It is a fact commonly overlooked: in principle anyone is legally permitted to copy the achievements of third parties, provided there are no conflicting IP rights (and provided no unfair competition is involved). This applies not only to you, but also, of course, to your competitors if they try to take advantage of your research and development by adopting them in part or even in their entirety. Intellectual property rights provide the most effective means of protection against imitation:
- Patents and Utility Models: for protecting products and methods that embody technical innovation.
- Trademarks: for simply providing an indication of origin – in the form of a name, a logo or a characteristic colourway or shape.
- Designs: for protecting the external aesthetic appearance and effect of a product.
To protect your idea from unwelcome surprises we will advise you as to the most appropriate IP right for your product and support you all the way from application to grant (or registration) and of course beyond!
Protection of Your Intellectual Property:
Working in close co-operation with you, we formulate the appropriate IP applications for your invention, your trademark or your design and guide you all the way through to grant or registration – worldwide too! To that end, we advise you on application strategies that are advantageous for you and your product, while always keeping an eye on the cost aspects.
With a view to avoiding possible future IP infringements and distinguishing your new IP applications from the IP rights of third parties, we search for third-party patents, trademarks and designs, analyse the IP landscape and assist you in finding workaround solutions.
We can manage your IP rights over their entire lifetime, ensure timely payment of annuities and maintenance fees and advise you of all necessary measures for maintaining and optimising your IP portfolio.
We can monitor new IP applications by your competitors to alert you early on to what participants in your market are working on – long before their products appear in the market.
LBP provides you with guidance and support through all stages of your product development – and beyond.
Our strong team of patent attorneys has the required expertise and the necessary resources to assist you in monitoring and enforcing your own patents, trademarks and designs and in defending them against the IP rights of your competitors.
We also have the right contacts: in contentious proceedings before the courts and in proceedings having international dimensions, we work with a worldwide network of (law) offices having the relevant expertise to assert your rights and to defend claims made against you.
We help you to enforce your rights …
… against new applications by third parties: we monitor new applications by your competitors in order that potential IP conflicts can be avoided or countered in good time.
… against conflicting competitor products: we assess your competitors‘ products, compare them with your own IP rights and co-ordinate appropriate measures – from „friendly“ right-of-use enquiries, through out-of-court cease-and-desist orders to infringement actions before the courts.
Every market participant must keep abreast of the IP rights of competitors and take note: ignorance is no defence!
If you nevertheless find yourself confronted by an allegation of infringing a third-party IP right, we work with you to find the best way to deal with it. At the same time as carrying out a thorough analysis of the third-party IP right and looking for its weak points, we also review your product to draw up valid non-infringement arguments and develop suitable defensive measures which may, of course, also include counter-attacks.
Many potential disputes can be settled privately or out-of-court by a mutual agreement and to the benefit of both parties in advance of official or judicial proceedings. This way of avoiding disputes is a particular focus of our legal practice at LBP.
But LBP is also your first contact for expertise in all other types of contractual arrangements in connection with intellectual property law – from a simple declaration of assignment for a newly acquired IP right through to complex multi-party co-operation agreements.
The valuation of intellectual property rights – especially patents and trademarks – requires sound legal know-how.
There are a variety of methods that can be used to determine the value of an intellectual property right or even an intellectual property right portfolio
- in the purchase and sale of companies and company shares,
- in the selection of suitable financing models for companies or
- for tax law and company law structuring.
We have the competence and practical experience to record property rights in monetary terms, to examine them qualitatively for their value and to assess the risks that may be associated with them.