JUVE Patent

Rankings Netherlands 2021

De Vries & Metman – Netherlands 2021

JUVE Comment

This IP firm is ahead of the rest of the Dutch market when it comes to major patent disputes before Dutch courts on the patent attorney side. The small, pure patent attorney firm has now put even more distance between itself and its main competitors NLO, V.O. and Aomb, with four very visible patent attorneys in life sciences, telecommunications and mechanics cases.

Lilian Hesselink is highly visible in pharma cases thanks to her close ties to Teva and other generics manufacturers, often working with the lawyers from Bird & Bird and Vondst.

Litigation is also deeply ingrained in the patent attorneys’ DNA when it comes to mobile communications patents. There have been few disputes in the telecoms industry over implementation patents or SEPs where Ferry van Looijengoed and Erik Visscher were not involved. Competitors of De Vries & Metman cannot match this visibility. Both partners enjoy an excellent name for such lawsuits in the Netherlands and beyond. As the Dutch patent courts are popular for their quick rulings, nullity suits often play an important role in cross-border disputes in the mobile communications industry. This secures the firm’s central role in such international battles. Just how strongly clients trust the firm is shown by the fact that Sisvel changed advisors shortly before the end of its campaign against Chinese mobile communications manufacturers (via settlements) and only De Vries & Metman still sits firmly in the saddle for the NPE. Sonos and Sharp are also counting on the partners in two new suits before the Dutch patent courts. But they are not only active for SEP holders: implementors like Samsung are also relying on van Looijengoed in the global dispute over mobile communications licences with Ericsson.

Arnt Aalbers boasts an excellent reputation for cases concerning mechanics and mechanical engineering patents. He coordinates a number of cases for Luchtankers, Eurokeg and Royal Duyvis Wiener, including litigation before the German courts.

As at all Dutch patent attorney firms, litigation only accounts for a small portion of activity. Prosecution work predominates, across a wide range of technical fields. The De Vries & Metman patent attorneys have also carved out special expertise in AI patents and quantum computing, which only a few Dutch patent filing practices offer.

Strengths

Patent disputes conducted by patent attorneys regarding mobile communications and pharmaceuticals. Also for generic drug companies.

European strategy

Outside the Netherlands, De Vries & Metman has no other offices in major patent jurisdictions. The firm counts on its excellent relationships with various patent litigation teams in IP boutiques and international firms.

These loose, albeit close, connections could now come under pressure again should more firms take an international and mixed approach in light of the UPC launch looking more likely.

But with its excellent litigation experience, De Vries & Metman can certainly hold its own against similar firms in Germany and France at the UPC. This makes the firm an interesting partner for a collaboration or even merger, especially if the former London section of the central division for pharma suits goes to Amsterdam or The Hague.

Recommended individuals

Arnt Aalbers (mechanics, process and mechanical engineering), Lilian Hesselink (pharma and biotechnology, chemistry), Ferry van Looijengoed (“highly skillfull, knowledgeable and reliable”, “excellent in telecoms cases”, both competitors; digital communication and computer technology, electronics), Erik Visscher (“great to work with in telecom or electronics cases”, competitor; digital communication and computer technology, electronics)

Team

17 patent attorneys (one of whom is dual qualified as a lawyer)

Specialties

Patent prosecution across a broad spectrum of technology. Litigation regarding mobile communications and pharmaceutical patents, together with law firms. Special technical know-how concerning AI and quantum computing. IP advice, transaction support.

Clients

Litigation: Sonos (claimant) against Google in nullity suits over control technology for consumer electronics; Sharp (defendant) against Oppo in nullity suit regarding LTE standards; Asus and Wiko (defendants) against Philips regarding UMTS standard (all public knowledge); Samsung (defendant) against Ericsson regarding mobile communications standards (settled in 2021); Sisvel (claimant) against BKK, Oppo and Xiaomi regarding mobile communications standards (settled 2020/2021); KPN (defendant) against HighPoint regarding UMTS standards; Teva (claimant) against Janssen in nullity suit regarding SPC for antipsychotic drug Invega; Teva (claimant) against Novartis in nullity suit regarding breast cancer drug Afinitor; Cooler Master (defendant) against Asetek regarding computer cooling systems; Opticon against Handheld regarding optical barcode scanner; Vision Box (defendant) against Idemia over biometric authentication technology for airports; Tinnus/Zuru (claimant) against Koopman over filling technology for water balloons in infringement and EPO cases. Prosecution: patent filing and oppositions: Inalfa Roof Systems, Mylaps, Nouryon Chemicals, OuTech, Purac Biochem, Signify; patent filing: ABN Amro, Damen 40, Fast & Fluid Management, NLC Healthcare, Koninklijke Gazelle, KPN, Plantics, Promaton Holding, Qu&Co, Shin-Etsu Chemical, Unilin, Universities of Amsterdam, Arnheim, Delft and Maastricht (all public knowledge).

Location

Amsterdam, Arnhem, Eindhoven