Intellectual property rights can fundamentally be utilized by the proprietor of the intellectual property rights himself, but these may also be sold or transferred or assigned to exclusive or non-exclusive licensees. The same principle applies to secret know-how. An appropriate contract must be concluded.
Licensing contracts must lay out in detail the specific rights to which the licensee is entitled at what price. License contract law - which includes a special form called franchising contracts - has become a legal specialty in itself. Antitrust laws sharply limit the basic freedom of contract. Properly wording such contracts thus presupposes that one have great deal of experience and an intimate knowledge of domestic antitrust laws as well as EU antitrust laws. Contract law also plays an important role in settling conflicts involving intellectual property rights, whether by means of direct negotiations, before courts of arbitration and ordinary courts or by means of mediation. Research and development contracts are yet another significant area in which the need for regulation is often underestimated or even dispensed with.
We’ve been advising clients on the utilization of their intellectual property rights in purchase agreements, licensing and know-how contracts as well as franchising contracts since day one. The same applies to settling conflicts involving licensing contracts or - in trademark law - delimitation agreements. We provide clients with assistance preparing research and development contracts. Of course we also have experience enforcing such contracts when necessary.