Aerospace is a dynamically developing and growing market whose importance for national and international economic life continues to increase. It holds both opportunities and challenges at the same time.

Despite the adversities of recent years, aviation is a strong industry and continues to play a key role in transport. Passenger numbers and air cargo transported are at new levels, airports are expanding and new hubs are emerging to handle air freight. Air freight is essential in times of a time-sensitive and global world and is particularly necessary for specialised goods. Innovations continue to be driven forward - the development of new aircraft and aircraft types as well as new types of propulsion systems or fuels challenges the industry.

But "terrestrial economic life" is also becoming more complex and technology is significantly proceeding. In order to keep the terrestrial overview here, outer space solutions are indispensable. Therefore, there has been a paradigm shift and space sector has become an integral part of our everyday lives. It is impossible to imagine the economy, science, politics and society without satellites: satellite-based (and thus secure) communication, Internet of Things, navigation systems (e.g. Galileo), monitoring (GMES) of climate (change) and management of natural disasters, environmental protection, weather forecasting, smart farming, logistics, Industry 4.0, infrastructure monitoring or autonomous driving. Without satellites, our modern world would come to a standstill.

Space, especially its accessibility and exploration, is no longer reserved to states or government institutions. Rather, more and more private-sector companies are pushing their business models into outer space to support the space agencies in their projects or even to undertake completely independent projects. These are not only the global players of the aerospace industry, but increasingly also small and medium-sized companies, which arise not least from an extremely fast-growing start-up scene. This creates competition and innovation. The barriers to entry into space are increasingly falling and numerous aviation companies have group companies and joint venture holdings in the space sector.

To ensure that our clients are successful in the aerospace sector, we take care of the legal issues. We are happy to assist in the areas of corporate, labour, export control, data protection, public procurement and regulatory law, as well as in the areas of intellectual property and dispute resolution. Our clients include, for example, aerospace companies, airlines, aviation suppliers.

Intellectual Property / Knowhow Protection

Aerospace is closely linked to industrial (especially technical) property rights and copyright. In order to protect innovations and technologies here, know-how protection is of considerable importance. This applies both to the protection of know-how on Earth and to the use of technologies in space. This already starts with cooperation in the field of research and development and the know-how should be protected in so-called R&D contracts. We support you in protecting your innovations and technologies as well as in enforcing your rights and against challenges by third parties.

An essential question here is to what extent property rights arise in space, in particular patent rights to innovations and technologies as well as copyrights, e.g. to satellite images, and under which legal systems these are protected both in space and on Earth.

Corporate / M&A

Before a launcher with a satellite is launched into the intended orbit, there are some terrestrial corporate law issues involved in the preparation: Ideas and innovations are mostly created in the university sector. The development and commercialisation of the resulting products (e.g. satellites and their accessories) then takes place in so-called university (private sector) spin-offs. In addition, several companies are usually involved in space projects, so that joint venture solutions are necessary. These necessary contracts under company law form the basis of the cooperation between the participants.

Such questions of corporate law also arise in the field of aviation. Here, the last few years in particular and the associated adversities have shown an increased need for advice.

Regulatory, Public Procurement Law / Public Commercial Law

In the area of Regulatory, we support you in all legal issues that arise in the context of aerospace projects: Licensing and permit management (e.g. application and allocation of satellite positions, frequencies and orbital positions, registration of satellite systems, approvals in the aviation sector), foreign trade law, export control and export (so-called dual use goods and system-critical infrastructure) as well as environmental protection issues (e.g. disposal of space debris) and environmental, energy, urban and regional planning.

In addition, the aerospace sector is in many cases dependent on the award of public contracts. Space-related procurements are carried out by the individual EU member states, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the EU. Procurement procedures related to aerospace projects often exhibit a high degree of complexity. We support you in the preparation of applications for participation and bids as well as in the important preliminary work prior to a tender. In addition to our expertise in public procurement law, we also use our comprehensive technical know-how to support the entire bidding process in order to develop optimal solutions in a practical manner.

Data protection

Activities in air and space, whether research-related or commercial, always involve the creation and use of data that is collected in air or space but sent to Earth and analysed there. This also involves the collection and use of personal data. We support you in the creation of concepts that comply with data protection law, in the follow-up assessments under data protection law and in the creation of the necessary (processing) contracts and documentation.

Commercial / Transport / Logistics

We accompany the commercialisation of your aerospace-based innovations and technologies from the research and development stage through production to transport and logistics - e.g. in the areas of global goods traffic security, control, distribution and tracking.

Our 11 experts for Aerospace

Mareike van Alen

Mareike van Alen

Senior Associate

Dr. Karin  Deichmann

Dr. Karin Deichmann

Senior Associate

Markus von Fuchs

Markus von Fuchs

Partner

Marwah  Kamal

Marwah Kamal

Associate

René M.  Kieselmann

René M. Kieselmann

Partner

Franziska  Ladiges

Franziska Ladiges

Partner

Dr. Mathias  Pajunk

Dr. Mathias Pajunk

Counsel

Dr. Kolja  Petrovicki

Dr. Kolja Petrovicki

Partner

Maria  Rothämel

Maria Rothämel

Senior Associate

Jonas L.  Schüler

Jonas L. Schüler

Associate

Dr. Christoph  Wiegand

Dr. Christoph Wiegand

Partner