Intellectual Property

Patents

We are generally recognised as leading within patents. We advise on patents and related knowhow and trade secrets both in contentious matters and commercial transactions, including assignments, licence agreements, R&D agreements and consortium agreements. Our experience in this area of the law spans across a number of industries, such as pharmaceuticals and other life sciences, the oil and gas industry, aquaculture and consumer goods.

 

Trademarks

We advise on trademarks and brand protection in Norway. We have assisted holders of household name brands with strategic advice and have represented them in litigation, helping them enforce their trademarks or defending them against allegations of trademark infringement. We regularly assist clients in developing their brand through licence agreements, distribution agreements, co-branding agreements and franchising. We offer Trademark registration and portfolio management services in our GR Trademarks department.

 

Copyright

Copyrighted works are valuable assets in the digital age, due to the increasing use of such works in digital media. Copyright is important both to individual creators, and as part of the IP portfolio of any business, in particular in the media industries. We advise on all aspects on copyright law for rights holders within the music and audiovisual industries, and represent right holders and collecting societies in negotiations, enforcement and disputes.

 

Designs

Design registration offers protection for the visual appearance of products. We assist clients in their development of design protection strategies, with registration and enforcement of design rights. The number of registered designs in Norway is low, but protection of unregistered designs may also be available under copyright or unfair competition law.

 

Marketing law and unfair competition law

Unfair competition law protects businesses against unfair marketing and business practices on the part of competitors. Unfair competition law is related to IP protection and is often relied upon together with or in addition to IP infringement claims. Marketing law regulates and restricts the marketing activities of businesses to provide protection of consumers. Many industries have sector-specific marketing regulations.  Pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, skin care products and the travel industry are examples of this. There is often an interplay between unfair competition law and marketing law, as both restrict businesses’ freedom to act on the market. We advise clients and help them comply with both.

 

Trade secrets

Sometimes IP protection is not available, or the proprietor of valuable technical or commercial information decides to keep it secret instead of relying on IP protection, typically patent protection. In either case, care should be taken to devise a viable strategy to maintain secrecy and uphold legal protection for trade secrets. We have experience developing such strategies, and litigating agreements and statutory rights to the protection of trade secrets.

 

Employees’ rights

Most inventions and other creations are conceived by individuals that are, at the time when they make the invention, the employees of a business or a public office. Under the laws of many countries, including Norway, employee inventors have certain inalienable rights. This area of the law is not well known to many, but the number of disputes about employee inventors’ rights is on the rise. We provide specialised advice on employees’ rights, including the development of IP and non-compete clauses in employment contracts, and the implementation of employee inventors’ reward programmes.