Overview

Peter L’Ecluse focuses on life sciences, competition law and intellectual property (IP) rights.

Life Sciences

Peter’s expertise encompasses a wide range of areas, including registration, pricing and reimbursement matters, advertising issues and all aspects of competition law. He has successfully represented clients before civil courts, as well as Belgium’s administrative court, the Council of State, in challenging reimbursement decisions and rules imposing prescription requirements on physicians.    

Competition Law

Peter has been involved in most of the significant cases arising before the Belgian competition authorities and the courts. His expertise in this area extends to merger control, cartels, dominant market positions and procedural issues. Peter has broad experience in the telecommunications, life sciences, energy and fast moving consumer goods sectors.

Peter has handled such significant cases as Eco Swiss – Benetton (on arbitration and competition law) and ITT Promedia (involving the interplay between anticompetitive regulation and abusive conduct) before the European Commission and the European Courts. 

IP Rights

Peter’s patent litigation practice focuses on the life sciences industry. For several years, he has acted as co-counsel for one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, handling multi-jurisdictional patent litigation while defending valuable patents covering various active substances against generic competitors. Peter also acted as co-counsel in proceedings before the European Patent Office and the Belgian courts for a major medical devices company in patent litigation which covered three jurisdictions. He often advises on supplementary protection certificate patent extension issues and assists clients in dealing with counterfeit trade in pharmaceuticals.

Languages

Dutch, English, French

Recommendations

  • Chambers Europe – Competition: Domestic
  • Chambers Europe for Intellectual Property
  • Chambers Europe – ‘Leaders In Their Field’ (Competition: Domestic)
  • Chambers Europe – ‘Leaders In Their Field’ (Intellectual Property) 
  • IAM Patent 1000 – The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners
  • Managing Intellectual Property – IP Star
  • LMG Life Sciences (Europe) – Life Sciences Star 
  • PLC for Belgium Life Sciences – Regulatory
  • PLC for Belgium Life Sciences – Intellectual Property
  • PLC for Europe Life Sciences – Competition/Anti-trust
  • PLC for Belgian Competition Law/Anti-trust
  • PLC for Belgium Dispute Resolution
  • International Who’s Who Legal for Life Sciences
  • Legal 500 for Intellectual Property
  • Legal 500 for Dispute Resolution 
  • Legal 500 for EU Regulatory – Pharma and Biotech
  • European Legal Experts for Intellectual Property
  • World IP Review – WIPR Leader

Education

  • The George Washington University, Washington DC, Master of Comparative Law, 1987
  • University of Leuven, Master of Laws, 1986
  • University of Leuven, Baccalaureus of Philosophy, 1985

Publications

Widely published on issues involving life sciences and competition law.

Contributor to Van Bael & Bellis' Business Law Guide to Belgium (Kluwer Law International/Bruylant, 2003).

Contributor to “Private Antitrust Litigation” (European Lawyer Reference/Thomson Reuters, 2013).

Contributor to Van Bael & Bellis, Competition Law of the European Community (fifth edition, Kluwer, 2010), the standard work of reference in the field of EU competition law.

Events

Frequent speaker on life science issues

Professional Activities

Former member of the bar council of the Dutch-language bar of Brussels

Bar Admission

Brussels
Former member of the Bar Council of Dutch language lawyers (Brussels)

Publications and insights

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    • 31/03/2020
    • Articles

    Pharmaceuticals Remain Focus for Belgian Competition Authority in 2020

    The Belgian Competition Authority (“BCA”) has just published its annual policy note which sets out its enforcement priorities for the year (see, attachments). The pharmaceutical sector is once more one of the BCA’s principal targets for action and, as the BCA indicates, this is not different from an approach followed by other competition authorities around Europe. The BCA is known to be pursuing cases in the sector actively (see e.g., Van Bael & Bellis Life Sciences News alert of 8 October 2019). It also adopted several infringement decisions against a pharmacists’ association in 2019 (see e.g., Van Bael & Bellis Life Sciences News alerts of 5 June 2019, 24 June 2019 and 17 October 2019). Additionally, its chief prosecutor in competition matters had occasion to explain the BCA’s handling of the sector during a hearing of the federal Chamber of Representatives in October 2019 (https://www.dekamer.be/FLWB/PDF/55/0758/55K0758001.pdf). Apart from the pharmaceutical sector and in line with previous years, the BCA will target distribution, logistics, service providers and telecommunications and will continue to monitor procurement matters. Finally, it will also tackle the digital economy.

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    • 30/03/2020
    • Articles

    European Commission Offers Guidance on Foreign Direct Investment and Protection of Europe’s Healthcare Capacities

    On 25 March 2020, the European Commission (the Commission) published guidance to the Member States of the EU concerning the limitation of foreign direct investment (“FDI”) and free movement of capital from third countries in order to protect Europe’s strategic assets, especially its healthcare capacities (see, attachment). The Commission considers that, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, there could be “an increased risk of attempts from non-EU investors to acquire healthcare capacities (for example for the production of medical or protective equipment) or related industries such as research establishments (for instance developing vaccines) via foreign direct investment”. According to the Commission, if left unchecked, FDI could hamper the EU’s capacity to cover the health needs of its citizens. Since the responsibility for screening FDI lies with EU Member States, the Commission calls upon them to (i) make full use of their screening mechanisms “to take fully into account the risks to critical health infrastructures, supply of critical inputs, and other critical sectors”; and (ii) to set up a screening mechanism if they do not yet have one “and in the meantime to use all other available options”. EU Member States should thus avert FDI liable to “create a risk to security or public order in the EU, including a risk to critical health infrastructures and supply of critical inputs”. The Commission also refers to Regulation (EU) 2019/452 establishing a framework for the screening of FDI into the Union (FDI Screening Regulation), which will apply as of 11 October 2020. The FDI Screening Regulation lists critical health infrastructure among the factors which may be taken into consideration in determining whether FDI is likely to affect security or public order. The FDI Screening Regulation also sets up a cooperation mechanism between the Commission and Member States in order to tackle FDI that creates risks in several Member States. Finally, the Commission provides guidance on the possible justifications for restricting capital movements.

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    • 30/03/2020
    • Articles

    OECD and EUIPO Publish Joint Report on Trade in Counterfeit Pharmaceutical Products - Interpol Also Active

    The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) published on 23 March 2020 a joint report on trade in counterfeit pharmaceutical products (see, first attachment – the Illicit Trade Report). The Illicit Trade Report covers for the period 2014-2016 illicit traded pharmaceuticals that infringe trade mark rights. In 2016 alone, that trade was worth USD 4.4 billion. By contrast, the Illicit Trade Report does not address the large volume of domestically produced and consumed illicit pharmaceuticals which is a further illustration of the scale of the problem.

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