The patent litigation team at this magic circle firm resides at the top of the German market and at the forefront of pharma and mobile communication cases. It was recently e.g. involved in the major battle for core client Apple. The team around the renowned Hufnagel and the young but established Prinz zu Waldeck und Pyrmont were also successful for Nikon. And thanks to the long-standing relationship to Continental, the patent team represented the auto supplier in the new cases over connected cars. The practice finally also stepped up its litigation in pharma cases, e.g. for core client Novartis and also Bayer.After years of staff fluctuation, the firm has now finally consolidated the team. With its new structure, the team has a high leverage compared to other firms but this on the other hand offers long-term perspectives for establishing a third partner. The client contacts of the firm as a whole harbour potential for growth. New arrivals at the London office brought contacts in particular opportunities with the pharma industry.
Pharmaceuticals and telecoms litigation, advice on the interface with antitrust.
The German practice is a central part of a well-integrated European team with further strong pillars in Amsterdam and London. In the latter office, FBD boosted its presence 2018 by bringing in a well-regarded Arnold & Porter team. But compared to competitors like Hogan Lovells or Bird & Bird, the manpower looks rather slim. FBD foregoes z.B. proven patent experts in Paris, where it intends only to cooperate with the general dispute resolution team in UPC cases. This strategy may be in line with the firm’s stronger focus as a whole but limits the patents practice as regards UPC. Nevertheless, the team’s work in cases such as Apple vs. Qualcomm demonstrate it can manage international cases with French network firms.
Frank-Erich Hufnagel, Wolrad Prinz zu Waldeck und Pyrmont
2 partners, 9 associates
Patent litigation, licences, transactions. Close cooperation with the trademarks and unfair competition, antitrust, commercial litigation and liability.
Litigation: regularly for Apple against Qualcomm over memory chips (public knowledge); Ericsson against Unwired Planet over SEPs; Nikon against ASML/Carl Zeiss SMT over chip manufacturing; regularly for Bayer, Novartis.