Bird & Bird – Germany 2019

Rankings:

JUVE Comment

This patent practice has long been a market leader. It stands out from competitors with its mixed team of lawyers and patent attorneys advising clients comprehensively on a large technology spectrum. Furthermore, B&B represents its clients across all European jurisdictions when it comes to major proceedings, putting it one step ahead of competitors such as Freshfields. The team around Jüngst and Wolters-Höhne boasts an excellent position in pharma cases. One example is its work for core client Ratiopharm resulting in a highly regarded ruling on a cancer drug containing fulvestrant. The team around Harmsen currently represents Huawei in an extensive case surrounding video signal coding. In Knorr Bremse B&B has managed to capture a new client requiring both litigation and prosecution, although in general the firm’s prosecution practice is less strategically significant. However, B&B has clearly found a way to integrate its patent attorneys (who primarily focus on litigation) in a way that not only makes business sense but that also opens up more potential missing at rival firms such as Hogan Lovells. The fact that six of the equity partners are patent attorneys underlines the success of this strategy. A further partner appointment in Munich provides scope for further client growth and outlines the firm’s intention to advise companies on the development of new technologies. However, despite its good ties to key players such as Nokia and Broadcom, the team has yet to be seen in any connected-cars cases.

Strengths

Litigation provided by mixed teams and interoffice cooperation in one of the strongest European IP practices.

European strategy

B&B stands out from competitors in that it has one of the largest litigation teams in Europe and at the same time follows a mixed approach in Germany. As a European market leader it has patent litigation specialists in all the important UPC member states. It is true that some competitors wonder whether turf wars will arise in such a large team with the start of the UPC. But B&B itself feels there is space for additional partners, especially in the Paris office. It could be disadvantageous in the medium term that the national practices have a high degree of decision-making leeway and the overall team is perhaps not geared as stringently towards the UPC as is the case at Hogan Lovells or Allen & Overy.

Recommended individuals

Christian Harmsen (“objective and impressive”, competitor), Oliver Jüngst, Felix Rödiger, Matthias Meyer, Boris Kreye, Anna Wolters-Höhne; Patent attorneys: Daniela Kinkeldey, Michael Alt

Team

13 partners, 5 counsel, 33 associates, incl. 19 patent attorneys

Specialties

Patent litigation conducted by lawyers and patent attorneys, mainly for the pharmaceuticals, biotech, chemicals, electronics and telecoms sectors. Advice concerning patent strategies and licences and on the interface with antitrust. Frequent patent filing for selected clients. Strong trademarks and unfair competition practice.

Clients

Litigation: Airbus against S-Fasteners over heat-resistant connecting bolts; Alstom against Bombardier over Jakobs bogies; B. Braun against Becton Dickinson over safety intravenous catheters; Broadcom against Asus over mobile telecommunications; Canon against various toner manufacturers over toner cartridges; Celanese against Daicel over manufacturing process for acetic acid; Edwards Lifesciences against Boston and Symetis over heart valves; Envipco against DPG, Gerolsteiner and Rako over German bottle deposit system; Fisher & Paykel against ResMed over breathing masks; Fresenius Kabi against Eli Lilly over cancer drug; Huawei against MPEG-LA over video signal coding; Immersion against Samsung over haptic technology for mobile devices; Kavo Kerr against 3M over dental materials; Knorr Bremse against Haldex and Faiveley; Nokia against Oyster Optics over software; Teva against Mylan over MS drug, Ratiopharm against AstraZeneca over cancer drug; Universal, Sony Pictures and Fox against Medien Patent Verwaltung over movies; WalkMe against TTS over software. Prosecution: Airbus, American Axle & Manufacturing, B. Braun Melsungen, Emery, Hako, Merck Patent.

Location:

Munich, Hamburg, Düsseldorf