Taylor Wessing – Germany 2021
The German litigation practice of this international full-service firm challenged the market-leading teams through its presence in litigation spanning a broad technical spectrum. The firm’s mainstay is suits relating to medical technology and pharmaceuticals, with a great deal of activity for generics manufacturers such as Hexal/Sandoz and Mylan. These are often represented in cooperation with Taylor Wessing’s other European offices.
It started to become clear last year, however, in the litigation in a series of suits for Globalfoundries, that the lawyers’ work is no longer dominated by the life sciences sector. Many more companies with mobile communications and high-tech patents are hiring the firm. Although this dispute was soon settled, the team has been busy battling for REC (solar technology) and a large Asian electronics corporation (LEDs for displays).
Thanks to Taylor Wessing’s good relationships in China, the German patent team now looks after a whole host of Chinese mobile communications manufacturers, among them ZTE. But it does not appear in such actions as frequently as the market leaders Hogan Lovells and Freshfields, nor was it seen in connected cars suits.
Frequent litigation for Ericsson in Germany could mean the breakthrough. The regular client of the European team entrusted the Dutch team, rather than the Germans, in the short but fierce global battle with Samsung. However, the German team showed that it is essentially capable of handling several such series of proceedings by ramping up its associate headcount. Anja Lunze advanced to the equity partnership. Behind the equity partners, Taylor Wessing has built a highly visible group of five salary partners. The task now is to further institutionalise interoffice cooperation between the German teams.
Litigation related to pharmaceuticals and telecoms. Good contacts in China and Japan.
Taylor Wessing’s offices across Europe are not fully integrated. Its teams develop joint work between offices less frequently than some of the European market leaders, such as Hogan Lovells and Allen & Overy. Nevertheless, the patent team’s setup in all major jurisdictions is a good base for more cross-border work, with a strong presence in London, Munich and Düsseldorf. As well as its well-positioned teams in Amsterdam and Eindhoven. The firm also has a small offering in Brussels. However, in Paris the patent team’s visibility is not as high as some of its main European competitors such as Hogan Lovells and Bird & Bird.
Allthough the firm has a presence in most of Europe’s important patent venues, Taylor Wessing is, compared to the market-leading practices, seen less often representing key clients in pan-European disputes over multiple offices. With its litigation for a Chinese mobile communications company, as well as Asus in various European countries, the practice has taken an important step towards redressing the historic emphasis on pharmaceutical cases. Taylor Wessing could leverage its good relationships with Chinese mobile manufacturers even more to catch up with the market leaders in SEP and FRAND lawsuits.
However, unlike some of the market leaders Taylor Wessing has not built up its own patent attorney practice yet.
Christoph de Coster, Gisbert Hohagen (“a real fighter in the courtroom, he can turn everything around with a genius move when he’s on the backfoot”, competitor), Dietrich Kamlah, Roland Küppers (“very good team, great expertise”, competitor), Christian Lederer, Anja Lunze (“outstanding technical understanding, dynamic advice”, competitor), Jan Rektorschek
7 equity partners, 5 salary partners, 7 associates, 1 of counsel
All-round activity in IP. In patents, activity focuses on infringement proceedings. Very close cooperation with the European patent team and international life sciences practice. Also licensing and cooperation contracts. Trademarks and unfair competition.
Litigation: regularly for Nichia and Fraunhofer Gesellschaft; ZTE (defendant) against Sisvel over mobile communications (all public knowledge); TCT Mobile (defendant) against NEC over audio codec standard; Asus (defendant) against Philips over mobile communications; Abbott (claimant) against Edwards Lifesciences over repair equipment for heart valves; Hexal/Sandoz (defendant) against Eli Lilly over pemetrexed; Dana Faber Cancer Institute (claimant) against Ono in entitlement action over cancer immuno therapy; Mylan (defendant) against MSD over Inegy; Mylan (defendant) against Teva over Copaxone; Allison (defendant) against Cybex over children’s seats; Belimo (defendant) against Belparts over flow control in heating systems; Sprick (defendant) against Ranpak over paper technology; Truma (claimant) against GOK over camping equipment; REC (defendant) against Hanwha/Q-Cells over solar technology; Asian company (defendant) against competitor over OLED technology (settled); NPE (claimant) against Apple and Microsoft over mobile communication patents (partly settled); Japanese medical product manufacturer (defendant) against competitor over dialyzers. Advice: JTI regarding cigarette technologies; Chinese mobile communications manufacturer on SEPs.