Schachbrett mit um geworfenen König und Schachuhr im Hintergrund - bildlich für Gewerblicher Rechtsschutz

Industrial property protection

Industrial property protection deals with the protection of intellectual property (“IP”). This covers the area of trademarks, copyrights, designs and, for example, employee inventions on the one hand. IP also includes competition law and thus legal market conduct rules, an umbrella which protects entrepreneurial freedom of movement against “unlawful interference” by other market participants.

Industrial property protection hence affects almost every company in the medium term on various degrees – especially in the areas of trademarks and advertising proportionate to the market, often from the very beginning. Our expertise in this area can be advantageous for founders, start-ups and established medium-sized companies in the field of industrial property protection. We promptly respond to those reaching out for our services and prepared to support, also facilitating queries at very short notice if required.

 

Competition law

For those who desire to maintain on their own in the market and competition, one must not lose sight of the fact that this area of practice is not unregulated. Competition law imposes numerous requirements, especially in the area of marketing and sales, in some cases involving product labelling and many more. These requirements must be complied using leeway to prevent any potential financial damage through cease-and-desist letters. Compliance of the regulations plays a vital role by making the best use of the leeway in order to avoid further financial damage. This can be tackled through warnings and also safeguarding the damage of reputation in the best foremost manner.

Anyone who intends to obstruct their competitors, they tend to use the market position of others to its vast measures.  The quintessential act is either by taking it for their own benefit and surplus, or manifesting it to gain through a precisely calculated illegal behaviour where competitors must act to defend themselves. . Challenges concerning competition law usually arises in the areas of marketing, advertising, sales, classic print media as well as on the internet.

Having a golden grasp in these areas, we provide competent support for our clients with legal certainty by appearing on the market, representing your stand both in and out of court. We effectively do so by preventing competition infringements or defending against any accusations devised by your competitors.

Our topics in competition law:

  • Warning letter competition violations
  • Application for an interim injunction
  • Actions for injunction, information, skimming of profits, damages
  • Defence against warnings from competitors
  • Deposit of protective documents
  • Objection against application for an interim injunction
  • Representation in legal proceedings for injunctive relief, information, damages etc.
  • Examination of competitors’ behaviour on the market (in general, specific campaigns, etc.)
  • Review of general terms and conditions, cancellation policy, competitions and direct marketing measures
  • Review company website, social media channels, online shops etc.
  • Checking individual campaigns, spots etc. for competition violations
  • Support in the area of corporate design / corporate identity
  • Agency contracts etc. incl. liability (drafting, review, negotiation)
  • Competition law compliance Guidelines
  • Staff training

Do you need legal support in designing your marketing materials, have you been warned about an infringement of competition law or do you want to warn a competitor? Contact us at +49 (0)221 59714 140 or by e-mail at .

 

Trademark law

The entrepreneurial and legal work related to trademarks customarily begins while founding of a company itself. Particularly, the company names, logos or product names are developed and protected. Nonetheless, it is crucial to protect a company’s own brands at every stage, which also includes professional management of brand portfolios. In the case of unauthorised use, collisions or plagiarism, necessary actions must be taken to efficiently defend trade marks against trade mark infringements or to sustainably defend against unjustified allegations of infringement in trade mark law.

We understand how protecting trademarks and brand image are of a great value to our clients. As we are all living in a constantly shifting marketplace, our skilled team are able to assist you from the creation process of (inter)national trade mark registrations, monitoring and, if necessary, licensing of trade marks. Primarily, our lawyers will handle legal disputes arising out of this area of practice, hence let us know whether one of your trademarks has been infringed or you are accused of a trademark infringement.

Our topics in trademark law:

  • Application for national trade mark (DPMA), EU trade mark (EUIPO), international application (IR trade marks, WIPO)
  • Word mark, figurative mark, word-picture mark, sound mark, colour mark, etc.
  • Distinction from other IP rights, e.g. designs, including copyright
  • Collision check / similarity searches
  • Advice on the appropriate scope of protection (protection area, Nice classes etc.) and trade mark strategy
  • Monitoring of statutory protection periods, extension of protection periods, etc.
  • Issuing and defending against warnings in trade mark law
  • Representation in (inter-)national opposition, appeal or cancellation proceedings
  • Appeal against application / make application for interim injunction
  • Representation in legal proceedings Defence or enforcement of damages
  • Trademark licence agreements for licensors and licensees (drafting, review, negotiation)

Do you need advice and support in trade mark law? Contact us at +49 (0)221 59714 140 or by e-mail at .

 

Employee inventions

Employers can claim patentable or utility modellable inventions along with technical improvement proposals of their employees. Employers attempt to claim this privilege under certain conditions commonly for themselves or their company.  The Employee Inventions Act (ArbnErfG) creates a balance of interests for the transfer of rights to the employer, above all through a claim to appropriate remuneration for the invention of the employee. This is due to the fact that not every invention by an employee is considered as a bound invention or service invention to which the employer is entitled to claim rights for.

Our topics in connection with employee inventions:

  • “Innovation” / technical improvement within the meaning of the ArbnErfG
  • Bound invention / free invention
  • failure to report an invention
  • Infringement of the obligation to notify and to offer
  • Review / drafting / negotiation of employee invention clauses in the employment contract
  • Calculation / negotiation of reasonable remuneration (“inventor’s remuneration”)
  • Representation in (legal) disputes concerning employee inventions

You have invented something in the employment relationship and your employment contract is silent on the subject? Or has one of your employees invented something and the employment contract does not regulate this? Contact us at +49 (0)221 59714 140 or by e-mail at .