Professor Charles Gielen PhD (born on 15 March 1947) holds a law degree from Tilburg University and a doctorate degree from the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands.
After having been a partner of the Benelux law firm NautaDutilh (www.nautadutilh.com) he now is of counsel to this firm and in particular to the intellectual property practice group. He is retired professor of IP law at the University of Groningen and currently professor of IP law at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. Charles specialises in intellectual property law. He mainly handles patent, trademark and design litigation. In trademark matters Charles acts for Diageo Plc., L'Oreal, the LVMH Group, Intel, Coca-Cola, BMW, Burberry and Lego. He was co-counsel for Samsung in the litigation against Apple on the alleged design right infringement. In patent matters he handled litigation for Pharmacia, Aventis Pharma, Medtronic and Global Biochem Technology.
Since a number of years Charles serves as a WIPO-Panellist on matters of domainname disputes.
Charles Gielen has published several books and articles on subjects involving intellectual property law (in particular patent and trademark law) and is or was a member of editorial boards responsible for publishing law reviews on intellectual property and competition law such as the European Intellectual Property Review, the European Trademark Reports and "Intellectuele Eigendom & Reclamerecht".
He is chairman of the Dutch Trade Mark Law Institute ( see: www.trademarklaw.nl ) and of the Prof. Mr. E. A. van Nieuwenhoven Helbach Foundation. He is chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Munich Intellectual Property Law Center ( see: www.miplc.de ). He is member of the Board of Advisors of the Maritime Museum in Amsterdam (see: www.hetscheepvaartmuseum.nl ).
Charles Gielen was also member of the standing advisory committee to the Dutch government on trademark and design law. He acts as expert in OHIM's Observatory and was an expert to WIPO concerning the drafting of Model Provisions on Unfair Competition Law.
He is past-President of the "Vereniging voor Intellectuele Eigendom" (www.aippi.nl), the Dutch group of the International Association for the Protection of Industrial Property (AIPPI; www.aippi.org ). He chaired the Program Committee of AIPPI and is past co-chairman of the Working Committee of Q 114 (Biotechnology including plant breeders rights).
He is past member of the Board of Directors and its Executive Committee of the International Trademark Association (INTA; www.inta.org). He is also past President of the International League of Competition Law (LIDC). He is past member of the Board of the anticounterfeiting organisation REACT in Amsterdam.
On November 8, 2006 Charles received INTA' s President Award for outstanding service to the International Trademark Association. On October 6, 2007 the Council of Presidents of AIPPI appointed him Member of Honour of AIPPI for outstanding contributions to and an extraordinary engagement for the fulfilment of the aims of the Association. In 2009 he was appointed member of honour of the Vereniging voor Intellectuele Eigendom.
By Royal Decree by Her Majesty the Queen of The Netherlands on April 29, 2011, Charles Gielen was appointed Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau. This royal decoration was awarded to him for his services to the international intellectual property community as well as for his activities for the community, such as The Maritime Museum in Amsterdam.
In the Chambers Global Guide 2008 and the Chambers Europe Guide 2008 he is revered as the icon of trade mark law in the Netherlands. The International Who's Who of Business lawyers 2008 under Trademarks: "The Netherlands hosts the highest polling lawyer in Europe: Charles Gielen of NautaDutilh received more votes than any lawyer here, is "very well known" for his litigation and academic work." The International Who's Who in Trademarks 2011 ranked him in the top 10-list of global trademark lawyers. Chambers Europe 2015 ranked him as a Senior Statesman in IP in The Netherlands.