Lohmanns Lankes & Partner » Focus Areas

IP & Patents

Achieve and maintain uniqueness and a unique position with suitable IP strategies

LLP Law|Patent’s services range from the basic filing and registration of IP rights to the development of targeted IP strategies and the successful enforcement of these rights. We consider every phase in the life of an IP right. Whether our clients wish to apply for a patent, a unitary patent, a utility model, a design patent, a plant variety right or a trademark, the LLP Law|Patent team guides companies and inventors through every step of the application process. Internationalization is a key factor here: with our expertise in European patent and PCT applications, we ensure that our clients’ inventions are protected across borders. Employee invention law poses a particular challenge for many companies.

Our advisors clarify and secure the rights of both the inventor and the company, thus ensuring clear conditions and smooth implementation. Finally, we also take on the ongoing administration and monitoring of property rights. In a digitalized world with global markets, the protection and successful exploitation of intellectual property is crucial for business success. LLP Law|Patent supports its clients in maximizing the value and reach of their intellectual property in a strategy-based manner. Together with our clients, we develop models for the optimal marketing and exploitation of their intellectual property rights, be it through appropriate business models or through targeted technology transfer. In doing so, we always take into account the individual needs and the market in which our clients operate. Unfortunately, IP conflicts are unavoidable, especially in a globalized economy. Our experts analyze such situations thoroughly and offer both preventive solutions and active defense strategies.

Experienced advice on copyright and software law

Software and databases are central components of the digital economy. Whether it concerns internal company processes or offers for customers, the legal aspects of software products are of crucial importance. LLP Law|Patent stands by its clients as an expert and experienced advisor in copyright and software law and supports them in all matters relating to software, from development to licensing and distribution. Software copyright and database rights differ in many ways from other forms of intellectual property. It is about the code and architecture itself, not the ideas and concepts it contains, although these can be protected as business and trade secrets. Software patents, on the other hand, offer protection for technical solutions that are implemented by software. They require careful examination and strategic registration to ensure optimal protection. Another critical topic in software law is FOSS/open source licenses and the use of AI. The use of free and open source software (FOSS), source-available software or AI such as language models (LLM) offers companies numerous efficiency benefits, but also entails risks with regard to the intellectual property rights of generated software and license compliance.

With regard to the latter, open source compliance audits are essential to ensure that companies comply with the terms of open source licenses and retain control over their own proprietary development assets. Here, LLP Law|Patent proactively supports companies to meet all requirements and minimize legal risks. International copyright law plays an important role when software is developed and distributed across borders, as is often the case. It is therefore crucial to understand the differences and similarities between international regulations and to take these into account when marketing software products. Legal aspects must already be taken into account during the development phase. This also includes the early consideration of regulatory requirements such as “Privacy by Design” specifications or those from the planned EU Cyber Resilience Act (CRA), e.g. with regard to the future mandatory creation of a Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) to verify software components contained in products.

Our specialty: Targeted advice for the research & development sector

For most companies advised by LLP Law|Patent, research and development (R&D) is a central component of their DNA in order to secure a pioneering role in constantly changing technology and business environments. In the field of R&D, there are numerous legal challenges from different areas of law which should be considered as early as possible in projects. We advise on the contractual design of joint collaborative research and development projects, including the exploitation of results within the framework of joint development agreements (JDAs) between industrial partners. In addition, LLP Law|Patent drafts and negotiates contracts for contract research with industrial development partners as well as with research institutions in Austria and abroad and negotiates or coordinates consortium agreements for publicly funded collaborative projects within the framework of funding programs of the federal states, the federal government (e.g. BMBF, BMWK) or the EU (Horizon, Marie-Curie).

Our track record is impressive: In the area of publicly funded collaborative projects alone, our lawyers have already negotiated or coordinated the negotiation of more than 200 consortium agreements for well-known industrial companies, including several flagship/large-scale projects. We advise on the various grant and state aid requirements for pre-competitive funding projects (NKBF, A/BNBest-P, Union Framework for State Aid, Grant Agreements, MCARD, DESCA etc.). LLP Law|Patent assists in ensuring compliance with the antitrust requirements for structuring cooperation in order to obtain exemption under the R&D & TTBER and advises on R&D-specific employment law issues such as nearshoring and offshoring, the prohibition on the creation of better products and employee invention law.