Intellectual Property / Competition Law
SKW Schwarz can provide a team of experienced lawyers who are specialists in intellectual property (IP) law. The term "intellectual property" covers intangible assets such as trademarks, product names, innovations, concepts or intellectual creations. These assets can be protected, for example by trademarks, patents, utility models, designs or copyrights.
Particular aesthetic or technical features of a company's products, trademarks etc often form the basis of a company's success. Protecting and developing intellectual property is one of the key tasks of forward-looking management. Our IP specialists
- have intellectual property rights registered with national and international authorities;
- research intellectual property rights (brands, firms, titles, domains, designs, patents, utility models);
- manage and monitor global portfolios of intellectual property rights;
- assert intellectual property rights in front of the German Patent and Trademark Office, the Federal Patent Court, the European Patent Office, the Trade Marks and Designs Registration Office (OHIM) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO);
- assert intellectual property rights in front of national courts and the European Court of Justice, both in regular and in preliminary proceedings;
- draft and negotiate license agreements, merchandising contracts, research and development contracts, cooperation contracts, prior rights and coexistence agreements and sponsoring agreements.
In addition, SKW Schwarz gives advice on all matters of competition law. This covers in particular the market behavior of and the relationship with competitors, i.e. a company's right to defend itself against unfair competitive practices (competition law in the narrower sense of the term). Examples are misleading or comparative advertising, counterfeit products, the exploitation of business secrets of competitors or drawing customers and employees away from a company.
Another focus is brand and product piracy, which we fight systematically on behalf of our clients, not least by border seizure procedures.
It is important to us that we support our clients not just when they have to defend themselves against intellectual property right infringements. Rather, we want to show them how to best protect their intellectual property in a forward-looking way.
Life Science, Biotech
Apart from information and communication technology, medicine and healthcare as well as biotechnology will probably be the most important growth areas in the future. A team of SKW Schwarz lawyers has therefore specialized on life science and biotechnology issues. We advise pharmaceutical companies, producers of medical devices and biotechnology companies and their founders at all stages of the value chain. The most important issues are:
- Protection of intellectual property rights: We ensure the protection of patent and intellectual property rights for the products of our clients and advise them on how to best license their products.
- Corporate/corporate finance: Our Life Sciences/Biotech department has considerable expertise with growth-related issues, in particular growth financing, for example by venture capital, private equity, capital increases or mergers and acquisitions.
- Distribution law: We check and draft distribution agreements and give advice on all legal matters which may arise in day-to-day distribution business.
- Regulation and product liability: We support clients during the drug approval process, in matters of laboratory regulations and in all issues related to producer liability for defective products.
We joined the Biolegis network in order to supplement our own expertise with international experience. Biolegis brings together independent law firms from currently 14 European countries. It provides our clients access to about 120 life science lawyers and is probably the largest network of its kind in Europe.
The Biolegis members have considerable experience with the following issues:
- monitoring and enforcement of intellectual property rights;
- production and distribution regulations;
- environmental protection;
- product liability;
- research and development;
- license agreements;
- EU regulatory law;
- corporate finance, private equity, IPOs;
- mergers and acquisitions.
Advertising regularly reaches a wide public. As a result, it is not only received by the target groups, but also by competitors, consumer protectors and associations watching against unfair practices. Advertising therefore frequently forms the subject of warnings. Breaches of the law in advertising often have financially fatal consequences if the advertising is stopped suddenly or products even have to be removed from the market because of erroneous information on the packaging.
We can, of course, also institute corresponding legal proceedings but it makes more sense and is more efficient to avoid them. We therefore see our main task as providing our clients preventive advice:
- on the one hand, advertising and communications agencies of all shapes (from traditional agencies through PR to internet agencies) and sizes (from international networks to owner-run agencies);
- on the other hand, advertising companies from all sectors – from automobiles to newspapers.
Our team has proven legal expertise, in particular in competition, pharmaceutical advertising, trademark and copyright law, and above all in film and music law. Added to this, we have industry-specific know-how based on more than 25 years of experience. We therefore know what works in advertising and what does not. And, even more importantly, what can happen and what needs to be considered in a buyout or a product placement. We therefore regard ourselves as creative trailblazers who should be involved as early as possible, rather than as inhibitors. Together with foreign attorneys from our international networks, we can provide legal advice for international advertising quickly and pragmatically.
SKW Schwarz has proved its expert knowledge acquired over many years in the field of media: According to industry service JUVE, the office holds a fixed position at the top of the market in copyright and contract law for TV, film and entertainment.
Apart from advertising-related consultancy, our team is also happy to examine and draw up the necessary contracts for you. These include, on the one hand, contracts between agency and customer. Important aspects here are liability and the scope of the buyout. In addition, SKW Schwarz develops contracts with all the people involved in a promotion, such as for example, models, directors, producers or film productions.
On request, attorneys from SKW Schwarz provide in-house training at advertising agencies and companies and explain which legal areas require attention according to the circumstances.
h3.Examples of consultancy