This leading firm in patents is increasingly active in litigation, with its mixed teams. The practice was in action, for instance, for Aeritas against Lufthansa concerning mobile boarding patents. The patent attorneys and lawyers are keeping up with the trend by advising the growing number of NPEs arriving in Germany and litigated for Marathon Patent, for instance, in several proceedings. B&B is well set up for the upcoming UPC with offices in Paris and Munich. The firm plans to continue only serving the court venue Düsseldorf with lawyers from Munich – a bold strategy from today’s perspective. The firm stepped up its traditionally strong filing activity, esp. in electronics.
A leading patents team which is very well positioned for the UPC thanks to its successful mixed approach, very broad prosecution practice and offices in Munich and Paris. The exceptionally broad technical expertise of the patent attorneys also stands the firm in good stead, incl. their litigation experience for electronics and telecoms patents. The lawyers are also active in a multitude of proceedings with a wide technical background, e.g. for Välinge in connection with laminate flooring and Doco Korea concerning razor blades. Grünecker is increasingly branching into litigation for NPEs, so more proceedings involving mobile communications patents can be expected soon. There is room, however, for the firm to build on its visibility in pharmaceuticals proceedings, for example with experienced laterals. The pharmaceuticals prosecution practice is also too small compared to others in the market.
HE is still among the leading names for patents and established an excellent setup for the UPC early on, esp. on the patent attorney side. The firm operates one of the large European prosecution practices with an extremely strong position among Japanese companies and in the pharmaceuticals sector, and is also well placed when it comes to mobile communications and electronics patents. Alongside Bardehle, HE boasts one of the most active mixed litigation teams, traditionally with a strong presence in pharmaceuticals proceedings. Patent attorneys like Klusmann enjoy an excellent reputation here. HE was less visible recently in mobile communications proceedings. But the international setup allows hardly any room for criticism, as HE has long been visible in London with an office of its own because of its strong pharmaceuticals focus. The Milan and Madrid offices have yet to reach the level of London. There is also room for development at the two youngest offices in Hamburg and Düsseldorf, despite patent attorneys coming in as reinforcements and even though these offices are continuously widening their client base – from Düsseldorf HE works with Dutch patent attorneys, and from Hamburg it has its sights set on Scandinavia. But HE’s success at the UPC will depend on how well its strong Asian client base accepts the new system.
This recommended Munich IP firm was as strong as ever in filing patents. The firm is traditionally one of the most active for filing patents at the German Patent and Trademark Office because of its excellent connections to General Motors. This is also where the firm’s superb name for automotive patents stems from. The firm added three patent attorneys to its headcount, which was also a result of new patent portfolios, incl. that of Swiss company Sulzer. In litigation, the patent attorneys are mainly seen in opposition suits before the EPO and in nullity suits, e.g. for a Chinese mobile communications provider. In infringement proceedings, on the other hand, their visibility is limited. This is partly because the firm’s clients from the auto and Mittelstand sectors rarely take action before the courts.Further Analysis
On the basis of its excellently positioned prosecution practice, this leading firm in patents fine-tuned its litigation team setup. The firm bolstered the lawyer side with two career starters and appointed an experienced litigator salary partner. The litigation team already enjoys an excellent position in Munich, and the firm launched an additional office in Düsseldorf in November 2015, with a mixed litigation team of its own patent attorneys and an experienced lateral. Vossius is thus gearing itself more and more towards the UPC system, with a strong mixed approach, for instance to offer its US clientele full service. The patent attorneys are already working more consistently alongside the litigation specialists. Vossius is esp. well positioned in pharmaceuticals proceedings, but also represents Asian companies before Germany’s courts. With its launch in Düsseldorf, Vossius thus also has its sights set on Asian clients in the Rheinland.
BP is among the leading practices in patents thanks to its strong visibility in litigation, despite the fact that the mobile communications battles for Apple and Microsoft have slowed down. Instead, the firm stepped up litigation on behalf of regular clients like Adidas and Cisco. The team was, however, present in one of the largest mobile communications suits, where it represented intervener Amazon against SLC. With its setup and its offices in Milan and Paris, BP need not fear competition in the new UPC system, esp. as it bolstered both of its international offices with patent experts. BP is confidently facing up to the growing competition for its excellent US client base from British firms by consolidating contacts in the US industrial sector. There is still a gap, however, when it comes to life sciences patents. If the litigation-focused firm hopes to use prosecution work as a springboard into high-end pharmaceuticals litigation, which it has so far had to surrender to the Düsseldorf litigation practices and Munich competitors like Hoffmann Eitle, it will need to bring in patent attorneys.
This leading Düsseldorf IP boutique works exclusively with patent attorneys in patents and boasts one of the most visible prosecution practices in western Germany. The patent attorneys are esp. well known for their litigation work in mobile communications suits, e.g. for France Brevets and Nokia. In recent years, the practice has carved out a strong position in work for industry-oriented NPEs, and frequently brings this experience into play in its litigation for manufacturing companies. The firm’s visibility among NPEs provides it with a good starting position as far as the UPC system goes, as many expect the new court to be particularly appealing to this clientele.
This firm is highly recommended for patent filing and landed an astonishing number of new clients this year. The long-established IP boutique in Stuttgart thus gained ground in its already strong filing practice. For new client Innowatech, Dreiss not only took over the patent portfolio, but also stepped into an extensive opposition suit at the EPO right away. Dreiss litigates in infringement proceedings for its core base of Mittelstand clients from Baden-Württemberg, often alongside external litigators. This also gives rise to further litigation activity. When two older partners retired, the firm immediately brought in two experienced associates, one of whom worked at client Alcatel for many years.
This leading firm in patents is one of the standout patent litigation firms thanks to numerous opposition and nullity suits conducted primarily by patent attorneys like Ehlers and Göken. The patent attorneys are also very experienced litigating in infringement proceedings (e.g. for Enercon, Philips and Nordson), and traditionally active globally, with one example the ground-breaking arbitration work for Enercon in India. In a number of high-profile proceedings, e.g. Sisvel, the patent attorneys worked with external litigators, but also increasingly litigate with ES’ own lawyers. The preeminent prosecution practice made steady progress in terms of work, but had the loss of a Munich partner to Prüfer & Partner to cope with.
Alongside its well-positioned prosecution practice, this leading firm in patents now boasts a visible litigation team around Wuttke, which conducts a multitude of proceedings for Mittelstand companies. The firm also gained corporates such as Deutsche Telekom and a German chemicals manufacturer as new clients. On the downside, the team has not yet had a chance to step up to the plate and litigate for Facebook in a suit by NPE Marathon, although the patent attorneys handle the European prosecution. But the continuous expansion of the litigation team was the actual achievement of the past four years, as this fueled the now complete integration of all nine German offices. The patent attorneys are working increasingly with the firm’s own litigation team on an interoffice basis. These developments are crucial for MB&P to prove its merit in the UPC system.
A Munich-based patent attorney firm which is highly recommended for both filing and litigation. After an extensive selection process, the firm made it onto the Google panel, for which it now files patents. The firm’s visibility stems increasingly from litigation in the life sciences sector, where it works as part of an international team. The firm will need to find a suitable growth strategy to continue coping with the high workload. If it manages to do so, some of its patent attorneys, e.g. Katérle, may be candidates as litigation specialists in the major proceedings expected at the UPC.
This Ruhr Valley firm is most respected for its filing work in patents and, with a slight delay, raised its headcount for the upcoming UPC. Having suffered a departure last year, AH now boosted its specialties in mechanics, engineering and electronics with a patent attorney from its own pool of young talent. Thanks to the market visibility of a number of partners (e.g. Albrecht) and long-established connections to many notable Mittelstand companies and some corporates from western Germany, the firm has now ascended to first place in the Ruhr region. This was helped by the fact that it enjoys much steadier development than its main competitors in Essen. The firm does, however, have a strong competitor in western Germany in the shape of Cohausz & Florak, as AH’s patent attorneys are nowhere near as visible in litigation.
This Munich firm, which is respected for patents, is one of Germany’s strongest patent filers. Because of the exceptionally large number of German and European patents filed and the sheer number of fee earners – which was added to by two patent attorneys – EHF is most visible in electronics and IT patents, where it often represents international clients. The most notable names include Fujitsu, Huawei and a number of former Siemens subsidiaries. The firm only occasionally litigates for its regular clients.Further Analysis
This respected patent attorney firm enjoyed strong visibility across Germany, thanks to Keussen – incl. for litigation on the patent attorney side. The firm often looks after large global portfolios for its very loyal Mittelstand client base, incl. enforcement before the courts, as well as the large portfolios of some corporates and international companies, e.g. Sanyo and NEC, across Europe. Though GDM only conducts a small number of infringement proceedings, it mostly does so with its own litigator, unlike its north German competitors.
This respected patent attorney practice is very small in terms of the number of fee earners, but one of the most visible filing firms in north Germany. Thanks to its excellent track record for filing German and, above all, European patents, it can stand up to much larger outfits, like Eisenführ or Glawe. The firm has also enjoyed exceptional team stability for years. Mönkemeyer was esp. visible of late. The patent attorneys only occasionally litigate for regular clients, and then mostly on the side of external lawyers.Further Analysis
This respected patent attorney firm in Stuttgart enjoys deep roots among Mittelstand clients in the central Neckar region. The team is made up purely of patent attorneys and often advises first-class regular clients, such as cleaning appliance manufacturer Alfred Kärcher, primarily on patent filing and the arising disputes. These are then conducted with external litigators. In the long term, if the firm’s long-standing clients with international filing strategies are pulled before the UPC in disputes, it is questionable whether or not they will remain loyal to their patent attorneys. However, the tried-and-tested cooperation between the patent attorneys and renowned firms in Düsseldorf for litigation suggests that they would.Further Analysis
This respected patent attorney firm strengthened its clear focus on the chemicals and pharmaceuticals sector by boosting its headcount with three patent attorneys at associate and salary partner level from the industrial sector or competitors. The patent attorneys are mostly seen on the side of regular clients like BASF and Roche Diagnostics and consequently have a very good reputation for filing chemicals and pharmaceuticals patents. They are rarely active in litigation traditionally, and if so, then mainly for pharmaceuticals companies in cross-border suits, where they work exclusively with external lawyers.Further Analysis
The leading patents practice of this US firm is preparing for the launch of the UPC system, with a well-positioned patent attorney practice and a litigation team that is firmly established in Munich. The mixed approach and excellent links to US companies provide an excellent basis. For some time, the German patents practice has been growing mainly within existing client connections. For instance, the litigation team is conducting a host of major proceedings for pharmaceuticals, biotech and medical product manufacturers, among them economically important proceedings for Identix. Somewhat less pronounced is its work for auto manufacturers, chemicals and air transport companies. JD is hardly present at all, however, in mobile communications suits. In summer 2015, an experienced litigator moved to Vossius leaving JD with no litigation expertise in Düsseldorf.
This firm, which is highly recommended for patents, enjoys an esp. good name in the pharmaceuticals sector, both for prosecution and litigation. The litigation team was much busier this year, partly because of Stief’s high-profile activity. But reducing Maiwald to a pharmaceuticals firm would be too simplistic, as the patent attorneys and lawyers cover a broader technical spectrum encompassing the auto sector, aircraft construction and medical technology. Maiwald bolstered its practice in mechanical patents with two patent attorneys experienced in litigation from Bird & Bird. The firm has yet to stand out, however, in mobile communications proceedings.
As in previous years, this patent attorney firm, which is respected for its prosecution work, shifted up a gear. The patent attorneys are not only filing more patents for regular clients, they also gained a number of new clients, incl. Vorwerk. The firm saw most growth, however, in work for Asian companies. MH&P is also very active in IP-related due diligence work, e.g. in connection with the Molecular Partners IPO and the Sorbion sale to BSN Medical. The patent attorneys frequently appear in infringement proceedings.Further Analysis
This firm respected in patents developed its prosecution work within existing client relationships. The filing practice is strong in terms of the number of patents filed at the German Patent and Trademark Office and EPO and forms the basis for litigation work. As in previous years, the firm shone here on the side of Nike against Adidas. The patent attorneys were very active in nullity suits and infringement proceedings – always alongside external lawyers – mostly for auto manufacturers and suppliers. Following some years of stability, the firm now lost two patent attorneys specializing in mechanics to smaller competitors.
The patent attorneys at this respected IP firm underscored their reputation for chemicals and pharmaceuticals patents with work for Hexal in two high-profile suits. The patent attorneys are esp. visible in infringement proceedings and nullity suits on behalf of generics companies, as well as filing patents and conducting official proceedings in a variety of sectors. The second practice specialty is electronics patents, of which it files many for Asian corporates like LG.
Unlike many patent attorney firms, this Hamburg IP boutique, which is highly recommended for patents, is geared primarily towards litigation, not only filing. U&S litigates in cooperation with external lawyers. The patent attorneys themselves are very active for regular clients like Exxon Mobil in opposition suits. Agricultural corporate Monsanto is also a source of much litigation work, e.g. concerning plant cultivation. At international level, the patent attorneys mainly advise US clients who hire U&S directly, some of whom have been working with the firm for decades. The firm also landed new clients, e.g. Presspart, an instrument manufacturer for pharmaceuticals companies. If patent attorneys experienced in litigation for major proceedings are sought once the UPC is launched, U&S will be able to profit. However, the firm’s contacts among external lawyers and international partners, esp. its US contacts, will be tested when faced with competition from British firms. A London office could be an advantage.
Boasting one of the largest headcounts and strongest filing practices, this respected IP firm remains extremely visible in prosecution. For its strong Asian client base, VJ&P mainly filed patents at the German Patent and Trademark Office. The firm also looks after extensive European patents, e.g. for US clients as well as German electronics, IT and telecoms companies. The good connections to Osram and Infineon are public knowledge. The patent attorneys rarely appear in infringement proceedings and the lawyers mainly conduct trademark litigation.Further Analysis
This mixed firm recommended in patents is visible at a steady, high level, mostly in disputes. The firm gained new clients and litigated for Macronix in infringement proceedings. Steady filing work for the Mittelstand provides a solid basis for the strong litigation practice. The firm also works for large patent filers, such as BMW. WRST enjoys a strong name in the auto sector overall. Following the loss of two experienced patent attorneys last year, the firm has now appointed one of its own patent attorneys as partner.
The strength of this Munich firm respected for patents lies in portfolio management. Besides this, the patent attorneys are steadily developing litigation work for clients, incl. from the fields of pharmaceuticals and mechanics, and have gained a new pharmaceuticals company and an aluminum corporate as clients. Early 2015 saw W&W incorporate the nine-strong firm Hansmann & Vogeser into the practice, though only one patent attorney at partner level was among the new arrivals. A few months beforehand, a team around recommended patent attorney and engineer Dr. Hans-Jürgen Trossin spun off, forming Ruttensperger Lachnit Trossin Gomoll. The newly acquired team has so far gone relatively unnoticed in the market. In litigation, the firm only works with external lawyers.
This patent attorney firm in Stuttgart is respected for its patent filing practice. Unlike other Swabian firms, WW&P is esp. active for large corporates, such as Boeing, Sony and Carl Zeiss. The firm opts for organic growth; it takes a strategic approach to training and advances patent attorneys to the partnership, though it did not appoint any partners this year. The team, which is consistent in quality terms, also conducts litigation with external lawyers.
This firm respected for patent filing enjoys strong roots in the regional Mittelstand. The firm is profiting from the fact that a number of its regular clients, esp. auto suppliers, filed huge numbers of patents, and are increasingly defending these in disputes. The lawyers have not, however, made names for themselves as litigation specialists yet.Further Analysis
This respected Berlin IP firm is visible to an equal degree these days for its prosecution and litigation work. The firm operates one of the strongest filing practices in eastern Germany and cleverly capitalizes on its traditionally strong ties to Asia (own office in Beijing as well as Japanese and Korean patent attorneys) to conduct litigation for primarily Chinese clients, such as ZTE, Hisense and Haier. Proceedings often feature a mobile communications element. The firm’s strong visibility in Asian work and the expansion of its litigation activity form a good basis for an active role in the UPC system.
This respected, mixed IP firm traditionally enjoys a dominant position in the patent attorney scene in the Rhein-Main region, thanks to its strong position in mechanics patents. The prosecution work in chemicals patents is also held in high regard. The patent attorneys litigate for a number of Mittelstand companies and some corporates, e.g. Sanofi-Aventis. K&S is successfully building up its own litigation practice with lawyers, with the UPC in mind.
Not only is this highly recommended firm one of the most visible prosecution practices outside of Munich, it is also one of the foremost names for litigation in mobile communications suits on the patent attorney side. Here, M&N appears in almost all of today’s high-profile series of proceedings. M&N counts on its good ties to some law firms, such as ROKH and Hogan Lovells, in view of the UPC system and despite ROKH’s merger with Hoyng Monegier. At the same time, M&N banks on the outstanding litigation expertise of individual lawyers like Baumgärtel and on its stand-alone patent attorney work, as well as close direct connections with technology corporates, such as Infineon or a Korean conglomerate. But the firm could strengthen its independent position with more pharmaceuticals proceedings.
This respected firm, where patent attorneys predominate, proved that it is serious about building up a mixed litigation team by adding its first lawyer to the partnership, and, on the patent attorney side, bringing in patent attorney Emmerling, who is experienced in mobile communications suits, and a partner from Eisenführ experienced in electronics patents. Prüfer thus remains one of the most dynamic firms in Munich. The firm is excellently positioned as a prosecution practice, but to raise its visibility as a litigation firm it could capitalize on the rising activity by NPEs in Germany. Prüfer is currently visible in proceedings for regular clients like Brother and Sandos-Hexal.Further Analysis
This Nuremberg firm is most respected for patent filing and enjoys strong roots in the northern Bavarian Mittelstand. The patent attorneys primarily advise their regular clients, incl. Uvex and Coperion, on filing, and occasionally represent these in disputes in mixed teams. The filing practice’s core field of expertise is engineering.Further Analysis
This pure patent attorney firm is respected for filing and litigation work, and stands out from the practices in the Ruhr Valley. Following its spinoff from Gesthuysen und Partner the firm has succeeded in positioning a team of young patent attorneys visibly in the market, under name partner von Rohr. The focus of activity has shifted from engineering towards chemicals, life sciences and electrical engineering patents, with work for companies of varying sizes from the region. The firm is praised by competitors for its “sound judgment in bills for small clients”. In litigation, the firm works with external lawyers. But a number of the partners also enjoy good reputations for litigation on the patent attorney side.
The selection of law firms in the above table reflects the research of the editorial staff at JUVE and is based on interviews with clients, lawyers and academics. It remains a subjective view and implies no disparagement of any firm not mentioned here but which is nevertheless active in this field. The firms are alphabetically listed within the groups.
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