JUVE Patent

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan – Germany 2020

JUVE Comment

Thanks to its outstanding visibility before the German courts in high-profile mobile communications suits, the German litigation team of this US firm has caught up with the three market leaders Bird & Bird, Hogan Lovells and Hoyng ROKH Monegier. While a year ago Marcus Grosch’s team was still litigating for Qualcomm against Apple in the class action concerning semiconductor patents, it is currently omnipresent on the side of Daimler as the main defendant in the landmark proceedings over connected cars patents. The team not only litigated for the carmaker against Nokia, Sharp and Conversant, but also in another dispute against Broadcom. It is also involved in major proceedings over mobile communications patents for Blackberry, Google, IP Bridge and Netflix. To manage these cases, the team had to raise its associate headcount substantially. At the same time, young partners Jérôme Kommer and Jesko Preuß seized the opportunity to play a more visible role. This expansion was necessary for Quinn Emanuel to continue conducting such a high level of litigation within a wide technical spectrum. In the past, star lawyer Marcus Grosch had dominated the firm’s image. This year saw the firm litigating for BASF concerning sport soles. Work for the life sciences sector is on the increase, though there remains room for development. In this segment, litigation in high-profile cases at the German courts has been infrequent, but Quinn Emanuel showed what it can do in work for Pfizer and Merck. Drug originators are still awarding the big-ticket, cross-border campaigns to teams with a strong European presence, like Allen & Overy and Hogan Lovells.


Litigation related to telecoms. Opposition and nullity suits by lawyers without patent attorneys. Strong US practice.

European strategy

The battle between Qualcomm and Apple, that was settled in 2019, has impressively illustrated how well Quinn Emanuel transfers major cases across the Atlantic in order to try them before the German courts. As an exceptionally strong litigation practice in Mannheim and Munich and with a good presence at Düsseldorf patent court, Quinn Emanuel is well set for those battles as well as for the potential UPC launch. In addition, the US firm has an office in Hamburg and Stuttgart. Still Quinn Emanuel’s European strategy is still based on Marcus Grosch’s extremely high visibility and the preeminent US practice. Most competitors are not convinced that this strategy will suffice to compete long-term with Hogan Lovells or Bird & Bird when cross-border cases are assigned. Indeed, many still see Quinn Emanuel as a national litigation firm for high-profile cases in Germany. Its main competitors are much more evenly positioned throughout Europe with strong teams in the key markets. But Quinn Emanuel has the edge when it comes to conducting important EPO cases for clients without the involvement of external patent attorneys.

Recommended individuals

Johannes Bukow, Marcus Grosch (“difficult opponent. He always knows his cases extremely well”, “outstanding presence in the courtroom”, competitors), Jérôme Kommer (“does very good coordination work in the joint defence group in the Avanci suits”, competitor), Jesko Preuß (“very satisfied”, client)


2 equity partners, 2 salary partners, 3 counsel, 27 associates


In Mannheim, Munich and Stuttgart, IP activity centres on patent litigation. Also cancellation proceedings, opposition and nullity suits and infringement proceedings. In Hamburg, soft IP and antitrust on the interface with patents.


Litigation: Daimler (defendant) against Broadcom as well as Conversant, Nokia and Sharp over connected cars patents; Google (defendant) against Philips; BlackBerry (claimant) against Facebook, Whatsapp; IP Bridge (claimant) against HTC; Qualcomm (defendant) against Apple in revocation cases (all over mobile communications); TSMC (both defendant and counter claimant) against Globalfoundries over Chipset technology (settled in 2019); Netflix (defendant) against Broadcom over video streaming; Bio-Rad (claimant) against 10X Genomics over gene sequence analysis; Allison (defendant) against Cybex over children’s car seats; BASF (claimant) against running shoes manufacturer over shoe soles (public knowledge); German manufacturer (defendant) against Japanese competitor over dialysis technology. Advice: Merck in connection with biosimilar suit.


Mannheim, Munich, Stuttgart, Hamburg