Licensing law

Every technology company has one central asset: its know-how. It is vital for the technology company to license its technical know-how out only to the extent necessary. The customer on the other hand has an interest in licensing in as much of the supplier’s technology and know-how as it is beneficial for its business purposes. The license contract needs to bridge the gap between these two poles of interest, in particular in between (potential) competitors. These days, software companies increasingly conduct license audits and threaten the customer with penalties due to unauthorised or not sufficiently licensed use of software.

We perform the following services pertaining to licensing law:

  • Provision of licensing contracts, in particular software licensing agreements
  • Legal advice pertaining to license management and license audits
  • Provision of distribution and reseller agreements
  • Licensing of intellectual property
  • Provision of agreements on non-competition and/or non-disclosure
  • Asset Purchase Agreement Deals
  • Taking all necessary legal action to enforce your contractual rights
  • Out of court negotiation
  • Litigation

Trademark law

Nowadays, one of the main factors to be successful in business is to choose and maintain the right trademarks for your company’s products and services. Probably more than ever before, imaginary and image creating aspects have become important factors in the customer’s choice between competing products and services. It is no longer the “hard facts” only that tip the scales in favor of the customer’s decision for a particular company and its particular goods and/or services.

Perhaps more than anything else, it is the company’s trademarks that convey and deliver a company’s very spirit and image, to its potential customers, in effect steering the customer’s decision to buy the company’s products and services, or to refrain from buying them.

We provide the following services pertaining to trademark law:

  • Legal advice towards the creation and choice of potential trademarks
  • Registration of trademarks in Germany, Europe, or worldwide
  • Defending trademarks against legal claims of third parties
  • Legal monitoring of your company’s trademarks pertaining to possible interferences of trademarks of competitors
  • Taking all necessary legal action against conflicting trademarks
  • Out of court negotiation
  • Litigation
  • Co-existence agreements

Competition law

The essential function of competition law, in theory, is to provide the legal basis for companies to inhibit illegal practices by competing companies. However, reality often shows a different picture: More and more frequently, companies use competition law measures as a means to constrain or even damage their competitors.

To be on the safe side, it is advisable to set up all your company’s public relation and marketing activities in compliance with the applicable laws in order to bring you in a position to defend unjustified claims and take care of your business.

We provide the following services in the field of competition law:

  • Strategic legal advice towards legally compliant marketing and public relation activities
  • Defending unjustified legal measures initiated by competitors or others
  • Taking all necessary legal action against unlawful practices of your competitors
  • Out of court negotiation
  • Litigation

Anti-trust law

In contrast to widespread opinion, anti-trust law ist not only relevant for major companies. As a basic principle, each agreement or practice which affects the contractual partners in their entrepreneurial freedom of action is forbidden, such as price or customer allocations, territorial agreements, exclusive purchase obligations and non-competition clauses. In most cases, such agreements are forbidden even if a company has only a small market share. However, many contracts would not work without such clauses. Therefore, there are some exceptions. The anti-trust law deals with the question what is allowed and which exceptions exist. By the way, the anti-trust law is the same in the whole EU. The EU Commission hast adopted several block exemption regulations which exempt some stipulations in some kind of agreements from anti-trust law, such as the TT-BER (Technology Transfer Block Exemption Regulation) or the Vertical-BER (V-BER; regarding the producer to distributor relationship).

It is extremely important to comply with the anti-trust laws because in case of non-compliance this may cause the invalidity of the contract on the one hand and on the other hand this may lead to extremely high fines for the companies involved (up to 10 percent of the preceding year´s annual turnover of the entire group of companies).

We check for you if your contracts are compliant with anti-trust law and make suggestions for the adjustment of your contracts if needed.

Protection against defamation on the Internet

The Internet is more and more often used as a forum to provide and gather information. Most of the times the information provided is useful and has been provided in good faith, and it is, in essence, harmless. Some of the times, however, you may find that some of the information you may gather about your entity or person on the Internet is harmful to your reputation or at least apt to be harmful to your reputation. And sometimes specific information in form of remarks and comments is not only apt to damage, but has been deliberately set to damage your company’s or even personal reputation.

As a consequence of the internationality and decentralization of the Internet, it is very tough to combat against the initiator of reputation damaging remarks, as the Internet offers quite a variety of possibilities to remain anonymous. Nonetheless, it is possible to take legal action against defamation on the Internet, if you deal with the situation in a top down way.

We undertake the following legal action against defamation on the Internet:

  • Detection of the responsible person or entity
  • Enforcing all rights under civil as well as criminal law against the initiators of reputation damaging remarks
  • Taking action against the operators of Internet domains containing defamation remarks
  • Taking legal action against references to reputation damaging information in the relevant search engines
  • Out of court negotiation
  • Litigation

Media law

Media creating people are exposed to a variety of legal risks. For one thing, missing or fragmentary contractual agreements bear the risk that intellectual property rights are transferred to their clients in much greater scope than intended by the media person as the originator of the intellectual property. For another, in the event that media persons or companies act as publicists, they need to adhere to quite a few legal provisions, among others, the relevant laws on press and competition law.

We provide the following services in the field of media law:

  • Taking care of and defending all rights of media creating people
  • Drafting and negotiation of intellectual property licensing contracts
  • Drafting and negotiation of marketing and distribution agreements
  • Legal examination of planned publications
  • Out of court negotiation
  • Litigation