This Düsseldorf IP firm is one of the most active litigation outfits in the German market, which is down to the sheer number of proceedings referred to it by patent attorneys or prominent midsized companies. The firm covers a plethora of technologies. Over the past year it was more present in proceedings related to life sciences, especially pharmaceutical products. KM litigated intensively for Fresenius Kabi and another originator manufacturer over biosimilars. Medical product manufacturers retained the firm for some major cases. As always, Verhauwen was highly active in mobile communications cases, especially concerning FRAND. One example is his litigation on behalf of the MPEG-LA pool, which he conducted in concert with the patent attorneys from Cohausz & Florak, against Huawei and ZTE. This case lasted until early 2019 when it resulted in a licence. He has also strongly been associated with the VW Group in connection with Avanci licenses, but more concrete evidence of the strong relationship was VW’s instruction to defend the company against a suit from the NPE Innovative Foundry Technologies. Verhauwen’s good position in connected cars was further demonstrated by his work for Texas Instruments as co-litigant of Daimler and BMW in the dispute against Broadcom. The market presence of the other partners does not even come close to that of Verhauwen, which is problematic for the firm as other market leaders have more partners with a high profile, except for Quinn Emanuel.
Infringement proceedings, especially in Düsseldorf and related to telecoms and software. Litigation for NPEs. Employee invention law.
For a long time, the boutique has taken a wait-and-see approach to the potential UPC launch. Now, as the future of the new court is as uncertain as ever, KM has ruled out a merger with European firms and instead relies on non-exclusive cooperations. This may limit its opportunities in cross-border proceedings. The firm will therefore have to rely entirely on the huge appeal of its lawyers. KM is still seen less often in cross-border disputes than other German boutiques.
Axel Verhauwen (“the standard in the German market when it comes to SEP suits”, competitor), Jochen Bühling (“convincing advocate before the court”, competitor), Gereon Rother, Michael Bergermann
8 partners, 3 associates
All-round IP activity with a clear focus on patent litigation. Employee invention law. Trademarks and unfair competition.
Litigation: MPEG LA pool against Huawei and ZTE over video coding; Texas Instruments against Broadcom over mobile phone chips; VW against Innovative Foundry Technologies over infotainment chips; Fipa against Samsung and LG over mobile communications; Claassen against Vählinge over laminate; Novoferm against Hörmann over garage doors; Saint-Gobain against 3M over glue; Tesa against 3M over protective films; SMA Solar against Solar Edge over inverter; Fresenius Kabi over biosimilar; regularly for Benteler, Melitta/Swirl, ITW. Advice: VW Group in connection with connected cars licences.