Vincent Wellens is a partner in our Intellectual Property (IP), Information & Communication Technology (ICT) and competition practice. He represents major international clients on IP, trade practices, e-commerce, e-archiving and data protection issues in the consumer goods and ICT sectors. Vincent also actively supports our other practice areas, such as our banking & finance department with advice on IT outsourcing and archiving related issues for financial institutions and our tax practice with respect to IP portfolio structuring under the Luxembourg tax scheme for IP revenues.
Prior to joining NautaDutilh Avocats Luxembourg, Vincent gained in-house experience as competition & IP counsel at P&T Luxembourg, the largest telecom and postal operator in Luxembourg. Vincent also practiced IP/ICT and competition law at other first-tier Luxembourg and Brussels law firms with a strong focus on regulated network industries (telecom, energy, media, transport and finance).
Vincent graduated from the University of Leuven (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, 2001). He also holds a College Diploma in Legal Studies (King's College London, 2000) as well as LL.M. degrees in EU Law (Europa Institut Saarbrücken, 2002) and in Intellectual Property Law (Katholieke Universiteit Brussel, 2005). He is also a doctoral researcher at the University of Louvain (Université catholique de Louvain) in the field of consumer and competition law.
Vincent is a member of the Luxembourg association of IT professionals (APSI), the Benelux association for Trademark and Design Law (BMM), the Luxembourg association of telecom and media (cercle Marconi), the French-Luxembourg organisation of archiving professionals (FedIsa) and the Luxembourg competition association (ALEDC). As a member of these organisations he is regularly asked to advice on law proposals in the field of e-archiving and cloud computing.
Some of Vincent's publications include: "The Luxembourg Tax Regime for IP revenues: Favouring the Creation and the Holding of IP" (L'ingénieur-conseil, Intellectual Property 2013), "How to act against imitations outside the intellectual property rights regimes?" (Rechtskundig Weekblad 2011-2012, 1406 - co-author), "De doorwerking van de intellectuele rechten in de Wet Handelspraktijken" (Bruxelles, Larcier, 2006), “Private equity and merger control” (Revue de la concurrence belge 2008/2 - co-author).
Sources in Chambers Europe 2014 note Vincent's in-house experience and fast response rates: "He knows his way around in this field and immediately acts on instructions. In Legal 500 2014, he is described as" ‘very knowledgeable about local court practices and recognised by the Luxembourg legal community’. Vincent also achieved the honor of being the only leading IP specialist nominated in Luxembourg by Who's Who Legal 2013.
Vincent was admitted to the Brussels Bar in 2002 and to the Luxembourg Bar in 2007.
He is fluent in English, Dutch, French, German and Luxembourgish.
In recent months, the Luxembourg Financial Supervisory Authority (CSSF) has been active and the industry is preparing for the open banking wave. The changes in response to the EU Payment Services Directive aim for a generally positive evolution of the payment scene in Luxembourg. The CSSF has published the fallback exemption request form and adopted several circulars that are applicable to payment service providers.
By way of the Law of 20 July 2018, Luxembourg has finally implemented the EU Payment Services Directive (PSD 2). As the PSD 2 is a full harmonisation directive, most of Luxembourg's PSD 2 provisions are identical to the legal framework implemented across the European Union. Nonetheless, EU member states were given scope to decide on certain topics and the Grand Duchy seized the opportunity to define its own rules.
The Luxembourg financial sector regulator (CSSF) recently published a number of circulars in order to streamline its regulation of IT outsourcing in the financial sector and introduce specific rules for the use of cloud services. In doing so, the CSSF has defined the conditions under which financial service providers may outsource activities without infringing the regulatory principles of central administration and sound governance.
The proliferation of bitcoin users goes hand in hand with the emergence of operators providing bitcoin-related services – enabling, for instance, the exchange of bitcoins for conventional official currencies. In the absence of EU legislation to curb the risks of bitcoin use, the Luxembourg financial regulator has clarified the way in which it intends to deal with bitcoin-related service operators.
Under Luxembourg bankruptcy law, IP licence agreements are regarded as long-term agreements, rather than assets per se. Article 30 of Bill 6539 states that insolvency proceedings do not automatically lead to the termination of ongoing contracts. As there are no specific rules for IP licence agreements in the event of insolvency, the general rules of contract law will apply to such agreements under these circumstances.
The Chamber of Deputies recently voted in favour of a law introducing a right to claim back intangible and non-fungible movable assets from a bankrupt company. The law provides greater certainty as to the consequences of the bankruptcy of a cloud services provider regarding the data that it holds, and contributes significantly to Luxembourg's strong reputation as a centre of excellence for IT outsourcing.
A bill has been introduced to Parliament that provides for a right to reclaim intangible and non-fungible movable assets from a bankrupt company. The bill is intended to allow for the recovery of data from a bankrupt provider of distance IT services or cloud computing solutions. The law will provide greater certainty as to the consequences of the bankruptcy of a cloud computing provider for the data in its possession.
The Luxembourg minister of finance has announced that the country's IP income tax regime will be amended to align with the 'nexus' approach agreed on within the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development as of July 1 2016. Undertakings that benefit from the existing tax regime before this date will continue to do so until June 30 2021.
Under Article 50bis of the Income Tax Act 1967, Luxembourg undertakings and Luxembourg branches of foreign companies can benefit from an exemption of 80% on revenue (ie, royalty fees) derived from IP rights established or acquired after a certain date. The Article 50bis regime has now been further clarified by the Luxembourg Administrative Court.