying an optimal protection strategy;
- developing an appropriate IP portfolio tailored to the product and market;
- managing IP portfolios with a clear view on costs involved;
- advising on tax benefits related to innovation income in Belgium; and
- providing strategic advice on the acquisition, maintenance, exploitation and valuation of intellectual property as part of the company’s overall business strategy.
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 administrative authorities, help clients negotiate friendly settlements, draft coexistence agreements, and so on.
We represent our clients directly before the Benelux IP Office, the EUIPO, the World Intellectual Property Office, the French Institute for the Intellectual Property, the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office; and before the national IP offices of all other countries worldwide through a network of trusted foreign associates.
De Clercq & Partners provides services in all areas of technology encompassing – among other things – drafting, filing and prosecuting Patent Cooperation Treaty, European and national patent applications, and representing parties in examination proceedings, oppositions and appeals. We can directly file and validate European 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 highlight the aspects of an invention that can be protected and to be aware of the recent developments on these issues. Through our extensive experience in these specific areas of patent protection, we are 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.
Awards and recognition
We pride ourselves on our continuous rankings and awards from leading industry publications such as Managing Intellectual Property, World Trademark Review, Intellectual Asset Management, the Financial Times, Leaders League and Global Law Experts.