Your intellectual property is vital to your business’ success. Recognisable logos and trademarks are the hallmarks of a profitable company. Make sure that you benefit from the services of our intellectual property lawyers. Our lawyers will help you keep up with technological advancements and developments in the law in this area. We have many clients in this field, including Start-Up companies, photographers, actors, authors, film and music producers, and artists and bloggers.
At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB we provide comprehensive advice in intellectual property law. Our lawyers advise on all matters relating to copyright law, trademarks, intellectual property due diligence and support you in litigation and other disputes. As a full-service law firm who are active all over Germany, we are your reliable legal partner in the field of German intellectual property law.
What is Intellectual Property?
Intellectual property rights generally fall into four main areas: copyright, trademarks, design rights and patents. Just as the law protects ownership of personal property and real estate, it also protects the exclusive control of certain intangible assets, in this case, intellectual property. The legislature set up intellectual property laws to protect creators’ legal and moral rights.
As opposed to industrial property rights, the protection starts automatically once the work is created, and no special registration is needed. A work enjoys copyright protection when it is a person’s own intellectual creation and demonstrates a sufficient level of originality. The Urheberrechtsgesetz (the German Act on Copyright and Related Rights) codifies the assertion and enforcement of a creator’s (or right holders) rights when dealing with non-entitled users.
Claims for injunctions and damages are of particular importance in this context. The creator can rely on many methods to assert their rights, which range from a warning made out of court to proceedings in the form of an application for an injunction or a substantive hearing.
Copyright Law: Protecting and Challenging Copyright Claims
The work of copyright lawyers allows creative individuals and companies to protect their work from infringements by third parties. If a person or company has been innovative and has created something new, then it is important for them to have security under the law.
At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte, we advise and represent clients from all sectors in the field of German copyright law. Our copyright lawyers will answer your questions surrounding the protection of their intellectual property (texts, graphics, photos, films, music and software). Our services range to the enforcement of (in or out of court) and defence against copyright law claims for injunctions, damages, and the provision of information.
DMCA Takedown Notices: Legal Advice
Although the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) is a United States copyright act, the international nature of the internet means that it can impact people in Germany. For example, those who use cloud storage services from the USA can be affected by a DMCA takedown notice, and DMCA takedown notices can work hand-in-hand with similar German provisions under § 97a Urhg (German Copyright Act). A DMCA takedown order can have serious consequences for both businesses and private individuals who have dealings in the USA, and should not be ignored.
Our legal team advises both copyright holders and those who have been issued DMCA takedown notices. For copyright holders, our legal team will assess the alleged breach and outline whether they require a copyright infringement order. If such an order is justified, our lawyers offer effective anti-piracy strategies for our corporate clients as well as for individuals.
For those who have been issued a DMCA takedown notice, it is critical to work with an intellectual property lawyer to ensure that the order has been issued properly. All too often, those who have been issued such a notice do not take the step to challenge it, even where a challenge may be successful. Allow our team of legal experts to analyse your case and determine whether the DMCA Notice should be challenged.
Drafting & Review of German IP Contracts and Licences
When entering into agreements concerning your company’s intellectual property, expert contract law assistance should be high on your priorities. Using standard contracts, which have not been overseen or drafted by experienced contract lawyers, can lead to incomplete contracts which do not cover every eventuality. Standard contracts can lead to missed opportunities and leave your company open to legal conflicts arising.
Our lawyers at Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte have in-depth knowledge of the requirements of German contract law and will draft contracts which fulfil your company’s goals. Combining our expertise in the fields of intellectual property and contract law ensure that our lawyers will cover every base when drafting your agreements.
At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte our team also possess industry-specific knowledge in areas such as automotive, aviation, insurance, gaming, sports and eSports. Allow our practice group to examine your IP contracts, licence agreements and confidentiality clauses. Consult with us when considering collaboration agreements, distribution contracts, software development contracts and publishing agreements.
IP Due Diligence in Mergers & Acquisition Transactions
IP due diligence is an essential element when companies are involved in mergers and acquisitions. For prospective purchasers, analysing the target company’s IP assets is one of the many vital tasks that need to be performed when assessing the value of that enterprise. However, this IP due diligence should not be considered restricted to the buyer; the seller should also conduct due diligence on their IP assets in preparation for such a transaction. Increasingly, the IP value of a company is one of their most important assets and it is crucial to determine this in advance of complex negotiations. Such steps will ensure smooth dealings with prospective purchasers.
Our intellectual property lawyers provide corporate clients with on-going support in their intellectual property issues. Allow our experts to advise your company on best practices and let us design IP due diligence checklists. Taking such proactive steps ensures that your company remains fully aware of the value within your brand and your IP and what protection you have for your creative output.
The due diligence services of our legal team will help to prevent costly legal cases, as we will outline the extent of your legal protection, we will determine whether other companies may be in breach of your intellectual property rights and protect your company from breaching the IP rights of others.
Litigation and Legal Disputes: German Intellectual Property Law
Creators, publishers and owners often require legal representation to protect their material. At Schlun & Elseven, we have a dedicated intellectual property team that works with corporate clients of various sizes to protect their copyright. Having worked hard to create your company and have a brand identity, protecting your rights is crucial.
Breaches of intellectual property law are deemed to exist for trademarked logos or emblems where they are not distinct from each other and where the public may be misled. In such cases, the other company can be deemed to be using your business’ success to push forward its brand. Resolving conflicts outside of court is preferable, and with our intellectual property lawyers on your side, we will look to achieve that. We issue warning letters for our clients and look for cost-effective means of achieving success where possible. However, should the case reach the courts, we will be by our client’s side throughout the process.
Our lawyers have represented both sides of the conflict, meaning that we can advise you competently on potentially unjustified or exaggerated claims and copyright warnings. It is not uncommon for newer firms to receive such warning letters from more prominent companies without full justification.
Trademarks in Germany: Legal Advice
Trademarks are of vital importance in the world of business and can be of significant intangible value. They convey a product’s quality and reputation to customers, strengthen trust, and create recognition value. It is a challenge to think of a successful business that does not have recognisable trademarks. This is why they are in particular need of protection, and why working with trademark lawyers is of great importance.
At Schlun & Elseven Rechtsanwälte our lawyers advise on all issues relating to German trademark law. Should your company have been accused of breaching German trademark law it is vital to consult with our German trademark lawyers. Our legal team will examine the claims made and determine the best course of action for your firm based on the circumstances. It is important not to panic in such a situation and to take the time to consult with experts.