Intellectual property & IP litigation

Intellectual property antitrust

Crefovi has an ‟Intellectual property antitrust” practice, which defends the exclusive rights of IP property holders. In particular, the group advises IP right owners on how to monetise their inventions against would-be competitors and the rights of would-be competitors against unwarranted claims of IP exclusivity.

Antitrust and intellectual property law defines the primary legal challenges confronted by the high technology and life sciences industries, and heavily influences innovation in every industry sector. Intellectual property rights protect an inventor’s contribution; at the same time, they exclude others from competing against the incumbent. London intellectual property law firm Crefovi has a team of ‟Intellectual property antitrust” lawyers, who litigate some of the most high-profile antitrust cases in this space and advise on some of the most challenging acquisitions. The team provides strategic advice on how to best use the antitrust and intellectual property laws to clients’ business advantage.

Clients benefit from Crefovi’s constant involvement in a significant number of ‟Intellectual property antitrust” matters at any given time. Given the depth and the complexity of the field, that kind of crucial experience is one of the reasons that clients trust the firm with their most strategically important matters.

Systems competition

High-tech products consist of hardware, software, intellectual property and business processes. Conflicts arise when plaintiffs seek access to parts of a system that the defendant seeks to reserve to itself. Such “access claims” are increasingly common in Europe and China. In the United States, companies with strong intellectual property rights and a sizeable customer base frequently find themselves accused of monopolising aftermarkets limited to their own brand. These claims often turn on a manufacturer’s right to refuse to licence or sell its patented replacement parts and copyrighted service software to third-party providers of ancillary goods and services.

Acquisitions & intellectual property antitrust

For many technology companies, intellectual property is the key asset on which the value of the company depends. The antitrust analysis of mergers and acquisitions is routinely driven by overlapping patent portfolios, potentially redundant R&D programs and the product pipeline. Crefovi’s lawyers have handled both high-profile technology mergers and acquisitions of patent portfolios.

Crefovi’s international platform, through its global network of local counsels, allows its lawyers to seamlessly coordinate merger notifications and agency negotiations across the EMEA and US jurisdictions.

Product distribution

Companies that rely on partners or affiliates for the distribution of their products and services frequently encounter antitrust obstacles around the world. Crefovi’s ‟Intellectual property antitrust” team is familiar not only with dual distribution and authorised reseller systems for physical goods but also with the complexities of distribution chains in the online advertising business, such as ad networks, ad exchanges, affiliate programs and syndication agreements.

Licencing, patent pools and standard setting

The lawyers of Crefovi routinely advise clients on complex licencing issues to maximise the value of their intellectual property. In that context, the firm also advises participants to standard setting bodies and patent pools. A particular focus of Crefovi’s practice has been the antitrust analysis of standards essential patents.

A global network

Clients praise Crefovi’s lawyers for their responsiveness & ability to understand the technical, business and legal aspects of each matter in relation to intellectual property antitrust, and come back, matter after matter, to be advised by them.

While London and Paris based, we routinely work across borders. The vast majority of our engagements are multi-jurisdictional. We are used to working in multinational teams, and rely on our network of specialist lawyers for support in other jurisdictions.

The team has therefore established an extensive international network of intellectual property law contacts and a close association with other specialist lawyers worldwide. Our history of successes in high profile, politically sensitive matters reflects an ability to act swiftly and with the utmost discretion.

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