Vondst – Netherlands 2022
Thanks to extensive activity for manufacturers of generic drugs and biosimilars, Vondst is currently one of the most active litigation firms at the Dutch patent courts. Especially for Teva and Sandoz, the partners were very active in disputes against BSM, Bayer and Novartis and other originator drugs companies regarding important original drugs and SPCs. Otto Swens, Ricardo Dijkstra and Arvid van Oorschot have a good reputation for litigation in pharma cases.
Vondst frequently litigates for originator manufacturers in infringement or revocation claims against other originators.
In disputes over generic drugs or biosimilars, however, Vondst has long positioned itself on the side of generics. One example is the firm’s intensive litigation for Pharmathen to fend off a cross-border injunction from Novartis over the cancer drug Okrodin. In representing pharmaceutical cases on the generics side, Vondst has long been on a par with market leader Brinkhof.
By contrast, Vondst does not yet operate at the same level as the two market leaders in mobile communication cases. Here, the firm has clearly positioned itself on the side of NPEs thanks to good relationships with some comparable law firms in Germany. The firm recently represented two well-known NPEs in nullity proceedings and infringement suits in the Netherlands. These series of lawsuits often have parallel proceedings in German courts, although one large series was recently terminated only a few months after the lawsuit was filed. Ricardo Dijkstra is increasingly emerging in the market as Vondst’s partner for mobile communication suits.
Furthermore, once a clear life sciences boutique, the firm is increasingly pursuing a path towards the greater technical breadth that other boutiques in the Netherlands and Germany have taken before it. This is evidenced by the partners’ work for Tomra over steam-peeling technology, for Belimo over pressure-valve technology for green buildings, and for Afire over artificial fireplaces. With four renowned partners, Vondst can handle a high number of large cases in parallel.
Patent litigation regarding pharmaceutical drugs for generic drug manufacturers.
As a national IP boutique, Vondst is strongly committed to its stand-alone strategy. This limits its opportunities to cooperate with other European boutiques when it comes to cross-border litigation. Nevertheless, lawyers regularly conduct the Dutch proceedings of pan-European litigation for generic drug manufacturers such as Teva, Mylan or Sandoz against originators.
Currently Vondst is considering strengthening its ties to German IP boutiques. This may be because the firm could be a partner for German law firms of a similar set-up when it comes to representing NPEs in Dutch proceedings against implementers from the mobile communications sector. Now that the UPC is starting soon, this is a logical first step – but it should not be the only step. Potential could also lie in closer ties to similar firms in France or Italy. If Vondst wants to play an important role before the new court in representing generic drug companies, and potentially NPEs, then strategic alliances with firms in these three countries will be helpful.
Now that Hoyng ROKH Monegier and Brinkhof have clearly opted for close alliances with other European law firms, Vondst is the last independent Dutch litigation firm without a fixed alliance for the UPC.
Otto Swens (“very knowledgable and bright litigator”, “very visible for generic pharma clients”, both competitors), Ricardo Dijkstra (“high quality and steady cooperation”, competitor), Arvid van Oorschot (“strong patent attorney with an eye for the commercial interests of his clients”, “he has increased Vondst’s visibility in the market a lot over the past few years”, both competitors), Tjeerd Overdijk
Exclusive focus on IP matters. Strong focus on disputes for clients from the chemistry and life sciences sectors. IP matters with regulatory work. Advice regarding licence agreements and FTO analysis.
Litigation: Pharmathen (defendant) against Novartis regarding cross-border injunction over cancer drug Okrodin; Teva (defendant) against Novartis in infringement and revocation cases over anti-tumour drug Afinitor; Teva (defendant) against Bayer over anti-cancer drug Nexavar; Sandoz (defendant) against Bristol-Meyers Squibb in PI proceedings regarding apixaban patent for Factor XA inhibitor Eliquis; Viatris (defendant) against Novartis regarding SPC on haemochromatosis drug deferasirox; Alfasan (defendant) against Boehringer Ingelheim over drug telmisartan for treating chronic kidney diseases; Tomra (claimant) against Kiremko in infringement and revocation cases over steam-peeling technology; Belimo (claimant) against Belparts regarding the flow control in a fluid-based central heating or cooling system; NPE (claimant) against implementer over speech coding for mobile devices; NOBA (defendant) against Nutrition Sciences regarding enforcement and revocation of a patent for fatty acids in livestock feed; Hoefnagels (defendant) against Stöbich over technology for fire safety screens; Adire (defendant) against Basic Holding over patent for artificial fireplaces; frequent litigation for Sandoz and Viatris. Advice: Assa Abloy on patent enforcement regarding safety solution for doors; Bercomex on licence agreement with a French patentee regarding a flower sorting machine; Fuenix regarding inventor rights and assignments for renewable energy technology; Strukton regarding licensing deals; NPE on SEP litigation in the Netherlands.