What is a "descriptive seizure"?

The “descriptive seizure”, "saisie descriptive" also referred to as “saisie” in Belgium is a procedure which allows the holder of a patent right to obtain evidence from the premises of an alleged infringer without any prior warning. After the judge issues a seizure order, an independent expert appointed by the judge, assisted by a bailiff, will present himself to the place where the alleged infringement is committed to collect all possible evidence. A report is drawn up by the expert, which is then provided to the patent owner. The patent owner must then initiate court proceedings against the alleged infringer, in order to be able to use this evidence in court.

If you are working in a field in which third parties are filing for patent applications, it may be important to know about this procedure and what you can do to minimize the impact of a “saisie descriptive” on your company. Alternatively, you may be in a situation where you believe your patent rights are being infringed, but you would like some substantial evidence on the size of the infringement.

Several of the patent attorneys at De Clercq & Partners have served as independent experts in saisie proceedings or have assisted clients who  have undergone or used saisie proceedings. De Clercq & Partners can thus inform you on all you need to know about these proceedings. 

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