Intellectual Property and Competition Law


Registration of Trademarks

Trademarks and other company logos can represent a significant part of the value of a business. They ensure that the products of a particular business can be distinguished from those of a competitor. In order to assert a mark effectively within the marketplace, there are a number of strategic and legal issues that must be considered even at registration stage. We can provide you with comprehensive advice starting with the choice of mark, professionally researching and analysing prior registrations, to policing and defending your rights once they are successfully registered. We carry out trademark registrations in-house for German marks, EU marks and international registrations (IR marks). In the event of registrations in foreign jurisdictions, we work with associate firms within our international network.

Trademark Infringement

We provide a comprehensive service around enforcing and defending your trademarks and other rights such as title or internet domain.            

Trademark Licensing

We further advise on all issues relating to the licensing of trademarks and draft merchandising and other trademark license agreements including detailed franchise agreements. Product distribution channels can be targeted and optimised if care is taken when drafting the terms of a license. Should an infringement arise, a co-existence agreement or prior rights agreement will often avert escalation and preserve the essence of the conflicting marks.

Patents, Registered Design Rights and Utility Models

We can advise and represent you on all aspects of enforcement of your patents, design rights and utility models both inside and outside the courts.

Utility Models

We can advise and represent you on all aspects of enforcement of your patents, design rights and utility models both inside and outside the courts.

Know-how, protective rights and Inventions

Trade Secrets

Know-how plays a significant part in the success of our economy. It is vital to consider the protection of business and trade secrets when agreeing contracts with employees and with other businesses that are collaboration partners. We can advise you on all legal aspects of trade secrets and represent you in the enforcement of your claims, should you suspect that your Know-how has been used unlawfully. We work closely with the prosecuting authorities and can also initiate and advise you on international investigations.

Infringement of Technical Protective Rights

We can represent you in disputes inside and outside the courts over your business’s technical protective rights. At every stage of the infringement proceedings, we work closely with patent attorneys who support us with registrations or patent research.

Licensing agreements

We can advise you on all legal aspects of the licensing and transfer of technical protective rights and can draft and negotiate appropriate agreements; notably Patent and Know-how License Agreements, Research and Development Agreements, Collaboration Agreements, Know-how Joint Venture Agreements and Technology Transfer Agreements.

Employee Inventions

We are experienced in structuring progressive and efficient approaches to inventions that both encourage the innovative potential of your staff but at the same time protect the employer’s legal right to protectable inventions within the framework of the law relating to employee invention (Arbeitnehmererfindungsgesetz).


Competition Law

Marketing now plays a significant role in any successful business venture. Marketing approaches must be developed that do not cross the boundaries of unlawful competition. Should your competitors use unlawful means to enter the market place or thwart your own commercial development, immediate and firm action is required in order to protect your market position. We have the experience to provide you with comprehensive advice on competition issues with the shortest of timeframes. This applies to traditional advertising as well as modern forms of „online“ advertising.


Marketing Campaigns and Agency Contracts

Competition and advertising law encompasses far more than sending letters before action and making counterclaims. It also includes the structuring of agency contracts and ongoing legal advice on marketing campaigns. Marketing investment is only secure if legal advice has been taken. When advertising through new media channels and methods (viral marketing, social media marketing), it is vital both to know the legal framework and also have an appreciation of the issues that have not yet been addressed by the courts. We review your marketing campaigns thoroughly to identify potential risks and then structure and draft contracts with advertising agencies in order to share unavoidable risks in a way that reflects interests. We understand the legal and technical possiblities and limits of online marketing.

Defending Warning Off Procedures, Injunctions and Competition Proceedings

In competition law, even a careful business can face a situation where the registered rights of third parties are inadvertently infringed or strict competition law rules are overlooked on a marketing campaign. In such instances, competitors that are adversely affected are quick to invoke warning off procedures and injunctive proceedings. We represent you at the outset of proceedings and support you in relation to negotiations with the other party in order to achieve a negotiated resolution. Should court disputes be unvoidable, we will represent your interests in court proceedings.


Filing Pre-emptive Briefs

Although not the subject of statutory provision, a practice has arisen particularly in the area of competition law of lodging a so-called „pre-emptive brief“ with a court or a centrally designated registry in the event that a competitor is threatening injunctive proceedings. Before granting an injunction, the court will have recourse to the pre-emptive brief. This might result in the application for an injunction being refused or at least cause the court to schedule an oral hearing at which the parties’ interests can be fully represented. We advise businesses on whether or not to lodge a pre-emptive brief and, due to the urgency involved, draft them without delay should a pre-emptive brief be sensible and necessary.

Lawyers for Intellectual Property and Competition Law