JUVE Patent

Vossius & Partner – Germany 2020

Rankings:

JUVE Comment

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, Vossius 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.

Strengths

Patent prosecution with broad technical expertise. Mixed litigation teams, mainly concerning pharmaceuticals, biotech, mechanics and mobile communications.

European strategy

Brexit and the UK’s withdrawal from the UPC could still make a London office attractive to Vossius in the long term, as it could offer US clients an alternative to British firms. But Vossius is also preparing for more cross-border work, as well as for the UPC, by expanding its litigation team and forging alliances with renowned European firms. The firm has close ties to Bristows in London and Brinkhof in Amsterdam. It works with Brinkhof especially in numerous cross-border cases such as for Wiko against NPS or Heineken over a novel beer tap system, with Bristows also involved. A merger between the three is currently unlikely due to the uncertainties surrounding the UPC. But cases like Heineken demonstrate how boutiques together can be a counterbalance to the integrated international teams of Hogan Lovells and Bird & Bird when it comes to awarding top-level cross-border work.

Recommended individuals

Andreas Kramer (“very satisfied, we were pleased to follow him to Vossius”, client), Thure Schubert, Georg Rauh, Kai Rüting (“well thought-out and structured litigation style”, competitor); patent attorneys: Gerhard Hermann, Dr. Hans-Rainer Jaenichen, Elard Frhr. von Schenck zu Schweinsberg, Alexa von Uexküll

Team

53 patent attorneys, 14 lawyers

Specialties

All-round IP activity. Strong patent prosecution department with three technical practices: chemicals, life sciences and technology (incl. mobile communications). Litigation in integrated teams. Trademarks and unfair competition.

Clients

Litigation: Archos (defendant) against Dolby, Philips and others over audio and video coding; Archos (defendant) against Sisvel and Mitsubishi; Wiko (defendant) against Philips, Via Licensing and Intellectual Ventures; Hisense against NPEs; Xiaomi against NPEs; ZTE against INVTE (all over mobile communications); TCL (defendant) against VoiceAge over language codex; MAS Elektronic (defendant) against HEVC Advance over video coding standard HEVC/H.265 (settled); Bejing Smartmi Technology (defendant) against Philips over electric toothbrushes; British American Tobacco (defendant) against Philip Morris over e-cigarettes; Heineken (defendant) against Anheuser-Busch over novel beer tap system; ResMed against Fisher & Paykel over medical breathing masks; 3M against competitor over abrasive material; Boston Scientific (claimant) against Nevo over pain management through neuromodulation; CRISPR Therapeutics (opponent) against Broad Institute on opposition against basic patent; GOK (defendant) against Truma over camping equipment; Umicore (claimant) in EPO opposition against patent over diesel catalysts; Windmüller and Innovation 4 Flooring (defendants) against Unilin over laminate flooring. Prosecution: numerous oppositions for Roche; filing and oppositions for 3M, Bejing Goldwind, Boston Scientific, IMC Group, Iscar, LG, Max Planck Society, NEC, ResMed, Roche, Sumitomo.

Location:

Munich Düsseldorf, Munich, Düsseldorf