JUVE Patent

Rankings Netherlands 2021

Brinkhof – Netherlands 2021

JUVE Comment

This IP boutique remains one of the market leaders for patent disputes in the Netherlands. Competitors are unlikely to challenge this position any time soon, as Brinkhof has been visible before the Dutch patent courts with a huge number of partners more often than the competition. The partners also conduct proceedings across a much broader technical spectrum than most other Dutch patent firms.

With partners such as Richard Ebbink, Mark Van Gardingen and Daan de Lange it has some of the most outstanding litigators on the lawyer side in its ranks. The firm also manages to develop a steady stream of new talent. Rien Broekstra and Jan Pot – Brinkhof’s most recent partner appointments – have quickly made names for themselves in the telecoms sector and as a specialist for supreme court cases, respectively.

In addition, Koen Bijvank is shaping up to be the IP boutique’s secret weapon. He joined the firm from V.O. in 2017 as a patent attorney experienced in biotech cases. He recently passed his law exams and is now a dual-qualified patent attorney and lawyer. He remains a key figure in EPO proceedings concerning CRISPR-Cas technology, in which he co-counsels for the Broad Institute.

The other litigators tend to fall on the side of generics and biosimilar manufacturers in life sciences cases, including Accord, Alvotech, Stada and Sandoz, which they represent in nullity and infringement suits. Van Gardingen was especially visible again before the District Court in The Hague.

Besides this active role for generics manufacturers, the partners are tentatively expanding their presence among originator drug companies, including a US biopharma manufacturer. But compared to the other market leader Hoyng ROKH Monégier and some international firms like Hogan Lovells, there is room for Brinkhof to strenghend its visibility here. Brinkhof’s competitors have carved out clear positions on the side of originator manufacturers.

The Brinkhof partners often operate as part of international teams from various national firms in cross-border cases. These include life sciences cases, such as those for the Broad Institute concerning CRISR-Cas or Sandoz against Eli Lilly over pemetrexed, as well as numerous mobile communications cases. Brinkhof has been more visible in the latter than its Dutch competitors recently. For Xiaomi and Oppo, Ebbink made sure that SEP holder Sisvel had little reason to celebrate in the Dutch proceedings. The firm is litigating for Google in a nullity suit by Sonos before the Dutch courts; the two rivals are also battling over control technology for consumer electronics in Germany. Brinkhof’s fiercest opponent Hoyng ROKH Monégier could not match its recent track record in mobile communications cases.

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. It recently handled some cross-border disputes such as that for Xiaomi and Alcon in cooperation with Kirkland & Ellis in the UK and Vossius & Partner in Germany. It has long been an open secret that Brinkhof and Vossius wanted to forge a close UPC alliance with UK firm Bristows. An end was put to this, however, by the German constitutional complaints against the UPC and the UK’s departure from the Unified Patent Court.

As long as the UPC was on hold, Brinkhof relied on its old, loose ties to other European litigation firms. Now that the launch of the court is back on the horizon, Brinkhof will have to establish closer connections again, as it is looking to play a leading role at the new court. But the national boutique will not manage this on its own. With these ambitions and its strong life sciences expertise, it would play into the firm’s hands if the former London section of the UPC central division for pharmaceuticals were to go to Amsterdam or The Hague.

Recommended individuals

Koen Bijvank (“Koen is meticulous and very experienced for complex biotech cases”, “best life sciences expert in the Netherlands”, both competitors; qualified as lawyer and patent attorney), Rien Broekstra (“he knows his stuff in SEP issues”, competitor), Richard Ebbink (“keeps me up to date on current developments in the Netherlands”, client; “hard to fight against. Very functional and successful”, competitor), Daan de Lange (“excellent regarding biopharma patents”, client; “strong litigation skills and involvement in technically complex proceedings”, competitor), Mark Van Gardingen (“stands out from other litigators we’ve seen on the opposing side”, “highly qualified in all areas of patent law”, both competitors), Rik Lambers, Jan Pot (“I’ll definitely retain him for our next case in the Netherlands”, client)

Team

6 partners, 1 counsel, 13 associates (one of whom is dual qualified)

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, but no patent filing activities. Trade secrets and entitlement actions.

Clients

Litigation: Google (claimant) against Sonos over control technology for consumer electronics (public knowledge); Xiaomi and Oppo (both defendants) against Sisvel over mobile phone standards (settled in 2021); Wiko (defendant) against Philips over UMTS and LTE standards; HighPoint (claimant) against KPN and Nokia regarding UMTS standards; Broad Institute in EPO proceedings concerning CRISPR-Cas technology; Accord Healthcare (defendant) against Amgen/Shire-NPS over cinacalcet for parathyroid hormone level reducer Mimpara (partly settled 2021); Alvotech and Stada (both defendants) against AbbVie in PI case regarding SPCs for Humira and skinny labeling in MA application at the EMEA; Sandoz (defendant) against Eli Lilly over pemetrexed (settled in 2021); Belmoca (defendant) against Jacobs Douwe Egberts concerning coffee capsules; Delta Electronics (defendant) against Barco regarding multimedia solutions; Vision Box (defendant) against Idemia over biometric authentication technology for airports; Cooler Master (defendant) against Asetek regarding computer cooling systems; Alcon (claimant) in nullity suits against AMO regarding eye surgery patents (finished 2021). EPO oppositions: Grifols (claimant and defendant) regarding chemical patents and Heineken.

Location

Amsterdam