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Managing IP

Copyright & Trade Mark contentious

2011: CMS is especially strong in trade marks and copyright. Partner Tom Heremans is a well-known practitioner in the market who was recently appointed a member of the Intellectual Property Council, a group of experts which advises the Belgian government on IP legislation. The firm handled some interesting cases last year, acting for FIFA on its ambush marketing campaign throughout the World Cup in South Africa and advising Eurid against Chinese national Mrs Zheng, who registered over 10,000 .eu domain names under well known brands with a view to selling her registrations to the rights holders. The case fell in favour of Eurid. In copyright, the firm advised Airfield/TV Vlaanderen/EVISO against collecting societies before the Brussels court, while its case with BNP Paribas related to the Google AdWords 'sms cash' is still pending. The firm has a "very practical approach with a good eye on the client's business and needs," says a client. "CMS is probably the most practical of these law firms," says another.

2010: Forming part of the wider CMS network, CMS DeBacker's IP team consists of eight professionals. "They're central to our IP programme," says one client. "I think one of the things they are good at is keeping us on an organised programme, making sure they have the right information from us." Last year the firm took on trade mark litigation work for AB-Inbev over a look-alike to its Leffe brand. Like many firms the team also had a case regarding the controversial Google AdWords programme: specifically the team advised BNP Paribas over trade mark litigation regarding the terms Sms Cash. In the copyright area the team acted for EMI Music France over copyright and contractual litigation issues between the record company and a producer.