Wildanger Kehrwald Graf v. Schwerin & Partner – Germany 2021
Even without further growth in its headcount, this market-leading IP firm handled a multitude of SEP and FRAND suits at once. Its partners, who are renowned across the board, remain very active for SEP holders, such as VoiceAge. For some other SEP holders, they also fought on the front line against anti-suit injunctions from Chinese courts. Peter-Michael Weisse and other partners were very visible once again for Sharp and IP Bridge in the connected cars battles with Daimler. The firm also represented both companies in other campaigns related to SEPs. This makes Wildanger, next to Arnold Ruess, the most active German boutique in terms of exploiting mobile communications patents on the claimant side.
This works despite the partner-centric approach because of the close cooperation between senior partners and younger partners, such as Soenke Fock, Alexander Reetz and Jasper Meyer zu Riemsloh. By no means does every Düsseldorf IP boutique take such a cooperative approach. As new series of SEP suits for NPEs are already on the horizon, staff growth will be unavoidable.
Despite the predominance of SEP suits, Wildanger’s actual strength lies in its broad-based litigation activity in pharma, mobile communications, medical technology and mechanics patents. Another highlight in this regard was without a doubt the work for Biontech in a dispute over the development of an mRNA, even if this was quickly brought to a close. It does, however, demonstrate the high level of trust that companies from the life sciences sector place in the firm when it comes to patents with high economic stakes.
SEP and FRAND disputes mainly for NPEs. Litigation related to electronics, mechanics and pharmaceuticals.
The boutique is banking on its independence and close cooperation with European litigation firms, though these are being wooed by many German competitors. A positive is that the partnership has been constantly growing over the past few years, with the partners working on complex instructions in teams more regularly than other boutiques. This allows them to successfully handle a number of major proceedings at once, especially involving SEPs and FRAND issues. With regard to pan-European patent disputes, Wildanger will have to consolidate its partnerships in European litigation to make a joint bid for cross-border cases in competition with the international teams of Bird & Bird or Hoyng ROKH Monegier. But the Wildanger partners will not give up their independence so quickly.
Soenke Fock, Eva Geschke (“we have been very happy with her work for many years”, client), Roland Kehrwald, Jasper Meyer zu Riemsloh (“thoroughly recommendable, very good approach to clients”, competitor), Alexander Reetz (“super capable lawyer”, “strong briefs”, competitors), Wolf Graf von Schwerin (“efficient and effective”, competitor), Peter-Michael Weisse (“outstanding strategist in SEP mobile communication campaigns ”, competitor)
9 partners, 4 associates
Much litigation in mobile communications and pharma. Nullity suits and licences. Small trademarks and unfair competition team.
Litigation: Sharp (claimant) against Daimler (settled); Hoccer (claimant) against Tinder over communications patent; Sharp (claimant) against Oppo over mobile communication patents; US chip manufacturer (co-defendant) against Intellectual Ventures over DSL patents (all public knowledge); Ocado (claimant) against AutoStore over robot-assisted technology; Lavazza (claimant) against Sielaff and Beverich over coffee vending machines; ATT (claimant) against Volvo over car heaters; B. Krone (defendant) against Schmitz Cargobull over refrigerated transport vans; Biontech (defendant) against KW 1UG over development of an mRNA (settled); Moreaux (claimant) against Airbus regarding inventor rights; medical product manufacturer over heart valves; Swiss pharmaceutical company (claimant) over antibodies; regular litigation for BSH, Henkel, Infineon, LG, Roche/Genentech.