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G.R.L. Van Overwalle

TIAS Business School



Research on the interface between technology (biotechnology) and law, more in particular intellectual property law


Key words


Most recent publications



Geertrui Van Overwalle (°1958) studied law at the Katholieke Universiteit Brussel (K.U.Brussel, now H.U.B, Belgium) and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U.Leuven, Belgium). She received her law degree (Master of Laws) in 1985 magna cum laude at the K.U.Leuven. In addition, she took a course of biotechnology at the Belgian Royal Society of Engineers in 1990.

Geertrui Van Overwalle joined the Centre for Intellectual Property Rights (CIR) at the Faculty of Law of the K.U.Leuven (Belgium) in 1991. In 1995, she obtained her Ph.D. with a dissertation on the Patentability of Plants ('Octrooieerbaarheid van plantenbiotechnologische uitvindingen', Brussel, Bruylant, 1996, 745 p.).


In 1995 Geertrui Van Overwalle became a post-doctoral researcher at the Centre for Intellectual Property Rights (CIR) at the K.U.Leuven, Belgium.

At present she is associate professor at the K.U.Leuven (80%), full professor at the University of Tilburg-Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society-TILT (20%), and professor at the Université de Liège (10%).

In 2003 she was a visiting professor at Monash University, Melbourne, where she lectured on 'International Aspects of Patenting Inventions in Biotechnology'.



Most recent publications

External accreditation

Geertrui Van Overwalle is a member of the national Belgian High Council for Intellectual Property, and the national Belgian Council for Plant Breeder?s Rights Law. She is a member of the European Commission?s Expert Group on Biotechnological Inventions. She is also a member of the Economic and Scientific Advisory Board of the European Patent Office (ESAB), the Standing Advisory Committee before the European Patent Office (SACEPO) and the Scientific Advisory Board (Fachbeirat) of the Max-Planck-Institute for Intellectual Property and Competition Law. She is also appointed as a member of the Board of Appeal of the Community Plant Variety Office at Angers.
She contributed as an expert to the Report Policy options for the improvement of the European patent system commissioned by the European Parliament. She was also an external advisor to the Unitaid Medicines Patent Pool Initiative.



Teaching activities elsewhere

At present Geertrui Van Overwalle is a professor at the K.U.Leuven (Belgium) where she teaches Patent law in the Master of Laws Programme in the Faculty of Law. She also teaches Intellectual Property in the BioSciences and  Patent Law and Human Genetic Inventions in the Master in Biomedical Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine.

She is also a professor at the Université de Liège (Belgium) where she teaches Patent Law in the Advanced Master of European Law.

Other activities



  • Full Professor K.U.Leuven, 70%
  • Partime Professor U. Liège, 20 %

Activities in scientific associations

  • International Association for the Advancement of Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property (ATRIP)
  • Association Internationale pour la Protection de la Propriété Industrielle (AIPPI)
  • European Commission, Expert Group on Biotechnological Inventions (Internal Market DG & Research DG European Policy for Intellectual Property (EPIP) Association
  • Federale Raad voor de Intellectuele Eigendom, Belgium
  • Federale Raad voor Kwekersrecht, Belgium
  • Comité van Aanbeveling (zie, Nederland

Contact details
Room M 715
PO Box 90153
5000 LE Tilburg 
Phone+31 13 466 2407
Secretary+31 13 466 3515

TIAS Business School

Last amended: 11 May 2012

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