Hengeler Mueller – Germany 2022
The team around Wolfgang Kellenter is well positioned to litigate for the large national firm’s industrial clients, such as CarSystem Süd. In addition, the team, which consists entirely of lawyers, has acted for NPEs for years. These include FIPA, IPCom and France Brevet, which Hengeler Mueller represented in major series of proceedings over mobile communications patents.
Thanks to this litigation against such notable telecoms giants as Apple, Samsung and HTC, the team has built up vast experience in SEP and FRAND topics. This is the firm’s stand-out field of expertise, alongside litigation for traditional industrial clients from various industries, including pharma. Hengeler could leverage this expertise in the future on the side of its traditional industrial clients who are increasingly involved with connectivity issues, for instance in mobile communications or the automotive industry.
In staffing terms, the Hengeler patent team made far less dynamic progress than IP boutiques like Hoyng ROKH Monegier or Wildanger. Although it has a number of highly experienced counsel alongside the only partner Wolfgang Kellenter, it has not built up any additional figureheads. This is a challenge for the team in the long term, especially in view of the UPC.
SEP and FRAND litigation, mainly for NPEs.
When the UPC launches, Hengeler’s patent team could have an asset from the outset in its experience litigating for NPEs in international SEP suits. The lawyers do not, however, play a coordinating role. Nevertheless, they maintain good relationships and a well-oiled collaboration with several external patent attorney firms, which are also superbly positioned – especially for SEP and FRAND cases.
Whether or not Hengeler’s regular industrial clients choose the nationally positioned team to litigate for them in UPC suits will depend on the extent to which they want to integrate their international litigation team on a case-by-case basis and how Hengeler’s team size develops in the future. The Hengeler patent team has good relationships with De Brauw in Amsterdam and BonelliErede in Italy through the firm’s best-friend network. It also maintains close contacts with a number of boutiques, including in London, but they appear less often together in pan-European proceedings than competitors from national boutiques, such as Kather Augenstein.
Wolfgang Kellenter (“shrewd litigator”, competitor)
Patent litigation. Advice on the interface with antitrust. Also strategic advice, assessment of technical protection rights and transactions.
Litigation: France Brevet (claimant) against Apple over NFC technology; Fipa (claimant) against HTC (settled in 2022), LG and Samsung over mobile communications; IPCom (claimant) against Apple and HTC over mobile communications (settled in 2022); Sino-Resource (defendant) against Honeywell over coolant for air conditioning; Concept Laser (defendant) against Bego over 3D print technology; CarSystem Süd (defendant) against 3M over spray-paint technology (ended in 2022); regular work for Kennametal.