Bird & Bird – Germany 2016
This leading litigation practice for patents was seen yet again in numerous proceedings with mixed teams of lawyers and patent attorneys, where it displays a vast technical breadth going beyond strong expertise in pharmaceuticals and mobile communications cases. Mobile communications litigation for Nokia, Microsoft and Huawei had long predominated, but now Jüngst and Wolters-Höhne were more visible in high-profile pharmaceuticals cases, e.g. for Actavis against Eli Lilly regarding Alimta in connection with the precedent issue of equivalent patent infringement. Unlike its main competitor Hogan Lovells, B&B positions itself less energetically on the industry/originator side, litigating for generics companies and industry-oriented NPEs. The fact that the team boasts a group of strong partners aged under 50 means it can watch the arrival of the UPC calmly – esp. as the delay in the launch caused by Brexit has put conflicts with the London team over who will play the lead role for central US clients on hold. The British practice, which is also strong, will first have to reorient itself.
Litigation, esp. related to pharmaceuticals and telecoms, provided by mixed teams, strong European IP practice, many international industrial contacts.
The last two successful years for the patents practice were marked by turbulence: the loss of the two patent attorneys Dr. Friedrich Emmerling (to Prüfer & Partner) and Marc Wachenhausen (to Kopf Westenberger Wachenhausen) weakened the practice. B&B reacted quickly and brought in an electronics team around two partners from Uexküll & Stolberg. A greater degree of consistency could be worth striving for.
Christian Harmsen, Oliver Jüngst, Felix Rödiger, Dr. Matthias Meyer (“highly competent”, client), Boris Kreye, Dr. Anna Wolters-Höhne; patent attorneys: Dr. Daniela Kinkeldey, Dr. Michael Alt (“clear and convincing presence”, client).
8 equity partners, 7 salary partners, 24 associates, incl. 11 patent attorneys
In IP, more patents activity than trademarks and unfair competition. Strong litigation practice due to mixed teams. Sector expertise in pharmaceuticals, biotech, chemicals, electronics and telecoms. Advice concerning patent strategies and licenses and on the interface with antitrust. Frequent patent filing.
Actavis against Eli Lilly regarding Alimta; Edwards Lifescience against Boston Scientific concerning cardiac valves; Teva/Ratiopharm against Pfizer regarding Pregabalin; Nektar regarding blood coagulation; Canon concerning printer technology; Nokia and Microsoft regarding mobile communications patents; Rovi regarding EPG and smart TV; Acer against OneRed regarding DVD patents.
Munich, Hamburg, Düsseldorf