Meissner Bolte – Germany 2021
The great strength of this mixed IP firm is the patent attorneys’ broad roots in numerous sectors and technical fields. These give rise to a large number of proceedings for the well-positioned team of lawyers led by Tobias Wuttke. Under his leadership, the litigation team has made steady progress in the last ten years and continues to enjoy a strong market image. In the early years, the team mainly conducted litigation for regular Mittelstand clients, but frequent litigation for Deutsche Telekom has now given it a wealth of experience in mobile communications suits against NPEs. The team is harvesting the fruits of these growth efforts and appearing more often in major series of cases, for instance for Netto over the German bottle deposit system or for BTL and Honeywell in international suits. Successfully raising the headcount in the Munich and Düsseldorf litigation teams last year was an important factor here, as was the appointment of a second equity partner.
But despite the mobile communications experience of the lawyers and the patent attorneys’ strong ties in the auto industry, the litigation team was only active on the sidelines in suppliers’ connected cars suits. The fact that a high-profile prosecution client such as Facebook turned its back on Meissner Bolte in favour of a low-cost patent filing provider is a setback with regard to expanding litigation activity in mobile communications.
On the other hand, the firm’s patent attorneys are best known for prosecution in the traditional areas of technology, mechanics and mechanical engineering. Electronics and medical products also play an important role, unlike pharma patents. Here, filing is stagnating, although EPO oppositions are on the increase. To build up a stronger profile for infringement suits, an additional experienced litigator is necessary.
Litigation regarding mechanical and mobile communication patents.
With its mixed approach and a small, but growing presence in the UK, Meissner Bolte can look after its midsized German and Asian clients independently on a pan-European basis, especially if the UPC launches. By bolstering its litigation team, the firm has taken an important step towards raising its visibility in cross-border cases, and especially in the mobile communications sector. A further reinforcement would be particularly good for the young Düsseldorf team, as it is still not very visible on the market. Meissner Bolte could also strengthen this position even further by bidding for such work more exclusively with comparable firms in the UK or France.
Tobias Wuttke (“very efficient, very good quality, I feel like I’m in good hands”, client), Rainer Engels; patent attorneys: Florian Henke (“did a brilliant job for Netto over the German bottle deposit system”, competitor), Kay Rupprecht
66 patent attorneys, 9 lawyers
All-round IP activity, around 50 percent of which is in patent prosecution and litigation. Filing with broad technical expertise. Nullity and opposition suits. Infringement proceedings, incl. rights to inspection, with mixed teams. Employee invention law and protection of trade secrets.
Litigation: Deutsche Telekom (defendant) against various NPEs such as Envosys and Showrunner over mobile communication technologies; Commscope (claimant) against Comlab over WiFi repeaters in trains; Netto (co-defendant) against Envipco over devices that detect bottles with returnable deposit (settled); Straumann (defendant) against Nobel Biocare over dental implants; Cybex (claimant) against various competitors over children’s seats; Honeywell (claimant) against Opticon Sensoren over barcode scanners; Humbauer (claimant) against Pongartz over car trailers; Idemina (defendant) against Gemalto over SIM cards; BTL Medizintechnik over cosmetic treatment methods; ITW (claimant) against Madag Printing over packaging machines; ISG (defendant) against Skyventures over indoor skydiving centres; regular litigation for Drylock, Electrolux, Koki, Pritidenta and Prysmina; supplier of communications systems (co-defendant) over connected cars. Advice: Deutsche Telekom on licences and FTO analysis; CommScope on FTO analysis; Greif on strategy and portfolio management; Koki on licences. Prosecution: filing for Arconic, Brita, Cybex, Electrolux, Husqvarna, ITW, Mitsubishi Electric, Takeda, Thyssenkrupp and Villeroy & Boch; filing and oppositions for Johnson Controls and Pioneer.