For almost 30 years I have been working as a practitioner in intellectual property law, nationally and internationally and had the chance to acquire valuable experience in negotiation, enforcement, prosecution and technical cooperation. At the same time, I have developed a great passion for exchanges of knowledge and experiences.
As a young man, I wanted to become either an architect or a diplomat. Eventually I became a lawyer and fulfilled both of my childhood dreams at the same time.
As a lawyer specialised in intellectual property rights, I consider myself as an architect, a designer and a bridge builder. My clients expect me to find solutions to their needs – solutions that sometimes stray from the well-beaten path.
I am furthermore convinced that sustainable solutions cannot be forced. With diplomacy, legal design, creativity, persuasion and a lot of tact, I aim at getting both parties to consider themselves as winners. To me, this is the best way to reach sustainable solutions.
My office is in Bern, close to the IP office headquarters and a stone’s throw away from the Federal Government. Close to decision-making centers, I can also easily reach the French- and German-speaking parts of Switzerland, as well as Ticino, the Italian-speaking region.
I focus in the broadest sense on intellectual property, both in a classical and in an open innovation approach based on Innovative Commons, ensuring your information sovereignty. If necessary, I represent small, medium and large companies, as well as associations and administrations before courts and in alternative dispute resolution proceedings. I am often engaged as a mediator, a task I carry out with great satisfaction; I am absolutely convinced that mediation is an effective way to reach constructive solutions.
I also support you in developing your IP strategies and manage your trademark and design portfolios.
My main areas of specialisation are
- Industrial property rights, especially trademarks, trade names, trade secrets, patents, designs, trade secrets as well as domain names and geographical indications.
- The contractual relationships relating to technology transfer and innovative, creative and artistic collaborative projects.
- Music plagiarism and copyright.
- The interface between competition law and intellectual property rights, in particular parallel imports.
- Unfair competition.
- Enforcement of intellectual property rights.
With a proven track record in public intellectual property law, I also advise public bodies. On their behalf, I prepare legal opinions which take into consideration the socio-economic impact of the intellectual property legal system.
Experience in dispute resolution
I am convinced that it is always more efficient to resolve disputes amicably. However, where this is not possible, my clients can count on my long experience in dispute resolution through the courts.
As a judge at the Federal Patent Court, I totally appreciate the human element of judicial decisions and align strategy accordingly.
Since 2008, I have been an arbitrator and panelist in intellectual property and domain name matters at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). As such, I have worked on over 100 cases in the areas of technology, trademarks, trade names and domain names. This provides me and hopefully my clients with valuable experience in alternative dispute resolution in intellectual property and technology disputes.
In parallel to my work as an independent IP-attorney, I have been teaching IP since 2004. Mainly at the University of Neuchâtel, but also by invitation in Geneva, Zurich (ETH, ZHAW), Strasbourg (CEIPI), Fribourg (LLM in international business law) and at the University of Applied Sciences of Neuchâtel (HE-ARC). I teach innovation law, as well as Swiss and European IP law, including biotech and trade and development issues, and IP enforcement.
In 2010, I was appointed full Professor of Innovation Law at the University of Neuchâtel. Together with two colleagues, I then founded the Centre for Intellectual Property and Innovation. We alternate in its leadership on a rotational basis.
Interdisciplinary thinking and action is close to my heart. That is why, with like-minded colleagues, we developed the Master in Innovation. This unique programme deals with innovation from the perspective of law, management and social sciences. Regular events take place within this framework, such as the traditional Innovation Day. Innocube, a continuing education programme for managers in the field of innovation at the interface of law, management and social sciences, is one of my more recent projects and lies very close to my heart.
I am also regularly invited to speak on topics related to intellectual property and innovation.
Philosophy and ethics
Life is too short to be spent with lawyers. And your time is too precious to be bothered with unnecessary litigation.
You may expect your lawyer to be aggressive against your opponents. Sometimes that has to be the case. More often, however, the hard way is a waste of time, money and energy.
In a very large majority of cases, the best solution lies in explaining, discussing and negotiating. Whenever it seems promising, necessary and possible, I try to find constructive and sustainable solutions in this way. In every case, I focus on my clients’ needs and the best long-term solution for them. I am always firm on the matter, respectful in the tone.
I modestly have to admit that success proves me right. Most of the cases I have worked on have been resolved through this approach. I discuss strategy and direction of action with my clients at an early stage. This way we are sure that we are on the same wave-length and work hand in hand. I always strive to find the most cost-effective and efficient way for you.
You expect your legal representative to advise you absolutely independently and as effectively as possible. As a professor at university, I am profoundly committed to academic independence. You will hence not always hear from me what you want to. I will critically assess your case and advise you accordingly.
My independence also allows me to help you optimise your procedures and costs.
Finding elegant and simple solutions is what drives me. I strongly believe that where there is a will, there is a way.
An excellent network – for your benefit
I have an excellent network of correspondents throughout Switzerland and around the world. This means that I can also take care of, and coordinate, cross-border cases. As a network partner of Vialex Attorneys at Law I also offer services in general commercial law.
When it comes to patents, you should rely on the best patent attorneys. Depending on the technology, I refer you, with your approval, to the best specialists, adapted to your specific needs.
- Association Internationale pour la Protection de la Propriété Intellectuelle (AIPPI), board member of the Swiss chapter from 2012 to 2021
- Ligue internationale du droit de la concurrence (LIDC), board member Switzerland since 2012, international Scientific Committee since 2016
- International Trademark Association (INTA)
- International Association for the Advancement of Teaching and Research in Intellectual Property (ATRIP)
- Association romande de la propriété intellectuelle (AROPI)
- Bernese Bar Association
- Member of the Bar Examination Commission, Neuchâtel, 2012-2020
- Friends of the Bern Conservatory, board member since 2020
- Lawn Tennisclub Bern, board member since 2020