Gleiss Lutz’s TMT practice has specialist knowledge covering all legal aspects of technology, media and telecommunications.
Our TMT sector clients include software vendors, IT service providers (e.g. outsourcing), ISPs, developers and publishers of console, mobile and online games, gambling providers, device manufacturers, film and television broadcasters, publishing houses, collection societies and cultural institutions as well as users of the relevant technologies. Our lawyers advise on complex domestic and foreign transactions, projects and contracts, as well as compliance issues, copyrights, trademark and unfair competition matters, licensing disputes, media competition, regulatory and public procurement-related issues, as well as questions of e-commerce and Internet law. As a result we cover the entire spectrum of TMT activities – from content production, dissemination and procurement, to the safeguarding of rights and handling of contentious and noncontentious matters.
“go-to firm for tech and IT matters in Germany (client)”
We have a wealth of experience in transactions where information technology represents a sizable portion of a company’s acquired or divested assets.
Our services extend far beyond preparing and conducting due diligences, and structuring and negotiating SPAs. We see ourselves as a project manager that can handle all legal aspects for our clients before, during and after a transaction. We assist them, in particular, with developing optimised transaction structures, including the carve-out of specific business units and setting up joint ventures.
Our specialists regularly advise on complex IT outsourcing projects.
We can guide clients through all phases of a project – from preparing and conducting RfPs, drafting and negotiating project agreements and schedules to counselling during implementation. We also represent service providers and users both in and out of court in safeguarding rights and enforcing claims under outsourcing agreements and assisting with the winding up of failed projects.
We use our extensive experience in structuring hardware contracts, contracts for the transfer, licensing or escrow of software or know-how, software maintenance agreements and IT consulting contracts to our clients’ advantage in negotiating contracts and enforcing claims.
Domestic and foreign clients alike turn to us to develop and optimise their distribution models, including cloud services and SaaS models. We also advise on the regulatory requirements for launching new hardware and innovative technology products on the German market.
We also represent clients in domain name disputes. We worked on landmark supreme court decisions, such as for the approval of two-letter domain names in Germany, and have been contributing significantly to relevant case law in this area. We handle the full range of internet and e-commerce issues for our clients. Not only do we develop internal guidelines for the use of social media and the Internet in the workplace, we also advise on all aspects of cloud computing.
Data protection compliance is a must for all TMT organisations. Violations can result in major fines, letters of warning from competitors, and may seriously damage a company’s reputation.
We ensure that our clients’ internal operations, products and websites are compliant with the relevant data protection regulations. To establish a legally sound management of customer and employee data, we develop privacy policies, consent forms and company guidelines (e.g. on the use of social media, BYOD guidance, etc.) in line with our clients’ needs. We advise on all issues related to cross-border flows of personal data, e.g. in connection with transactions, implementing centralised customer or employee databases, telematics and data flows within groups of companies. We have years of experience in dealing with the full range of privacy issues presented by IT outsourcing projects, negotiating the requisite data protection agreements for IT service providers and their customers.
Gleiss Lutz has special expertise in the areas of music, social media and virtual entertainment offerings, such as online games, mobile apps and gambling.
We advise collecting societies on music licensing issues in Germany and Europe, as well as on cooperations with foreign partners for the exploitation of copyrights and related rights. We also assist them in preparing for relevant legislative procedures and represent them in proceedings before German courts and the European Court of Justice. Concert promoters benefit from our extensive experience in state aid, unfair competition and antitrust proceedings as well as in the granting of subsidies. We develop strategies to protect online game providers against attacks from cheat bots or malware, enforcing these in court, where necessary.
In the television industry our focus is on regulatory issues. We advise clients on fundamental issues of media policy, access to distribution channels, cable regulation or on issues concerning equal-opportunity access to platforms.
Whether a matter involves digital forms of distribution such as video-on-demand platforms or copyright and licensing issues in connection with the introduction of mobile place-shifting technologies throughout Europe, we are equally adept at providing sound advice. Our TMT specialists advise on the licensing of broadcasting rights and conduct proceedings and arbitration procedures related to the dissemination of films and sports programmes. The development and design of advertising models and cooperations is of particular importance. Finally, we optimise our clients’ advertising campaigns and make sure they are in compliance with competition and media law requirements.
Press and publishing
Gleiss Lutz advises major publishing houses on copyright, antitrust and distribution-related matters as well as on corporate law issues and in connection with M&A transactions.
We litigate matters concerning fundamental issues of press distribution under antitrust law, advise on press subsidies under state aid law and on the marketing of books via book clubs or digital channels. In press law matters, we assist companies and individuals alike, also representing them before the courts, e.g. to assert or prevent cease-and-desist claims or counter-statements.