JUVE Patent

df-mp Dörries Frank-Molnia & Pohlman – Germany 2020

Rankings:

JUVE Comment

This Munich IP firm is among the market leaders for patent litigation by patent attorneys. It is one of the few and most active litigation outfits in Germany for proceedings involving both pharma/biosimilar and mobile communications patents. Even across Europe, few patent attorney teams are so visible in litigation in both technical fields. Partners like Hans-Ulrich Dörries, Elisabeth Greiner, Sandra Pohlman (all pharma) and David Molnia (mobile communications) enjoy excellent reputations spanning beyond Germany’s borders. Although the firm has a broader technical basis on the whole, these two specialties are its main pillars. Consequently, df-mp grew by three patent attorneys in each field (mostly own young talent), thus absorbing the high workload. The firm has seen a slight shift in its mobile communications work: Molnia’s team is well known for its NPE clients such as IPCom, Conversant and Unwired Planet in SEP suits. However, this knowledge is increasingly being used by industry-oriented SEP holders, such as the France Brevet pool, which is financed by the French state and recently changed its litigation strategy by hiring df-mp as a new advisor. The firm most recently drew attention on the side of Nokia concerning connected cars patents. In mobile communications it is therefore a traditional plaintiff advisor. In pharma and biologics patents, the client base is more mixed: it conducts disputes for generics companies including Hexal, Teva and Zentiva, but is also frequently active for originators such as Amgen and Biogen. Work for the latter is the firm’s traditional main specialty, as evidenced by numerous strawman suits (e.g. oppositions against CRISPR/Cas patents of competitors) at the EPO. df-mp’s reputation in the life sciences sector precedes it, as shown by the work for Eli Lilly filing a monoclonal antibody for curing psoriasis. This was an interesting win for df-mp, as it had been active for generics manufacturers against the company previously.

Strengths

Litigation for pharma and mobile telecommunications patents. Technical breadth of prosecution practice

European strategy

Df-mp has still no plans for international offices of its own or even a patent litigation practice with lawyers. But with its approach focusing on disputes it could be an ideal cooperation partner for European firms for cross-border as well as UPC suits. The patent attorneys have long enjoyed an outstanding position in high-profile pan-European cases involving pharma and biosimilar patents. In mobile communications, they have also shown that the team is no longer limited to NPEs and has become an option for corporates such as Nokia in international proceedings.

Recommended individuals

Hans-Ulrich Dörries (“strong position throughout Europe for pharma patents”, competitor), David Molnia (“litigator in an excellent strategic position in mobile communications”, competitor), Elisabeth Greiner (“very good expertise in pharma patents and experienced in litigation”, competitor), Dominik Ho, Sandra Pohlman (“very good, I often meet her on the opposing side”, competitor; all patent attorneys)

Team

30 patent attorneys

Specialties

Patent prosecution as well as extensive activity in opposition and nullity suits with clear specialties in pharmaceuticals, medical technology, electronics and telecoms. Infringement claims with external lawyers, in trademarks with own lawyers.

Clients

Litigation: for Unwired Planet, Fipa and IPCom (all claimants); Wsou and Invte (both claimants) against Apple, Huawei and ZTE; France Brevet (claimant) against Apple; Wiko (defendant) against Ericsson (all over mobile communications); Nokia and Conversant (both claimants) against Daimler over connected cars; Jaguar Land Rover (defendant) against VW over refuelling technology; Hexal (claimant) against AstraZeneca regarding nullity suit over cancer drug Fulvestrant; Teva (defendant) against Mylan over multiple sclerosis drug Clift; Teva (defendant) against Gilead over HIV treatment Truvada; frequent oppositions, nullity and infringement suits for Amgen, Biogen and Zentiva; Mylan and Zoetis in nullity suits and oppositions. Prosecution: strawman suits against several Philips patents; strawman suits against Roche’s bevacizumab patent; Toll Collect (opponent) against Kapsch TrafficCom as well as against Audi in opposition suit regarding communication in toll systems; Fresenius Medical Care (claimant) against competitors regarding opposition suit over medical devices; Ceva Santé Animale (claimant) against Bayer regarding opposition suit over veterinary drug Baycox Iron; Pfizer regarding oppositions over vaccine; filing for Amgen, Biogen, Caterpillar, Ebay, Eli Lilly, Fresenius Medical Care, Ledvance, Krones, Lonza, Paypal and Webasto.

Location:

Munich