Technology has since long become mainstream in the business world. It is a critical tool for organizations and many new applications are starting to make their mark on the business world: cloud computing, big data analytics and the internet of things, to name only a few. In the light of these developments, data is becoming a more important business asset than ever.
We take these developments seriously enough to dedicate a team solely to ICT law, privacy and data protection law, and intellectual property law. Our lawyers have developed a strong legal expertise in this area and have a sound knowledge of the ICT sector, its practices and standards.
Our day-to-day practice covers the drafting and negotiation of technology contracts, legal advice, intellectual property audits, strategy definition and enforcement, as well as technology related dispute prevention and resolution. We also have a special expertise in the field of privacy and personal data protection, our partner Johan Vandendriessche being renowned as an expert on this topic.
ICT Sourcing and Contracts
We help economic players, such as ICT suppliers, banks, insurance companies, utilities companies, hospitals and media groups to determine their contractual requirements in tender procedures and to challenge competitors, draft and negotiate contracts and, finally, help to close the deal. In doing so, we ensure that the contractual documents serve as an effective tool for preventing costly legal proceedings, if that need arises.
With years of experience in assisting both ICT suppliers and their clients in securing technology-related deals, we have acquired an exceptional vantage point on the market standards for contractual clauses in technology contracts and the risk assessments made by ICT supplier and clients. This often enables us to cut through lengthy negotiations and allows our clients to close deals more quickly.
We also guide suppliers through public and private tenders and assess the relevant risks, and we ensure they are treated fairly.
Finally, we also provide in-house training to legal and procurement departments on all aspects of contract drafting and contract negotiation. Training is based on a mix of theory and practice and supported by elaborate documentation.
Privacy, Data Protection and information security regulations
General and sector specific laws and regulations impose substantial restrictions with regards to the processing of data and information, especially in case of personal data. These laws and regulations also impose or recommend specific information security obligations, often enforced by (regulatory) fines. Finding your way in this complicated matter is becoming increasingly difficult.
We can assist you with the set-up of data processing and information security strategies, give you practical advice on how to process personal data and support you with the technical formalities of a notification or an authorization request. All this will enable you to use data protection compliance as a reputational asset on the market:
- compliance audits
- advice in relation to the processing of personal data
- reviewing and drafting disclaimers, policies and data processing agreements
- notifying any data processing activity with the Belgian data protection authority
- filing authorization requests with the Belgian data protection authority (or its various subcommittees)
- advising on various mechanisms for international flows of personal data
- information security and compliance questions
- training (raising awareness and improving compliance)
We have a thorough experience in relation to copyright law, the legal protection of software and databases, domain names, trademarks and the legal aspects of open source software. We help you setting up a comprehensive IP strategy by securing the rights on your creations, understanding the exact scope of protection and enforcing your rights where necessary.
As a corollary to drafting technology contracts, we have a large experience with IP related contracts, such as licence agreements, assignment agreements, collaboration agreements, research and development agreements and even confidentiality agreements.
E-Commerce and Online Services
Our clients go online and we help them crossing the bridge between the offline environment and the online environment.
We advise our clients on all aspects of e-commerce, both in a B2B and a B2C context:
- Website disclaimers and conditions
- Conditions for B2B or B2C sales of products and services
- Advice on online advertising (e.g. e-mail marketing and viral marketing)
- Providing advice on the legal aspects of promotional contests and games, as well as drafting the conditions thereof
- Online liability issues
ICT and Intellectual Property Litigation
Besides drafting and negotiating contracts, we also advise on the scope and interpretation of agreements in the context of dispute prevention and dispute resolution. It is our experience that a correct assessment of the parties’ rights and obligations is a crucial step in avoiding expensive and time-consuming litigation.
However, court proceedings cannot always be avoided. Whenever necessary, we can represent you in ICT litigation. You may count on our experience to defend your rights before the courts and in front of (court appointed) technical experts, but also on our dedication to explore the possibilities of a negotiated solution at all stages of the proceedings.
We also assist our clients in IP litigation. We can help you assessing the nature and extent of your rights and any infringements. Where necessary, we assist you in enforcing your intellectual property rights or defending against enforcement actions taken against you.