Protecting and maintaining intellectual property

Innovation, know-how and marketing have become determining factors for a company’s success. Protecting and maintaining intellectual property (IP) is essential. For many companies, success and growth may be dependent on their intellectual property and innovation strategy.

Our Intellectual Property team works nationally and internationally, both at a Benelux and a European level. We work together with the global specialists in our network, which spans Europe, the U.S. and Asia. We frequently represent clients in the national courts in the Benelux and at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. We also apply customs procedures in order to prevent the import, transit and export of infringing goods.

NautaDutilh works for a wide range of corporations and institutions in many sectors. Our spectrum of clients ranges from leading multinationals to innovative start-ups, covering such areas as consumer goods (e.g. luxury goods, fashion and food & beverages) and the life sciences industry (e.g. pharmaceuticals, medical devices, biotechnological products) and healthcare. In addition, NautaDutilh is very active in the telecom, energy, electronics, financial and entertainment sectors.

NautaDutilh advises and represents national and international clients on intellectual property matters. The types of cases we handle include:

  • Patents
  • Trademarks
  • Copyrights
  • Designs
  • Trade names
  • Internet domain names
  • Transactions (licences, pledges, transfers, listings, mergers & acquisitions)
  • Advertising
  • Know-how/trade secrets
  • Counterfeiting and piracy

In the case of mergers, acquisitions and listings, we vet the ownership, validity and accurate assignment of intellectual property rights. We are also regularly involved in partnering, licence programmes, IP structuring (for strategic and/or tax reasons) and vesting security rights on IP rights.

  • Unified Patent Court

    Europe has kicked off a new era in patent litigation with the introduction of the Unified Patent Court (UPC), which has opened its doors as of 1 June 2023. The UPC system provides the opportunity to have a patent enforced or invalidated with one single stroke in all participating EU Member States.

    Our UPC Task Force is dedicated to guide you through these recent, significant changes in the European patent landscape and has a strong presence in all three Benelux countries. The team advises domestic and international clients, from innovative start-ups to leading multinationals, spanning a variety of fields including pharma, biotech and telecoms. Their work encompasses cross-border disputes as well as advisory work (including strategies, licensing and due diligence). The team’s experienced litigators represent clients in our national courts, at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, and of course – now that it has entered into force – at the Unified Patent Court.

    Patents in the Benelux
    The UPC has a strong footprint in the Benelux. Both the Netherlands (The Hague) and Belgium (Brussels) have a Local Division of the court, while Luxembourg is the seat of not only the existing Court of Justice of the EU (from which the UPC may request preliminary rulings regarding EU law) but also of both the Court of Appeal and the Registry. With prominent Dutch and Belgian judges having been appointed to the local divisions and the Court of Appeal, Benelux judges are well represented in the UPC.

  • Highlighted work


    • FENDI in a design and copyright infringement procedure before the Luxembourg Court of appeal in relation to a bag that COACH commercialised and that looked like FENDI’s iconic PEEKABOO bag
    • Goodyear in patent disputes
    • Tigercat’s distributor in a damages claim brought by Caterpillar against it for the alleged infringement of the use of the trademark CATERPILLAR for heavy machinery in Luxembourg
    • The European Commission with legal questions in the field of healthcare regulatory and assignment of IP rights in relation to a study on bringing AMR (antimicrobial resistance) medical countermeasures to market
    • Canal+ Luxembourg in an infringement case brought by SKY in relation to the use of sign 'Skylink' in the Czech Republic and Slovakia


    • Citroën in pan-European injunction proceedings against the use of Polestar’s double chevron logo
    • Glaxo Group in defending its EU trade mark registration for a three-dimensional purple inhaler before the EU General Court of Justice and the CJEU
    • Guerlain's registration of its iconic 3D shape mark for lipstick
    • Hypertherm in design proceedings before the General Court of the EU about the protection of consumables and potentially captive markets by designs
    • Levi Strauss & Co. on the enforcement of its rights on the 'Arcuate' trademark in the EU
    • Louis Vuitton in trade mark infringement and claim back proceedings before the Brussels Business Court and the Benelux Office for IP in relation to the second largest diamond of the world
    • Reckitt Benckiser in the defence of one of its key trade marks, disparaged in comparative advertising by Lidl
  • What others say
    • "An excellent practice with a modest and excellent team."
      Chambers Global 2023
    • "Very responsive, on top of our needs, taking into consideration advice for the big picture."
      Chambers Europe 2023
    • "Provides high-quality, timely and practical advice."
      Chambers Europe 2023
    • "Everything is clear, the lawyers reply very quickly and they explain the particulars of Dutch litigation."
      Chambers Europe 2022
    • "Very good at communicating"
      Chambers Europe 2022
    • "Very talented"
      Chambers Europe 2022
    • "They know patent law very well. They not only deliver the required information but are also proactive when they think it’s useful for us. We feel we have a strong relationship with the firm. We have worked with a number of members of the team and they provide quick, clear and helpful advice. The team has a good understanding of the processes within our industry and challenges biotech companies like ours are facing."
      The Legal 500 2022
    • "Willing to listen to the situation, open for suggestions, talk a language which you can understand."
      Chambers Europe 2021

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