Intellectual property, information technology and data protection have become main driving forces behind the business of an increasing number of companies.
Our dedicated team of lawyers handles IP, IT and data protection cases at both national and international level, whether it is advisory, litigation or transactional work (in support of other practices within the firm).
Our approach is to fully understand the industry sectors in which our clients operate. We ensure that we understand each client’s commercial objectives and concerns, we anticipate the issues and we tailor our services to achieve the best possible strategy from an IP, IT and data protection perspectives. We believe in a practical, business-oriented approach to legal issues. If needed, we propose alternative dispute resolution, try to reach out-of-court settlements, or negotiate joint ventures instead of indefinitely pursuing litigation.
We enforce and advise on all aspects of trademarks and designs. We define a registration strategy and verify your freedom-to-operate. We defend your interests in opposition procedures (Benelux and EU) and before Belgian and EU courts. We are seasoned in drafting transfer, co-existence and license agreements.
We have a wealth of experience in high-end and complex copyright litigation cases, with a strong focus on the media. We advise on all aspects of copyright, neighbouring rights and databases.
We cover all patent litigation work such as enforcement, invalidity claims, declaration of non-infringement, interim injunction, cease and desist, and counterfeiting seizure. We advise on innovation related transactional work, such as technology transfer agreements, R&D projects, joint venture agreements, manufacturing agreements or financing projects involving IP key business assets. We also act as a first point of contact for prosecution or freedom-to- operate examination.
We are true licensing specialists who allow you to obtain the best value from all your intellectual property assets. We draft accurate licensing and transfer agreements and ensure the validity and compliance thereof from different angles (including competition and FRAND-licensing).
We advise on innovation related transactional work, such as technology transfer agreements, R&D projects, joint venture agreements, manufacturing agreements or financing projects involving IP key business assets. We also act as a first point of contact for prosecution or freedom-to-operate examination.
Trade secrets and unfair competition
We ensure that trade secrets and confidential data are safeguarded, e.g. during commercial negotiations and in employment agreements. If needed, we file ex parte requests to obtain further evidence of trade secrets infringement and we defend your case before the courts in order to obtain injunction measures and/or damages.
In order to make sure that nothing falls between the cracks, we often combine IP matters with market practices and unfair competition to cover the entire argumentation relating to infringements (e.g. passing off, advertising, trade names, labelling...).
We advise on, negotiate and draft IT contracts mainly for companies/IT users, assisting them in their dealings with professional IT suppliers, and we provide specialist support on M&A and corporate transactions involving complex IT issues or technology companies.
We review the validity of existing IT contracts, the adequacy of standard terms and conditions, and the legality of IT aspects in employment contexts (e.g. monitoring of electronic communications, BYOD policies, etc.) as well as the compliance of intranets and websites with data protection rules and electronic commerce regulations.
Privacy and data protection
Our services cover GDPR compliance audits and implementation projects; devising procedures for the transfer of (personal) data between different stakeholders, governmental bodies as well as countries both inside and outside the EEA; responding and assisting clients to respond to subject access requests; implementing compliant direct marketing, CRM, data-mining and social networking initiatives. Topics frequently advised on in the last year included; retention periods; data transfer between public authorities, use of tracking and GPS data; data exchange re payment services; profiling for price setting; data re connected vehicles.
Use of data by public authorities and PSI
We frequently advise on the (re-)use of data that public authorities disposes of or need/would like to use. Particularly PSI (Public Sector Information) as well as the conditions to charge for the re-use are hot topics currently. We have assisted governmental bodies regarding the re-use of data with respect to the implementation of Covid-19 related measures (compensation to be paid to beneficial of certain measures); we assist energy stakeholders regarding the re-use of data for new initiatives; we manage and coordinate the entire data exchange between first and second stakeholders of the maritime industry.
Our work covers everything from e-business start-ups, commercial and financial agreements and advice on tax, regulatory and competition issues to user generated content, liability of ISPs, copyright, branding, advertising, e-reputation, banking and payment systems, betting and gaming, consumer protection, and electronic signature or e-invoicing.
We represent clients before Belgian courts in various proceedings, such as counterfeiting seizure (aimed at gathering evidence of IP infringement), interim injunctions, infringement actions and the implementation of border measures involving customs authorities. We assist our clients up to the ultimate judicial level Cour de cassation) and in referrals for interpretation of EU and Benelux law before the CJEU and Benelux Court of justice.
OUR KEY STRENGTHS
Complex licensing and R&D agreement
Our recognized expertise in IP and contract law has enabled us to work on complex licensing, and R&D (including consortium) agreements, assisting clients active in various sectors such as aeronautics, medical devices or telecommunications, with drafting, review and negotiations.
Deep sector knowledge combined with strong capabilities in commercial and distribution law
Our longstanding expertise and extended knowledge of several key sectors combined with our capabilities in distribution law and commercial law brings an undeniable added-value to our IP advice.
Our exclusive membership to a number of international networks, amongst which Lex Mundi, the world’s leading network of independent law firms with an in-depth experience in 100+ countries worldwide, as well as our strong ties with UK and US law firms enables us to serve any type of client, anywhere in the world.
In order to provide a seamless service across a range of sectors and practice areas we often work closely together with other teams (Competition & European Law, Tax, Corporate, etc.) and cover Trade Practices & Consumer Law as well. Our trusted foreign correspondents and memberships to leading networks enable us to serve our clients whenever cross-border work is required.
Most of our lawyers are active members of major Belgian and international professional associations. Many of them frequently speak at conferences and have written or co-authored articles and books on IP, IT and data protection issues.
All team members are multilingual, facilitating effective communication with our clients.
Our clients operate in many industrial and commercial sectors including automotive, entertainment and media, fashion, technology, retail, telecommunications, pharmaceutical, healthcare, aerospace, food and beverage.
Our Relevant Experience
Advising a company specialised in telecommunications and energy, in a (pre-litigation) dispute with its subcontractor, during the performance of the contract with the end customer, the Belgian ministry of internal affairs, in a dispute relating to the alleged infringement of our client and the end customer of the intellectual property rights vested in the subcontractor’s software.
Representing the Belgian branch of a private bank in proceedings for misappropriation of confidential information and trade secrets brought before the Court of commerce of Gent by a private bank.
Assisting a public service broadcaster in the context of a threat of injunction following the announcement of the launch of a new media platform and more specifically on the use and filing as a trademark of the new name to rebrand its TV, radio and Internet channels addressed to the “Millenniums”
Providing a European aerospace company with a legal opinion regarding the interpretation and legal consequences of an R&D framework agreement relating to the Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) BroadWay - Innovation activity to enable a pan-European interoperable broadband mobile system for PPDR
Advising a medical device company in relation to a sublicense agreement to be concluded between Zimmer Biomet and hospitals regarding a mobile application for patients.
Advising an international discount retailer on (allegations of) trademark, trade names and copyright infringement and assisting with proceedings against another retailer regarding the use of a specific name for a loyalty App.
Assisting an association in litigation proceedings in both summary proceedings and proceedings to the merits regarding the early termination of the cooperation agreement with another party. We also advise the client on a question regarding the performance of existing license agreements with cable operators.
Assisting an automotive manufacturer in proceedings brought before the Entreprise Court of Liège against a former authorized dealer.
Assisting a renowned aerospace company, with strategic advice in relation to publicly funded R&D agreements (consortium agreements); the termination of a major IT outsourcing contract (worth 5 million euros) and the negotiations with third parties of a new agreement with a third party; the provision of advice related to data security with regard to US government over-reach laws.
Assisting one of the leading financial service providers in the automotive sector with the implementation of a large-scale IT infrastructure revamp, providing ongoing assistance with the drafting and negotiation of IT agreements at play and assisting with addendums to supplier agreements regarding information security requirements. In addition, we advise this client on a continuous basis regarding data protection related matters (e.g. question regarding background checks, tracking of GPS-data for non-compliance with lease agreements; monitoring of recent legal developments, e.g. Schrems II, contract drafting regarding the lease agreements and use of data ).
Assisting a real-estate investor, operator and developer and a Belgian Real-Estate Investment Trust with the revision of the legal disclaimer of its website
Advising an automotive manufacturer on amongst others, data protection related questions, in particular in the context of connected vehicles and the roll-out in Belgium thereof. We also assisted with a data protection assessment of VW ID tool and the response to several questionnaires in this regard, also covering questions of consumer law, online presence and e-commerce practices
Assisting a French world leader of stretch ceiling products, with the defense of its IP portfolio and underlying products in Belgium against its competitors, both in pre- litigation proceedings and in litigation proceedings
Advising a service club on its overall GDPR compliance strategy, including a.o. on (drafting and distributing) privacy policies, the organisation of the online member platform and the distribution of the membership books with contact details.
Assisting a spinoff of Leuven University specialised in software development services on a continuous basis with its licensing business, a.o. with international groups such as Johnson & Johnson and Borealis.
Defending the Belgian State before the Court of Appeal of Brussels in copyright litigation related to the former Belgian reprography litigation
Assisting an engineering company with the drafting of e-communications monitoring policy to be applied to employees
Assisting two entities of a multinational technology company with respect to data protection in Belgium, both in terms of CCTV use in buildings and with respect to customer and staff management. In this context, we audited the data processing carried out by Apple in Belgium as well as the related data flows, and were able to identify aspects in need of improvement and other aspects that needed to be made compliant.
Assisting a service provider in the communication between hospitals, insurers and patients, on a continuous basis with the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation and the processing of agreements with its partners.
Advising and assisting a confidential client with the review of several documents related to IT security, GDPR and data protection in the context of the organisation and set-up of their member enrolment system.
Assisting a data center company with the review, customisation and streamlining of different language versions of standard client contracts (data centers) resulting in the draft of a new uniform MSA. Also assisting the client when participating in large tender procedures (a.o. review of (contractual) documents, RFP and assist in drafting response and conduct negotiations with tendering party‘s counsel).
Awards & Recognition
‘Collaborative team, responsive, and diverse. They have been proactive in seeking to work with other international law firms to provide clients with a multi-jurisdictional response.’
‘They are very engaged in the issues; analytical and practical.’
‘Great team, very professional.’
‘Flexible and available. Compliant with deadlines. Very nice people to work with. They always try to build a personal relationship which makes working together more efficient.’
Legal 500, Intellectual Property, 2022
Can recommend Liedekerke for its professionalism, responsiveness, effectiveness and for being multilingual in its communications, reporting and court pleadings.’
‘Great team with a wide diversity of expertise. All very positive people and always looking to find new ways of collaborating with other international firms.’
‘Very responsive and they provide their advice in an easy to understand format’
‘The team is hands-on and all-round at the same time.’
‘The IP team is very friendly and approachable, and therefore fun to work with!’
‘Excellent expertise and very pragmatic approach. Looks for solutions. Other law firms often keep defending a position without looking at the total picture.’