Alain Strowel

Of Counsel
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Covington & Burling LLP
Kunstlaan 44 Avenue des Arts
B-1040 Brussels
Tel: 32.2.549.5269



Bar Admissions

  • Belgium

Alain Strowel is a Belgian Avocat since 1988 and works as of Counsel in the Brussels office of Covington & Burling LLP.  His practice concentrates on intellectual property, media and information technology law.  He mainly advises large companies on the intellectual property risks linked to new products.  He has litigated IP cases before the Belgian courts (ISP liability, protection of slogans, trademarks issues, comparative advertising) and the European Court of Justice, most recently in the joint VG Wort cases (decision of June 2013 in C-457/11 to C-460/11), where he represented HP.

Mr. Strowel and Covington's IP Practice in Belgium are recommended by both Legal 500 EMEA and Chambers Europe.

Mr. Strowel has particular expertise in issues relating to digital copyright and the Internet.  On top of the work that he is doing for clients in the IT sector, including the Business Software Alliance, he regularly advises clients on patent infringement, IP enforcement, TRIPs and parallel trade issues.  Mr. Strowel is a panelist for the WIPO domain name resolution procedure.

Prior to joining Covington in April 2001, Mr. Strowel worked in the Brussels IP section of a major Dutch firm.  He also serves as a professor in the University Saint-Louis-Brussels, the UCLouvain and the KULeuven, where he teaches copyright, media and design law.  He is a member of various IP associations, including the Licensing Executive Society, ALAI, European Patent Lawyers Association, Computer Law Association.

Mr. Strowel has authored numerous articles and books, including Quand Google défie le droit (De Boeck-Larcier, 2011).  He has edited collections of essays among which: Peer-to-Peer File Sharing and Secondary Liability in Copyright Law (Edward Elgar, 2009), Le téléchargement d’œuvres sur Internet (Larcier, 2012), Net Neutrality in Europe (Larcier, 2013).

Mr. Strowel is in the editorial board of several specialised law journals including: Propriétés intellectuelles (Paris), Computer Law Review International (Köln), Auteurs et Media (Belgium), Les Cahiers de propriété intellectuelle (Montréal).

Representative Matters

  • Representing a tech company before the European Court of Justice in a case involving copyright levies.
  • Extensive review of the legal issues raised by the marketing of a connected TV for a major consumer electronics company.
  • Representing a copyright holder before the European Court of Justice in a case involving the cable retransmission right.
  • Advising a major pharmaceutical group on patent extension in various countries.
  • Monitoring on behalf of a major trade association the implementation of the Copyright in the Information Society Directive.
  • Advising a group of companies on freedom of goods and other issues relating to copyright levies.
  • Preparing a detailed advice for the Board of an important broadcaster on an issue of freedom of establishment involving the Directive TV without Frontiers.

Honors and Rankings

  • Chambers Europe, Intellectual Property - Belgium (2009-2014)
  • Best Lawyers in Belgium, Intellectual Property (2013-2014)
  • Legal 500 EMEA, Intellectual Property - Belgium (2010-2011)
  • PLC Which Lawyer? Intellectual Property, Belgium (2010-2012)
  • Legal Experts EMEA (2010)

Publications and Speeches

Publishes numerous articles in French and English and lectures regularly on Intellectual Property issues for various specialised associations (LES, ALAI, Fordham annual IP conference, etc.). He authored and edited numerous books and articles.
  • "Moral Rights in the Wittem Project," The European Copyright Code - The Wittem Project (9/16/2011)
  • "Copyright," 6th Annual Conference of the EPIP Association (9/9/2011)
  • "Quand Google défie le droit: Plaidoyer pour un Internet transparent et de qualité," Groupe de Boeck (April 2011), Author
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