JUVE Patent

Allen & Overy – Netherlands 2020

JUVE Comment

The well-positioned patent practice of Allen & Overy takes a partner-light approach in the Dutch litigation market, which is typical for many firms that focus on transactions. As part of one of Europe’s leading litigation practices, the Amsterdam team handles some important cross-border disputes coordinated between A&O’s various European offices. A particular highlight for the Dutch team is retaining its work with Bayer, which the team has represented against Ceva in a multi-jurisdictional dispute over animal medicine. This case involved several European offices. The Amsterdam office has recently also been present in a prominent FRAND case involving Dutch telecommunications conglomerate KPN, including at the Court of Appeal level. The instruction shows the potential not only of the Amsterdam office’s network, but also of the European patent team. While Allen & Overy exploits this cross-border connection excellently in the pharma sector, in the mobile communication sector there is still room for improvement compared to Dutch market leaders such as Brinkhof and Hoyng ROKH Monégier. More FRAND cases could be an opportunity for the firm’s up-and-coming lawyers to boost their visibility in the market, given that the individual talent at the firm is currently not as visible in the market as the firm’s brand.


Patent disputes regarding originator pharmaceuticals.

European strategy

The firm has a well-coordinated, cross-border strategy, with Allen & Overy’s European patent teams collaborating on high-profile cases. However, the London office continues to coordinate the bulk of its litigation in Europe, for example acting for Bayer, also a major client for the Dutch team. In pharma disputes especially, the firm’s European practice is a market leader on the side of originator manufacturers. Especially in the last year, the European Patent Group has made considerable progress with regard to Europe-wide representation in large pharmaceutical and biosimilar cases. In doing so, it is beginning to become an important challenger to Hogan Lovells and Bird & Bird. In important mobile communication cases, some of the firm’s offices are visible in the market – for example, Paris and London. But there are some gaps, and the Munich office in particular is still barely represented in major mobile phone cases. In the Netherlands, the firm’s presence also remains understated. The increasing connectivity in the connected car industry thus harbours potential for both teams. On the other hand, Allen & Overy has made significant progress in coordinating and developing its European practice over the past few years. With offices in most of the key European jurisdictions and excellent positions in the French and UK markets, it has become a serious rival to Hogan Lovells and Bird & Bird for the crown of European market leader.


1 partner, 6 associates


Cross-border litigation, licence agreements, transactions.


Litigation: Bayer (claimant) against Ceva concerning medicine for pigs and enforcement of other drugs; KPN (defendant) against Assia over SEP infringement and FRAND licensing; pharmaceutical company (claimant) against generic drug manufacturer regarding patent revocation and infringement; J&J over vaccine licensing. Advice: Frame Therapeutics on establishing a patent portfolio; innovative pharmaceutical company over patent infringement and licensing; pharmaceutical company regarding preparation of a potential infringement suit, as well as scope of protection and portfolio management; telecommunications company regarding preparation of patent entitlement action.