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Retention periods for commercial documents

Retention periods for commercial documents

Summary dated 1 September 2021 of the essential legal provisions regarding the retention periods of your archives.

Documents Minimum retention period Format Start date of the retention period Act
License agreements A retention period is not specifically provided for.
As violations of intellectual property rights are in principle barred 5 years after the facts, it is advisable for the licensee to retain the license agreement during their duration and until 5 years after their termination. (1)

Since the contractual liability of the licensor expires after 10 years, it is advisable for the licensor to keep the license agreements during their term and up to 10 years after they expire.
Original
Promotional and advertising material A retention period is not specifically provided for.
However, it is advisable to retain the relevant documents until the responsibility of the manufacturer in light of the Act of 25 February 1991 is barred, which is the case 10 years after having commercialized the product for the first time. (2)
Any format As from the date that the product, to which the material is related, is taken out of commerce Article 12 of the Act of 25 February 1991 concerning the responsibility for defective products
Insurance policy A retention period is not specifically provided for.
However, it is advisable to retain these documents during the validity and a sufficient period thereafter in light of a possible claim with relation to (the subject of) the insurance.
Original

Although we have composed this list with much care, Merak N.V. cannot be held responsible for any errors or any changes made to legislation.

(1) The holder of an exclusive licence for plant variety rights may bring an action for infringement. With respect to plant variety rights, a claim for infringement becomes time-barred three years from the date on which the breeder`s right was finally granted and on which the holder became aware of the act in question and of the identity of the infringer, or, in the absence of such knowledge, thirty years from the date on which the act was completed (article XI.162 of the Code of Economic Law). For maximum safeguarding of rights, the retention period is 30 years from the date on which the plant variety right was granted.

(2) On the basis of article 5 of the Act of 25 February 1991, a product can be deemed defective in case it does not offer the safety that one can legitimately expect, amongst others in light of the presentation of the product.

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