JUVE Patent

Brinkhof – Netherlands 2020

Rankings:

JUVE Comment

This IP boutique is one of the market leaders for patent disputes in the Netherlands. With partners such as Richard Ebbink and Mark Van Gardingen it has some of the most outstanding litigators on the lawyer side in its ranks. In addition, in Koen Bijvank the firm boasts one of the best-known litigators on the patent attorney side when it comes to biotech disputes and pharma litigation. Bringing the litigation-experienced patent attorney on board three years ago was a step toward transforming the pure law firm into a mixed practice – an experiment that has more than paid off. Koen Bijvank has an excellent reputation for both EPO cases and proceedings before the Dutch patent courts. He now works in cooperation with the lawyers in numerous cases. He was part of the team, for instance, working for Heineken in the global battle with AB InBev over ‘bottle-in-bottle’ technology as lead partner. He also came up trumps for the Broad Institute in the EPO battle over the new CRISPR/Cas9 technology in his signature field of biotech. Bijvank specialises exclusively in disputes – Brinkhof does not offer patent filing. Though Hoyng ROKH Monégier demonstrated how to make the leap to a mixed practice years ago, Brinkhof now showed that the concept can also be transferred to pure litigation work. Brinkhof safeguarded the long-term future of the patent team with a strong squad of young litigators around Daan de Lange, who is highly respected among competitors. Its broad setup and size allow the team to conduct a multitude of proceedings within a broad technical spectrum at once, beyond its specialties in life science and mobile communication disputes. For example, Brinkhof partners were recently active for Belmoca regarding coffee capsules and Carl Zeiss as co-defendant of ASML regarding semiconductors. The firm also advised Tata Steel in a cross-border dispute over coated steel. But Brinkhof mainly owes its outstanding position in the Dutch patent market to its frequent visibility in disputes over mobile communication and pharmaceutical patents, e.g. for Wiko against Philips and for Xiaomi and Oppo against Sisvel in two central telecommunication battles. The firm frequently litigates for Sandoz involving various drugs. With clients such as these, the firm is positioned solidly on the side of implementors in the digital communication field and generic drugs manufacturers, and boasts a wealth of experience defending against patent claims. Although Brinkhof has a reputation as a firm for generics manufacturers, innovators in the pharmaceutical field by no means play a minor role. But there is room for the firm to build its visibility here compared to the other market leader Hoyng ROKH Monégier and some international firms like Hogan Lovells, who have carved out clear positions on the side of originator manufacturers.

Strengths

Patent litigation concerning mobile communications and pharma. Mixed approach mainly in pharma and biotech.

European strategy

Brinkhof is highly respected in the European patent community and has good relationships to numerous European patent firms. But it has been involved in a close relationship with UK market leader Bristows and mixed German firm Vossius & Partner which was to supposed to result in a strong alliance (potentially even an integrated firm, as outsiders like to speculate) for UPC cases. But now that the UPC is less certain, Brinkhof has reverted to its stand-alone strategy while still enjoying a close relationship to the two top firms. With its pan-European litigation for Heineken, Brinkhof demonstrated that closer alliances with other boutique firms can pay off without having to sacrifice independence. Vossius and Brinkhof also work side by side for Wiko. The cooperation proves alliances offer a credible alternative to the integrated practices of Hoyng ROKH Monégier or Hogan Lovells.

Recommended individuals

Rien Broekstra (“very good cooperation in mobile communication cases”, client), Richard Ebbink (“good performance when pleading in the courtroom”, client), Daan de Lange (“good rational style”, client; “experienced in all technical fields of patent disputes”, competitor), Mark Van Gardingen (“fierce competitor”, “excellent strategic thinker”, competitors), Rik Lambers; patent attorney: Koen Bijvank (“a safe pair of hands when supporting us in litigation, excellent in EPO proceedings” competitor; pharma and biotech)

Team

4 partners, 10 associates, 1 of counsel (incl. 1 patent attorney)

Specialties

Exclusive focus on IP matters with emphasis on disputes for clients from all bussiness sectors, including coordination of Europe-wide disputes. Proceedings at the EPO and Dutch patent office, especially concerning chemistry and life sciences patents. Trade secrets and entitlement actions.

Clients

Litigation: Heineken (claimant) against AB InBev over ‘bottle-in-bottle’ technology; Xiaomi and Oppo (the latter public knowledge; both defendants,) against Sisvel over mobile phone standards; Wiko (defendant) against Philips over UMTS and LTE standards; Broad Institute in EPO proceedings concerning CRISPR-Cas9 technology (co-counsel with other European firms); Belmoca (defendant) against Jacobs Douwe Egberts concerning coffee capsules; Carl Zeiss (co-defendant of ASML) against Nikon concerning semiconductor manufacturing technology; Tata Steel (claimant) against ArcelorMittal over coated steel; Mundipharma (defendant) against Hoffmann La-Roche over anti-cancer drug Herzuma (both public knowledge); frequent litigation for Sandoz.

Location:

Amsterdam