IP has become a key asset in the competitive struggle between companies. That is why, beyond traditional services, our experts also advise you also about the following aspects:
Opinion on freedom-to-operate (FTO)
Before putting a new product on the market or operating a new process, and preferably before embarking upon any R&D with a view to obtaining that product or process, it is highly recommended to ensure that you are legally free to do so. Having protected your product or your method does indeed not necessarily allow you to exploit it. 0ne must also respect the intellectual property rights of third parties.
We can undertake a study of this type, which includes assessing the product or process in question, searching potentially relevant IP rights of third parties (patents, designs), and evaluating the validity of those rights and their scope of protection in terms of your project.
A preliminary audit prior to a merger or acquisition operation generally comprises a component relating to the target’s intellectual property.
This evaluation can be undertaken by our experts, either from the purchaser’s side or from the vendor’s side, in order to assess the value of the portfolio, the chances of success for the various pending applications, the soundness of granted patents, designs and trademarks, and whether the IP portfolio is appropriate to corporate strategy.
How can you guarantee that your own specialists submit good ideas, that these ideas are correctly evaluated and that they result in appropriate and effective patents, designs or trademarks?
When collaborating with another company, how can you guarantee the intellectual property issues are properly managed?
We have acquired wide-ranging experience in the organization and evaluation of these processes and can assist you in setting up the most effective structures within your company.
Competitive intelligence/Technical watch
Nowadays, any business must have clear, in-depth and up-to-date knowledge of the technical field in which it is active, as well as of the products and trademarks of its competitors.
The professional patent, trademark and design databases to which we have access are an extremely rich source of information to acquire or enhance this knowledge. They allow in particular:
• to closely monitor your competitor’s developments;
• to gather technical information that might be relevant for your future innovation projects; and
• to verify that your activities do not constitute an infringement of third-party IP rights.
To provide you with relevant, top-quality prior-art searches, we can make our long experience in this practice and our technical, legal and scientific skills in varied areas available to you.
IP law and doctrine
IP law is far from being uniform around the globe and it is constantly chang-ing. We keep ourselves up-to-date with these changes in order to be able to answer any of your questions as accurately as possible.
For our clients and, in particular, our foreign colleagues, we can for example provide clarifications concerning particular points of IP law and practice in Belgium and in Europe, on subjects such as the use of languages in Belgium, seizure/description procedures, the way in which the Belgian courts handle the doctrine of equivalents (DOE), or the adaptation of patent applications drafted in the United States to European requirements.
Our « 360° » approach
We may rely on a broad expertise in all IP rights to have a clear picture of the whole situation and to offer you solutions accurately answering your needs. The most perfect solution on a strictly legal point of view is not always the one best meeting with your interests!
We therefore not only take into consideration administrative, technical and legal aspects, but also commercial and economic interests.
Defining a strategy
As an entrepreneur, you will have a clear vision of your business strategy and of its various conventional aspects: technology, marketing, finance, organization, etc.
Nevertheless, as complex an area as establishing a global intellectual property (IP) strategy to strengthen your corporate strategy requires multiple skills.
The experience we have acquired in partnership with numerous other businesses enables us to propose IP strategies to suit your individual business strategy, providing you with a long-term, decisive competitive advantage.