With a steadily growing number of partners, the German patent litigation team of this international firm is increasingly closing in on the group of market leaders. Munich lawyer Anja Lunze was promoted to the equity partnership in 2021, with Jan Phillip Rektorschek following suit also in Munich. The firm also appointed associates in Munich as well as in the Düsseldorf office to non-equity partner. But the German practice is not only challenging the market leaders with one of the largest partner teams of all German firms, but also with its presence in litigation across a broad technical spectrum.
The firm’s mainstay is litigation relating to medical technology and pharmaceuticals, with a great deal of activity for generics manufacturers such as Hexal/Sandoz and Mylan. These are often represented in cooperation with Taylor Wessing’s other European offices. Abbott is another key client of the European practice. It was represented in an intensive series of proceedings regarding heart valves against Edwards Lifesciences, which was followed by a second international dispute against Dexcom over portable glucose-monitoring devices. Taylor Wessing’s activity in medical devices is currently the main driver of the patent litigation team. Another one is the extensive litigation work for Fraunhofer Gesellschaft (claimant) and REC Solar (defendant) in various battles over solar technology.
In the mobile communications sector, the German team does not yet quite stand up to direct comparison with market-leading firms like Hogan Lovells, Freshfields and Bird & Bird. It was recently active for an auto manufacturer here, but Taylor Wessing is seen less often than the market leaders in the major battles, for instance over connected cars or most recently 5G patents. The team has, however, carved out a good position in recent years – from a very weak position – among Chinese implementers such as ZTE, TCT and currently one of the largest mobile communications manufacturers. These clients also rely on other firms in Germany. But the client relationships could help Taylor Wessing play a central role at the UPC from day one, as the new court is likely to see NPE suits against manufacturers of mobile communications devices from the start. To defend its Chinese clients, Taylor Wessing will have to raise its associate headcount. None of the large international patent teams has such a low partner-associate leverage in Germany as Taylor Wessing.
Litigation related to pharmaceuticals on the generics side as well as on medical devices and telecoms. Good contacts in China and Japan.
At Taylor Wessing, the UK and Germany teams remain particularly well coordinated, with its patent practices in these countries benefitting from being in the important patent jurisdictions of London, Munich and Düsseldorf. The teams work together in particular for life sciences clients (e.g. Abbott and Mylan) as well as for a Chinese manufacturer of mobile communications devices.
The Amsterdam and Eindhoven offices also have strong ties with Benelux. Recently Taylor Wessing has added Patricia Cappuyns (from national IP boutique Fox IP) as a second partner to its patent practice in Brussels. She focuses on a mixture of litigation in both the life sciences and FRAND areas. The Dutch team impressed the market yet again with its close ties to Ericsson in the global battle against Apple over mobile communications standards. The only fly in the ointment for the German team is that it is not considered more often for such cases, as Ericsson has a close relationship with Kather Augenstein.
Taylor Wessing’s European offices are not fully financially integrated, and its teams develop joint work between offices less frequently than some of the European market leaders, such as Hogan Lovells and Simmons & Simmons. Nevertheless, the patent team’s set-up in all major jurisdictions is well presented for more cross-border work, an asset given the impending UPC. However, in Paris the patent team’s visibility is not as high as some of its main European competitors such as Hogan Lovells and Bird & Bird. In addition, unlike some of the market leaders, Taylor Wessing refrains from building up its own team of patent attorneys and instead works closely with several patent attorney firms in Germany, such as Betten & Resch or Lederer & Keller.
Christoph de Coster, Gisbert Hohagen (“experienced, confident and competent”, competitor), Dietrich Kamlah (“excellent way of arguing and presenting the case“, competitor), Roland Küppers (“thoroughly recommendable”, client; “guides his clients well in proceedings”, competitor), Christian Lederer, Anja Lunze, Jan Phillip Rektorschek
8 equity partners, 6 salary partners, 5 associates, 2 of counsel
All-round activity in IP. In patents, activity focuses on infringement proceedings. Very close cooperation with the European patent team and international life sciences practice. Also licensing and cooperation contracts. Trademarks and unfair competition.
Litigation: regularly for Nichia; Exertis (defendant) against Huawei over Wi-Fi 6 standard; TCT Mobile (defendant) against NEC over audio-codec standard; Abbott (claimant and defendant) against Dexcom over portable glucose-monitoring devices; Hexal (defendant) against Amgen on preliminary injunction concerning treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism drug cinacalcet; Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (claimant) against Ono in entitlement action over cancer immuno therapy; Mylan (defendant) against Bayer over cancer drug Nexavar; Mylan (defendant) against Teva over Copaxone; Fraunhofer Gesellschaft (claimant) against various Asian and European manufacturers over solar technology; REC Solar (defendant) against Hanwha/Q-Cells over solar technology; Allison (defendant) against Cybex and Dorel over children’s seats; Belimo (defendant) against Belparts over flow control in heating systems; Tesa (claimant) against Certoplast over special adhesive tape for harness; FormFactor (defendant) against ERS Electronic over wafer-probing systems; Hymmen (claimant) againt Barberán over surfacing technology; Truma (claimant) against GOK over camping equipment; Huber+Suhner (claimant) against Maxtena over train wifi antennas; Asian company (defendant) against competitor over OLED technology; car manufacturer (defendant) against NPEs over connected cars patents. Advice: Chinese mobile phone manufacturer on SEPs.