JUVE Patent

Rankings Germany 2022

Maikowski & Ninnemann – Germany 2022

JUVE Comment

This pure patent attorney firm remains among the very exclusive group of market-leading practices when it comes to the technical aspects of international patent proceedings for mobile communications companies. Few similar firms – among them Samson & Partner and Cohausz & Florack – enjoy such visibility in SEP and FRAND suits.

The excellent client list features mobile communications companies as defendants, which use standard essential patents. The Maikowski patent attorneys underscore this strong position with increasing activity for Chinese mobile communications manufacturers, including Oppo and Xiaomi.

The firm’s patent attorneys are strongly positioned on the side of patent users in mobile communications battles, demonstrated by their work for Apple in the major global dispute against Ericsson over 4G and 5G. The firm is considered by such high-profile clients on the one hand because of its strong, direct connections to Apple and Google but also because it nurtures excellent relationships with external law firms, including Freshfields and Hogan Lovells.

Reducing the patent attorney team to mobile communications alone, however, is too simplistic. Maikowski & Ninnemann also litigates over technologies such as sports equipment, computer technology, industrial plugs and house and garden tools for clients such as Fitbit, Garmin, Brose and Greenworks Tools. The firm also operates a renowned prosecution practice within a broad technical spectrum. Only in the pharma sector is the firm rarely active, unlike Cohausz & Florack or df-mp.

The firm secured its outstanding position among German litigation firms on the patent attorney side with a successful generational change. Behind the older partners like Gunnar Baumgärtel, younger patent attorneys such as Andreas Tanner and Frederick Kramer used the presence of the firm in cross-border disputes to strengthen their market profiles. This is an important step with the UPC coming and clients’ growing demand for large teams to run proceedings here. Opening an office in Düsseldorf would be a consistent next step in view of litigation work.

Strengths

Litigation related to mobile communications. Technical expertise in telecoms, semiconductors and engineering.

European set-up

With its litigation experience and strong ties to most relevant litigation firms in the German market, Maikowski & Ninnemann has moved into position for advising in many international disputes. It frequently showcases its expertise for such cross-border cases on the side of patent users such as Apple, HTC, LG, Oppo and Xiaomi. The patent attorneys also have intense connections to other technology corporates like Google.

Given these connections and their long-standing, preeminent expertise in disputes, the Maikowski & Ninnemann patent attorneys are likely to play a key role at the UPC. Although they could litigate alone here, they are more likely to join forces with external lawyers.

Some of its previous partner firms – Hogan Lovells for instance – are integrating their own patent attorneys, but Maikowski & Ninnemann is holding fast to its deliberate stand-alone strategy. The firm also banks on a self-sufficient patent attorney practice and strengthened its patent filing work in other technical areas, so it is less dependent on its close ties to other law firms than it seems on the first view.

Recommended individuals

Gunnar Baumgärtel, (“nobody can explain the technology to the judges as well as he can”, client; “very successful because he’s very good”, competitor), Ralf Emig, Felix Gross, Frederick Kramer (“skilled in mobile communications”, competitor), Christoph Schröder (“his strategy is always bang on”, competitor), Andreas Tanner (“outstanding in mobile communications”, competitor; all patent attorneys)

Team

19 patent attorneys

Specialties

Strong focus on patent prosecution with broad technical expertise for predominantly midsized clients. Increasing work for large medical technology manufacturers and international mobile phone manufacturers. Litigation mainly for international mobile communications companies.

Clients

Litigation: regularly for Broadcom, Brose, Greenworks Tools, Fidlock; Continental (co-defendant of Daimler) against Nokia and Sharp in nullity suits over connected cars patents; Apple (defendant) against VoiceAge over speech-coding technology (settled 2021); Apple (defendant) against Ericsson over 4G and 5G standards; Xiaomi (defendant) against IP Bridge over SEPs and FRAND (both public knowledge); Oppo (defendant) against Nokia over 4G and 5G standards; Oppo and Lenovo (defendant) against InterDigital over mobile communications; HTC (defendant) against Unwired Planet and Fipa; LG (claimant) against mobile phone manufacturers and NPE; LG (defendant) against different NPEs; Google (defendant) against NPE in nullity suits; Vodafone (defendant) against Intellectual Ventures (all over mobile communications); Fitbit and Garmin (both defendants) against Philips over mobile communication in sports devices; Hoccer (claimant) against Tinder and Uber over communications patents; Phoenix Contact (defendant) against Harting over industrial connectors; Greenworks Tools over home and garden tools. Prosecution: patent filing and oppositions for Biotronik, Brose, Fenwall, Flooring Technologies, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Fresenius Kabi, GE Healthcare, Google, Infineon, Johannes Heidenhain, Joyson Safety Systems, LG, Phoenix Contact, Rolls Royce, Vestel. Advice: strategic advice, portfolio management and inventor rights for Brose, Flooring Technologies, Joyson Safety Systems, Probiodrug and Rolls Royce.

Location

Berlin, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Munich