EU Data Protection Legislation

AmCham EU Perspective

Social Media Strategy

Double Tax Treaties

Labor Market Reforms

The Consultants Corner

Did You Know?

New Year Reception

New Members



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Intellectual Property: Where Creativity and the Law Meet

Think all the good ideas are already taken?

Then you’d better think again.

According to the US Patent and Trademark office, in 2010 they received over 500,000 patent applications and over 400,000 trademark applications – showing that every year thousands of useful inventions are created, new books penned, new songs written and works of art painted. Regardless of what is being created, once an application is successful, all fall under the protection of intellectual property (IP) law.

With such hot topics as Google’s new privacy settings, the debate around the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the US and the many concerns surrounding Cloud Computing, we’ve picked Intellectual Property and Data Protection as the theme for this month’s edition of AmCham Connect.

As this is such a diverse and detailed topic, we turn to the experts for the latest insights and advice. Bird & Bird’s Benoit Van Asbroek looks at Belgium’s Scarlet/Sabam Ruling, while AmCham EU updates us on the latest in EU Data Protection law. We also have an article on social media and data protection and a look at the role IP plays in the medical arena. And of course we also provide all the latest news and events happening at AmCham Belgium.

We also want to hear from you. Let us know your thoughts on data protection and how intellectual property law affects your industry or business sector. Email your comments to

Enjoy your read –

Nick Klenske
Editor, AmCham Connect

Coming up in March: The Office, Relocation and Real Estate Issue.

EU Data Protection Legislation

And its Potential Impact on US Companies

On January 25, 2012, the European Commission published a proposal for a new European Union (EU) regulation governing protection of individual privacy and the processing of personal data. The proposed short title of the regulation is the ‘General Data Protection Regulation’ (hereinafter, ‘Regulation’). Elisabethann Wright and Alexander Roussanov of Hogan Lovells International LLP, discuss the implications. Read More...

Plus: The Web of Laws: Privacy in the Workplace by Stefan Nerinckx

AndBird & Bird LLP's Benoit Van Asbroeck and Maud Cock on The Scarlet Case

EU Perspective

The Need for a Balanced Approach to Internet Privacy

By Roger Coelho, Senior Policy Officer, AmCham EU

Viviane Reding, Vice-President and Commissioner Responsible for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, has proposed sweeping changes to the way personal data is processed and stored in Europe. The comprehensive reform to the EU's 1995 Data Protection Directive aims to strengthen online privacy rights and ensure the competitiveness of Europe’s digital economy.


Event in Focus

Workshop on Social Media Strategy with Outsource Communications

There has been a lot of talk on social media lately – with specialists everywhere telling you why you need to use it and what it can do for your business. On January 18, AmCham Belgium and Outsource Communications teamed up for a hands-on workshop aimed at giving you the tips and tricks needed to launch a successful social media strategy. AmCham Connect’s Patrick Camal reports.Main text here...


Double Tax Treaties: Frozen into Extinction? 

By Marc Quaghebeur, Partner at De Broeck Van Laere & Partners

For an economy that depends on international trade, whose borders are not more than an hour away, and is home to an important international community, double taxation can be a real killer – and treaties to avoid it are a must. Put simply, double tax treaties can open the country for inbound investments – which is why Belgium has 90 double tax treaties, more than most countries.


Labor Market Reforms in Belgium

By Chris Engels, Partner, Claeys & Engels

In its ‘Butterfly agreement’ of December 1, 2011, the new Belgian government enumerated the different measures it intends to take to tackle the numerous problems currently confronting the country. As two of the marquee problems are the low percentage of the Belgian population engaged in active employment and the changing demographic situation, one should not be surprised that many of these measures will have a serious impact on Belgian labor law and industrial relations.



Consultant's Corner 

Matching Leadership Strategy to your Business Strategy

Global economic troubles and the European debt crisis, along with other dramatic socio-political changes, have organizations re-thinking their direction and operations. Industry-specific problems and numerous local sources of pressure add further complications. CEOs and senior executives know their organizations must be agile and innovative and that new strategies are needed. William Pasmore, Senior Vice President and Organizational Practice Leader, Center for Creative Leadership, and Gary Adkins, Organizational Practice Leader, Center for Creative Leadership explain how in such cases, chances are, your organization needs a new leadership strategy.


Did You Know?

AmCham Belgium has Moved!

The Chamber re-located to its new offices on February 1st and is now based at rue du Trône 60 Troonstraat, 1050 Brussels.
Based in the heart of the European quarter in Brussels, our new offices feature modern and spacious meeting facilities, offering enhanced benefits to our members.


News and Events


Flanders Ready for a New 'Career Agreement' for Belgium

Belgium is World's Fourth Most Open Economy

Past Events

New Year Reception: Minister Van Quickenborne Talks Opportunities, Challenges of 2012

Upcoming Events

Cocktail Briefing and Book Launch

AmCham Belgium is delighted to support this Cocktail Briefing featuring Alison Maitland, a Senior Fellow, Human Capital, at The Conference Board, on her brand new book, co-authored with Peter Thomson.

Feb. 8 at 17:30 - 20:00

New Members Annual Open House

At this popular networking event, 15 new members of AmCham Belgium will be showcasing their businesses. This event is an excellent opportunity to enhance the visibility of your company, to make contacts with new and established members of AmCham Belgium and the wider US-Belgian business community, and to learn how to become involved in our events, lobbying and knowledge-sharing activities.

Feb. 15 at 18:00 - 20:00

AmCham Belgium thanks its 2012 Diamond Sponsors:

And of course also a thank you to the 2012 Gold Sponsors:

3M • Accenture • A.T. Kearney • AWEX • Baltimore Aircoil • The Boston Consulting Group • Baxter • Center for Creative Leadership• CG Holdings • Cisco Systems • Donaldson • Eli Lilly • Ernst & Young • ExxonMobil • Galilei • Metropole Hotel • St John's International School

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