JUVE Patent

Krieger Mes & Graf v. der Groeben – Germany 2020

Rankings:

JUVE Comment

At the site of Europe’s most important patent court, Düsseldorf, this IP firm is very well connected. Because of close ties to patent attorney firms, it traditionally conducts far more proceedings than most competitors. Both of these facts have secured Krieger Mes its position among the patent litigation market leaders for many years. The partners boast a strong network both in the German judiciary and in industry and politics. They can therefore exert influence on important legislative projects – not only in the interest of clients, but in the interest of a functioning patent system. Having successfully brought an extensive campaign for patent pool MPEG LA to a close last year, the partners now focused more on litigation in traditional technology. They conducted many proceedings with medium to high volumes, e.g. for Claasen concerning laminates, for Brose and Benteler regarding auto technology and for Gea concerning milking technology. But there have been no major mobile communications battles recently. Although most of the firm’s partners are active within a broad technical spectrum, Axel Verhauwen stands out with his expertise in mobile communications and FRAND issues. Once again, he was seen in several cases by NPEs like Onebutton against well-known mobile communications manufacturers. On the industry side, he litigated for Texas Instruments as intervener for BMW against Broadcom in a connected cars suit. He is also known for his strong relationship with VW. However, the carmaker is currently only active in the background of the connected cars suits, for example in the current discussion about mitigating the automatic injunction in German patent law.

European strategy

For a long time, the boutique has taken a wait-and-see approach to the potential UPC launch. Now, with the future of the court still uncertain, Krieger Mes has ruled out a merger with European firms. Instead, it relies on non-exclusive cooperation. This may limit its opportunities in cross-border litigation. Instead the firm relies entirely on the remarkable reputation of its lawyers. Although compared to other German boutiques, Krieger Mes is seen less in cross-border disputes, it is often active in major series of proceedings before the Düsseldorf court, many of which are of the same scale as large cross-border cases. Krieger Mes’ vast experience in SEP suits and strong visibility in cases for NPEs could also make it an important player at the UPC.

Recommended individuals

Michael Bergermann, Jochen Bühling (“he goes into every detail of his cases and argues convincingly in court”, competitor), Gereon Rother, Axel Verhauwen (“knows our technology inside out,” client, “extremely good”, competitor)

Team

8 partners, 3 associates

Specialties

All-round IP activity with a clear focus on patent litigation. Trademarks and unfair competition.

Clients

Litigation: Texas Instruments (as co-defendant of Daimler and BMW) against Broadcom over mobile phone chips; VW (defendant) against Innovative Foundry Technologies over infotainment chips; Onebutton (claimant) against various manufacturers over mobile communications; Claassen (claimant) against Unilin and Vählinge over laminate; GEA (defendant) against individual inventor over milking carousels; Brose (defendant) against Kickert over boot locks for cars; SMA Solar (claimant) against Solar Edge over inverter; Fresenius Kabi (defendant) against biosimilar manufacturer over Imraldi drug; Abiomed Europe (claimant) against Abbot over intracardiac catheters; regularly for Benteler, Melitta/Swirl, ITW. Advice: VW Group in connection with connected cars licences.

Location:

Düsseldorf