In addition to patent and trademark services, V.O. also provides legal services. The attorneys-at-law of V.O. advise and assist in drafting and negotiating intellectual property (IP) agreements such as license agreements, Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) and agreements regarding the sale of IP rights. In addition, our attorneys-at-law of course assist in and take on IP litigation cases.
V.O.'s legal practice is characterized by short lines of communication and tailored services. The strength of our attorneys-at-law lies in the combination of solid knowledge of the general commercial practice with specialist expertise in the field of intellectual property law. The close relationship with the patent and trademark attorneys of V.O. is a tremendous asset; this amongst others guarantees knowledge is and remains in-house resulting in high-quality work, delivered efficiently and with an eye for costs.
In addition to litigation support, and by no means meant as a complete listing, V.O.’s attorneys-at-law provide the following legal services:
Legal Quick Scan
The Quick Scan is an assessment of one or more of your legal documents. This first glace impression will identify the legal risks within your organization and provide you with an insight whether various IP issues are well covered.
Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)
Entering into a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) is essential to ensure that trade secrets, information about inventions or, for example, the development of a new product, remain secret and that your organization keeps all options open to protect them.
Material Transfer Agreement (MTA)
When you want to transfer or receive specific research material to or from another organization and the recipient is going to use it for his or her own research purposes, a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) is important. The rights and obligations of both parties should be clearly defined. A MTA, amongst others, should contain clauses stipulating how the material may be used, what should be done with the material after the termination of the agreement and on the attribution of liability for damages resulting from the use of the material.
Deed of Transfer of IP rights
If a patent or other IP right is not transferred correctly, this may have major consequences for the new owner. Flaws in the chain of title for example are known to cause difficulties if licenses are granted, when legal action against an infringer is initiated or during due diligence. Next to the assignment itself, there are tax aspects and liability issues usually require attention.
Waiver of Rights
With a waiver, an inventor waives his/her rights to the invention. Such waivers can be of importance during the prosecution.
License Agreements are generally long-term agreements. That is why it is important its provisions are drafted clearly, with an eye for both parties and future-proof. Such provisions amongst others should address the field of the license, the territory, whether or not the license is exclusive, reporting obligations, royalty obligations and payment schedules, targets or other anti-shelving meninism’s, an arrangement as to who will act in case of infringement and arrangements in case of a possible termination of the agreement.
Are you collaborating with other parties on a new product or innovation? In such ceases an agreement on the ownership of the outcome/results thereof is particularly important. Should an invention be made during the collaboration without an agreement in place, Dutch law stipulates both parties are fully entitled to the invention. A party thus may also transfer its share without the other party's consent and the costs for application and maintenance of the IP right in such case must be borne on a 50/50 basis. However, to grant licenses, the consent of the other party will be required.
IP clauses in Employment Agreements, Shareholder Agreements or Contracts for Professional Services
If an employee, or the director/shareholder is involved in innovation and/or designing, it is important that it is clear the rights to designs and/or inventions belong to the employer/company, unless there are good reasons to agree otherwise. Solid intellectual property clauses in the Employment Agreement, Shareholder Agreement, therefore are important. In addition, such clauses are of equal importance when external research is conducted or texts/designs are created, all to avoid unpleasant surprises at a later stage.
General Terms and Conditions
When you, as a tech-driven company, buy or sell products or render services, your general terms and conditions of sales - including the IP and non-disclosure clauses therein - deserve special attention. This is no different on the purchasing side; make sure your own purchasing terms and/or those of your suppliers are in line with your position.
IP infringement issues of course can be brought in front of a judge, however Settlement or Non-Assert Agreements might provide a solution to such issues as well.
Nowadays almost all businesses are active online. This comes with obligations such as a sufficient Privacy Statement on your website.
Scan for additional protection
Sometimes it is not advisory to file for protection, in other situations your IP right might end or even be terminated prior to its lifetime. That not necessarily leaves you empty handed since additional protection during or after the lifetime of your (registered) IP right could be an option.
A Dutch patent can lapse if the (annual) fees are not timely paid, the required translations are not submitted on time and/or other formal (validation) requirements are not met. Fortunately, there is a way to recover these patent rights.
Of course, this is not all and V.O. offers a much broader range of legal services. Curious about what our attorneys-at-law can do for your business? Contact them using the contact form below or by calling +31 (0)70 - 352 42 24.