Nauta Dutilh – Netherlands 2022
The well-positioned patent litigation team of this Dutch full-service firm is known in the Netherlands for pharmaceutical disputes. But in the past twelve months, it has again showcased its broad technical setup better than ever before, even if its clout in mobile communications cases is not what it was in former years. Wiko is currently the firm’s only client in this sector, with the team representing it in a court case.
After some of the team’s prominent life sciences cases for Leadd and Heraeus were settled in early 2022, it is still active for Galenicum in a nullity suit against the client’s diabetes drug. Suits concerning hygiene products for another client currently play a large role. But it was the work for Longi concerning solar panels which drew the most attention. The team around frontwoman Anne Marie Verschuur attempted to fend off a PI from Hanwha Q-Cells and thus a Europe-wide restriction on the distribution of the products via the Netherlands. In the end, however, the Dutch patent court granted Hanwha Q-Cells’ applications and Nauta Dutilh had to cede representation in the main action to its competitor Brinkhof.
Cases like these showed in the past that the Nauta Dutilh team is indeed a serious competitor to patent firms rated higher up in the Dutch market when it comes to handling cross-border cases in cooperation with other national IP boutiques, or teams from national full-service firms. It is mainly thanks to the excellent reputation of Anne Marie Verschuur that the team recommends itself for such work time and again.
The fact that Nauta Dutilh has now appointed a second partner, Jeroen Boelens, shows the value of IP at the full-service law firm. This growth was also important for the firm to remain competitive for UPC cases. It gives the patent team greater freedom to conduct several cases in parallel of the calibre of Longi.
Patent litigation with a broad technical focus, especially regarding life sciences patents.
Unlike some other Dutch full-service law firms such as BarentsKrans, Nauta Dutilh has international IP teams in Brussels and Luxembourg. In France, Germany, Italy and the UK, it relies on cooperation partners. These connections occasionally lead to the team litigating the Dutch proceedings of pan-European disputes, such as those for Longi and Wiko.
This could also pay dividends for UPC work if clients prefer to rely on a team of nationally independent law firms instead of the Europe-wide one-stop service provided by an international team. For this, however, Nauta Dutilh will have to intensify its relations with comparable law firms, especially in Germany, France, Italy and the UK. But like all patent teams in national full-service firms, it will have to coordinate within the firm as a whole if it wants to enter into more exclusive cooperations.
As the UPC comes closer, Nauta Dutilh could well be an attractive partner to national full-service firms as well as IP boutiques in Germany and the UK – simply because there are not enough stand-alone partner firms in the Netherlands with litigators of Verschuur’s calibre.
Jeroen Boelens (“one to watch in future”, competitor), Anne Marie Verschuur
Patent litigation and transactional work with a focus on the life sciences sector. Trade secrets advice and licence agreements.
Litigation: Longi (defendant) against Hanwha Q-Cells in PI proceedings over solar technology (public knowledge); Wiko (defendant) against Sisvel over mobile communication patents; Galenicum Health (defendant) against Insud Pharma in nullity suit over pharmaceutical compositions for anti-diabetic drug sitagliptin (public knowledge); Leadd (claimant) against Bayer in dispute over technology agreement and payments including patent issues (settled 2022); Heraeus against Zimmer Biomet in technology and trade secret dispute over bone cement (settled 2022); pharmaceutical research institute regarding entitlement action and parallel import. Advice: Gadeta, Vico Therapeutics, Skyline Diagnostics and Aseptix Health Services regarding licensing projects; Ginkgo Bioworks on transactional as well as follow-up work.