Linklaters – Germany 2020
This patent team is well positioned for cross-border patent litigation involving pharmaceuticals and biologics. Such proceedings are conducted by Julia Schönbohm and her team exclusively for researching companies like Sanofi, Shire Viro Pharma and another international pharma corporation, where they work with Linklaters’ London and Paris teams. The German team is developing a second specialty in suits over electronics and mobile communications patents. In the latter, it is currently busy advising German auto manufacturers on FRAND aspects. In the connected cars proceedings, however, the team is not present in the courtrooms, unlike the teams of similarly positioned international firms. Further cross-border proceedings are those for Seoul Semiconductor involving LEDs. The coordination of such work is still often the responsibility of the London practice. But the German team must aim to handle more major disputes independently. This will require growth at partner level. It was in this context not helpful that after several associate additions and 2 departures in the past few years, an experienced associate – who had only arrived in 2019 –left the team again to go to a Düsseldorf boutique. Finally, the patents practice operates independently from the corporate practice, but the latter is what sets the tone at Linklaters – including the potential which the firm’s international network offers the patent team.
Pharma litigation for originators.
In the healthcare sector the patent teams in London, Frankfurt and Paris consistently work together in some high profile cases for originators. But the firm has higher ambitions for cross-border disputes. For this it lacks more visible teams in Amsterdam and Düsseldorf. In the latter, the team has seen some movements on the associate level. More stability is necessary here, as well as a partner on site in the long term. A stronger presence in mobile communications suits is also important, since manufacturers and network operators are among Linklaters’ typical clients. The German team above all has made headway among these clients; the Paris and London teams will have to catch up if Linklaters wants to be the first stop for European cross-border disputes in mobile communications, as it is in pharma cases. But the firm has some way to go to close the gap on market leaders like Hogan Lovells and Bird & Bird, who litigate very consistently in such disputes in all four of the main European markets.
1 partner, 6 associates
Patent litigation. Close cooperation with the dispute resolution team. Also licences, contracts, transactions and antitrust.
Litigation: TDK Electronics as co-defendant in supplier dispute concerning ventilation control for motors; Seoul Semiconductor (claimant) against Mouser and others over LEDs; Shire Viro Pharma (claimant) over agent for treating autoimmune disease; Sanofi/Regeneron (defendant) against Amgen over cholesterol-lowering drug Praluent; Taghleef (defendant) over plastic films; pharmaceutical company (claimant) on litigation over HIV compound. Advice: manufacturer of telecom devices on connected cars; carmakers on connected cars and licences; Asian electronics company on FRAND and antitrust.