JUVE Patent

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek – Netherlands 2020

Rankings:

JUVE Comment

Among the many patent teams at Dutch full-service firms, the De Brauw team operates with an unusual setup. In other European markets the patent teams of national full-service firms do not necessarily compete with the market leaders – especially if their firms specialise in transactions. The De Brauw team, however, is hot on the heels of the Dutch market leaders with a highly visible practice. This is not only thanks to the excellent reputation of Gertjan Kuipers, but also the team’s visibility in numerous top-level proceedings for Sisvel, KPN, Välinge and Jacobs Douwe Egberts. “The whole team is very good”, one client praised. The firm’s market position is also the result of the clever strategic positioning of a team with Gertjan Kuipers at the helm and Oscar Lamme as an up-and-coming litigator. The patent team is integrated into the firm’s larger litigation group and can therefore draw from a larger pool of associates than comparable firms like NautaDuthil or BarentsKrans. One disadvantage of this is that the associates are not as strongly focused on patents as those at competitors and are not known in the market as patent specialists. Nevertheless, De Brauw is developing a strong track record with just one lead partner. But compared to the market leaders, that level of firepower in the partnership remains too small. Gertjan Kuipers and counsel Oscar Lamme are currently particularly visible in mobile communication disputes for Sisvel, but are also active in a whole host of pharma and medical product cases, e.g. for Eli Lilly. Work for originator manufacturers predominates in this sector, while only a few generic drugs manufacturers are advised. NPE Sisvel is also an exception in the practice, as the two litigators mostly work for industrial companies. But they are active within a broad technical spectrum, as shown by work for coffee maker Jacobs Douew Egberts and flooring manufacturer Välinge.

Strengths

Patent disputes in the mobile communication field including arbitration.

European strategy

In cross-border disputes, much rests with the appeal of partners such as Kuipers rather than a fixed international team, because the Dutch full-service firm emphasises its independence. The team thus remains dependent on a good network of comparable national patent teams in other countries to hold its own against the major integrated patent teams at Allen & Overy and Hogan Lovells. The potential end of the UPC has reduced the pressure on patent teams in national full-service firms like De Brauw to work more closely with firms in Germany, France or the UK. On the other hand, strategic alliances with selected firms could help it to forge more exclusive relationships with international corporates for cross-border disputes.

Recommended individuals

Gertjan Kuipers (“our first choice”, client, “makes an excellent impression on the opposing side”, client), Oscar Lamme

Team

2 partners, 1 counsel, 9 associates

Specialties

Patent disputes with a broad technical background, including arbitration and entitlement actions. Also trade secrets, strategic IP advice and transactions.

Clients

Litigation: Sisvel (claimant) against Xiaomi, Oppo, BKK and Wiko in various cases over mobile communication patents; KPN (defendant) against High Point over UMTS patents; GSK (defendant) against MSD in revocation cases over pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccines; Eli Lilly (claimant) against Teva and Fresenius Kabi over blockbuster drug Alimta in Dutch Supreme Court case; Jacobs Douwe Egberts (claimant) against Belmoca concerning coffee capsules; Välinge (defendant) against I4F in revocation case over flooring technology; Zimmer Biomed (defendant) against Heraeus over bone cement including trade secret aspects; Ferring Pharmaceuticals (claimant) against Serenity Pharma in patent and entitlement claims over desmopressin (co-counsel with Dentons). Advice: PVH regarding strategic IPR portfolio management in the fashion field.

Location:

Amsterdam