Taylor Wessing – Netherlands 2021
The well-positioned patent litigation practice in the Netherlands is becoming more visible in telecommuncations proceedings, despite the firm’s historic ties with pharmaceutical clients. Although both cases are now settled, the firm’s work for Ericsson against Samsung, and for Asus against Philips, formed a large bulk of the partners’ work over the past few years. With the work for Ericsson being coordinated across both the Netherlands and Belgium, and the work for Asus crossing into the UK and Germany, the firm is developing a track-record in handling high-impact telecoms cases covering several jurisdictions. Recently, the firm also won client Rockwool, demonstrating flexibility in the expertise of its small patent team.
Although boasting a relatively small overall patent practice compared to other pan-European competitors such as Bird & Bird, in terms of size its three-partner strong team puts Taylor Wessing on a par with market challengers such as Hogan Lovells. However, unlike that firm, Taylor Wessing’s client list has lacked the same clout to attract new instructions from the life sciences industry. Greater focus on securing regulatory expertise would ensure the firm’s pharmaceutical patent litigation capacities grow on a par with, for example, its life-sciences-focused team in London. But the firm is yet to announce any lateral hires in either its partner or associate team, who could provide the support that Taylor Wessing’s team in Amsterdam and Eindhoven need.
On the other hand, the Dutch team has appointed recommended partner Judith Krens as the new head of its patent group, with Wim Maas set to run the firm’s litigation arm. An increased focus on attracting cross-border clients in litigation could boost the visibility of the Dutch team to a level on par with Germany and the UK. This change could also help the law firm succeed in getting the German and UK teams on board for Ericsson, for large cases such as against Samsung. In any event, the Dutch team is firmly established at the SEP owner and network supplier level.
However, unlike other pan-European firms such as Simmons & Simmons, Taylor Wessing is still lacking any patent prosecution capacities in the Netherlands. This means close ties with leading Dutch patent attorney firms, such as in the case for Asus, are necessary to ensure the firm has the depth of expertise necessary to be successful in this area.
FRAND and telecommunications litigation with cross-border aspects. Litigation for pharmaceutical clients.
At Taylor Wessing, the UK and Germany teams remain particularly well-coordinated, with its patent practices in these countries benefitting from being in the important patent jurisdictions of London, Munich and Düsseldorf. The Amsterdam and Eindhoven offices also have strong ties with Benelux, using the firm’s small Belgium office to coordinate strategy between, especially, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Taylor Wessing’s European offices are not fully financially integrated, and its teams develop joint work between offices less frequently than some of the European market leaders, such as Hogan Lovells and Allen & Overy. Nevertheless, the patent team’s setup in all major jurisdictions is well presented for more cross-border work, an asset should the UPC come to fruition. However, unlike some of the market leaders, Taylor Wessing has not yet built up its own patent attorney practice.
2 partners, 4 associates, 1 of counsel
Pharmaceutical litigation, including SPCs and biosimilars. SEP litigation, including FRAND. Licence agreements and transactions.
Litigation: Ericsson (claimant) against Samsung over implementation patents and SEPs (settled in 2021); Asus (defendant) against Philips over FRAND and SEPs (settled); Barco (claimant) against competitors regarding electronic communication tools for meetings; Rockwool (claimant) against Drainblock over ground water recharging systems and underground vibration barriers; VSY Technology (defendant) against Karl Zeiss over intraocular lenses (settled); Fresenius (defendant) against Biogen and Samsung Bioepis over adalimumab patent (settled); frequent litigation for US pharmaceutical originator and medical device producer.