Szleper Henry Naumann – France 2023
This small IP boutique is especially well established for patent litigation in life sciences, mechanical engineering and electronics. Given its size, it is seen unusually often in cases for well-known pharma clients, such as Bayer or Hoffmann-La Roche. The firm is also active in an impressive amount of litigation for a chiefly midsized client base. Close and long-established contacts among German midsized companies are also a steady source of work, for instance for media technology company Kindermann. The team frequently works with the German patent attorneys, which leads to referrals. The firm recently brought in an additional partner experienced in IP, Stefan Naumann, who is set to specialise in patent litigation. This urgently needed reinforcement will enable the team to expand its client base to include US clients, with whom Naumann has close contacts from his former firm. However, he has most recently worked mainly in soft IP, and needs to establish a standing in patent litigation.
Patent litigation focusing on pharma, mechanics and electronics.
Despite its small size, the IP boutique has some experience in cross-border litigation from its work on the French parts of pan-European proceedings, such as for Ever Pharma against Sanofi. With regards to the UPC however, the team is still too small, despite the recent hire, to be able to handle bigger cases, especially in view of the new court’s strict deadlines. Close cooperation or even a merger with similarly positioned small IP firms in key UPC jurisdictions, such as Germany and the Netherlands, would make the firm more attractive to clients looking to bring their patent disputes before the new court.
So far Szleper Henry Naumann has no official cross-border network, but nurtures long-standing contacts abroad, especially to German patent attorney firms. The latter have been providing a steady stream of work for German companies litigating in France. Whether this particular client base will also rely on the small team before the UPC is questionable. Possibly as defendants in proceedings before the divisions in Paris, but as plaintiffs, German clients are more likely to opt for proceedings before the German divisions and to retain German lawyers. All the more reason to expand the client base through the US contacts of the new partner. For the representation of potential clients from overseas, however, a bigger team will be needed – whether through strategic alliances or a merger.
Dariusz Szleper (“highly experienced in pharma, biotech and mechanics”, competitor), Guillaume Henry (“efficient and highly skilled”, competitor)
Stefan Naumann (from Hughes Hubbard & Reed)
Exclusive activity in IP with a strong focus on patent litigation, trademarks and unfair competition.
Litigation: Bayer (claimant) against INPI over rejection of an SPC; Ever Pharma (defendant) against Sanofi over second medical use patent for prostate cancer drug Jevtana (settled in 2022); Royal Distribution (defendant) against Kaloud over smoking apparatus (settled in 2022); Kindermann (defendant) against Barco over wireless technology; Hussor (claimant) against Outinord over construction technology; Atelier Robert (defendant) against Emily over agricultural machine; Sphere (defendant) against Melitta over plastic bin bags.