JUVE Patent

Linklaters – Germany 2022

JUVE Comment

The patent practice of this international firm is well positioned in cross-border actions involving pharma and biotech patents. Linklaters focuses squarely on originators such as ViiV, which instructed Julia Schönbohm’s team for a long-running dispute with Gilead over an HIV blockbuster drug.

The team reached a settlement for ViiV and likewise for Takeda in another dispute. It is currently preparing two additional major pharma suits. In such suits, the German team works closely with Linklaters’ Paris and London offices.

Unlike competitors Hogan Lovells and Bird & Bird, the German team does not pursue a mixed approach, opting instead to cooperate with external patent attorneys in Germany. A dual-qualified counsel in the Paris office with a background in biotech brings her technical expertise into play in cross-border litigation for life sciences and also the London office occasionally delivers input on technical matters.

Having appointed Bolko Ehlgen to partner last year, Linklaters continued its growth strategy by naming a counsel and expanding at associate level. This is a crucial step towards further growth, especially in telecommunications patents. The overall firm offers additional interfaces to the key future issues, AI and blockchain, which the patent team can capitalise on for their clients.


Pharma litigation for originator drug manufacturers.

European set-up

In the healthcare sector, the Linklaters teams in London, Frankfurt and Paris consistently work together in high-profile cases for originator companies like Takeda and ViiV. Schönbohm regularly coordinates such proceedings. Her appointment as global practice head underlines once again the importance of the German team within the European practice.

The firm has higher ambitions for cross-border disputes. For this it needs to develop a visible patent team in the Netherlands, which would also give it a more rounded offering for the UPC.

On the other hand, while both the German and French teams are making headway when it comes to adding companies from the mobile communications and information technology sectors to the client base, the London team lags behind.

Recommended individuals

Julia Schönbohm (“good cooperation”, competitor), Bolko Ehlgen


2 partners, 1 counsel, 6 associates


Patent litigation. Close cooperation with the dispute resolution and antitrust team. Also licences, contracts and transactions.


Litigation: ViiV Healthcare (claimant) against Gilead on HIV drug bictegravir (settled in 2022); Takeda (claimant) against CSL Behring over ingredient for treating autoimmune diseases (settled in 2022); Bundesdruckerei against Credit Card Supplies and VTT over passports; Seoul Semiconductor (claimant) against Mouser and others over LEDs; Taghleef Industries against Treofan over polymer films.


Frankfurt, Düsseldorf