Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan – Germany 2021
In the extremely successful years 2018 and 2019, the German litigation team of this US firm was catapulted into the top league with what were then the three market leaders Bird & Bird, Hogan Lovells and Hoyng ROKH Monegier. Quinn Emanuel consolidated this position in 2020/21, a no less impressive period, although major new series of proceedings failed to materialise. Nonetheless, younger partners Jérôme Kommer and Jesko Preuß confirmed their strong market presence by working for their own clients (e.g. Voxer), and through their role in coordinating large cases (e.g. for Daimler concerning connected cars), which is often praised by competitors. Quinn Emanuel is broadly positioned now, with several well-known litigators.
Star lawyer Marcus Grosch demonstrated his excellent visibility in the landmark proceedings for Daimler against Nokia, Sharp and Conversant involving connected cars patents. At the same time, the team was active in other central battles in the mobile communications sector for Netflix, Blackberry, IP Bridge and Google. Such work is often handled on a global level in cooperation with the US practice.
The team around Marcus Grosch also generated a huge amount of stand-alone work for German industry giants. Merck and BASF have joined the regular client list alongside Daimler. Another German auto corporation hired the team for a suit concerning traditional auto technology, but such corporations rarely rely on just one firm. Another connected cars case for Daimler against IP Bridge was conducted by competitor Hogan Lovells.
Quinn Emanuel gained ground somewhat in the life sciences sector, where it has fewer regular clients than Hogan Lovells and Bird & Bird, with small series of proceedings involving biotech patents. But the practice is making slower progress than in other technologies. Drug and biologics manufacturers still award the major, cross-border campaigns to teams with a strong European presence like Allen & Overy or Hogan Lovells.
Litigation related to telecoms. Opposition and nullity suits by lawyers without patent attorneys. Strong US practice.
More successfully than any other US-firm, Quinn Emanuel currently transfers major cases across the Atlantic in order to try them before the German courts. The regular representation of Google, Qualcomm and Netflix in important German cases proves that. With an exceptionally strong litigation practice in Mannheim and Munich and a good presence at Düsseldorf patent courts, 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 based on the extremely high visibility of the German team 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. With the UK finally leaving the European Union, the pressure is increasing on the firm to finally establish a respectable patent team in the London office, in order to be able to comprehensively serve the two most important patent markets in Europe. In addition, Kirkland & Ellis, an important US competitor, is currently making a strong appearance in London and wants to gain a foothold in the German market in the medium term.
But compared to all important competitors in Europe, Quinn Emanuel has the advantage of being able to very successfully handle important EPO cases for clients without the involvement of external patent attorneys.
Johannes Bukow (“superb in oral hearings”, competitors), Marcus Grosch (“in him we found a partner who can confidently handle complex matters and major opponents”, client), Jérôme Kommer (“super SEP litigator”, client), Jesko Preuß (“hands on, really knows his stuff”, competitor)
2 equity partners, 2 salary partners, 3 counsel, 29 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 Conversant, Nokia and Sharp over connected cars patents (all settled 2020/21); BlackBerry and Google (defendants) against Onebutton (public knowledge); Google (defendant) against Philips; BlackBerry (claimant) against Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram (settled); IP Bridge (claimant) against HTC; Qualcomm (defendant) against Apple in revocation cases (all over mobile communications); Netflix (defendant) against Broadcom over video streaming; Google (defendants) against Sonos over audio technology; Voxer (claimant) against Facebook over live streaming technology; BASF (claimant) against Puma over shoe soles; Bio-Rad (claimant) against 10X Genomics over gene sequence analysis; Jennewein Biotech against Nestlé over human milk oligosaccharides; German car manufacturer (claimant) against competitor over car technology; German manufacturer (defendant) against Japanese competitor over dialysis technology. Advice: Merck in connection with biosimilar suit; European car manufacturer regarding SEPs.
Mannheim, Munich, Stuttgart, Hamburg