Belgium: Balta Industries V. Roger Van Den Berghe

Belgium: Balta Industries V. Roger Van Den Berghe

In the case Balta Industries v. Roger Van den Berghe, the Supreme Court recently reached a landmark decision on the issue of popular search and seizure procedures. Article 1481 of the Belgian Judicial Code allows the protection title holder to search the premises of an alleged infringer, followed by proceedings. The Supreme Court has now decided that the claimant will be held liable for this action only when the enforcement is considered to be illegitimate. In this particular instance, an Attachment Court had granted the claimant the seizure of certain carpentry for alleged copyright infringement. However, the Court of Appeals and the Court of First Instance subsequently ruled that copyright had not been infringed. The defendant claimed damages. The Supreme Court decided that, for a claimant to be held liable there must be proof of an unlawful conduct or negligence in the manner in which it requests or enforces the order.