Modernising the Benelux Court of Justice


Michiel Rijsdijk

As treaties and courts are founded, the resulting jurisprudence requires treaties and courts gradually to change.

The most recent example of this is the European patent, which has resulted in the creation of the unitary patent and the accompanying Unified Patent Court. The Benelux Court of Justice (BCJ), set up by Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, will be undergoing a similar renovation, possibly saving applicants for trademarks valuable time and money.

After the creation of the intergovernmental economic union of the three Benelux countries, the BCJ was founded in 1974, having its seat in Brussels. Currently, the BCJ is responsible for delivering rulings in judicial matters concerning officials working for the Benelux union, and giving pre-judicial decisions on matters relating to Benelux laws (including the Benelux Convention on IP, or BCIP).

Although the BCJ’s role is similar to that of the Court of Justice of the EU, it is not as extensive. The number of rulings/decisions given by the BCJ averages about five a year.

BCJ; PCT; trademark applications; BOIP; UPC.