JUVE Patent

Rankings Germany 2021

EIP – Germany 2021

JUVE Comment

More often than in previous years, this small litigation team, which is well positioned in the German market, no longer just handles individual series of proceedings. With partner Schmidt-Bogatzky bolstering the practice since 2019, the German team is harnessing the potential of the international IP firm in the mobile communications sector and is now handling several campaigns at the same time with two young partners who already have experience in mobile communications matters. Always on the claimant side, they were very visible of late for the NPEs Conversant and IP Bridge against several Asian mobile communications manufacturers. The highest profile instructions were the connected cars actions for regular client Conversant against Daimler and Tesla, as well as for Broadcom/Avago against Daimler and BMW. EIP was therefore probably the most active firm for claimants against the auto industry in the most significant topic of 2020/2021. All proceedings have now, however, been settled.

Litigation for Sonos against Google, on the other hand, shows that EIP can impress clients in large series of cases unrelated to connected cars and NPEs. The contact came from the London EIP patent attorneys, who also advise Sonos on patent prosecution. Few international patent practices are developing work between the UK and the continent as consistently as EIP at the moment. This is not working so well, however, when it comes to representing life sciences companies. The London prosecution team will have to widen its basis in the sector, as it has recently done through partner hires.

Strengths

Litigation for NPEs concerning mobile communications, SEPs and FRAND issues.

European strategy

EIP used its success in the mobile communications sector to expand its UK practice and further strengthen its only overseas office in Düsseldorf. After the headcount of the German team saw stable development over the past twelve months, EIP was able to transfer more client work than ever from London to Düsseldorf. With clients like Conversant and Sonos, EIP is advising two prominent cross-border NPE cases on both sides of the Channel. The German team advised Conversant in the high-profile German connected cars cases against Daimler, before they were settled in early 2021.

In the life sciences sector, EIP did not make nearly as good progress on both sides of the Channel. The London team recently strengthened its practice with lateral hires. If EIP succeeds in significantly expanding its client base in the life sciences sector, the reinforcements in London would also be a good basis for the German team to expand its activities in this field.

With the two locations and the mixed approach of the UK team, EIP has a much better starting position for cross-border disputes and the UPC than other London boutiques with a single office policy – especially when it comes to advising US clients in the mobile communications sector. Another location in Munich or Paris would make sense for the litigation team if the UPC were to start. But now the UK has left the UPC, however, this could lead to internal discussions with the patent attorneys. They are no longer seeking to set up an office in Munich, the headquarters of the EPO.

Recommended individuals

Florian Schmidt-Bogatzky (“strong litigator, meticulous worker”, competitor), Christof Höhne (“thoroughly versed in FRAND issues”, competitor)

Team

2 partners, 4 associates

Specialties

Exclusive activity in IP with a strong focus on technical protection rights. Mainly infringement proceedings and nullity suits.

Clients

Litigation: Conversant (claimant) against Huawei, LG and ZTE over mobile communications patents; IP Bridge (claimant) against Huawei and LG regarding mobile communications; Sonos (defendant) against Google over controls for audio systems; Conversant (claimant) against Daimler; Conversant (claimant) against Tesla; Broadcom/Avago (claimant) against BMW and Daimler (all over connected cars patents; all settled); Advice: strategic advice to Amazon and Visa; generics manufacturer on licences.

Location

Düsseldorf