JUVE Patent

Hengeler Mueller – Germany 2020

Rankings:

JUVE Comment

Wolfgang Kellenter’s patent team is prominent in litigation for both industrial companies and NPEs, acting for the latter in SEP suits against mobile communications manufacturers. In addition to the NPEs FIPA and IPCom, the team also battled for the patent pool France Brevets, initiated by the French state, against Apple. The team demonstrated that an industry-focused firm like HM can represent these clients just as successfully as traditional industrial companies e.g. for Renault as a supplier to Daimler in a connected cars suit. The French auto corporation drew on the team’s many years of experience with SEPs and FRAND issues. Litigation for pharma companies only played a minor role, although the team still nurtures good ties to AstraZeneca. In personnel terms the firm is stable. But the partnership will soon have to take a stand as to whether it wants a second partner in patents alongside Kellenter. Only with a broader setup will the team be able to carve out a position for higher-end work.

Strengths

SEP litigation, mainly for NPEs, as well as pharma suits.

European strategy

As part of a nationally independent full-service firm, the patent team will struggle to arm itself for closer international relationships with highly specialised patent teams in other countries. The Hengeler team therefore concentrates on the one hand on working together with some well-known boutiques, especially in London. On the other hand it has good connections to patent teams in some of HM’s best-friend firms. Out of those, however, only De Brauw in Amsterdam and Bonelli Erde in Italy have renowned patent experts in their ranks. (Bredin Prat in Paris and Slaughter & May in London barely make an appearance in patents.) But these alliances would be a good basis in a joint bid for more cross-border work against the dominant international patent teams – provided that the patent teams of Henegler, De Brauw and Bonelli Erde can bring themselves to work in a more coordinated setup.

Recommended individuals

Wolfgang Kellenter

Team

1 partner, 4 counsel, 2 associates

Specialties

Patent litigation. Advice on the interface with antitrust. Also strategic advice, assessment of technical protection rights and transactions.

Clients

Litigation: regularly for Kemmametall; France Brevet (claimant) against Apple over NFC technology; Renault (co-defendant of Daimler) against Nokia over connected cars patents; Fipa (claimant) against HTC, LG and Samsung; IPCom (claimant) against Apple and HTC (both over mobile communications); Concept Laser (defendant) against Bego over 3D print technology; CarSystem Süd (defendant) against 3M over spray paint technology; Sino-Resource (defendant) against Honeywell over coolant for air conditioning.

Location:

Düsseldorf