IP, IT and new Technologies

Copyright

Copyright has been a concern of politicians, artists, Internet activists, and not only them for several years — copyright affects us all: Whether it's music, software, lectures, films, photographs, drawings, plans or texts: nearly every intellectual creation is subject to copyright protection, provided it has a certain level of creativity, i.e., individuality and originality. As part of our copyright services, our experts will point out your rights as well as your obligations, inform you about how to behave in the case of warning letters, how you can successfully defend yourself against injunctions and claims for damages or how you can document the enforcement of your copyright by suitable proof. We draft and negotiate licence agreements for granting and transfer copyright exploitation rights. In the case of copyright infringements (e.g. bartering platforms, file sharing) we will enforce your claims either out-of-court, by way of warning letter, or in court in civil proceedings. We provide advice in connection with the use of images of third parties, contact the author, support you in your dealings with owners of the rights, inform you about the scope of private copying, naming right, the right to personal image and the duration of the copyright. Our core competencies also include providing advice in connection with the design of your website and the drafting of copyright clauses.

Utility models and Patent Law

"People who do not invent, disappear. People who do not file patents, lose," proclaimed Erich Otto Häußer, a German lawyer and former president of the German Patent and Trade Mark Office. And he is right. Holders of patents and utility models may prohibit third parties from using their proprietary rights or allow them to use them on the basis of a licence. Our experts provide assistance in the filing and registration of patents and utility models in Austria (ÖPA), Germany (DPMA), in Europe (OHIM) and on an international level (WIPO) as well as in contract negotiations; we also review and draft licence agreements. In addition, we work with reputable patent attorneys. We prepare warning letters and enforce your rights in court, if necessary, by injunctions proceedings.

Internet and Multimedia Law

Internet Law (also: Online Law) covers all legal aspects that relate to the use of the World Wide Web (WWW). This is not an independent legal field, it is rather an interface between a number of legal fields. Common ground exists in particular with Civil Law, E-Commerce Law, Domain Name Law, Criminal Law, Competition Law, the law relating to names, Media Law, Telecommunications Law, Copyright Law, Trademark Law and Data Protection Law. Since Internet Law usually involves cross-border factual circumstances, conflict of laws rules have to be taken into consideration in addition to international legislation. Our experts provide competent advice on the many varied aspects of Online Law, such as domain grabbing in bad faith, abusive use of meta tags or regarding the obligation to publish an imprint and retention of data. We also solve any Media Law related issues and matters relating to the liability of persons establishing a link, infringements on social media platforms such as Facebook or on online auction platforms such as ebay.

E-Commerce

E-Commerce and online shopping have become an integral part of our daily life. However, carrying out electronic commercial transactions via the Internet is subject to extensive information duties, depending on whether the parties involved act in a B2C (business to consumer) or B2B (business to business) capacity. In this regard, especially the statutory provisions of the E-Commerce Act (ECG), the Act against Unfair Competition (UWG), the Telecommunications Act (TKG), the Austrian Civil Code (ABGB), the Copyright Act (UrhG), the Trademark Act (MschG) and the Private International Law Act (IPRG) must be observed. Our experts assist you in the implementation of your own ideas and provide support for your Internet presentation, from the first concept and development to the fully-fledged web store. We provide advice for dealing with customers, authorities and competitors, draft individual general terms and contracts tailor-made to the needs of your business, jurisdiction agreements and privacy policies as well as a legally secure imprint.

Media Law

At the interface of Public Law, Civil Law and Criminal Law, Media Law includes provisions on private and public information and communication. In particular, the rapid and continuous development of the media and of Media Law itself often leads to misunderstandings and unpleasant surprises, partly because the administrative penalties for violations are rather severe. And Media Law is not only binding on the press, publishing companies and broadcasting companies, but also affects all entrepreneurs who operate a website or a web shop or who publish a newsletter: Each webpage is deemed to be a medium to which the provisions of the Media Act (MedienG) apply — this may even apply to an email, if it is directed to a broader group of people. Our experts will advise you in regard to duties of disclosure, information and imprint, as well as about the obligation to identify paid advertisements and the often difficult distinction between large and small websites.