When negotiating license agreements, the first thing to consider is financially appropriate and practicable arrangements. However, a number of legal regulations must also be observed. In addition to general contract law, these include, above all, antitrust regulations as well as special laws with regard to the respective property right, such as copyright law, patent law, trademark law or design law. In the case of international contracts, private international law and international procedural law are also relevant.
Experience has shown that smaller companies in particular, especially if they are in the role of the licensee, refrain from seeking legal advice and representation in the course of contract negotiations. This is regularly due to cost considerations. In practice, this often leads to regulations that are disadvantageous for the licensee or sooner or later lead to conflicts. In retrospect, foregoing advice and representation at the beginning of the contractual relationship can cost many times the savings in the further course.
This becomes particularly critical if confidential information is disclosed at the beginning of the potential contractual relationship in the confidence of future cooperation – but at the same time an optimal contractual regulation and documentation is dispensed with. If cooperation then fails, the IP right holder risks a de facto loss of his asset.
Negotiating “on one’s own” is also very critical in the case of renegotiations in the event of alleged sublicensing or other performance problems. Here, too, money is often given away out of misconceived thriftiness, because the legal positions of the parties in general and the scope of the respective industrial property right in particular are incorrectly assessed.
The law firm is available for negotiation support from the first contact with the potential cooperation partner.