JUVE Patent

McDermott Will & Emery – Germany 2018

JUVE Comment

After Holzapfel’s arrival last year, the German patents team of this US firm has developed into a visible practice for chemicals and pharmaceuticals litigation, and even more so for advice to the auto industry on connected cars. However, the firm was absent from the first major suit by Broadcom against various industry participants, incl. regular client Harman due to conflicts of interest. Even according to competitors, Holzapfel is very visible in the industry’s standardization processes regarding connected cars from Düsseldorf. He also litigates often for auto suppliers, e.g. ZF Friedrichshafen. The team, which has a similar specialty in Munich, could thus tap much more potential in the future, with more mobile communications suits against the auto industry expected. But the arrival of Holzapfel is just the beginning, if the European practice hopes to benefit more from the strong US practice’s huge client base, especially at the UPC.


Pharmaceuticals litigation; advice to the auto industry.

European strategy

The US firm has long been interested in the European (especially German) market. But bringing in Holzapfel is only the beginning if the firm wants to be at the forefront for UPC suits. A visible European patents team could benefit immensely from the strong US practice’s vast client base. McDermott has a young Paris patents team, which it grew by two associates. In London, several attempts to hire a starting team have failed.

Recommended individuals

Dr. Henrik Holzapfel (“very well connected in the auto industry, innovative ideas”, competitor).


3 partners, 3 associates


IP practice with equal specialties in soft IP and technical protection rights. Primarily nullity suits and infringement proceedings. Employee invention law.


Litigation: frequent activity for Bode Chemie and Paul Hartmann Group; Harman Group concerning Hi-Fi and audio coding; ZF Friedrichshafen concerning brakes; Scolmore concerning plug connections. Advice: on patent licences to Berylls, Harman and Turkish electronics corporate. 


Düsseldorf, Munich