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Patent BE-1911-232043 in the RdBdI
Patent BE-1914-255172.257258

BE is an abbreviation in this wiki referring to Belgium.

Patents and records thereof

Archival facilities and catalogues

Within Brussels, aside from the State Archives of Belgium the little known AGR 2 - Cuvelier facility, Rue du Houblon-Hopstraat 26-28, 1000, Brussels, Belgium is key, with the Recueil des Brevets d'Invention (RdBdI). This publication generally comes in two volumes per year. The index material for both volumes is found at the end of the second.

The same facility holds a spectacular quantity of patent originals, perhaps all of them. We have barely begun tapping into this data.

There is some complexity in the relations between the National Archives and the State Archives of Belgium, with the Bibliothèque royale de Belgique, or Koninkfijke Bibliotheek von België, being situated adjacent to the latter. Physical assets are shared, and sometimes moved, between these facilities, not to mention the overlapping peculiarities of online access.

(In formally organizational and nominal terms, the Archives générales du Royaume, including the handy AGR 2 – Dépôt Joseph Cuvelier, are hard to place relative to the above complex, though this latter facility is, again, extraordinarily handy.)

There is also a Catalogue de Brevets d'Invention - Belgian, not to be confused with the French.

In terms of classification, there seems to have been an alphabetical system, with "K" designating "Navigation, Pêche, Aérostation", and BE K serving as the designation within our wiki. This is pertinent to data drawn from ca. 1895 and later. BE 2me-C, more properly "Deuxième Catégorie – C. Transport", was the designation of Belgian aero material in the immediately preceding period. (For more of this in evolving context see Belgian patent classifications.)

Regarding certificates of addition, they seem to have had no label as such, per se, though, immediately following the patent number, there will be an "inv", for "invention", or a "perf", for "perfectionnement". In other francophone patent contexts, of course, as well as in Belgian patent titles, original patent texts and patent summaries the word "perfectionnement" is often used not in terms necessarily relative to a particular anteceding patent, but relative to a basic aeronautical type, or relative to past application of a theoretical principle. An outright new number, not a smaller added number, a new number within the ordinary range of it contemporaries, is given, with references to the earlier patent made explicit within the document, and within RdBdI summations. These summations tend to be rather extraordinarily fine, incidentally, as we proceed between our interests in bulk trajectory data and the richness offered by study of select originals.

A "verbal process" is initiated, and documented, on paper, and this seems to equate to a filing, or application. The turn-around time, before granting, is relatively short, in comparison with the processes found within other national systems. Thorough examination is not strictly guaranteed, according to the legalistic phraseology.

Regarding the single date given within RdBdI entries, upon cross-referencing of French references and Belgian original documents, the single date given within each RdBdI entry seems to have been the date of application, the date of "verbal process".

Select Belgian History Pertinent To Our Years Of Study

From 1792-1815 Belgium was under French domination.[1]

From 1815-1830 it formed, along with Holland, the kingdom of the « Pays-Bas ».

The Revolution of 1830 ended in Belgian independence, under a constitutional monarchy, with Léopold of Saxe-Cobourg as king.

(The year 1930 is pertinent to us in terms of Belgian, and international, processes of patent registration and cataloguing.)

The Conference of London (1831) gave Belgium its present limits.

In 1908, the Independent State of the Congo, created by Léopold II, became a per se colony of Belgium.

Belgium was invaded by German armies in 1914, during the reign of Albert I. This was incidentally a violation of the Belgian neutrality which had been established by way of the treaties of 1830. The physical disruption, and legal issues of international difficulty occasioned by World War I had an effect on the patent-related processes we are studying.

Belgium remained almost completely occupied until November 1918, suffering the disruption inherent to a theater of war from 1914-1918, with Germany formally ceding the territories of Eupen and Malmédy, with the Treaty of Versailles, 28 June 1919. These had been Belgian territories, and had perhaps been formally annexed by the Germans, beyond the occupation of the other territories.

Regarding the early 19th Century

Accès aux brevets belge - Toegangen op de Belgische brevetten is a key online resource on the basic data up to 1860. These handwritten catalogue charts are exquisite. They refer, however, to originals which are largely not yet digitized. (This requires registration and the initialisation of a password and so forth.) Aeronautical material and so forth may be rare. Categorization seems to have been numerical, rather than alphabetical.

The information is grouped into years, based upon the passage of particular laws, and relative to the status of the Belgian state.

Some national designations here may turn out to be "deceptively" simple, with basic Belgian identity predating various of these developments, and with the inclusion of Dutch-and-or-Flemish-speaking territory being fairly traceable, and with a certain overwhelmingly francophone protocol uniformity being established well before the period of hot productivity which seems to have ushered in through the first decades of the Twentieth Century.

By contrast: France had a relatively consistent national and territorial identity, and Germany was made up from the unification of for the most part linguistically homogenous states.

Belgian Archival Grouping

(A simple library search of "brevets" within the website Les archives de l'État en Belgique yields more on publications pertinent to internationally comparative patent law, inclusive of works explicating French and Belgian differentials in legal protocols, for instance.)

See Belgian patent classification for the information we are gathering on that front, largely from these sources.

We begin with an outlined approach, with blocks of scanned data reflecting the progression of the Belgian nation state.

Accessing these sources is a fairly involved process, requiring one to register with one's own "Identifiant" (User Name, that is), and so forth. Within the depths of the archival site, inter-linguistic user-friendliness gets patchy, though it's manageable to any enthusiast. So though the site, more broadly, is accessible via French, Dutch, German or English, the archival depths get into French-Dutch linguistic jockeyings for prestige, old and new. The user may have registered with a User Name earlier in any searching process, of course, via English, though this isn't requisite until well into the process, and the search is aided by operating in French or Dutch, French in particular, though the final archival blocs, scanned and not searchably data-entered, have titles in Dutch, rather than French.

These pages begin in a bilingual manner, with Dutch-language material on each left page being properly duplicated on the corresponding right. The span of years 1815-1830 has specifically to do with Napoleon's fall, and the re-settling of European territory, that is, before the establishment of the Kingdom of Belgium in 1830(1831) with its present borders. The grouping of material from 1822-1846 into this black is another matter. In terms of delineating whatever of the earliest data we may find, we may have some disentangling from NL, though NL had no patent office from perhaps 1830 to 1912.

  • Register gehouden voor de inschrijving van brevetten die ingediend werden in de Hollandse periode (1815-1830). 1822-1846.
  • AC 502 - AC 2643, 29 november 1830 - 31 december 1843
  • AC 2644 - AC 5868, 1 januari 1844 - 26 augustus 1851
  • AC 5869 - AC 8013, 2 september 1851 - 22 mei 1855
  • Nrs. 1-3795, 14 juni 1854 - 31 december 1856
  • Nrs. 3744-6878, 1857-1858
  • Nrs. 6879, 8444, 1859
  • Nrs. 8437-10167, 1860
  • Register gehouden voor de inschrijving van de Belgische brevetten ingediend voor het in werking treden van de wet van 24 maart 1854, maar vallend onder de reglementering van deze wet. [1848-1855]

Patent office(s) and regulations

We are looking into the location of the Belgian patent office at the time of early aviation, and possibly multiple locations corresponding to Belgium's predecessor states. Contemporary Belgian patent filing has been subsumed within the European Patent Office (EPO)

Before 1854

According to Urling, 1845 (p. 256), Belgium issued patents for 5, 10, or 15 years, which would automatically expire at the same time as the comparable patent in the country of origin. The minimum requirement was one drawing and one specification. The invention would have to be used within two years of the patent filing. Urling writes: "N.B.—After you have taken a patent in Belgium, you may not take a patent in another country in your own name, under penalty of losing your Belgian patent, so that in such cases another name should be used for any other patents you may wish to secure. About one month after the application for a patent it is generally granted."

After 1854

A new patent law was passed on 24 May 1854, and this remained the main reference through 1915.[2]

According to this law, inventions could not be patented in Belgium if they had already been described in print in Belgium, in any non-government publication. This could be one factor explaining foreign (especially French) filings in the Belgian office, which unusually sometimes precede filings in the inventors' home country.[3]

Patents lasted uniformly for 20 years, subject to progressive annual taxes, unless a pre-existing foreign filing was due to expire earlier.[3]

There was no examination system; patents were granted if submitted properly and paid for.[4]


More sources for the Belgian patent office, which seems to be called OPRI, and which one source says has 60 employees. Many functions are now coordinated or handed off to the EPO.


Hildebrandt, 1908, Airships Past and Present (pp. 169–170) blurb on the short history of Belgian military aeronautics:

In Belgium the necessary materials were ordered from Lachambre, of Paris, in 1886, and a company of an engineering regiment in Antwerp was allotted for ballooning work. A school was started in the following year, and trials were made of hot air balloons on the Godard system, as well as of others for signalling purposes of the dirigible type. Lately the kite-balloon has been introduced.

Publications Pertinent To Belgian and-or Internationally Comparative Patent Law

Official Belgian Bibliographic Resources:

Francophone Belgian Archived Bibliographic Material

Designation as books, or articles, is tentative.

References on Belgian aero

(There is a certain "Belgian-centrism" here, not to mention francophone predominance, which may be temporary.)

Links (Belgian military aviation):


Patents reports

Patents filed with the Belgian patent office

Patents filed in Belgium

Patents filed by Belgians

Patents filed by Belgians