Obtaining and managing rights

Obtaining rights

One of our principal missions is to obtain one or more IP rights on your behalf so that your innovations and creations are legally secure and exclusive to you.

Within this context, we essentially offer the following services:

Prior-art search

A prior-art search is a key preliminary step in assessing the patentability of an invention and/or the availability of a trademark or a design. It should therefore be performed prior to embarking upon lengthy and sometimes relatively expensive procedures.

An effective search is no task for an amateur. These days, technical and scientific information is abundant and accessible but the relevant information still has to be tracked down – quickly.

Our experts are well-versed in this type of exercise in the most varied and cutting-edge technical and scientific fields. Furthermore, our extensive experience in defending numerous cases before the authorities (patent and trademark offices) enables us to give you a pertinent and objective preliminary opinion.

An invention must indeed be novel and involve an inventive step over the prior art if it is to benefit from patent protection. A prior art search and a preliminary analysis permits to determine if the invention respects these criteria a priori.

To be protectable, a trademark shall be available and registrable.
A preliminary search enables to determine the availability of a trademark and to trace out the possible threats to its use and/or its registration.

Incidentally, a search of this kind often makes it possible to discover developments achieved by your competitors and even to check that your goods or services do not infringe third-party patents. [link] Freedom to operate.

Choice of a filing strategy

Despite there being a number of ways in which to ultimately achieve the same goal, namely obtaining IP rights in various countries of interest, not all result in the same effects or the same costs.
We have developed multi-criteria tools and we use these to decide which path is the most suited to your requirements and your constraints.
We are for example able to propose simple and effective strategies, and also more complex and dynamic ones. Moreover, we are fully prepared to venture off the beaten track if a novel approach might more effectively meet your objectives.
In every case, we attach a great deal of importance to the fact that the strategy we propose is optimal in terms of your expectations, constraints and possibilities.

Filing of applications and monitoring procedures

Once the various patentability requirements have been verified and filing strategies defined, we prepare, in close collaboration with you, a patent application aimed at providing you with an as extensive (technically speaking) scope of protection as possible.
This, in our opinion, is specialist work of fundamental importance as the patent application will be the basis of any future protection. We therefore give it particular attention.
Our team of specialists is currently able to draft applications in all fields of science and technology.

Once the registrability is checked and the best strategy defined, we prepare a draft classification which will determine the scope of protection.

Patents, trademarks and designs:
The next step is to file any application in your name and to monitor it on your behalf, pursuing your case before the various authorities until such time as the title is granted.

In particular, we are registered to represent you directly at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Belgian Patent Office, as well as the Benelux IP Office (OBPI) and the EU Office for IP (EUIPO).

Furthermore, thanks to a wide-ranging network of skilled colleagues, we have the ability to file and prosecute IP applications worldwide, which works to your strategic and economic advantage.
All steps in the procedure and any administration receive particularly close attention, and we manage deadlines with the utmost rigor.

If you are filing a number of IP applications, we are also able to provide portfolio management.

Managing rights and monitoring

Just as it is the case for a portfolio of stock market shares, it is no longer enough to set up a fixed, unchanging IP portfolio. An IP portfolio has to be managed proactively if it is to remain in line with the development of its proprietor, which obviously has to respond to market dynamics.
We are therefore pleased to offer you several levels of portfolio-management services:

Basic management

We monitor each IP right in your portfolio individually and act on your instructions, on a case-by-case basis.
For each case, this involves:
•  monitoring all legal procedures and deadlines;
•  forwarding relevant information to enable you to make appropriate choices at each milestone;
•  action in accordance with your choices, up to obtaining the titles;
•  maintaining IP rights in force by watching and paying renewal fees in the various countries for as long as protection may last;
•  recording changes of name or address, licenses, assignments or other transfers of rights with patent, trademark and design offices.

Advanced management

When there is a significant number of rights in a portfolio, it may be difficult to retain an overview of coverage, both technological and geographic, of the status of proceedings and of the costs thereof, and making choices in line with corporate strategy, products, markets, resources, etc. becomes a laborious task.

To assist you therein, we can provide you with a regular summary of your portfolio’s status, in addition to basic services.

This status report will cover, for each right:
a. The name of the invention, of the design or the trademark
b. the countries covered or potentially covered
c. the right holder(s)
d. the legal status of the proceedings (under examination, granted, expired, abandoned, etc.)
e. the next step in the proceedings and the deadline for that step
f. an estimated budget for completion of that next step

In our experience, a document of this kind is extremely useful as a basis for discussion and decision-making.

Integrated management

In the case of a very high number of IP rights in a portfolio, we can provide integrated management of your IP by seconding one of our professionals to your company on a part-time basis.
These cases being very specific, we invite you to contact us to discuss our proposals.

Trademark watches

Managing your IP rights in a proper way also include trademark watches. These watches trace out posterior trademarks filed by third parties and possibly deserving a reaction. It is indeed essential to protect the unique aspect of a mark in order to maintain its value. This watch will advise you of any identical or similar recently filed trademark in the watched classes and territories, with a short comment as to the possible action.