IP, IT and Trade Practices
The IP, IT and Trade Practices department is headed by Mireille Buydens and Hans Dhondt, two leading lawyers in these fields in Belgium.
The team is highly appreciated by its clients for its resourcefulness, pragmatism and thorough knowledge of the field.
The team advises and assists clients in drafting and negotiating IP-related agreements, including license agreements, research and development agreements (R&D), consortium agreements (with a special expertise in EU funded projects), merchandising and sponsoring agreements, non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), technology transfer and liens on intellectual property assets.
Our expertise in the field of litigation is also widely recognized. We assist companies in collecting evidence of infringement of their rights (unilateral proceedings), defend their interest in legal proceedings and help them to obtain corrective measures (recall and destruction of products, compensation for damages). The team is also highly experienced in arbitration. The partners of the department are regularly appointed as arbitrators in ICC and CEPANI proceedings.
Lastly, the team is also consulted for audits and due diligence in intellectual property, e.g. in connection with an acquisition.
Our team has extensive expertise in data protection matters. It helps clients in their compliance processes and implementation of the GDPR.
We also assist our clients in drafting and negotiating various IT-related agreements (consultancy agreements, software development agreements and license agreements), and in litigation relating to such agreements.
We are also often consulted in media-related conflicts (right to reply, civil liability of journalists).
We advise our clients on matters such as:
- Advertising regulations and protection of consumers
- Unfair market practices, unfair competition and passing off
- Regulations regarding marketing and promotional campaigns (e.g. lotteries and gambling activities)
Our strengthsInsight into our clients
Our experience has taught us that it is essential to understand the industries in which our clients operate. This is why we have a thorough knowledge of the different sectors (chemicals, petrochemicals, engineering, food industry, cosmetics, etc.) for which we have worked for more than 20 years.
Experts in our field
We are experts in the fields in which we are active. The partners of our department regularly publish on IP/IT. Some of them are consulted on a regular basis by the Belgian authorities in the drafting of new legislation in their areas of expertise.
We advocate a commercial and pragmatic approach in all of the matters we deal with. It is our goal to find tailored solutions for our clients' problems. Wherever feasible we propose alternative solutions to legal proceedings (mediation, settlement agreements, joint ventures or licensing contracts).
We are fully aware that in the current economic climate, legal support constitutes a cost that needs to remain manageable. This is why we work at very competitive rates and strive to minimize costs for our clients.
- Representation of a large company in the supply of electrical equipment in a cross-border litigation regarding patent infringement
- Representation of a manufacturer of medical devices in a cross-border litigation regarding trade secrets violation. This was one of the first trade secrets cases to be litigated before the Belgian courts after the entry into force of the trade secrets directive. The case was won before the Court of appeal of Mons
- Representation of a group of European companies and universities in a litigation regarding a H2020 consortium agreement
- Assistance for a U.S. company and its Belgian subsidiary in a dispute across Belgium and France concerning a European patent. The case was won in France and was settled globally before a Belgian judgment could be delivered
- Representation of a U.S. biotech company in a patent dispute with the Belgian state before the Belgian courts and the Belgian Constitutional Court (concerning the question of whether or not the Belgian state can refuse the registration of a European Patent because translations are not submitted in time). The case was won before the Constitutional Court (decision 16 of January 2014) and thereafter before the Belgian courts
- Representation of a Japanese pharmaceutical company in a patent dispute (supplementary protection certificate) against a French company and a research institute
- Representation of a multinational in the food industry in various proceedings concerning the commercialization of look-alikes by retailers
- Assistance for a Belgian publisher (part of a multinational company) in its relations with the copyright holders on comics