At this IP boutique, the major strength of the mixed patent team lies in the patent attorneys’ broad positioning in many technical fields and economic sectors. This not only leads to a great deal of activity for the patent attorneys in EPO oppositions, but also numerous nullity suits and infringement proceedings in cooperation with Tobias Wuttke’s strongly positioned litigation team. Under his leadership the litigation team has made steady progress again, especially on the claimant side, for example for Cybex over children’s seats, for CommScope over antennas and for Prysmian over optical cables. The lawyers generally run such proceedings in partnership with the patent attorneys, among whom young partner Florian Henke enjoys an excellent name for his litigation work. The patent attorneys’ visibility in litigation nevertheless lags behind that of other mixed Munich-based firms, such as Wallinger and Grünecker.
Litigation for companies as defendants, such as the work for Deutsche Telekom against NPEs, which dominated for some time, is now taking a back seat in favour of active lawsuits. But in addition to their mobile communications experience, the lawyers and patent attorneys have strong ties to the auto industry. They recently combined both in work for an SEP owner in a connected cars suit.
Meissner Bolte bolstered its headcount on this interface by bringing in Marina Wehler as a salary partner at the Düsseldorf office. As an associate at Arnold Ruess she gained experience in mobile communications suits – for Sisvel in the landmark German FRAND proceedings against Haier and in the connected cars suits for Nokia against Daimler, for example.
On the other hand, the firm’s patent attorneys are best known for prosecution in the traditional areas of technology, mechanics and mechanical engineering. Electronics and medical products also play an important role, unlike pharma patents. Although pharma and biotech work is gaining ground in the prosecution practice, Meissner Bolte is still far from playing in the same league as Hoffmann Eitle or Vossius for life sciences. Hiring Wehler could pay off in the medium term, as she is also experienced in pharma proceedings.
Litigation regarding mechanical and mobile communication patents. Patent prosecution in the automotive sector as well as mechanical engineering patents.
When it comes to litigation Meissner Bolte is mostly active for its national and international clients in national proceedings in Germany. The patent attorneys advise most of these clients on patent prosecution, too. But the firm is rarely involved in pan-European suits like those for CommScope, although Wuttke and other lawyers have experience here from previous employers. Nevertheless, for clients like Cybex and Drylock the firm conducts extensive campaigns that have potential for UPC litigation and, as regular client Deutsche Telekom is often the target of NPE suits, Meissner Bolte’s litigation team is getting set for the new court.
It is present at all major German UPC local divisions. With its mixed approach and a small, but growing presence in the UK, Meissner Bolte can look after its midsized German and Asian clients independently in UPC cases.
By bolstering its own litigation team in recent years with a salary partner and two new associates, the firm has taken an important step towards raising its visibility in high-profile cases. It also filled a gap in the Düsseldorf team, which is an important step towards catching up with the German market leaders.
On the other hand, Meissner Bolte is currently strengthening this position for UPC work more exclusively through cooperations with UK and French firms that are currently not on the radar of other German firms.
Tobias Wuttke, Rainer Engels; patent attorneys: Florian Henke, Florian Meyer (“great service, timely and thorough follow-up, honest partnership”, client), Kay Rupprecht, Stefan Zech (“dedicated and competent”, competitor)
71 patent attorneys, 11 lawyers
Marina Wehler (from Arnold Ruess)
All-round IP activity, around 50 percent of which is in patent prosecution and litigation. Filing with broad technical expertise. Nullity and opposition suits. Infringement proceedings, incl. rights to inspection, with mixed teams. Employee invention law and protection of trade secrets.
Litigation: Deutsche Telekom (defendant) against various NPEs such as Enovsys and Showrunner over mobile communication technologies; CommScope (claimant) against Comlab and Solid over wifi repeaters in trains; CommScope (claimant) against Cobham over antennas; Belparts (claimant) against Belimo over pressure valves for smart buildings; Tylon Schuling (defendant) against Krones over beverage-filling plants; Andritz (claimant) against Villforth Siebtechnik over screen printing in textiles manufacture; Cybex (claimant) against various competitors over children’s seats; Honeywell (claimant) against Opticon Sensoren over barcode scanners; Humbaur (claimant) against Pongratz over car trailers; Idemina (defendant) against Gemalto over SIM cards; BTL Medizintechnik over cosmetic treatment methods; ITW (claimant) against Madag Printing over packaging machines; ISG (defendant) against Sky Ventures over indoor skydiving centres; regular litigation for Brita, Drylock, Electrolux, Koki, Pritidenta, Prysmian and WUF; Asian conglomerate (claimant) against car manufacturer over e-batteries for cars. Prosecution: filing for Alcoa, Arconic, Brita, Cybex, Electrolux, Fisher Rosemount, Fujifilm, Husqvarna, ITW, Koehler Paper Group, Mitsubishi Electric, Rockwool, Takeda, Thyssenkrupp and Villeroy & Boch. Filing and oppositions for Johnson Controls. Advice: Deutsche Telekom on licences and FTO analysis; CommScope on FTO analysis; Cybex, Greif, Occhio and Villeroy & Boch on strategy and portfolio management; Koki and Metabowerke on licences.