European IP Counseling


Our European IP practice provides a full array of intellectual property legal services to help companies obtain, manage, and enforce their intellectual property rights in whichever sector they are active.

We have extensive experience in conducting national and cross-border patent, supplementary protection certificates, designs, copyrights, and trademarks counseling and litigation/arbitration.

We support our clients, which comprise small and large, local and international companies, universities, and TTOs, in maintaining, protecting and developing the value of their IP portfolio by enhancing their IP policies and enforcement strategies. We develop successful IP strategies in line with our clients business goals and needs, and assist them in implementing them. We advise our clients in improving return on investment and generating revenue through investments in IP by providing innovative guidance and solutions, such as our self-developed IP Check-Up App, which is a unique and in-depth IP audit and risk assessment tool allowing European companies to analyze their current intellectual property portfolio, helping them to get to grips quickly and easily with the strengths and weaknesses of their IP portfolio. 

“Coordinating cross-border matters and handling the worldwide enforcement of its clients’ portfolios are the key strengths of Crowell & Moring.” World Trademark Review, 2020

We help our clients monetize their assets and structure, negotiate, and implement IP transactions, including licensing and R&D agreements. We advise our clients on new products and brand launch and expansion plans. We provide counsel on IP portfolio management procedures and design proprietary information protection programs, and we offer training on IP protection. We assist clients in establishing internal policing and enforcement policies, and conduct IP due diligence studies.

We also work with leading European and national patent and trademark agents for filing, prosecution, and other registration matters.

Our key services include the following:

  • Overall IP strategic advice
  • Patent litigation (with particular experience in the biotech, chemical and life sciences sectors)
  • Trademark litigation (with particular experience in the pharmaceutical, food and fashion sector), oppositions at national and OHIM level, invalidity and infringements actions, parallel imports, etc.
  • Design right litigation
  • Copyright litigation (databases, software, entertainment industry, etc.)
  • Unfair competition and advertising litigation (misleading and comparative advertising, price discounts, sales below costs, quantitative promotions, premiums, tied-in-sales, vouchers, lotteries, sweepstakes, etc.)
  • IP audits and due diligence
  • Commercial advice
  • Commercial agreements
  • IP Check-Up app
  • Licensing agreements
  • R&D agreements
  • IP portfolio management
  • Training on IP protection
  • Advice on internal/enforcement IP policies

We provide a full range of legal services relating to the protection, exploitation, and litigation of patents and know-how. We have handled a wide range of disputes involving highly complex scientific and engineering issues, for example, in the biotech, chemical and life sciences industries. Our particular strength is the planning and management of patent disputes in Europe, which also gives us a particularly good insight in the interests at stake to advise our clients on patent filing strategy, deals and market-entry strategies.  

“It’s a go-to firm for patent issues, regularly retained for its sound and innovative counsel.” IAM Patent 1000, 2018

Key patent-related services include the following:

  • Advice on litigation strategies, both national and international and including cross-border injunctions
  • Advice on patentability and patent filing strategies
  • Coordination of international disputes, often on a pan-European basis, in cooperation with multinational litigation teams
  • National and multinational patent litigation, including nullity actions and actions for declarations of non-infringement
  • Interlocutory injunctions and ex parte proceedings for evidence gathering
  • Supplementary Protection Certificate counseling and litigation
  • Drafting commercial agreements, including development, joint venture, manufacturing, distribution, and licensing agreements
  • Drafting confidentiality clauses and non-disclosure agreements

Much of our patent litigation work involves defending generic manufacturers. However, our European IP lawyers also have considerable experience combating counterfeit goods and piracy. We file criminal complaints with the appropriate judicial authorities, bring requests for suspensive measures with customs authorities, and take all necessary steps for the tracing, seizing, storing, transport, and destruction of counterfeit goods. Our experience further enables us to provide insightful and practical counseling on European regulatory initiatives related to the fight against counterfeiting and piracy.

“Crowell & Moring is a point of reference on the Belgian market and the go-to firm for generic pharmaceutical manufacturers […] It is always ready to try something new, think out of the box and surprise its opponents.” IAM Patent 1000, 2020

The IP practice of the Brussels office is recognized as a leading practice. Both Chambers Europe 2021 and Legal 500 EMEA 2021 list us as a top tier IP firm. Other publications giving us glowing reviews include the IAM Patent 1000, the World Trademark Review 1000 and Managing IP Magazine. Our Brussels lawyers are also individually recommended for their patent, copyright, and trademark work.