JUVE Patent

Grünecker – Germany 2019

Rankings:

JUVE Comment

This patent litigation team is well positioned and clients from the automotive and chip industries have helped by entrusting the practice for years with patent prosecution work. Its successful litigation for Broadcom in the first suit over connected cars patents against the VW Group paid off handsomely: a further suit against BMW and Daimler followed in 2019. The litigation team is thus currently at the centre of the disputes over connectivity in the auto industry and the fact that the firm’s lawyers and patent attorneys work together on the case demonstrates how well Grünecker’s mixed approach works. The legal litigation team is led by only two partners, however, and despite some growth at associate level it remains too small to handle more work of this calibre. The prosecution team has a strong position in Europe and is one of the most active in filing at the EPO. Both teams have a broad technical spectrum. The firm does less work in the pharma sector compared to competitors such as Hoffmann Eitle and Vossius, and this remains a weak point. In biotech, however, Grünecker recently stepped up its activities, and is still more active in the medical products sector.

Strengths

Patent prosecution and litigation related to electronics, mechanics and software. Connected cars litigation.

European strategy

The firm wants to manage its international presence by itself (especially regarding the UPC). With its mixed litigation team and established Munich and Paris offices Grünecker has very strong foundations for this. But without strong international relationships, especially to UK and Dutch firms, the litigation team will be excluded from big-ticket cross-border litigation, as it is at the moment. With more disputes like those for Broadcom, however, it will attract the attention of international law firms for cooperations. An office in Düsseldorf is not necessary for Grünecker but would strengthen its visibility in the market.

Recommended individuals

Ulrich Blumenröder, Bernd Allekotte; patent attorneys: Martin Aufenanger, Moritz Höffe (“excellent in infringement proceedings”, competitor), Reinhard Knauer, Thomas Schuster, Heike Vogelsang-Wenke

Team

84 patent attorneys, 9 lawyers

Specialties

All-round IP activity, incl. copyrights, trademarks and unfair competition. Clear focus on technical protection rights with a broad technical spectrum. Opposition and nullity suits and infringement proceedings with mixed teams.

Clients

Litigation: Broadcom/Avago against BMW and Daimler over connected cars; Eurofilters against competitor over vacuum filter; Teleflex against Coloplast over catheter; Per Aarsleff against competitor over construction machines. Prosecution: filings and some oppositions for Harman Becker, Fuji, Krones, Lear Corp., Mahle, Microsoft, Nissan, Panasonic, Rockwell, Samsung, Tyco, Yamaha.

Location:

Munich, Berlin, Cologne