JUVE Patent

Rankings Germany 2022

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan – Germany 2022

JUVE Comment

Following three very successful years between 2019 and 2021, things calmed down a little for the market-leading German patent litigation team of this US firm. This is because the extensive proceedings for Daimler against various members of the Avanci patent pool over connected cars patents were settled in 2021. For Google and Netflix, however, the firm is still involved in extensive litigation over mobile communications patents. This makes Quinn Emanuel one of the most visible German litigation teams in the mobile communications and IT sectors. The German team recently used the work for US medical products manufacturer Dexcom in a global dispute against Abbott to ramp up its presence in the life sciences sector.

While the firm is broadly positioned in the technology sector, Quinn Emanuel’s presence in life sciences has been much weaker than that of other market leaders in recent years. When it comes to major proceedings for pharma originators against generics companies, Quinn Emanuel has been hardly visible at all in fact – unlike Hogan Lovells or Hoyng ROKH Monegier.

But the litigation for Dexcom demonstrated that the firm is not only capable of transferring big-ticket instructions from the US practice to Germany, but also that it is a force to be reckoned with in life sciences. Quinn Emanuel also has a small foot in the door with pharma companies, with advice to Bio-Rad and Merck.

Building on this position is a job for star lawyer Marcus Grosch, but above all it offers younger partners like Johannes Bukow, Jérôme Kommer and Jesko Preuß development potential.

The self-declared goal of expanding work for German DAX corporations, such as Daimler and Merck, in addition to advising US tech companies, was not achieved. But given the fact that the German practice is building up a further pillar in general litigation alongside IP litigation, it stands to reason that not all IP projects have top priority. The basis for this expansion in suits relating to the diesel scandal or in banking and antitrust law is the vast litigation experience of the patent experts and the steady growth of the IP team.

The German team recently gained more clout in global patent litigation and with a view to the UPC by appointing six new counsel, some of whom have stepped up their market visibility.

Strengths

Litigation related to telecoms. Opposition and nullity suits by lawyers without patent attorneys. Strong US practice.

European set-up

More successfully than any other US firm, Quinn Emanuel currently transfers major cases across the Atlantic in order to try them before the German courts. The regular representation of major US corporates such as Google, Qualcomm and Netflix in important German cases proves that. On the life sciences side, Dexcom is another example where the US and German teams advise a US client in a major dispute across the Atlantic.

But in such cases, when France or the UK are involved, Quinn Emanuel has to bring in teams from other firms, as it did for Dexcom, or rely on general litigators from the local Quinn Emanuel offices. Then, the German team contributes the patent expertise. This is because, for the time being, the US firm is opting to forgo patent teams at other European locations outside of Germany. But this strategy is by no means set in stone.

For now, Quinn Emanuel’s European strategy is still based on the extremely high visibility of the German team and the preeminent US practice. Most competitors are not convinced that this strategy will suffice to compete long term with Hogan Lovells or Bird & Bird when cross-border cases are assigned. Now that the UK has left the European Union, the pressure is increasing on the firm to finally establish a respectable patent team in the London office to enable it to comprehensively serve the two most important patent markets in Europe. In addition, Kirkland & Ellis, an important US competitor, is currently making a strong appearance in London and wants to gain a foothold in the German market in the medium term.

But with an exceptionally strong litigation practice in Mannheim and Munich and a good presence at the Düsseldorf patent courts, Quinn Emanuel is well set for pan-European battles, as well as for the UPC launch. In addition, the US firm has offices in Hamburg and Stuttgart. Compared to all of its important competitors in Europe, Quinn Emanuel also has the advantage of being able to very successfully handle important EPO cases for clients without the involvement of external patent attorneys.

Recommended individuals

Johannes Bukow, Marcus Grosch (“excellent pleadings”, competitor; “in him we have found a partner who knows how to handle even complex issues and difficult opponents with confidence”, client), Jérôme Kommer (“very present in FRAND cases”, competitor), Jesko Preuß

Team

2 equity partners, 2 salary partners, 9 counsel, 22 associates

Specialties

In Mannheim, Munich and Stuttgart, IP activity centres on patent litigation. Also cancellation proceedings, opposition and nullity suits and infringement proceedings. In Hamburg, soft IP and antitrust on the interface with patents.

Clients

Litigation: Dexcom (claimant) against Abbott over glucose-monitoring patents; Bio-Rad (claimant) against 10X Genomics over gene-sequence analysis; IPCom (defendant) against Deutsche Telekom over compensation for SEP licence payments; BlackBerry and Google (defendants) against Onebutton (public knowledge); IP Bridge (claimant) against HTC; Qualcomm (defendant) against Apple in revocation cases (all over mobile communications); MediaTek (claimant) against NXP over semiconductors for cars (public knowledge); Netflix (defendant) against Broadcom over video streaming; Niantic (defendant) against K.Mizra over near-field communication regarding video game Pokémon Go (public knowledge); Google (defendants) against Sonos over audio technology; Voxer (claimant) against Facebook over live-streaming technology; BASF (claimant) against Puma over shoe soles; German manufacturer (claimant) against Japanese competitor over dialysis technology; German biotech company (defendant) against competitor over materials for use in radiotherapy; US electronic company (defendant) against competitor over barcode-scanning technology. Advice: Merck in connection with biosimilar suit; European car manufacturers regarding SEPs.

Location

Mannheim, Munich, Stuttgart, Hamburg, Berlin