Hogan Lovells – Germany 2019

Rankings:

JUVE Comment

A leading patent litigation team which continued its impressive development. HL was once again present in all the important cases before German courts. In mobile communications HL represented Vodafone, Google, LG and ZTE in the dispute with Intellectual Ventures. LG has retained the Munich team in two suits from NPEs, while Google frequently turns to the team for mobile phone cases. In the pharma sector, HL was highly active for originator companies against generics manufacturers over biosimilars and supplementary protection certificates (SPCs). In this segment HL plays to the full strength of its international patent team. For Merck and Eli Lilly, for example, the firm is challenging generics manufacturers across Europe. In the technology field, the Düsseldorf and Amsterdam teams joined forces to help Nikon fend off a suit from ASML and Carl Zeiss SMT concerning lithography machines for storage media. The fact that HL had to let Freshfields and Hoyng ROKH Monegier litigate for Apple in the year’s biggest mobile phone battle between the iPhone manufacturer and Qualcomm was a disappointment, however. Neither is HL at the forefront for car makers in the connected cars disputes. Despite excellent ties to Daimler, the firm had to watch Quinn Emanuel conduct the litigation. Nevertheless, the firm is advising Ford in an NPE suit over connected cars and another car manufacturer on licensing negotiations with the influential Avanci pool. In view of the patent team’s strong development, which sees the lawyers supported by 7 fee earners with technical know-how, HL’s standing in patent litigation is bound to increase. Since the arrival of a mobile communications expert two years ago, rivals have been taking HL’s efforts to establish its own patent attorney team very seriously. Indeed, HL appointed another litigation lawyer as partner. The team of 11 partners now has a greater clout than Bird & Bird and Honyg ROKH Monegier, for example. It is also in a position to conduct litigation in a multitude of technical fields.

Strengths

Strong international client base, large European patents practice, cross-border litigation, especially related to pharmaceuticals and multiple telecommunications.

European strategy

HL’s patent team is a pan-European leader. It has one of the few patent teams that truly works cross-border. The Düsseldorf, Amsterdam, London axis is homogeneous, which is reflected time and again in the impressive international presence in important pharmaceutical, mobile phone and electronics cases. The team is present at all relevant UPC locations. Only in Paris is its visibility dropping slightly. HL’s setup for the UPC is thus excellent and it is about to overtake its main competitor Bird & Bird, as the team is managed more consistently and has more solid US connections. When it comes to building up a patent attorney practice, however, Bird & Bird is far ahead as HL is only just getting started. But HL has managed to close the gap a good deal over the past two years.

Recommended individuals

Andreas von Falck (“prepares his cases very carefully and presents them convincingly to the court”, competitor), Martin Fähndrich, Christian Stoll, Steffen Steininger (“very well-versed litigator”, competitor), Clemens Plassmann, Miriam Gundt

Team

11 partners, 4 counsel, 24 associates (incl. 6 patent attorneys)

Specialties

Litigation and strategic advice to an equal extent, incl. licences, know-how protection, employee invention law and transactions. Specialties in the healthcare, medical technology, electronics, telecoms, engineering and auto sectors. Trademarks and unfair competition and advice on the interface with antitrust.

Clients

Litigation: Nikon against Carl Zeiss SMT over semiconductor technology; LG against Fipa and Lux Lightning; Vodafone, Google, LG and ZTE against Intellectual Ventures (all over mobile communications, some public knowledge); Ford against Innovative Foundry Technologies over memory chips; Apple, Amazon and Spotify against Datascape over audio streaming; Eli Lilly over Alimta; MSD over Inegy; Dainese against Alpinestars over motorcycle clothing; Hollister against Coloplast over urinary catheter; SolarEdge against Huawei over photovoltaic patents; regularly for Hoffmann-La Roche, HTC, Medinol, Shimano.

Location:

Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Munich