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Legal and regulatory matters have significant impact upon the position of your company. WinthagenMensink provides legal and strategic assistance in relation to – amongst others – the following legal areas:

Commercial contracts

The basis of a fruitful cooperation starts with the confirmation of the agreed elements in a written agreement. The investment in a solid agreement at the start of a commercial relationship pays itself back at a later stage. The precise translation of commercial terms in a clear agreement will avoid later lack of clarity or differences in interpretation, which at times can lead to conflicts which could have been avoided. Commercial relationships can be shaped in various ways, such in a distribution- or agency relationship. In case only a grant of use of a trademark, copyright or other intellectual property right is envisaged, a license agreement could be considered.

Trademark law

A trademark consists of a sign that allows you to distinguish your products or services from your competitors. A trademark assures that the public will connect your company to the product you are marketing. Trademark law guarantees and protects the goodwill that your products or services have acquired due to your efforts.

Copyright law

From product design to program formats: copyrights protect all “works” which are the results of creative choices. Successful designs are often followed, but where a certain degree of inspiration is allowed, “copy cats” are not, and copyright law enables parties to act against look-alikes which are too close to the original.

Media-advertising and entertainment law

Media- and entertainment law is basically a catch-all term for various different kinds of legal areas which play an important role in the media and entertainment business. Media law inter alia covers the balance between freedom of information and the right to privacy, but also covers image rights. Advertising law sees to the statutory regulation of commercials, whereby also industry regulation (through the Dutch Commercial Code) plays an important role.

Data protection law

In this digital era, almost every single company or government body faces the challenge of compliance with the relevant data protection laws. Whether client data is gathered, or website visitors are followed through the use of cookies, this will from a legal perspective almost certainly qualify as processing of personal data. The Dutch Data Protection Authority (Autoriteit Persoonsgegevens) ensures compliance with all national and international data protections laws and has the power to impose serious fines in case of non-compliance.

E-commerce

Both providers and purchasers can enter a fully transparent world-wide online retail market at fairly limited costs. Online competition is not only won on pricing, but also on service, ease of use and the protection of personal data. The strategic use of general terms and the use of a clear privacy policy therefore is to be recommended. In addition it is of key importance that all elements of online sale through web shops remains compliant with the latest legal developments in national and EU consumer law.

European Law

On several areas the applicable rules and regulations largely derive from the law of the European Union, e.g. the line between government support and illegal state aid, limits for cooperation and information exchange between competing businesses deriving from competition law, the question whether national regulatory law forms barriers to the freedom of establishment for service providers in Member States, consumer rights by online shopping and the demands to the purchase of works, goods and services via public procurement procedures.

Abuse of market dominance

Every business have the liberty to pursuit a position of market dominance. However, for companies with significant market power certain specific responsibilities apply. They may not ask excessive prices, force tie-in sale or selectively edge competitors out of the market by unfair behavior.    

Regulatory law

In several market sectors specific regulations apply. Often sectors in which competition is not for granted. Supervisory bodies - such as the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets, the Dutch Media Authority or the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority  - have force competencies to regulate markets and imply specific obligations to market players. The use of these competencies can be of substantial influence for the strategy and market behavior of your business.

General administrative law

The government adopts laws and regulations applicable to all citizens and businesses. In addition several government bodies takes specific decisions, e.g. on subsidies and to grant or to refuse required permits. Administrative law provides the rules that the government must take into account.

Administrative supervision and enforcement

Several government bodies monitors compliance with general laws and regulations, specific obligations or permit conditions. Enforcement through administrative fines, orders under penalty, or administrative coercive can be the consequence for companies that (allegedly) not comply.  Enforcement authorities are bound to general and fundamental law rules such as the right to a fair hearing and the carefull and proportional use of powers.

Public transparency

Government attended information can be disclosed to the public on request, unless one of the legal reasons listed in the Dutch Freedom Of Information Act (Wet openbaarheid van bestuur) necessitate to withhold the information concerned. Government bodies may also ex officio decide to disclose certain information, e.g. disclosure of an administrative penalty through publication on a governmental website. The adages “once public is always public” and “public to one is public to everyone” applies.

Zoning law

Zoning law divides areas of land and regulates the kinds of activities acceptable in such areas. It often also regulates building form and the relation of buildings with its immediate environment.

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