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.
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.Further Analysis
This European IP boutique is a leader in patent litigation in Germany and has further consolidated its position. The team is regularly involved in groundbreaking mobile communications cases, most recently for Apple. A team around Haft defended the iPhone manufacturer for the first time together with Freshfields against a series of suits from Qualcomm, right up until they were settled. The good ties to Intel, whose chips were subject to the dispute, opened the door to the instruction. The firm frequently attracts attention in major pharma cases as well, e.g. for core client Gilead, which Kanz represented in a precedent SPC dispute concerning the HIV drug Truvada. Clients and competitors alike praise the firm for its “excellent teamwork” and “good coordination”, which enable efficient work in major cases. HRM has driven cross-border cooperation with other European offices and increasingly deploys multinational teams in litigation over multiple countries. E.g. in the case against Nikon, the Amsterdam office advised ASML while the Düsseldorf practice represented supplier Carl Zeiss in the German proceedings. This increasingly successful European network landed the German patent practice further prominent clients, such as a US company from the consumer goods industry, which the trademark lawyers in Madrid transferred to the Düsseldorf patent practice, with the latter providing both litigation and prosecution. Following the growth resulting from the merger a few years ago, the firm now needs to develop a European strategy to avoid conflicts. One example is whether the firm as a whole wants to represent NPEs or patent users, originator companies or generics manufacturers.Further Analysis
After another hugely successful year, it is clear that this mixed IP firm remains a market leader in both patent litigation and filing. Compared to many other German IP firms, BaPa has a clear international focus when it comes to litigation. And here it is probably only Hoyng ROKH Monegier that can be said to have the edge over Bardehle. The former is regarded as working more consistently between its international offices, whereas Bardehle’s German lawyers work less frequently with their counterparts in Paris or Verona, for example. Nevertheless, the firm has an excellent reputation in the US, with clients from the semiconductor and mobile phone industries using the firm for patent prosecution. Particularly in mobile communication cases, Bardehle’s mixed-team approach has allowed it to straddle the line between representing NPEs such as Intellectual Ventures (IV) and companies such as Microsoft. The firm was highly present in the major suits surrounding connected cars patents. It also represented Nintendo and Blackberry in an important case over computer chips. Some competitors have criticised the fact that the firm has yet to see a significant victory for NPE IV in Europe's most extensive dispute of the past two years. This headline work for IV has obscured just how broadly the litigation team is active elsewhere, and in particular and how often it is on the industry side. This is partly down to the recruitment of former Freshfields partner Chrocziel, who brought good ties to Audi, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard. That trend was confirmed by an mprovement in the firm’s activities in the healthcare sectore - with litigation for Amgen – when it has been more of a weak flank up unti now. It also represents numerous medical product manufacturers, including a Japanese pharmaceuticals manufacturer.
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.Further Analysis
Once again the German team of this US firm confirmed its status as a leading outfit in litigation. A large team around Grosch conducted the European part of the global patent battle over semiconductors for Qualcomm against Apple, which ended in a settlement in early 2019. In the current dispute over connected cars patents, the firm represents Daimler against suits from Broadcom, Nokia and Sharp. In order to handle two such prestigious cases the team had to double its size and appoint a counsel in Munich with experience in mobile phone suits to salary partner. This closed a gap in the practice left by a partner in 2017. The two cases demonstrated once more that Grosch is the team’s central figure, though the firm has another highly renowned litigator in its ranks in Bukow. The partner ranks are still too thin, however, and so despite being very successful, the team can only compete with market leaders such as Hogan Lovells and Bird & Bird to a limited degree. Although they are on a par in mobile communication suits, QE does not come close in other technical fields. The firm is making progress in the pharma sector, where it recently advised two heavyweights in Pfizer and Merck. For years, QE has handled nullity suits and EPO appeals without the involvement of patent attorneys, and this makes it stands out from the rest of the market.Further Analysis
This Düsseldorf law firm is part of the wider group of market leaders in patent litigation. It conducts infringement and nullity suits primarily for clients in the pharma, biotech and mobile communications sectors. Defence against NPE suits for clients such as Samsung and LG have given rise to a considerable work flow. ROP managed to transfer this experience to connected cars for the first time in its work for Alpine as co-litigator of BMW. Traditionally, the firm is in the premier league in pharma and biotech, thanks to partners Thomas Musmann and von Rospatt. In both fields, ROP is active for industry and originator companies. The firm litigates on a wide spectrum of technical fields and, like many of its competitors, increasingly conducts nullity suits and oppositions without external patent attorneys. In the major patent cases, observers have noticed that the ROP partners work as a team much more effectively than other boutiques. In cross-border cases this ability to deploy large teams has lent the firm a competitive advantage. Like other Düsseldorf litigation firms, ROP has continued to grow cautiously, most recently with an associate.Further Analysis
The IP firm is still one of the most active litigation outfits in Düsseldorf, in part due to its unusual breadth. Wildanger conducts equal amounts of litigation in pharma, mobile communications and mechanics. Other Düsseldorf boutiques have yet to achieve the same breadth. Most prominent of these fields is mobile communications, namely cases over standard-relevant patents. Some partners have been advising NPEs for years, e.g. Saint Lawrence Communications in SEP and FRAND proceedings. Now ocompanies have also been trusting the firm’s experience in such cases, e.g. LG for the defense against a suit from Conversant. As a member of the Avanci pool, Sharp turned to Wildanger in a suit against Daimler over connected cars patents. The firm was thus able to use its know-how in NPE suits to advantage in what is currently the most important area of patent litigation. In order to manage the heavy workload here, Wildanger took on the highly experienced Reetz from Hogan Lovells. He brought German company Hoccer as client. Wildanger has a steady work flow in many areas of technology. Through Geschke the firm is very active in pharma cases, e.g. for Mylan over Truvada.Further Analysis
The Düsseldorf litigation team at this boutique is challenging the market leaders, being involved in key cases at German courts, e.g. for Nokia against Daimler in the groundbreaking case surrounding connected cars. The team also continues to play a key role in FRAND licensing issues: currently it represents Sisvel at the Federal Court of Justice in the precedent FRAND case against Haier. No less strong is the firm's reputation in patent litigation for pharma and medical product companies, e.g. represents Sanofi as well as Hexal. These big cases show that, through a high level of teamwork, AR has been able to conduct an enormous number of major cases simultaneously level. There were departures at counsel and associate levels last year, but AR has now managed to rebuild and even expand these ranks. This is significant as the number of notable clients retaining the firm for major proceedings was once again impressive.Further Analysis
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 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.Further Analysis
The Düsseldorf patent litigation firm is heavily involved in mobile communications disputes. The team represented its long-standing clients Audi and VW in the first major suit over connected cars. The case was extensive and involved the entire firm. This example illustrates how well this litigation boutique can manage major cases. The firm is well positioned in medical product cases and represents Coloplast, for example, in an international suit over urinary catheters. Furthermore, the practice is instructed by international companies and German midsized companies from almost all sectors. This strong development is reflected in the headcount; KA wooed two experienced associates from its market-leading rivals Bird & Bird and Hogan Lovells, and also established two young partners. The boutique is thus well armed for the future.Further Analysis
The litigation practice at this international full-service firm has always delivered impressive work in pharma patents. In recent years, it has diversified its client circle to include other sectors such as telecoms and technology. The patent lawyers played a background role for an auto supplier in the high-profile Broadcom vs. Audi case over connected cars. Despite core clients such as Asus and ZTE, the firm has not yet achieved the same profile in mobile communications as it has in pharma cases. TW is broadening its technical range, advising clients such as the pallet manufacturer Chep and the window specialist. This development is yet to be reflected in the headcount in the team, however. The firm appointed a salary partner in Düsseldorf but was unable to close the gap left by the departure of two partners last year who specialised in mobile communications. The patent team in Munich lost a salary partner specialising in pharma an life sciences who moved in-house, but this loss was able to be absorbed.Further Analysis
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.
This mixed IP firm is a market leader. It operates one of the biggest European prosecution practices and boasts a very strong position among Japanese companies. The litigation team has an excellent reputation for pharma suits. One client praised the team as “first class, especially in pharma proceedings” and competitors say it is “absolutely top in chemistry and biotech”. The lawyers were recently involved in some prominent cases, e.g. for AstraZeneca and Sanofi. However, the litigators have so far struggled to convince clients from other sectors of their litigation experience. The patent attorneys, on the other hand, advise on significant mobile communications cases alongside renowned law firms, e.g. Noerr for Tinder operator MTCH in a suit from instant messaging service Hoccer over app technology. The attorneys also worked with Kather Augenstein for Ericsson against Wiko over mobile communications.
This small, partner-heavy IP boutique is present in patent infringement cases, especially the major mobile communication cases. The team litigated for Broadcom/Avago against VW/Audi in one of the first suits over connected cars. In addition, the boutique represented Wiko against Sisvel and 3G Licensing over mobile communications patents. A new client was the TCL subsidiary TCT, which instructed the practice in the second instance for an SEP case. In other technical fields, both midsized companies and corporates retain the four-strong team. One example is the litigation for 3M against Tesa over a manufacturing process for adhesive strips made from polymer foam, which went to the Federal Court of Justice twice. The team also has a number of pharma clients, but has a lower profile in these cases.Further Analysis
Strong development in the mobile communications sector underlined the status of this mixed firm as a market leader. Not only did the prosecution practice expand its work for heavyweights such as LG and a German mobile phone company, but also the litigation team experienced an upswing. VP’s mixed team is now firmly in the saddle at ZTE, while the three-strong litigation team around Kramer fought for Wiko against both Philips and members of the MPEG-LA pool concerning audio coding patents. This team joined VJP’s Düsseldorf office in early 2018 and was quickly integrated, partly thanks to the work for Wiko. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the future of the UPC, the firm continues to build up its mixed litigation team. In terms of quality and breadth of top instructions, however, the litigation practice lags behind the market leaders in infringement cases. When it comes to biotech patents, on the other hand, VP is at the head of the European pack. The patent attorneys around Jaenichen, for example, represent CRISPR Therapeutics against the Broad Institute in the dispute over CRISPR/Cas gene editing technology. In medical products the firm has a strong position with numerous cases for Smith & Nephew, ResMed and Boston Scientific.
This mixed firm is a market leader in patent filing. B&B advises its clients on a broad technical spectrum and is deeply rooted in computer technologies, mobile telecommunications, chips, software, pharma and biotech. Filing work has strongly increased over the past year, mainly as a result of core clients successfully stepping up their activities or transferring a greater part of their patent portfolio to the firm. B&B expanded its team of patent attorneys accordingly and continues to chart a path for growth. The patent attorneys are also regarded as experienced litigators, but the lawyers are seen as being a step behind and are a smaller team compared to the market leaders. In patent infringement cases, the firm consistently incorporates its lawyer team, which it boosted with another lawyer. While midsized clients and clients from the pharma sector have relied on this full-service approach, international corporates such as Huawei, Intel and LG, have tended call in other firms. Highlights in litigation in infringement cases and before the EPO include comprehensive proceedings for Gabo Systemtechnik concerning a key patent for pipe bundles for laying fibreglass cables. The firm’s strategy of focusing its lawyers in Munich leaves the Düsseldorf market to its rivals in the competition for young lawyers and laterals, which is surprising as Boehmert has an office there.
The litigation practice of this full-service firm (biggest in Germany) is shaped by its extensive activity for German midsized technology companies, which give rise to a good flow of work. In addition the firm has strengthened its clients base amongst start-ups in the medical technology sector. Up to now, CMS has been underrepresented in mobile communications but the practice recently showed more presence with a new client defended in a suit from NPE concerning SEPs. The large team is not present in major European patent litigation, however. CMS has onstantly expanded its cross-border advice, leading to closer ties to the patent teams in the international CMS network. The German CMS team also cooperates closely with the offices in Shanghai and Beijing, e.g. in advice to auto supplier Elmos in two cases in China. The team has also worked together successfully with the London patent team for in the pharma and technology sectors, e.g. for a Chinese solar module manufacturer. The German patent lawyers often take the lead on cross-border projects, e.g. in an infringement case for an industrial company in five European countries. This is seen as underscoring the lawyers’ growing significance within the network.Further Analysis
The patent litigation practice has stable ties to its core clients from various sectors, especially pharma, telecoms, electronics and consumer goods. Of Counsel Bopp, enjoys an excellent reputation. In connected cars cases the firm advised in the background and brought its antitrust expertise into play. However, it has not recently played a role in those cases which have as yet been public. The relatively small team size compares with rivals means opportunities for further development are limited.Further Analysis
The patent litigation team around Kellenter advises a healthy mix of companies and NPEs. The team has been able to maintain this balance for years because the companies it advises mainly stem from industries that have not yet been attacked by NPEs over connectivity. AstraZeneca and Saint-Gobain are long-term litigation clients. The team’s work for GE subsidiary Concept Laser against Bego and its customers is becoming increasingly comprehensive. Recently, the team litigated for core client Kennametal over cutting blades. In mobile telecommunications, however, the team has a clear focus on NPEs, having represented IPCom and Fipa for years. The headcount is stable, though an associate did become a counsel. A second partner would help open the door to larger, cross-border proceedings.Further Analysis
This US firm has a large and experienced mixed team in Germany. Compared with some rivals, JD has a broader prosecution practice and a somewhat weaker litigation practice. Predominantly clients from the biotech and pharma sectors call on the firm for international patent cases in multiple jurisdictions, thus profiting from the global network. The practice represented the MSD subsidiary Idenix Pharmaceuticals against Gilead in a high-profile dispute over an expensive hepatitis C drug. Companies also turn to JD for mechanics and engineering patents. The practice has good contacts to auto suppliers but was not involved in the current wave of connected cars suits. This field holds potential for the practice, as it recently took on patent attorneys with good ties in this sector.
The strength of this mixed IP firm is its breadth. It is anchored in numerous sectors and technical fields. The prosecution practice has a solid position among German midsized companies and has good ties to notable international clients such as Facebook and Johnson Controls. Only in pharma is the firm unable to compete with the presence of other Munich outfits such as Hoffmann Eitle. The agile litigation team around Wuttke has not only expanded its headcount, but also its technical breadth. E.g. the team’s work for Deutsche Telekom in mobile communications proceedings is firmly established. Following a merger in 2018 with a small patent attorney firm, MB gained a Düsseldorf office, which it is now integrating into its prosecution practice. The office brought important ties to BASF. Litigation does not play a role at present, but in the medium term the office could bring a stronger toehold at an important patent court. However, MB needs to establish experienced litigators here.
This law firm boasts a renowned litigation practice with deep roots in German midsized companies. Its excellent reputation in the patent-attorney community is major factor here. The persistence of the young partners in rebuilding the firm following departures between 2016 and 2017 has paid off; for two years in a row, younger partners and senior associates have joined the outfit after hearing about PBP’s fresh impetus. PBP can also boast one of the few partner moves in the market; Meier joined from rival firm Hoyng ROKH Monegier. The newly acquired equity partner is active on the interface between patent and pharma. His arrival is not only a boost for the renowned pharma team but also opens the door to potential clients from the healthcare sector seeking more comprehensive advice. Furthermore, the firm’s interoffice cooperation is now bearing fruit. For example, a Munich-Düsseldorf team advises new client Bora in the dispute with Miele concerning extraction systems for hobs. Senior partner Donle is active in mobile communications, representing Huawei in the major patent battles, for example.Further Analysis
The German practice of this UK firm has been particularly prominent in pharma and biosimilars litigation. The team’s core client list features two heavyweights, Bayer and Boehringer and the strong European practice enjoys an outstanding reputation in life sciences. S&S represented Samsung Bioepis throughout Europe concerning bringing several biosimilars onto the market. The departure of a partner specialising in mechanics in June 2018 was a significant loss for the German team, however. An IP lawyer in Munich was appointed partner but he does not focus exclusively on patent law and the firm has not yet compensated for the loss. Nevertheless, S&S broadened the technical range of its litigation. The Düsseldorf team is now more active in mobile communication cases, e.g. for TCL. Previously it was active for Axdia as co-litigator of Google against Philips. Suits over connected cars patents, however, have largely passed the firm by, but the team did a good deal of work for Imperial Tobacco concerning e-cigarettes. If S&S wants to do justice to its lofty European ambitions, expanding its Munich team will be unavoidable. Finding notable laterals is difficult at present; hiring experienced associates or counsel would be easier.Further Analysis
With a practice focussed on high-end litigation with lawyers, the Magic Circle firm is particularly strong in litigation for mobile communication and pharmaceutical cases. In the latter Feldges is highly active for originator companies. The firm's most prominent cases at present include a series for Pfizer incl. one before the European Court of Justice. The German team was retained by a British pharmaceutical company for the first time – a core client of the London practice – and more significantly by Bayer. Work for large chemistry and pharma companies as a whole is increasing as a result of the cooperation with the teams in London and Paris. A&O's litigation for Archos in a pan-European case against Philips has been the firm's crown jewel for years in mobile communications. Based on this, the practice is pushing further into this sector with a young partner who came from Quinn Emanuel two years ago and was quickly integrated. However, many mobile phone communication companies already have established relationships to other outstanding patent practices, making it difficult for A&O to break through further into the market. Nevertheless, smartphone manufacturers have turned to the firm for NPE suits. There is an increased focus on litigation for the auto and consumer goods industries, which are increasingly grappling with connectivity issues and as such A&O's advice to Volvo was a real coup. Seen through the prism of cross-border litigation and the UPC, the firm's presence in Düsseldorf has room for improvement. A&O has a respected soft IP lawyer here but no designated patent experts.Further Analysis
This small IP boutique’s USP has been its flexibility as a patent litigation specialist, which means it has been well placed to represent NPEs in mobile communications suits, e.g. Unwired Planet. This positioning on the NPE side has remained strong, with the firm frequently representing these clients in new proceedings over the past year. Aside from such major cases, a growing number of innovative midsized German companies have been instructing the firm, especially for technically complex proceedings. The success of the firm over the past 8 years since its foundation allowed it to acquire a second partner and an associate who joined the team in 2018 with the result that the patent practice is much stronger than it was two years ago. The team around Haag now has the potential to sharpen the focus on its client base of midsized companies.Further Analysis
The German patent team of this large international firm has a well known litigation specialist in Munich in Herr, who is also a qualified patent attorney. This has enabled the practice to litigate for clients such as Becton Dickinson regularly in infringement, opposition and nullity cases. With a second dual qualified lawyer, the firm is also well equipped for cases in the field of optics. Internationally active German companies such as Giesecke & Devrient also frequently retain the firm. The patent practice also advises companies which are already ongoing clients of other practices, e.g. healthcare. Such clients also harbour further potential, as the practice is relatively small compared to market leading practices at large internatinal firms.Further Analysis
The German team of the global firm focuses on patent litigation and following the arrival of Cepl two years ago, the practice now has a stable setup. His rapid integration into the team has increased its technical breadth and as such DLA is now in a better position to play a key role in the current connected cars disputes, especially with core clients Harman and Aptiv as first tier suppliers of communication modules. DLA represented them not only as co-litigants of VW, BMW and Daimler in the infringement suits from Broadcom, but also advises them in other cases. This work stems from the long-standing mobile communications experience of the Munich team around Gampp. The Cologne team focuses on pharma and medical product patents and has good ties to Medtronic and Becton Dickinson. Extending the team to two partners has enabled the firm to work on nullity cases without external patent attorneys, e.g. for Harman and Aptiv against the Broadcom patents.Further Analysis
The small Munich patent team is very active in infringement cases and clients increasingly call in the firm for licensing negotiations. The team’s advice to the auto industry on connected cars patents and potential disputes is developing positively. On the one hand this is not surprising, since Noerr has long standing good ties to German car makers. On the other hand, such work is remarkable given that the patent team’s experience of mobile communications has been gleaned mainly through litigation for NPEs. Noerr has attempted to walk this tightrope by increasingly working more for industry and gradually reducing its work for NPEs. Noerr’s activity for NPEs has prevented it from being involved in the current suits surrounding connected cars. However, the expertise the firm has gained through representing players such as Wilan, Paker Vision and Rembrandt IP is likely to prove valuable in the long term when it comes to connected cars and consumer goods. The firm’s reorientation away from NPEs has put pressure on the once-close cooperation with patent attorneys from Bosch Jehle. Both outfits were not seen working together as often as they used to. Noerr will have to adjust its strategy at some point with regard to mixed teams, as the market leading litigation teams at Hogan Lovells and Bird & Bird already offer technical expertise.Further Analysis
This full-service firm is predominantly known for the outstanding reputation of its Cologne team in employee invention law. In addition since 2017 a new team around Gruber in Munich has stepped up its presence in infringement and nullity suits, as well as oppositions at the EPO. Although the two teams focus on different fields, the firms has increasingly been able to cross-sell from one practice to another. The Cologne team’s client list in employee invention law reads like a who’s who of the German economy, while the Munich team represents these clients in litigation, e.g. VW, a German electronics company or a German technology corporate. Gruber brought two further heavyweights from German industry in Siemens and Wacker Chemie, which are now advised by the Cologne team. The firm’s merger has therefore paid off and the team maintains excellent contacts to car makers and their suppliers. The firm is only peripherally involved in connected cars suits, despite having some experience here. In addition, with CBH’s advice to Bayer in invention law, the firm has the potential to raise its profile in pharma cases.Further Analysis
This IP firm is one of the most active patent outfits outside Munich, due to its intensive patent-filing work on the one hand, and its strong litigation focus (both patent attorneys and lawyers) on the other. The patent attorneys traditionally litigate in oppositions and nullity cases for nationally and internationally renowned clients such as BASF, Enercon and Philips. That they increasingly work with the small team of lawyers on suits for Philips and various licence pools is a consistent development. Eisenführ is thus more active in the growing litigation work in Germany than other patent attorney outfits. As a litigation firm it is very present in cases where NPEs like Sisvel or industry companies such as Philips attempt to enforce their protection rights. On the corporate side, clients include Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and Dolby, which have pooled their patents. The patent attorneys handle a high number of patent filings for many notable core clients.
The mainly regionally (Hamburg) active patent practice frequently advises defendants in patent proceedings. It continues to develop this work with new clients, e.g. HU is advising a pharmaceuticals manufacturer in preparation for a lawsuit. Notable companies retain the small team, such as generics manufacturer Aliud Pharma in the high-profile proceedings against Gilead over the HIV drug Truvada. The EuGH ruled in favour of the generics manufacturer here in a precedent case. The practice is expanding its client base, e.g. in the packaging and consumer goods industries. The filing practice is regularly active for companies from the chemistry and engineering industries.Further Analysis
The litigation team at this full-service firm has a good position in Düsseldorf. The technical breadth of the team’s litigation work is a real advantage, as it is deeply rooted among midsized companies that are active in various sectors. Often these clients turn to HKLW for its cooperation with European firms in the WSG network. The team frequently litigates for midsized clients in highly specialised technological fields, e.g. for Sisgrass over modern surfaces for sports grounds, for Egger over digital printing for furniture parts and for Echonens over medical devices. In contrast to litigation in medical technology, pharma proceedings play a subsidiary role. An associate who joined the firm from a Düsseldorf rival managed to build up long-term work in pharma suits. Initial work related to telecom patents, however, was not further pursued. The team needs to establish a toehold in both areas to enable HKLW to improve the quality of its cases and move into the upper middle tier of German litigation firms. The close ties to patent attorney firms like Cohausz & Florack and the intensive cooperation with partner firms in the WSG network have so far hindered this.Further Analysis
In this otherwise transaction-driven firm, the patent team around Schönbohm has acquired a clear profile for pharma litigation. It conducts international proceedings for Shire and Sanofi together with the offices in London and Paris, which is underlined by the European patent practice’s strong network. The instructions are mainly managed in London. The German team is continuously broadening its technical competence through more proceedings outside the pharma sector. One example is the cross-border litigation for Seoul Semiconductors over LEDs, together with London and Paris. Linklaters also advises on connected cars, although it has not been at the forefront of German suits as yet. Such work proves the team has the ability to handle large-volume cases of the quality worthy of the market leaders. Linklaters recently bolstered its team with a managing associate from Hoyng ROKH Monegier, who brings experience in the firm’s core fields. The practice’s goal is to advise on more major cases independently from Germany. The client base offers additional potential for the German patent team in litigation, as other large firms do not boast the clear-cut profile amongt German industrial companies that the Linklaters team has. In addition IP teams at other large firms often have a higher proportion of transaction work.Further Analysis
With its mixed approach, this Munich firm is geared towards disputes. This work is based on a strong prosecution business, which the practice recently beefed up with young patent attorneys, especially in engineering. Some three years ago Maiwald saw several departures, but these have now been compensated for, and is now close to re-establishing its former full-service approach with a number of technical practice areas which are equally strong. The firm is expanding its client base in digital communication and computer technologies but pharma and biotech patents remain Maiwald’s calling card. Indeed the firm is at the top of the market when it comes to prosecution and litigation in biotech. One example is Maiwald’s involvement in the battle over CRISPR/Cas for the University of California. In the majority of pharma disputes, the firm is either on the side of generics manufacturers such as 1A Pharma, Hexal and Dr Reddy's or for originator companies such as Fresenius Kabi and Perdue. The lawyer team around Stief has an excellent reputation for licensing and R&D contracts while prosecution clients such as Huawei and Intel provide a good basis for increasing the firm’s presence in mobile phone suits long term. Bolstering the Düsseldorf office with further lawyers remains the most pressing challenge, especially with regard to the UPC.
Hardly any other German practice has built up such a profile in connected cars disputes as the German patent team at this US firm. US core client Harman International and its German subsidiary Harman Becker played a key role in the German connected cars suits on the supplier side, which was a real coup for the Düsseldorf team around Holzapfel. The team not only advises Harman intensively on contract law and licences but is also involved in nullity and infringement cases. Indeed competitors claim that Holzapfel was already visible in the proceedings over industry standards for connected cars. McDermott is not alone, however, as the US auto supplier also retained DLA. For other suppliers such as ZF Friedrichshafen, traditional car components play an important role. A logical next step would be for practice to leverage its FRAND know-how to boost its visibility in mobile phone cases. The team would require support from the US practice here though, as many mobile phone manufacturers already have established relationships to European firms. The increased work flow in connected cars pushed the team’s second specialty in chemistry and pharma into the background.Further Analysis
Following the arrival of Adam in mid-2018, this mixed boutique had the right team to bring several NPE suits before German courts in quick succession. One example is its work for Innovative Foundry Technologies concerning connected cars. The NPE is accusing VW and Ford of infringing its patents in their infotainment modules. While Adam is not regarded as a designated mobile communications expert, his litigation experience raised the team’s profile in the market, which was already on a good footing with Peterreins and Schley. Up to now PS has been known for litigation in medical technology rather than NPE suits. For example, the firm conducted two intensive cases for Boston Scientific against Medtronic and Edwards Lifescience over artificial heart valves. PS also led a number of oppositions for Boston Scientific. The mass of litigation work often leads competitors to overlook the fact that PS also has a technically broad prosecution practice which conducts many oppositions and nullity suits.Further Analysis
In only two years, this international litigation firm made an impressive start. Since its launch, the spinoff of Paris and Munich lawyers from Olswang has acquired a solid position in the German market through its Munich team around Lynker. It has long defended core client ZTE against infringement suits from video pool MPEG LA. Taliens is also fighting on several fronts for TCL. The team has a clear focus on mobile communications and clients from this sector claim to be “very satisfied” with its work. The team has a broad technical range but is less present in pharma cases. The advice to a US originator manufacturer, however, is a first step here. A lateral with experience in this field would be logical.Further Analysis
The selection of law firms in the above table reflects the research of the editorial staff at JUVE and is based on interviews with clients, lawyers and academics. It remains a subjective view and implies no disparagement of any firm not mentioned here but which is nevertheless active in this field. The firms are alphabetically listed within the groups.
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