JUVE Patent

Bird & Bird – Germany 2015

Rankings:

JUVE Comment

Once again, this leading litigation practice for patents demonstrated excellent visibility in pharmaceuticals and mobile communications cases, e.g. on the side of Nokia, Microsoft and Huawei. In the mobile communications sector, B&B is often in action for NPEs as well now. But the team mainly proves its huge clout through its involvement in a broad technical spectrum of cases, e.g. for Canon (printing technology) and Acer (DVD technology). Jüngst and Wolters-Höhne were active in far more pharmaceuticals cases, both for originators and generics manufacturers. The team was thus able to compensate for pharmaceuticals expert Dr. Ina vom Feld’s move to Simmons & Simmons. In contrast, a major gap was left by the surprising departure of patent attorney Dr. Friedrich Emmerling, who is accomplished in mobile communications suits, to Betten & Resch and, a short while later, two patent attorneys focusing on mechanical patents to Mailwald. The firm thus lost almost its entire expertise in electronic and mechanical patents, which will need to be remedied quickly in view of the UPC. B&B still has a good setup in pharmaceuticals patents. The departures cast a shadow on what was otherwise a positive example of a law firm developing a well-positioned patent attorney practice and raises the question of whether B&B really has the best setup for the UPC. At the turn of the year, a counsel also left the practice to join Düsseldorf boutique Kather Augenstein, a Preu Bohlig spinoff.

Strengths

Litigation, esp. related to pharmaceuticals and telecoms, provided by mixed teams, strong European IP practice, many international industrial contacts.

Development potential

B&B is well equipped for the upcoming UPC, with its patent expertise at all of the important UPC local divisions and its mixed litigation team. On the other hand, because of its immense size, the internationally positioned litigation team faces the risk of tension arising between the national groups, as the foreseeable concentration of high-end cases before the UPC could put pressure on its smaller European offices and the less-profitable partners.

Recommended individuals

Christian Harmsen, Oliver Jüngst, Felix Rödiger, Dr. Matthias Meyer, Boris Kreye,Dr. Anna Wolters-Höhne; patent attorneys:Dr. Daniela Kinkeldey, Dr. Michael Alt.

Team

9 equity partners, 7 salary partners, 24 associates, incl. 8 patent attorneys

Practice

In IP, more patents activity than trademarks and unfair competition. Strong litigation practice due to mixed teams. Sector expertise in pharmaceuticals and healthcare, biotech, chemicals, electronics and telecoms. Advice concerning patent strategies and licenses and on the interface with antitrust. Occasional patent filing.

Clients

Actavis against Eli Lilly regarding Alimta; Nektar concerning blood coagulation; Canon regarding printer technology; Huawei regarding mobile communications up to ECJ; Nokia and Microsoft concerning mobile communications patents; Rovi concerning EPG and smart TV; Acer concerning DVD and Wi-Fi patents; frequent litigation for Baxter, Edwards Lifescience, Sanofi, Teva.

Location:

Munich, Düsseldorf