IT & Digital Business
Allowing for the use of tailor-made IT processes, cloud computing simplifies business activities. The setup of IT infrastructure, platforms from the cloud, or the flexible use of software from the Internet as Saas (Software as a Service) – whatever it is, we will gladly assist you with the appropriate legal design to overcome a variety of challenges.
We advise on the following topics:
- Use of cloud computing
- Selection of the appropriate cloud
- Data encryption, decryption, and access rights
- Legal framework and safeguards
- Use of apps
We also advise on drafting agreements with cloud computing providers that are based outside the European Union.
Who knows how much about whom – and what are they doing with this information? A question that is becoming increasingly relevant in the digital age. Cloud applications, smart devices, big data, digital transformation or Industry 4.0 are not only making innovative business models possible. At the same time, these technologies raise new legal issues that frequently pose a particular challenge for Digital Business. Data protection is always key where data can be related to individuals. This includes not only personnel data, but also data on customers and suppliers or the specific implementation of business processes. As a matter that is touching on several legal fields, data protection is an integral part of corporate reality. Even non-personal data is now classified as a central corporate asset and evaluated accordingly.learn more
SKW Schwarz has been advising international and national clients on legal issues relating to the eSports sector for some time now. Combining its many years of practical experience as a leading law firm in the fields of IT and Media & Entertainment, SKW Schwarz meets the special requirements of the eSports sector.
We have also established ourselves as a market-leading and industry-defining law firm in this field by collaborating with science and media partners.
Start-ups enter the market with new IT-based business ideas, as they offer digital services for financial transactions. FinTechs develop innovative solutions to save, invest, borrow, transfer, spend, and protect money. This is far more than financial technology.
It involves internet platforms that bring together borrowers and lenders using the peer-to-peer principle (with no visible need for banks), cloud-based payment methods, and cryptocurrencies such as bitcoins that make cash unnecessary. Based on networks and communities, these social innovations are extremely customer-oriented. Thanks to the mobile internet, they are available anywhere and anytime, which makes them considerable time and cost cutters.
The legal questions that arise in this connection are at least as varied. Our experts will give you practical and competent responses.
One focus of our advice is the legal structuring and drafting of contracts, for instance for hardware, software development, and transfer. Using the experience and commitment of one of the largest teams of IT specialists and recognized contract experts, we draft and negotiate standard contracts and new contract designs for you, such as in multi-cloud environments or in agile projects. In cases where business practice is no longer reflected by the written contract, we also support our clients in solving critical project situations or IT contracts in crisis situations.
Our lawyers have played a key role in developing current market standards, such as the General Terms and Conditions recommended by BITKOM e. V. and the standard public-sector contracts for awarding IT services (EVB-IT). In addition, we are actively involved in training for IT law specialists and are prominent members I of industry association BITKOM e. V. and the German government’s Industry 4.0 platform.
Where necessary, we also represent our clients in litigious proceedings. The combination of extensive litigation experience and technical understanding of the topics enables us to offer you the best possible and most reliable representation of your interests before all the State courts up to the European Court of Justice but also before national and international arbitral tribunals.
Our advisory range includes:
- Legal representation in IT disputes
- Representation in court and out of court
- Representation in arbitration proceedings before arbitral tribunals
- Out-of-court conciliation negotiations
- Representation before State courts up to the ECJ
- Defending against actions for material and non-material damages
- Licensing disputes
- Handling failed IT projects in court
- Defending unjustified consumer claims and lawsuits against companies
The security of IT infrastructures is the Achilles heel in modern and networked companies. Therefore, it is all the more important to be aware of the regulatory framework and how to reconcile it with state-of-the-art protection mechanisms. We are offering the necessary legal expertise for both and the experience from market comprehensive advice in daily practice in companies. And should something happen, we are always available for our clients to advise them quickly and with an eye for the essential necessities even in a crisis, both internally and towards supervisory authorities, law enforcement agencies, service providers, the press, and clients. Our range of advisory services includes in particular:
- Assistance with implementing the regulations of the IT Security Act, for instance with the programming of websites and software
- Examining the legally compliant application of data security requirements from the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- Legal support and advice on selecting and implementing IT security measures in companies, including the consideration of requirements in terms of employment law and co-determination law
- Providing rapid response teams, drafting and training of rapid response plans
Our strong position in the IT sector also guarantees our excellent advisory range in relation to IT transactions. Technology-driven transactions are frequently strategic investments with critical importance for corporate development. We provide you with reliable professional expertise, comprehensive sector knowledge, and many years of experience in managing complex national and international transactions. We closely collaborate with our specialist peers from the corporate practice and our international network of partner law firms. We support our clients throughout the entire transaction, from structuring and conception, due diligence, drafting and negotiating contracts and closing, to post-acquisition arrangements.
Internet and e-Business
Our work focuses on strategic advice for companies in the internet and e-commerce sectors. A core aspect is how they position themselves online towards users and competitors.
A distinction must be made between companies using the internet as a business model and those using the internet to develop existing business models. Additional issues arise from the fact that, nowadays, content is not only used in the movie theater, on DVD or on TV, but also online.
Based on our many years of experience, our competence extends to all legal issues involved with the internet and e-business. We structure and advise comprehensively on e-business concepts and products, privacy matters, data security, and compliance, including internet providers and services.
We are particularly focusing on the operation of internet platforms with its partly complex contractual relationships between platform operators and providers as well as end users, including the appropriate regulatory issues.
The combination of our traditional Media practice with our established and extensive IT practice enables us to offer optimal interface advice for online platforms. The complex legal interaction of platform operators, providers, and customers requires confident handling of contractual relationships between the parties and the regulatory, tax, and other legal framework, both nationally and internationally. In particular, we advise and support leading companies in the following areas:
- Streaming platforms
- Travel platforms
- Digital marketing platforms
- Internet of Things and platforms for data exchange between networked devices
Open Source Software (OSS) plays an important role in all areas of software use. The frequently complex licensing obligations and high risks of damages in the event of licensing infringements are critical challenges that require reliable legal advice and practical solutions. This affects software developers as well as licensing customers, but also parties in corporate transactions where software technologies are part of the object of purchase. We support our clients and advise on the following topics:
- Public domain software, freeware, shareware
- Examining the legally compliant application of the General Public License (GPL)
- Copyright law
- Licensing law
- Contract law
- Software sales and software purchasing with OSS components
- Software transactions and OSS license analysis
The transfer of IT services to external providers is common practice for many companies. The close and often long-term relationships between customers and IT service providers require a reliable contractual basis to ensure a partnership approach and future security in relation to technological developments. With the complexity of IT service applications in companies, legal framework conditions from data protection law as well as employment law, corporate law, and tax law must be taken into account. We advise in particular on the following topics:
- Drafting and monitoring invitations for bids for customers or suppliers
- Contractual design of IT outsourcing (including service level agreements, non-disclosure agreements (NDAs))
- Legal support of the contractual practice in ongoing outsourcing projects
- Constructive solution of contractual crises in outsourcing, including litigation where necessary
- Legal design and support of outsourcing takeovers and transition processes
- Aspects relating to employment law (such as transfers of businesses, remuneration models)
- Topics of data protection law (including processing agreements)
- Certification models