Law firm Wildgen, Partners in Law just announced the launch of Wildgen 4 Innovation, a new start-up assistance offer. Luxembourg is rapidly emerging as a technological European Start-up hub and at the same time, entrepreneurs need to receive guidance through the complex and at times confusing areas of business law to protect their legal interests. We asked Emmanuelle Ragot, Partner and Head of Wildgen’s Intellectual Property and Technology, Media & Telecommunications (IP/TMT) practice group to tell us more how – and why – the firm supports the start-ups.
You just finalized the marketing of a new start-up legal offer, what is the purpose of it?
Wildgen has decided to officially launch Wildgen 4 Innovation – Legal Hub for Start-up Businesses as the amount of our services provided to Start ups has significantly increased in the past 5 years.
It has always been a focus for us and for a while ( i.e. our law firm has been since 2012 the sponsor of the Venture Lounge for Biotech) and many top SMEs have brainstormed and received our legal advice on their development.
As a multicultural and full – service law firm established for more than 90 years in Luxembourg, innovation is key and part of Wildgen’s longstanding international success. It then became natural and logical to the firm to officially launch this service- now conceived – with a dedicated team also aimed at supporting Luxembourg’s initiatives and economic diversification .
What are the main legal issues that entrepreneurs are facing everyday?
There are general queries and more specific ones depending on the past experience of the founder or partners of the Start-up. As a common rule we identify very early, in our legal process, those that achieve Market/Product fit. Being professional as an emerging business requires a minimum budget of expert’s assistance on each business line. It saves a lot of deception on a middle term.
Issues are very often related to:
- value proposition;
- successful financing;
- corporate – tax model;
- IPRs’ management and protection;
- seed round valuation;
- getting the product / market fit;
- implementation of legal agreements with customers, providers, employees; and
- regulatory and general trade practice.
In concrete terms, how do you advise and support the start-ups?
Our Legal Hub for Start-up businesses – Wildgen 4 Innovation is focused on the assistance to Start-ups active in various economic sectors. They benefit from the experience we have gained in legal advice related to development and growth of well – established and successful start-ups (Biotech, ICT, Clean Tech, Energy, Media industry, Food concept store etc..).
By our expertise and support to entrepreneurship, we challenge projects on their innovative side and deliver high level of guidance to protect their legal interests. We also find the appropriate solution adapted to the need of responsiveness. Pro-bono work is part of our new service line as well as a tailored comprehensive package for the entrepreneur.
Intellectual property is one of the keystones to succeed and to valuate a start-up. What are the “golden” rules an entrepreneur should take care of?
Intellectual property is a very broad subject when it comes to its protection and traceability. However, some of major rules are key to manage the company’s IPRs assets such as :
- Understanding the main classification of IPRs and support their value as a source of creativity and economic activity;
- Protecting the IPRs on defined territories;
- Ensuring confidentiality for trade secrets and know-how;
- Managing efficiently IPRs and associated risks of infringement;
- Developing company policies to avoid dilution of the IPRs and prevent counterfeiting;
- Minimizing litigation’s risk by complying with IPRs laws to avoid infringement to third parties’ IPRs.