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Karin Ottelohe obtained her Law Degree in 1983 from the “Katholieke Universiteit Leuven” (“Catholic University of Leuven”). During her apprenticeship, she was supervised by the late Professor André Lepaige.
She began her career as a generalist but has focused over the years more and more on intellectual property rights. Of course this evolution had everything to do with the profession of her father who was a patent, trademark and design attorney.
‘Intellectual property rights’ always refer to creations of the mind, being original, new, inventive or distinctive and complying with the relevant legislation. These “creations of the mind” include among other things inventions, including medicines, know-how, plant varieties, brands, geographical indications and designations of origin, literary works, music, paintings, sculptures, movies, photos, performances, broadcasts, recordings, software, databases, design and so on.
The foregoing ‘creations of the mind’ can rely on protection by way of patents, plant variety rights, trademarks, geographical indications of source, designs, copyright, neighboring rights, legal protection of software, domain names and trade names. Sometimes protection can be sought via the Belgian legislation on market practices.
Karin Ottelohe is involved in giving legal advice, in negotiating and drafting contracts, including confidentiality agreements and license agreements, as well as in litigation.
In 2000, she obtained, cum laude, from the “Katholieke Universiteit Brussel” (“Catholic University of Brussels”), a Master’s Degree in intellectual property rights. The paper written for this degree: ‘Slogans en Slagzinnen: bestaat er naast een verschillend woordgebruik ook een verschillende juridische benadering voor de bescherming ervan in Nederland en België?’’ (“Slogans” and “catchprases”: is there apart from a different use of words, also a different legal approach in the Netherlands and in Belgium?), was awarded with a magna cum laude.
Karin Ottelohe is also a member of i) the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI), ii) the Belgian National Association for the Protection of Industrial Property (BNVBIE -ANBPPI), iii) the Benelux association for the trademark and design law (BMM) and iv) the INTA (International Trademark Association).
It is also worth mentioning that she has been designated “Third-Party Decider” by the Belgian Centre for Mediation and Arbitration (CEPANI) in order to assess disputes about .be domain names.
Karin Ottelohe also analyses for Darts-ip, being the leading database for European intellectual property case-law, all the decisions regarding patents, issued by Belgian courts. In conclusion, she constantly attends seminars, in Belgium as well as abroad, in order to stay updated about all developments in the area of law of intellectual property.