Harmsen Utescher – Germany 2022
The lawyers at this highly traditional Hamburg IP boutique are well positioned in patent proceedings, where partner Karsten Königer mostly represents his regular SME clients in actions brought by competitors. His highest profile client is probably Lidl, which the team frequently represents against attacks by brand manufacturers over products from a wide range of technical fields.
The well-oiled international collaboration with firms in other jurisdictions is often to clients’ advantage. The core client base of SMEs also frequently trusts in the practice to represent it in EPO oppositions. The second partner boasts strong roots among pharma clients. He litigates for these in cases involving pharma advertising law as well as patents.
The team is, however, stagnating at a low level in terms of staff. In the past it has been unable to develop young talent for the long term. This is standing in the way of more dynamic development, especially with the UPC about to launch.
Karsten Königer (“always well prepared, always factually sound”, “eloquent patent litigator with technical background”, competitors)
The Hamburg boutique is often involved in international litigation for its regular clients. Here, it counts on excellent relationships with a whole host of selected firms in other countries. Although there are no formal connections in place, they call on Königer time and again for new instructions. The publicity-shy SME clients such as Lidl appear to prefer the discreet approach of Harmsen Utescher’s lawyers to an internationally integrated larger firm. This and its experience in EPO oppositions means the team is well set to represent these clients before the UPC. The firm is also one of few that will have its own office close to the Hamburg local division; it does not have any offices at the other UPC venues.
Patent litigation and advice to an equal extent. Very broad activity in IP, including healthcare and food law. Strong practice in trademarks and unfair competition.
Litigation: Lidl (defendant) against Vorwerk over kitchen appliances (public knowledge); luggage manufacturer (defendant) against competitor over suitcase; locking system manufacturer (claimant) against various competitors over luggage belts; pharma company (defendant) against competitor over second medical use patents for cancer therapy; manufacturer of coffee capsules (defendant) against Nestlé in EPO opposition. Advice: chemicals and engineering companies on licensing; trading company on FTO analysis.