DLA Piper – Germany 2021
With a much smaller headcount than other international firms like Taylor Wessing, the patent litigation team at DLA put in a particularly strong performance in mobile communications suits. The team around practice head Marcus Gampp once again played a central role in connected cars disputes for the Tier 1 suppliers of communication modules Harman and Aptiv, as co-litigants for BMW and Daimler respectively. Although most connected cars cases were settled in 2021, the team remains active for Harman in a further suit of IP Bridge against Daimler.
The team added litigation for a global mobile communications giant to its litigation for Dell, Hewlett Packard and Microsoft in an NPE suit over touchscreen technology. Such work no longer comes to the German team from the preeminent US practice alone, but also because Marcus Gampp has activated his own ties in Silicon Valley. The team generally conducts these proceedings without external patent attorneys.
The team will now have to grow to keep up with such positive business development. Further expansion at partner level could propel the firm into the group of challengers to the market leaders.
The Cologne team led by Philipp Cepl has been less visible than the Munich team so far. But his practice is growing continuously, with most litigation in pharma and medical product proceedings. In addition to good ties to Becton Dickinson and Medtronic, the firm saw its first instructions for an international pharma corporation concerning supplementary protection certificates. This is in addition to patents advice to an international medical product manufacturer in connection with a product launch.
Mobile communications and connected cars litigation, including revocation cases without external patent attorneys.
Backed up by a strong US practice, DLA Piper has established a well-positioned European patent practice. The in-roads made by the German team have raised its profile within the European practice but there is still room for development in Amsterdam and London, where DLA also has visible teams. The London patent practice has strengthened its position with Deborah Bould’s move from Pinsent Masons in 2020. She brings expertise outside purely technical patents in the mobile communications field.
DLA Piper also continues to expand its continental practice. Paris has been the blank spot in DLA’s continental offering, but with the acquisition of a larger IP team that also has patent expertise, the firm is now preparing to close this gap. DLA has also had smaller, but well-established offerings in Brussels and Milan for some time. This means that the firm now offers an equally broad range of services for cross-border cases and the UPC, like Simmons & Simmons and Allen Overy, for example.
Markus Gampp (“outstanding strategy in tech litigation”, competitor), Philipp Cepl
2 partners, 2 counsel, 4 associates
Patent infringement and nullity suits with a broad technical spectrum. SEP and FRAND cases, including antitrust adivice. Transaction advice, R&D, licensing contracts and trademarks and unfair competition.
Litigation: Harman as co-litigant of Daimler (defendant) against IP Bridge, Sharp and Conversant (settled in 2020/21); Harman as co-litigant of Daimler (defendant) against IP Bridge; Aptiv and Harman as co-litigants of BMW (defendant) against Broadcom (settled in 2020; all concerning connected cars patents); Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and US handset maker (defendants) against NPE Neodron over touchscreen technology (settled); Alpinestars (defendant) against Dainese over motorcycle clothing (settled); Extreme Networks (defendant) against Orckit IP over network technology; Medtronic (claimant) over surgery technology; Nike (claimant) against imitator over sports clothing; Vervaeke Belvai against competitor in opposition over egg hatching technology; international pharma corporate on SPCs; international medical product manufacturer on patent law regarding a product launch. Advice: portfolio management, licences and FTO analyses for Alpinestars, Euclid and Robert Bosch; licences for Avicanna, Biocard, HP, Incyte and Martinrea.