The Commercial and Technology/IP team helps its clients to ensure that their businesses are properly protected by producing clear and understandable contracts, combining technical expertise with a highly commercial and down-to-earth approach.
We also have substantial experience of advising on a range of intellectual property (IP) matters – including trade marks, copyright, registered designs and, in some cases, patents.
We build close, long-standing relationships with our clients so that we fully understand their business objectives. This enables us to take a proactive role in reviewing clients’ existing arrangements as their businesses and products/services develop.
Our experience covers a wide range of sectors but we set out below just a few examples.
We often get involved in contracts for the supply of equipment, for example we negotiated and drafted a £10 million contract for the purchase and installation of equipment for one of our client’s major laundry facilities. We also helped to negotiate a US$ 2 million contract for the supply, on a tripartite basis, of equipment and software for the film industry required by an Indian film and TV company.
Many of our clients are in the IT sector, for example we provided advice and support to a client in the negotiation of a major contract with a group of Swiss-based companies for the provision of apps for gyms, and we advised on two new IT contracts for another longstanding client – a collaboration agreement for the provision to a university of an online alumni community, and an agreement to appoint a business partner to resell the client’s online solutions in Australia which included the consideration of various data exporting issues.
We have substantial expertise in data protection issues and in the run up to GDPR undertook a number of data protection workshops and audits, in conjunction with cyber security experts Ziptech Services, following which we provided updated documentation and general assistance to the clients as part of their GDPR compliance preparations. We have also provided detailed advice on data exporting issues for clients organising international events and patient trials for clients in the pharmaceutical sector, and we continue to guide clients with ongoing on privacy issues such as breach reporting and how EU to UK data flows will be impacted by Brexit.
Examples of work in other industry areas include trade mark licensing agreements for a client whose business is the management of its customers’ brand portfolios, manufacturing licences for clients in sectors as diverse as food manufacturing and luxury goods, and providing contract support to clients specialising in the provision of apprenticeship training services.
Our IP work has included undertaking extensive patent due diligence (in conjunction with patent attorneys) ahead of a joint venture arrangement; advising on trade mark and other IP issues arising from a client’s acquisition of a business; helping a client to resolve long-standing trade mark issues arising from its relationship with its US distributor; and advising an upcoming YouTube star on new contracts which involved redefining the ownership of certain IP and complex negotiations regarding future royalties.
During the Covid-19 outbreak we have provided support to clients whose businesses have been impacted by the lockdown, for example reviewing how contracts can be terminated or varied and advising on force majeure clauses.
We are also able to offer a range of options for supporting in-house legal teams including providing staff on temporary secondments, remote helpline support and workshops for staff on issues such as contract negotiations and data protection training.