Intellectual property rights can basically be made use of by the proprietor of the intellectual property rights himself, but also by selling the intellectual property rights or by assigning exclusive or non-exclusive licences. The same also applies to secret know-how. For both the preparation of appropriate contracts is required.
With licence contracts it must be settled in detail which rights the licensee will be given and what he must pay for this. Licence contract law – and this also includes as a special form franchising contracts – has developed as a particular area of law. The basic liberty of contract is greatly restricted by antitrust law. Therefore, the wording of such contracts requires a great deal of experience and intimate knowledge of the respective national antitrust law, within the EU also the EU antitrust law. Contract law also plays an important role in the settlement of intellectual property right conflicts by compromise, either by means of direct negotiations, before arbitration courts and ordinary courts and by mediation. A further area is research and development contracts where the requirement for regulation is often under-estimated or regulation is even dispensed with.
From the beginning we have been advising our clients in the utilisation of their intellectual property rights by means of purchase contracts, licence and know-how contracts and by means of franchising contracts. The same applies to the settlement of conflicts by compromise contracts, licence contracts or – in trademark law – by co-existing agreements. We also provide support to our clients in the preparation of research and development contracts. Of course we also have experience in the legal enforcement of such contracts if so required.