Technology

Services Technology Sector

Our provision of legal services to the technology industry is a key driver of the firm’s success.  Our technology practice forms the largest part of our client base, and we have been at the forefront of developing and applying IT law from interoperability to data protection, search engines to cloud computing, outsourcing to near sourcing, and all the disputes that can arise in this space.  This is exemplified by the fact that in the last year we have assisted technology clients in more than 20 transactions, as well as numerous contentious matters, with an aggregate deal value well in excess of €2 billion.

What does this mean for you? It means that we are known for our hands-on and tech savvy approach to IT deals of all shapes and sizes.  We have spent more than two decades advising clients through the dot.com and tech booms to bust and back, which experience we employ to help our clients understand and mitigate their risks and maximize their chances of success.   Our lawyers are deeply involved not only in the legal aspects of our IT clients’ businesses but also in the technologies themselves and the business strategies employed to best monetize those technological innovations. 

Strategic thinking.   We have played an important role in addressing the big picture aspects of the technology sector's growth over the last 20 years and this type of strategic thinking about what drives the technology industry drives the advice we provide.  Partners of the firm have been involved in many of the important cases concerning the application of EU competition law to IT and IP, including interoperability, standardization, search engines, cloud computing, etc, which is at the core of many issues facing IT and social media today.  And we use all this experience and thinking to help you see where your business lies within this strategic and legal landscape and improve your chances of both short and long term success.

Fund raising and M&A.  Our approach to investments and M&A in the technology space ensures that the investments and acquisitions  done by our clients are protected to the maximum extent possible with respect to intellectual property assets, which is the main driver for the valuation of technology companies.  We undertake vendor due diligence to ensure that we can remediate in advance issues that might complicate the capital raising process, which are mostly IT or IP focused.  And after the deal closes we are  often called upon by investors and companies to help fix the ssues identified during our due diligence activities.
 
Making Your IT Business Successful.  We are also advise numerous IT companies on the corporate and commercial aspects of their businesses, including complex licensing arrangements, open source matters, outsourcing, near sourcing, cloud computing, data protection, internet issues, and e-commerce.   And our advice is not limited to simply drafting the legal agreements -- we help our clients first to think about the best partner, then analyze how best to structure the relationship, then negotiate to negotiate that relationship to enhance the liklehood of success, and put it on paper in a way that minimizes tehr risk and maximizes their rewards.   It is this hands on, business driven approach that makes our relationship with our tech clients so strong — we are there trusted advisors, it is that simple.

Protecting your rights.  We also act for clients in managing their intellectual property portfolios.  This starts with analytical thinking about where to register and why taking into account cost and strategic value of the rights at issue to your business.  We then register and manage those intellectual property rights, and we have particular experience in managing world-wide trademark, copyright and design-right portfolios and we work with the best patent lawyers in the world to make sure our clients' patent rights are protected. Our clients that have used trademark offices and the like in the past tell us that we provide the whole range of services more professionally and at a lower cost.

When all else fails.  And if a deal goes wrong or if you are not able to reach an agreement for a license or if someone is infringing your rights or thinks you are infringing theirs, our lawyers have decades of experience representing clients in IP and IT related disputes of all sizes.  Our approach to disputes is strategically driven and we are always focused on finding a resolution that maximizes the value of your business, and in doing so we have acted in worldwide patent and trademark wars between giants, IT and IP mediations and arbitrations for house-hold name technology companies and start-ups, as well as national and international copyright, trademark and patent litigation in Belgium, Europe and the United States.  

How does this make a difference for our IT clients?  The bottom line is that our lawyers understand the technology, strategic,  and business considerations that drive IT businesses, and our clients regularly tell us that this is what differentiates us from other Belgian law firms ranked in all tiers for IT.  Employing the industry model to our technology practice that has been followed to great success by Morrison & Foerster, Wilson Sonsini and other US tier one IT practices, means we know what you do, how you do it, and what we can do to make you better, faster, which is what you tell us makes our firm (and our clients) different.