This mixed IP firm is a market leader for both patent litigation and patent prosecution. The firm solidified this position with two crucial moves. Firstly, it brought on board the young partner Alexander Haertel, who is experienced in mobile communications suits, as a partner for the Düsseldorf office, giving BP its first litigator at the site of this important patent court for some years. There were only two patent attorneys here before this, which put BP at a disadvantage against most of the leading litigation firms who have much larger teams of lawyers in Düsseldorf. Secondly, the firm is getting into gear for litigation in the life sciences sector. This had long been uncharted territory in BP’s otherwise top-class client pool. Following early success with Amgen and 10X Genomics, work for the sector has now ramped up considerably with a Japanese pharma manufacturer and other drug manufacturers. But BP is not yet on a par with the major pharma practices, e.g. Hogan Lovells. This would require the partners being seen more in cases involving important active ingredients – ideally on the side of the originators. The firm does play in the top league, however, when it comes to mobile communications and FRAND suits. The litigation team easily manages the balancing act between representing NPEs like Intellectual Ventures on the one hand and mobile communications manufacturers like Blackberry and Microsoft on the other. In addition, few other firms are as well represented in connected cars suits as BP. The team not only litigated for BMW against Broadcom, but also for Robert Bosch and TomTom as interveners for Daimler in the suits by Avanci pool members. The technically broad prosecution practice is an ideal basis for this. For years, Bardehle Pagenberg has been appearing in proceedings with teams of patent attorneys and lawyers more successfully and consistently than nearly all other mixed firms, with the possible exception of Bird & Bird. BP also stands out from most German IP boutiques for its international focus, with teams in Barcelona, Paris and Verona. Only Hoyng ROKH Monegier is slightly ahead due to its deeper integration within the European team. Building up more litigation expertise at its other European offices would be a logical next step in the firm’s development if it is to keep step with the other market leaders in the competition for major cross-border proceedings.
This Düsseldorf IP boutique has long been a leader in the patent attorney market for litigation and prosecution. Clients praise its outstanding quality and responsiveness. It is therefore not unusual for clients to entrust their crown jewel patents to the firm. C&F is especially well positioned for litigation in pharma and mobile communications patents. There are few competitors with equally strong setups in both market segments. In the landmark proceedings concerning connected cars patents, it is currently litigating for Nokia and Sharp against Daimler. In the pharma sector, it conducts central proceedings involving the important CRISPR/Cas technology for regular client Bayer. The firm also operates a technically broad prosecution practice with a strong profile for oppositions and strategic background advice. The personnel structures are solid, with more emphasis than at other patent attorney firms being placed on training its next generation itself.Further Analysis
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.Further Analysis
There is no doubt that this mixed IP firm is among the market leaders for patent prosecution and litigation on the patent attorney side. It also boasts a well-positioned lawyer practice with an excellent name in pharma litigation. Both the patent attorneys and lawyers are seen in economically important cases, for example for Allergan in the CRISPR/Cas battle, for Sanofi/Regeneron concerning cholesterol-lowering drug Praluent and for Zentiva regarding cancer drug pemetrexed and HIV drug Truvada. But the firm does not always work in such cases with mixed teams: the patent attorneys are often seen on the side of external lawyers, too. As such, law firms like Bird & Bird have demonstrated how to successfully offer clients mixed litigation teams more often. More and more practices of purely lawyers, such as Quinn Emanuel, are also consistently conducting nullity suits and EPO oppositions without external patent attorneys – a frontal attack on Hoffmann Eitle’s original work. A more consistent strategy or further investments in the lawyer team would therefore be advisable. There is one major advantage the firm does have over many of its competitors: its prosecution work gives it direct access to lots of top-flight clients, primarily from Asia. This could help to strengthen the lawyers’ position for mobile communications proceedings. In this segment the patent attorneys are active in numerous nullity suits and EPO oppositions. However, the infringement proceedings for Tinder operator Match Group or the Japanese patent pool IP Bridge are generally conducted alongside external lawyers. The prosecution practice has a broad technical basis overall and has been bolstered in all fields by equity or non-equity partners from the firm’s own young talent. HE is not content with a presence only at the EPO headquarters in Munich and has its own prosecution teams in the Netherlands, Spain and the UK. When expanding into the home countries of key competitors in European prosecution work, Hoffmann Eitle always followed the needs of clients and rarely followed a large-scale expansion strategy, such as that pursued by competitors such as Vossius.
This patent attorney firm enjoys an outstanding reputation for litigation. What sets it apart from many competing patent attorney firms is its frequent work for originators in the economically important pharma and biotech cases. The firm represented regular client Eli Lilly in several extensive battles concerning cancer drug pemetrexed and erectile dysfunction drug Tadalafil. The team is also the first choice for various Bayer divisions when it comes to the central proceedings, such as against Ceva regarding drugs for coccidia infections. It sometimes also takes on the role of coordinator of international cases, a function traditionally performed by lawyers, mainly from London firms. This underscores the trust that clients place in the firm. In the background there is a solid filing practice for an extremely loyal base of regular clients. Like many competing patent attorney firms, König follows a conservative growth strategy and therefore trains its own young talent.Further Analysis
This patent attorney firm is one of the market-leading names when it comes to the representation of technical aspects in big-ticket patent litigation. There are few economically important mobile communications cases it is not involved in. The patent attorneys represent many notable industry giants in the shape of Apple, Google, HTC, Lenovo and Vodafone – chiefly in the defence against NPE suits. For LG and Hoccer, on the other hand, they are involved in active suits concerning mobile communications technologies. Just how well the firm is established among important law firms, as well as among companies, is shown by the fact that it represented Google alongside Quinn Emanuel concerning an important Android feature. The law firm generally conducts litigation without external patent attorneys. The firm underscored its outstanding mobile communications expertise with work for Continental as one of the main suppliers to Daimler in the current connected cars proceedings. Besides rigorous litigation work in the mobile communications sector, the firm operates a technically broad prosecution practice. Maikowski & Ninnemann has consistently safeguarded this by establishing new offices with young patent attorneys in traditional fields of technology: last year it launched in Frankfurt and quickly landed more prosecution work from Rhein-Main industry. Opening a Düsseldorf office would be the next logical step.Further Analysis
This Munich patent attorney firm again cemented its reputation as one of the most active litigation outfits when it comes to mobile communications patents. The patent attorneys are chiefly active on the side of industrial companies. The relationship with Apple is now well established; the company consistently calls on S&P, alongside other firms, for technical matters. S&P is still conducting nullity suits for Apple against Qualcomm patents, after the two companies were involved in a heated series of proceedings in 2019 over patent infringement. The patent attorneys were also visible in the first major battles over connected cars patents. From the very beginning, Continental counted on them as intervener for VW, as did Nokia – another regular client – against Daimler. Such work arises not only because the patent attorneys are called on by lawyers, but also thanks to direct company contacts. As a result, the firm is taking the expansion of technical expertise at litigation firms like Bird & Bird, Hogan Lovells or Hoyng ROKH Monegier in its stride. Unlike litigation work, which centres on mobile communications, prosecution covers a much broader technical spectrum. This frequently leads to cases involving other technologies, e.g. for Vestas concerning wind turbines or for a weapons manufacturer.Further Analysis
This mixed IP firm is one of Germany’s active prosecution practices but is also busy in litigation. The latter is focussed firstly on intensive work in EPO oppositions, especially for technology companies from the German Mittelstand, such as Enercon or Sennheiser. Secondly, the litigation team is increasingly involved in mobile communications suits. Patent attorney Jochen Ehlers successfully fought for Sisvel against Haier alongside lawyers from Arnold Ruess, with the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) ruling on precedent FRAND issues. The firm also displayed its expertise in SEP and FRAND aspects in mixed teams for regular client Philips and the HEVC Advance pool. This pronounced specialty would make Eisenführ a candidate for connected cars litigation, but it has no ties to clients in the auto sector. Regular clients Sisvel and Philips – although Avanci pool members – do not currently play a role in the litigation against carmakers. The firm boasts a broad technical setup both in prosecution and disputes. Many competitors, such as Cohausz & Florak or Vossius, however, are far more active in the life sciences sector. This has not been a traditional Eisenführ specialty before now, but the Munich office is developing activities here, e.g. for BASF concerning CRISPR/Cas patents.
In addition to the market-leading patent attorney practice of this mixed IP firm, the well-positioned team of lawyers is getting into gear in major litigation. The latter is still active for Broadcom/Avago in connected cars suits. After an initial series of cases against VW was settled, it stepped up its game for Broadcom with another case against BMW and therefore remains at the centre of disputes over connectivity in the auto industry. At the same time, the Broadcom suits are a clear sign of the increasingly successful cooperation between patent attorneys and lawyers. Clients from the automotive and chip industry have long entrusted the firm with patent filing, a fact that will pay off for the long term for the patent litigation team. Grünecker traditionally conducts proceedings with mixed teams within a broad range of sectors and technologies, e.g. for Arcelik concerning fridges, for Longi regarding solar technology and for Hytera concerning BOS radio technology. The patent attorneys are also active in opposition and nullity suits. Although frequently representing companies from the life sciences sector in oppositions, Grünecker’s prosecution practice is less active in the pharma sector than competitors Hoffmann Eitle or Vossius. This makes it difficult for the lawyers to gain a foothold in litigation over pharma patents. In the comparison with Vossius it is also noticeable that Grünecker is expanding its lawyer team less emphatically, for instance through laterals, instead seeking to grow organically with its own talent. But there are no further partners in sight in the short term. These are necessary as the lawyer litigation team is still too small, with just two partners, to handle more cases of Broadcom’s calibre. Unlike competitors Vossius or Bardehle, Grünecker is deliberately foregoing an office in Düsseldorf and therefore a stronger presence at Europe’s most important patent court.
With its tried-and-tested mixed approach, this Munich IP firm is largely geared towards disputes, with pharma, biotech and medical products clearly dominating the firm’s public image. Work for the life sciences sector has always been Maiwald’s great strength. The patent attorneys rigorously conduct oppositions at the EPO and nullity suits involving key active ingredients. They are equally active for patent holders and manufacturers of generics and biosimilars. Marco Stief, head of the lawyer team, is a distinguished expert for licences and patent extensions for drugs (SPCs). A look at the many notable prosecution clients, on the other hand, shows how strongly the firm’s filing work differs from litigation. The firm files electronics and mechanics patents for numerous companies. Like many Munich outfits, Maiwald has a technically broad filing practice. This has not only grown with new portfolios, e.g. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but also with a number of new patent attorneys. Maiwald also appointed lots of patent attorneys to partner or counsel – an expression of how it cultivates a structure similar to large firms. The firm is seen as well-managed. Maiwald is yet to establish itself, however, in litigation involving electronics and mobile communications patents. Prosecution clients like Huawei and Intel would be a good basis for more visibility. But for both clients, Maiwald would have to prevail over well-established house firms. A strategic strengthening of the litigation team – with a lateral visible in the market with their own client contacts – is therefore just as important as bolstering the Düsseldorf office with additional lawyers.
This mixed IP firm is one of the market leaders in patents. For years, the patent attorneys have been especially well positioned in filing and disputes, particularly in EPO oppositions. However, V&P recently has written much of its success story with its up-and-coming team of lawyers. Over three years it has vigorously grown its Düsseldorf office into a visible unit. Since then, the mixed litigation team has not only been more active in cross-border cases, but also in mobile communications suits on the side of midsized and small manufacturers of devices, such as Hisens, Wiko and ZTE. The firm is doing excellent business with Asian companies and is looking after two Chinese manufacturers moving into the European mobile communications markets. In these cases, the firm is often part of cross-border teams made up of different international firms, and not only for mobile communications cases: Vossius was involved in an international series of proceedings for Heineken involving novel beer taps. It was part of the starting team for BAT in the first major battle over e-cigarettes, a market in which many suits between the tobacco corporations are expected. Vossius does not play a role in connected cars suits, however, as its position in the auto industry is too weak. But in biotech patents, the firm is amongst the pre-eminent players in Europe. Its patent attorneys battled on the frontlines again for CRISPR Therapeutics over the new genetic scissors technology CRISPR/Cas. Likewise, Vossius enjoys a strong position in medical products, with numerous cases for Smith & Nephew, ResMed and Boston Scientific.
This patent litigation practice positioned excellently across Europe is a market leader in Germany, too. Thanks to its well-rehearsed mixed approach, the firm has already built up numerous renowned litigators among both lawyers and patent attorneys – a team structure that sets it clearly apart from competitors Hogan Lovells and Hoyng ROHK Monegier. The different disciplines are now almost equally represented in the partnership. In pharma litigation, the team around Jüngst and Wolters-Höhne impressed the market with a large number of important cases for regular clients like Stada and Fresenius Kabi. One highlight was the successful defence of Teva’s blockbuster MS drug Copaxone against competitor Mylan. The technically broad practice also landed new clients, e.g. SAP – previously advised by the IT practice – for infringement proceedings and an employee-invention dispute. Other examples of working on the interface with other practices include Envipco returnable bottle readers (together with antitrust and public procurement). After a successful entitlement action, it also filed complaints with the Federal Cartel Office. Among the many patent attorneys with a strong name in litigation is Michael Alt, who, as part of an integrated team, represented regular client Nestlé against Jennewein regarding a patent for baby food, which has been used more frequently recently. On the downside, the firm did not feature heavily in the connected cars cases. Although it has strong relationships with industry giants like Nokia and Broadcom, these chose other advisors for these proceedings.
In patent filing, this mixed IP firm is among the market leaders in Germany. The patent attorneys file patents covering a wide technical spectrum for a large, international base of regular clients. The prosecution practice is well established in computer technologies, including semiconductors and software, as well as mobile communications, pharma and biotech. The patent attorneys also boast litigation experience but were not seen as frequently in high-profile cases as the smaller firms focusing more on litigation, such as Hamm & Wittkopp for pharma patents or Cohausz & Florack in mobile communications. The well-positioned team of lawyers is concentrated in Munich and conducts a multitude of proceedings in line with the breadth of the prosecution practice. The team offers all-round advice from a single source for regular Mittelstand clients. The battle with airlines over patents for mobile check-in on Aeritas websites has been ongoing for years, with new suits frequently filed. The litigation team is not, however, active in the major series of proceedings involving pharma and mobile communications patents, which is why its market visibility is still not as strong as that of the prosecution practice.
The patent attorneys at this well-positioned Munich IP firm enjoy an excellent reputation for litigation involving mobile communications patents, largely due to work for SEP holders. Advice to NPEs on campaigns traditionally plays a central role here. But the firm is moving away from this more and more, to bring its know-how in mobile communications patents into play for industrial clients, e.g. VoiceAgeEVS. For the developer of voice codecs software for mobile communications, Bosch Jehle is conducting a large series of proceedings with lawyers from Wildanger. Ending the cooperation with Noerr’s patent litigation team at the beginning of 2020 was an outward sign of the strategic change. The joint representation of NPEs led to a host of conflicts, e.g. in connected cars suits. Despite renowned expertise in SEP and FRAND aspects, Bosch Jehle is not visible here at present. The renowned filing activity for industrial clients and excellent ties to US clients are the basis for the departure from NPE work. The firm can develop more litigation from this in the future. Prosecution clients include traditional manufacturing companies like Algeier or Britax Römer, as well as chip manufacturer Broadcom.Further Analysis
This patent attorney team has only been operating in this setup for two years and is already one of the most active in patent litigation before German courts, especially when it comes to mobile communications and electrical engineering patents. The two name-partners Karl-Ulrich Braun-Dullaeus and Friedrich Emmerling enjoy an excellent reputation in this field, partly for their litigation for two companies often taken to court by NPEs: Deutsche Telekom and Huawei. Both mobile communications giants, however, also work with other patent attorney firms. Nonetheless, Emmerling’s work in a dispute involving photovoltaic patents demonstrates just how firmly he sits in the saddle for Huawei. Thanks to its vast litigation experience involving standard essential patents, Continental, one of the central interveners for Daimler, has also hired the firm for the dispute with Nokia and Conversant over connected cars patents. Huawei was also represented as intervener in this dispute. The firm can be seen in a central battle in another sector, too: Braun-Dullaeus represented Philip Morris along with Hoyng ROKH Monegier in a global series of suits by BAT over e-cigarettes. A strong focus on patent litigation is what sets the firm clearly apart from competing patent attorney firms. Even fierce competitors such as Maikowski & Ninnemann or Cohausz & Florak are reliant on more extensive prosecution practices.Further Analysis
This Berlin IP firm underscored its strong position in disputes in work for Chinese mobile communications company Haier against Sisvel before the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) in much-observed landmark proceedings involving standard essential patents. The firm even filed a constitutional complaint for its client against the controversial, SEP-friendly precedent decision of the highest German patent court – an extremely rare approach in patent proceedings. In the case so far, Gulde & Partner has demonstrated the good cooperation within its mixed team and vast experience in SEP and FRAND issues. Not many mixed firms of this size can do this. The case also underlines the firm’s strong ties with Asian companies, for whom the team files many patents. G&P has offices in Beijing and Yokohama. Litigation work often stems from filing for clients, e.g. in the tobacco industry. The firm is litigating for Imperial Tobacco subsidiary Reemtsma in proceedings involving cigarette packaging; it has long advised the parent company on strategic portfolio management. But the firm is not involved in the current e-cigarette cases, partly because its client has not yet had action brought against it by BAT, currently the main antagonist when it comes to this next-generation technology. A case of such high public interest offers the new, young management team the chance to operate even more visibly. They took over the fate of the firm from the founding partners two years ago. More litigation work for other Asian mobile communications corporations could also help. Gulde, for example, has close contacts in the Samsung Group.Further Analysis
This large, international firm has a strong profile in Germany with its integrated team of patent attorneys and lawyers. The patent attorneys operate a relatively broad prosecution practice and provide litigation support to the well-positioned German litigation team as well as teams in other European markets where Jones Day has no patent attorneys. The German team is especially renowned in the chemicals sector, for example providing extensive litigation for Celgene in EPO oppositions. The team often cooperates with the strong US practice and colleagues in the UK and France, for instance for Idenix Pharmaceuticals against Gilead over the economically important Hepatitis C drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni. The firm’s German team is also well established among auto suppliers and traditional engineering companies. With the arrival of a team of electrical engineers previously working in their own firm, JD was able to fill a gap with experienced patent attorneys – a shrewd move to take advantage of the growing prosecution business coming to Germany via the US practice. However, renowned patent attorney Martin Weber surprisingly left the firm long before reaching the age limit for Jones Day partners. He played a central role in building the German practice and was the face of the pharma practice.
The great strength of this mixed IP firm is the patent attorneys’ far-reaching roots in numerous sectors and technical fields. This gives rise to a multitude of cases for the well-positioned team of lawyers around Tobias Wuttke, chiefly for Mittelstand companies. The litigation team is best known for its mobile communications work for Deutsche Telekom, which it successfully defended against a suit by Enovsys concerning data security in mobile location technology. The team was also successful for Commscope in the battle over WiFi repeaters in trains. Given the team’s now extensive experience in mobile communications it is no surprise that a manufacturer of communication modules is banking on it in a connected cars suit. But the firm is not involved in the major battles between Avanci pool members and Daimler, despite the patent attorneys’ good connections in the auto industry. Before now, the necessary team size was lacking. But MB has strategically expanded its litigation team with young, experienced litigators – most recently in Düsseldorf with a former non equity partner from EIP, thus forging ahead with its development of a mixed litigation team at the site of Europe’s most important patent court. The patent litigator joined Meissner Bolte as a counsel. In addition, Meissner Bolte has introduced counsel status to offer young lawyers career prospects. Three litigators benefitted from this right away, one of whom was named the second partner alongside Wuttke shortly afterwards. To complete the growth efforts, these now need to raise their visibility. They will find a good basis for this in numerous top-level cases, e.g. for Electrolux, Honeywell and Juul Labs. The firm also made a coup by bringing in Rainer Engels as of counsel. He was one of the best-known presiding judges at the German Federal Patent Court for a long time and mainly strengthens the team in nullity suits. The patent attorney team also raised its headcount, with three equity partner appointments and new associate additions from industry and other firms. In Bremen, however, a physicist left Meissner Bolte for Eisenführ.
This patent attorney firm is one of the very well-positioned prosecution outfits in Munich and works within a broad technical range. The firm stands out in the market for its extensive filing for the LG electronics and display divisions. This has earned it a good reputation for electronics patents, leading to work for many Asian companies, even outside of this segment. On the litigation side, however, the firm is not present in mobile communications. The second stand-out specialty is the chemicals and pharma practice, which focuses heavily on litigation. The firm frequently conducts nullity suits for Accord, Mylan, Hexal and 1A Pharma on the generics side. The team is also hired for infringement proceedings involving important drugs like Alimta, Inegy and Truvada. Like many firms, the dividing line in pharma work is blurring: Ter Meer looks after many generics manufacturers as well as originators, such as a Swiss pharma corporation.Further Analysis
This mixed Munich IP firm remains visible across Germany with a technically broad prosecution practice and a strong name for disputes. The firm displayed its long-standing roots in the auto industry – it has close ties to both suppliers and OEMs – in litigation for VW on the patent attorney side in a dispute over infotainment modules, which is now settled. In other connected cars suits, the firm is active in the background, e.g. for BMW. In its activities involving traditional auto industry issues, name partner Wallinger is and will remain a strong drawing card. One client praised how the firm has worked flat out to build up expertise in connectivity issues and SEPs. The firm is busy filing connectivity patents, for example, for BMW, and increasingly for medical product manufacturer Fresenius Medical Care. But the firm is far from realising its full potential in connectivity litigation – especially on the lawyer side. The litigation team is small with just one lawyer and is rarely seen in the large series of proceedings. Instead it tends to work within a broad technical spectrum, e.g. for Verbio concerning biodiesel or Zimmer regarding medical technology. Other mixed firms like Meissner Bolte or Vossius have invested substantially in their litigation teams recently, so reinforcements would be a good idea for Wallinger. Two sectors dominate prosecution work: besides the auto industry, the firm is active for pharma and biotech companies. The patent attorney team also handles many disputes for regular prosecution clients like Boehringer Ingelheim or Eppendorf, mostly EPO oppositions or nullity suits.Further Analysis
This Munich patent attorney firm boasts a strong and technically broad prosecution practice, as well as a pronounced litigation specialty. In pharma and biotech patents, the firm is most active in major opposition suits at the EPO involving important active ingredients. These are often strawman suits against competitors’ patents. W&W underscored its expertise in chemicals patents and consumer goods with extensive work for Colgate-Palmolive. In infringement proceedings, on the other hand, the patent attorneys are primarily involved in mobile communications cases. W&W partnered with external lawyers in litigation for LG in several proceedings against NPEs. Axel Katérle is also visible in a large dispute for Asus. Despite this expertise, the firm has so far not been hired for connected cars suits. However, the blend of experience in mobile communications cases and strong ties to auto suppliers would be a good basis for this.Further Analysis
This IP firm in Essen is one of the best-known litigation outfits in western Germany on the patent attorney side. This is thanks to gradual personnel growth over many years. Over the past year AH has seen stronger growth and appointed a patent attorney from its own ranks to equity partner, as well as hiring a former patent attorney trainee on a permanent contract. These are two important steps for the small, previously cautious firm in preparing for the upcoming generational change in its core area: traditional engineering. The solid ties to many regular clients from the German Mittelstand form the basis for this part of the practice. For companies like Novoferm, Certoplast or Kickert, the firm generally files patents directly as well as conducting opposition suits and infringement proceedings. External lawyers like to call on the patent attorneys in national infringement proceedings for their expertise. The uncertain UPC launch is hardly impacting the firm because of its strong Mittelstand roots, as few suits involving Mittelstand companies are expected.Further Analysis
Among patent filers, this IP firm is one of the well-positioned names in the market. In addition to an outstanding reputation for chemicals and pharma patents, the firm is establishing itself in the IT sector, especially mobile communications patents. This is partly down to the rise in litigation work for the patent attorneys, including representing Asus in an extensive dispute with Philips. They always work with external lawyers for litigation, e.g. from Taylor Wessing in the work for Asus. The firm also files many patents for Xiaomi but does not yet conduct much litigation for the Chinese mobile communications manufacturer in Germany. In the UK and the Netherlands, however, it has been taken to court many times by NPEs. Such suits are likely in Germany in the future, which would lend Dompatent more visibility if Xiaomi banks on its patent attorneys. Overall, the practice’s China work has made strides as the firm now employs numerous Chinese-speaking patent attorneys. The firm often coordinates the patents activities of European companies in China. In the pharma and chemicals sector, Dompatent solidified its ties to client Kingfa, for which it now litigates.Further Analysis
The patent attorneys at this well-positioned traditional firm in Stuttgart boast a wealth of experience in disputes within a broad technical spectrum. This applies mainly to nullity suits and EPO oppositions in engineering and electronics patents. These are often conducted for auto suppliers like Aircim Automotive or medical product manufacturers like Paul Hartmann. It is not unusual for such proceedings to be part of larger-scale litigation, including infringement proceedings. Dreiss conducts the latter on the side of notable litigation firms, e.g. working for adhesive manufacturer Uhu and with Pioneer in two different cases in cooperation with a Düsseldorf firm. To handle such proceedings, as well as steadily increasing prosecution work – the firm’s mainstay – Dreiss increased its headcount in its core technical fields by three associate patent attorneys, both from its own young talent and experienced laterals from competitors. Activity for German Mittelstand companies like vacuum technology specialist J. Schmalz or auto supplier Kinetix in China remains solid. Here, the firm draws on an informal network for infringement proceedings and the coordination of these before the Chinese courts.Further Analysis
With a well-positioned office in Hamburg, this patent attorney firm is among the strong filing practices in northern Germany. The Stuttgart team nurtures good connections to innovative south German Mittelstand companies, above all auto suppliers. Beyond this, GDM is well known throughout Germany for its litigation. Most of the patent attorneys’ cases stem from patents previously filed for regular clients. The firm is often entrusted with complex EPO oppositions or nullity suits, for example for Magna concerning auto accessories or for Haag Streit over operating microscopes. It is also active in mobile communications cases for TCL and ZTE alongside Munich litigation firm Taliens. However, such connections to external lawyers are not exactly conducive to the firm’s mixed approach. GDM’s lawyers still only appear sporadically in litigation.Further Analysis
This Munich patent attorney firm is renowned in the market for its many years of in-depth experience in pharma, biotech and chemicals patents. The purely patent attorney firm’s reputation is based on strong visibility compared to competitors in oppositions at the EPO as well as litigation in infringement proceedings and nullity suits before German courts for manufacturers of generics and biosimilars. Michael Best’s team works alongside lawyers, primarily from large firms, for pharma companies like Hexal and Ratiopharm. Consequently, the team was recently boosted by Marco Fachini, a European patent attorney from Hexal who is highly experienced in EPO oppositions. The team boasts a strong setup overall among chemicals companies, for instance litigating for Solvey in several suits involving catalysts. Companies from Germany, the USA and Japan also hire the firm frequently for filing and oppositions.Further Analysis
The foundation for the mixed patent team at this Munich IP boutique is Dieter Laufhütte’s very well-positioned prosecution practice. It files patents for a multitude of Mittelstand technology companies, such as Alois Pöttinger Maschinenbau, as well as well-known brand manufacturers like Ford and Liebherr. The patent attorneys litigate for these clients, too, in opposition and nullity suits. These cases are frequently part of infringement proceedings, which the firm also handles with its own lawyers. LSG appears in the courtrooms for regular clients such as Blizzard, Fibertex and Fresenius Medical Care, as well as for the German subsidiaries of international corporations like Ford or Mazda. Despite the high number of proceedings compared to others in the market, it is the patent attorneys who are the face of the litigation work at LSG. The lawyers, on the other hand, are mostly known for trademarks and unfair competition litigation. Their best-known patent litigation case is still Telefonica/O2 in a mobile communications class action by NPE Intellectual Ventures. They are not active in any other proceedings of a similar calibre. Despite the combination of experience in mobile communications proceedings and a strong client base in the auto industry, the hot topic of connected cars has so far passed LSG by.Further Analysis
The regular clients of this firm’s technically broad prosecution practice trust the patent attorneys in a remarkable number of opposition and nullity suits and increasingly in infringement proceedings. This pronounced litigation activity underscores Michalski Hüttermann’s strong position in the western German market, where it stands alongside Dompatent and Cohausz & Florak as one of the three large patent attorney firms. Unlike its two competitors, it does not pursue a single-office strategy; rather, it is additionally anchored in the region with an established office in Essen. The firm is also active in Frankfurt and Munich. It is mainly the Düsseldorf lawyers, however, who are responsible for litigation. They come recommended by clients and competitors alike for cases involving biotech, electronics and software patents. Ulrich Storz is the strawman in the dispute against Broad Institute over CRISPR patents, while Dirk Schulz is often seen in cases involving electronics patents relating to semiconductors. But he also works for the auto industry on litigation, as the patent attorneys primarily battle over traditional patents for innovative Mittelstand companies, e.g. for Claassen concerning floor coverings. This strategy means that the firm – unlike competitors Dompatent and Cohausz & Florak – is currently not involved in the major mobile communications or pharma battles. The prosecution practice, which is visible across Germany and steadily growing with new portfolios, is much broader than litigation activity would suggest.Further Analysis
This Munich IP firm operates an active filing practice with a broad technical spectrum. The patent attorneys also litigate frequently, especially when it comes to electronics patents. They are conducting proceedings for Tridonic, one of the main players in the B.O.S.E consortium, against Chinese competitors concerning white LEDs. Engineering patents also play a central role in the practice, including much activity for the patent attorneys in opposition suits. Mitscherlich is well known for mobile communications patents owing to its intensive work for Huawei, one of the main filers at the EPO. The patent attorneys are currently working with lawyers from Preu Bohlig to defend the mobile communications giant in several infringement proceedings, including nullity suits against the disputed patents. However, Huawei also hires Braun-Dullaeus Pannen Emmerling, another patent attorney firm, for litigation, e.g. as intervener for Daimler in connected cars suits. Mitscherlich has yet to appear in these proceedings. International corporations and numerous German Mittelstand companies from a range of technical sectors feature on the filing practice’s client list. The practice is only less visible when it comes to pharma patents, although prosecution and litigation for biotech companies are increasing. Chemicals is a growing field with Altana and Revlon among new clients. An independent practice has been established for this alongside the pharma and biotech group.Further Analysis
This firm dominated by patent attorneys has a broad technical focus but is especially well established among auto companies. The firm conducts many proceedings for these, from EPO oppositions to infringement proceedings concerning traditional engineering and mechanics patents – the great strength of the patent attorneys. Suppliers Valeo and ZF/TRW are among long-time clients. P&P also made an early appearance in a case involving connected cars patents for Texas Instruments as intervener for Audi/VW two years ago. The dispute has since been settled. The firm has so far been unable to repeat such success; other patent attorney firms like Cohausz & Florack or Samson & Partner have a clearer profile for mobile communications suits. But P&P is building expertise in the telecommunications sector through prosecution work for ZTE. Electronics client Rhode & Schwarz is also developing in the direction of connected products, which harbours potential for P&P in this field. The firm closed its Hamburg office in 2020, as the partner working here withdrew from the legal profession at the end of the year. The Munich partners have taken over his clients.Further Analysis
This Hamburg-based patent attorney firm provides its clients with all-round support in oppositions, nullity suits and patent filing. The well-positioned team is firmly established among regular clients, most of which are notable international companies from the pharma, biotech and chemicals sectors. Litigation for Amgen made good headway. The litigation team receives much public attention for its representation of Monsanto at the EPO, even after the merger with Bayer. In infringement proceedings, highlights included litigation for Medac in the economically important pharma proceedings involving cytostatic pemetrexed. Prosecution work also made steady progress. The IP boutique frequently develops its own young talent, but shrunk slightly with the retirement of Dr. Georg Both.Further Analysis
This Munich patent attorney firm is known for its involvement in infringement proceedings over electronics and mechanics patents. The patent attorneys conduct these in cooperation with external lawyers, e.g. from Klaka. Probably the best-known litigation instruction is still in the field of mechanics. For years, the firm has litigated time and again for Sram concerning innovative bicycle components. A dispute over special dowels for Fischerwerke shows that the patent attorneys generally tackle complex subject matters for Mittelstand companies strong in the technological sectors. Litigation in chemicals, biotech and pharma patents differs considerably from this: the patent attorneys conduct fewer infringement proceedings but are extremely active in EPO oppositions and nullity suits, e.g. for a French pharma corporation and Bayer. Wolfgang Weiß has a very good reputation for this. The firm is also battling fiercely for a tobacco corporation against e-cigarette patents of various competitors.Further Analysis
This Munich patent attorney firm boasts an active prosecution practice covering a wide range of technical sectors. The patent attorneys are therefore busy in nullity suits and infringement proceedings. They litigate for regular clients like GE Wind and Medtronic concerning patents in renewable energies and stents, respectively. But, as before, the firm’s best-known areas of litigation are mobile communications and electronics patents. The team draws attention for its intensive work for various Samsung companies as defendants in infringement proceedings. Joel Nägerl and his team are still battling for the Korean company against a host of NPEs (e.g. Fipa), always alongside external lawyers. The firm was also busy with a major series of proceedings between Globalfoundries and TSMC over chips for mobile communications devices, though this has now been settled. Nevertheless, this case shows how clients bank on Z&P for its litigation experience in more fields than just mobile communications.Further Analysis
This pure patent attorney firm is well positioned in the litigation market. The team around Wittkopp specialises in pharma and biosimilar patents and frequently represents clients from the pharma sector, such as Mylan and Stada, in economically important cases. The most recent example is litigation for Hikma Pharma regarding the cytostatic Alimta in some of the year’s highest profile pharma proceedings. In such cases, the chemists and biochemists from the Hamburg firm combine with lawyers from large firms like Bird & Bird and Taylor Wessing. Hamm & Wittkopp also operates a relatively small filing practice. Expanding this is not a strategic focus. It is striving towards moderate personnel growth to enable more litigation.Further Analysis
This IP firm is best known for its intensive prosecution work in a wide variety of technical sectors. Electrical engineering and the auto industry stand out. The patent attorneys are already conducting many opposition and nullity suits, especially involving electronics and mechanics patents. The firm’s own team of lawyers, based in Munich, is also active in infringement proceedings for a host of regular clients. Other clients from Asia rely on the firm for litigation in Germany, among them a manufacturer of power plant technology and tools. The team also boasts good connections to NPEs such as WiLan. Despite this technical breadth and the arrival of an experienced non-equity partner from D Young, the litigation team lacks visibility as the Düsseldorf office has too few lawyers. Like Vossius & Partner or Meisner Bolte before it, VJ&P has hit a wall in its efforts to generate higher end litigation work, which it seems unable to break through organically. This is why its two competitors are successfully investing in first-rate laterals. This could also help VJ&P, especially in Düsseldorf. After all, the patent attorney team did celebrate an impressive victory two years ago with litigation for VW in Germany’s first connected cars suits.Further Analysis
This small Munich patent attorney firm not only has a busy prosecution practice with a broad technical spectrum, but also a well-positioned litigation practice. Name partner Wachenhausen is especially visible. Competitors praise him as “very experienced in the courtroom”. One specialty is engineering patents, frequently on the interface with digital technology and computer sciences. Away from this, the firm is often hired for infringement proceedings in other technologies, e.g. by regular client HTC concerning mobile communications or lighting technology for smartphones. W&K underlined its international focus with extensive work for Neovasc Tiara. For the Canadian medical technology provider the firm used its entire repertoire, from entitlement actions and nullity suits to filing and EPO oppositions. The firm has seen personnel growth, although one partner left to open his own firm because of strategic differences. W&K is filing more and more patents for Chinese companies like ZTE, which could prove a solid basis for future litigation.Further Analysis
The patent attorneys at this Stuttgart IP boutique frequently litigate for Mittelstand technology companies, predominantly medical product manufacturers like Karl Storz and Diazyme. Pharma and biotech litigation has become the firm’s hallmark over many years. Work here is increasingly shifting towards biotech patents, where WW&P currently works mainly for German and US universities. Visibility in pharma patents, on the other hand, has decreased, partly because the best-known partner, Hajo Otten, retired at the end of 2019. Although the firm built up new talent in good time, this is not yet visible in litigation. Witte Weller is praised for its prosecution in many technical areas. Work for industry giants like Mitsubishi Electric, Philips or Sony has resulted in a strong specialty in electronics patents. The patent attorneys are also far more active than others in the region for other international corporations like Boeing, for which it conducts much EPO opposition work.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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