Tech & Data

The digitization of our society and the emergence of technologies such as artificial intelligence or blockchain have a significant impact on corporations, both in terms of the type of services they provide as well as upon the way in which these services are provided.

This evolution triggers new legal issues, which every entrepreneur has to deal with in order to mitigate risks. Whether one considers to outsource cloud computing resources, to build platforms, to use new ways of marketing products, to use open source software, to increase digital marketing campaigns or the use of social networks, every channel brings its own set of concerns, whether they relate to data protection, copyright or, more generally, the assessment of the resulting risks and how best to mitigate them.

Wilhelm Avocats SA has a significant expertise in dealing with these issues. Whether you need to ensure that your activities comply with applicable data protection regulations, a piece of advice on setting up a YouTube channel, to assess the risks associated with signing a cloud contract, whether you consider using new models with the advent of Big Data or the Internet of Things (IoT), or the best way to exploit social networks, our lawyers have been confronted with each of these issues on numerous occasions and can help you manage your risks in this area.

By these terms, we mean to cover the legal challenges raised by the digitization of society and the advent of related communication media and tools, most often coupled with a massive exploitation of data now made possible (Big Data).

Our office offers you a wide range of services in this field, such as:

  • Data protection: we have significant experience in setting up a privacy management program, particularly with regard to the GDPR, tailored to SMEs. In this context, we are able to offer you a global or modular approach, in particular by assisting you to review and draft the necessary agreements and notices in this area, or in the management of a security incident and the setting up of data breach notification processes.
  • Information Technology (IT): with more than 500 negotiated contracts in this field (whether it is a license, a cloud, or a professional services agreement such as development, digital, maintenance or an SLA), we are able to assist you in the drafting, review and negotiation of any type of contract, from the smallest bilateral contract to the largest framework agreement for multinational companies meant to cover its various markets and subsidiaries worldwide.
  • Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data: touching on multiple aspects, from data protection to contractual aspects in the IT field, our team has been called upon to negotiate and advise our clients on numerous occasions on these still evolving issues, which enable us to offer our clients the benefit of our expertise in this field.
  • Open source software: the use of open source software (such as the GPL) triggers many questions, especially but not only during a takeover or restructuring operations. We assist you to assess the risks associated with the use of such software or the integration of components subject to such licenses in your products and, more broadly, in your due diligence in this regard.
  • Social networks: The use of social networks to interact with customers, to offer content, to engage influencers, to offer services through the various existing marketplaces or to organize contests or other promotional campaigns has become a mandatory step for many companies. The management of such networks is fraught with legal pitfalls. Wilhelm Avocats will help you understand these pitfalls and set up the necessary processes and guidelines in order to mitigate them.
  • E-commerce: to commercialize your goods and services online requires a proper understanding of related risks: can your goods and services be marketed abroad? Which will be the applicable law ? How do you address risks that may occur during shipping and the related potential return of your products ? We help you choose the best option and draft the necessary contractual documents to protect you in the best possible way.
  • MedTech: the latest addition to Wilhelm Avocats, the MedTech field is in full effervescence, and the strong health awareness around COVID-19 has only reinforced the importance of this sector. Based on our experience in IT, data protection and the legal issues raised by emerging technologies, several market players use our services to assess in particular the question of whether they fall under the qualification of medical device, the issue of financing and reimbursement of these devices, the related risks and the regulatory efforts they may face, especially in view of the EU Regulations (EU) 2017/745 on medical devices and 2017/746 on in vitro diagnostic medical devices and the resulting amendments of Swiss law.

Many entrepreneurs mistakenly believe that the above-mentioned issues are incidental and that a cost-benefit analysis justifies taking a risk without the services of a lawyer. In this respect, many believe that it would be better to cure than to prevent. This reasoning is unfortunately wrong in the vast majority of cases.

To take an example, the failure to review the terms of a cloud contract can result in the customer finding himself locked in, without the possibility of changing provider and migrating his data because of the prohibitive costs resulting therefrom. As another example, not to assess your compliance with data protection requirements can have a considerable impact, particularly on your reputation, and even more so if you are subject to the GDPR but did not consider it, as an authority could simply order you to cease operation of the system in question, or even fine you. Finally, not examining the terms of a contract involving Big Data can have unfortunate consequences as regards the ownership of the data processed and the rights of use. These few examples underline that the use of a lawyer should not be underestimated in view of these new issues.

With the exception of data protection, which begins to be part of the curricula in legal studies, these various aspects of the digitization of our society are not part of such curricula. In other words, the the required expertise to provide useful and adequate advice to one’s clients can only be acquired through practice. At Wilhelm Avocats SA, we have a solid expertise in these fields, which allows us to interact with our clients with a deep understanding of the technologies, terminology and the resulting legal issues for them.

Wilhelm Avocats SA has two differentiating factors :

First, our team has a high level of expertise in cross-disciplinary areas relating to the digitization of society: intellectual property, IT and Internet law, data protection and security are aspects we are used to dealing with. The knowledge we have acquired in these different areas enable us to take a global approach to these issues, with a rather uncommon expertise on the market as to the interrelationships and synergies between these different areas.

Second, Wilhelm Avocats has been created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. Giving up any unnecessary legalism, our approach is pragmatic and commercial with the sole aim of enabling you to achieve your goals. At Wilhelm Avocats, we have only one commitment: your satisfaction. Attentive to your concerns and needs, a significant part of our turnover is devoted to the development of innovative models to meet your expectations, whether in terms of pricing models or technological tools in particular. Our best R&D department is you.

Our lawyers who specialize in Tech & Data

Philippe Gilliéron

+41 21 711 71 00

Ema Bolomey

Ema Bolomey

+41 21 711 71 00

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In view of the public health measures recently implemented in the context of the VIDOC-19 crisis, we wish to reassure you of WILHELM Avocats SA's ability to remain operational.

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