JUVE Patent

Rankings Germany 2021

Hogan Lovells – Germany 2021

JUVE Comment

The mixed patent practice of this full-service firm is unchallenged in the top group of German litigation firms. The international patent practice also sets the benchmark in Europe. The leading role that the German partners play within the European practice is based on their strong presence in high-stakes proceedings before German courts. Even in the economically difficult times of the Covid-19 pandemic, the patent practice ran like a well-oiled machine with many important pharma and biosimilar proceedings for originator companies such as Eli Lilly, Hoffmann-La Roche and MSD. In such (mostly cross-border) cases, the Germans work very consistently with the partners in Amsterdam, London, Milan and Paris.

The team capped its strong visibility in mobile communications proceedings for patent users with its first public appearance for Daimler in the connected cars suits of NPE IP Bridge. Before this, the team was seen on the side of Daimler suppliers Peiker/Valeo and Sierra Wireless in other connected cars suits. However, it had had to leave the litigation for the Stuttgart carmaker to Quinn Emanuel for a long time. Hogan Lovells has nurtured close ties to Daimler via its US practice since before this. Litigation for Xiaomi in an SEP dispute against InterDigital was equally important, as it was the team’s first appearance for the Chinese mobile communications manufacturer. The case is writing legal history in terms of anti-suit injunctions.

With eleven partners, led by internationally renowned senior partners like Martin Fähndrich, Andreas von Falck and the equally well-established practice head Miriam Gundt, Hogan Lovells has one of the largest patent teams in the German market. But given the huge number of cases, the move of the youngest partner Stephan Neuhaus to Allen & Overy still came as a blow – especially since A&O is one of Hogan Lovells’ fiercest competitors for international pharma cases. The team must now establish a new young pharma litigator. Neuhaus’ move could mean more competition for important regular clients Eli Lilly and Hoffmann-La Roche in the future.

The departure on the lawyer side is offset by consistent growth in the patent attorney team. Eight patent attorneys now support the lawyers with broad technical expertise in many proceedings. For the first time, the firm appointed a patent attorney who is not dual-qualified as a lawyer to partner in the shape of Andreas Schmid, who boasts mobile communications experience.

Strengths

Strong international client base, large European patents practice, cross-border litigation, especially related to pharmaceuticals and telecommunications, including SEPs and FRAND.

European strategy

Hogan Lovells has a truly cross-border litigation team. Between London, Düsseldorf, Munich and Amsterdam it is homogeneous, something reflected in its international presence in important pharmaceutical, mobile communications and electronics cases. The team is active across borders, for instance, for Apple, Eli Lilly, HTC and Vodafone. The team is present at all relevant potential UPC locations.

In Germany, Hogan Lovells belongs to the leading teams in the market; in France, the Netherlands and the UK the firm is a fierce challenger of the market-leading firms. The practice has a smaller, but also very well-established team in Milan. The firm has recently strengthened its practice in Madrid with a second partner promotion.

When it comes to building up a patent attorney practice across Europe, however, main competitor Bird & Bird is ahead; Hogan Lovells only began a few years ago to expand its patent attorney arm in Germany. But Hogan Lovells is far ahead of competitors Bird & Bird, Allen & Overy and Freshfields in transatlantic work, thanks to its well-established US patents practice.

Recommended individuals

Martin Fähndrich (“in-depth knowledge of the German legal system and highly probable that his arguments will be successful”, client), Andreas von Falck (“hard but fair, and extremely good”, “one of the best IP experts in Germany”, competitors), Miriam Gundt, Henrik Lehment (“very strong briefs”, competitor), Clemens Plassmann (“very confident court presence”, competitor), Benjamin Schröer (“first-class team leader and coordination of complex disputes”, competitor), Steffen Steininger (“thanks to his advice we understand the legal problems of our business much better”, client), Christian Stoll

Partner moves

Stephan Neuhaus (to Allen & Overy)

Team

11 partners, 7 counsel, 25 associates (incl. 8 patent attorneys, 2 of whom are dual qualified)

Specialties

Litigation and strategic advice to an equal extent, including licences, know-how protection, employee invention law and transactions. Specialties in the healthcare, medical technology, electronics, telecoms, engineering and auto sectors. Trademarks and unfair competition and advice on the interface with antitrust.

Clients

Litigation: Xiaomi (defendant against Interdigital over SEP, FRAND and anti-suit injunction (settled in 2021); Daimler (defendant) against IP Bridge over connected cars patents; Peiker/Valeo and Sierra wireless (as co-defendants of Daimler) against Nokia and Conversant over connected cars patents (settled in 2020/21); Sierra wireless (as co-defendant of Daimler) against Nokia over connected cars patents (settled in 2021); Vodafone, Google, LG and ZTE (all defendants) against Intellectual Ventures; LG (defendant) against Fipa; HTC (defendant) against IP Bridge; Google (defendant) against NPE (all over mobile communications); Eli Lilly (claimant) against Hexal, Stada, Fresenius and Hikma over cancer drug pemetrexed; MSD (claimant) against Mylan, Ratiopharm, Stada and 1A Pharma over Inegy; Hoffmann-La Roche/Genentech (claimant) against competitors over biosimilars for antibody products regarding Herceptin and Mab Thera; Meril Life Science (defendant) against Edwards Lifesciences over heart valves; Flexicare (defendant) against Fisher & Pykel over ventilator technology; Solvay (claimant) against Neo over earth oxide for catalytic converters; Dainese (claimant) against Alpinestars over motorcycle clothing (settled); SolarEdge (claimant) against Huawei over photovoltaic patents; LG Electronics (claimant) against competitors over household appliances; Joled (claimant) over OLED/light-emitting diodes; Hanwha Q-Cells (claimant) against competitors over solar technology; Molex (defendant) against Wago over electric-connecting terminals; regular litigation for Apple, Ford, Medinol, Shimano. Advice: Federal Republic of Germany on IP licenses concerning bailouts for Galeria Kaufhof.

Location

Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Munich