DLA Piper’s well-positioned Dutch patent practice continues to attract a small but steady stream of clients from a variety of sectors. It stands apart from its competitors as its practice spans a range of technical and engineering-focused cases, as well as remaining especially visible in pharmaceutical cases. For example, the recent settlement between Fresenius and competitor Eli Lilly over cancer drug pemetrexed elevated the firm’s visibility.
It also represents new client Easypath Nederland in a case involving street paving for pavements. DLA Piper continues to prove its ability in biotechnology cases, despite still having no specialist biotechnology partner in the team. This is demonstrated through the firm’s retention of Scenic Biotech in a case involving patents for immuno-oncology, a client won by the firm in 2019. The firm also attracts a high volume of advisory work alongside its litigation practice, such as for plastic fabrication company Kumagaya Kunststoffen over patent entitlement. But DLA Piper’s small partner team could hinder its ability to attract and retain further high-profile clients in both the biotechnology and pharmaceutical space.
DLA Piper is also notable by its absence from SEP and telecommunication cases in the Netherlands. Given the steady numbers of cross-border telecommunications cases currently being litigated in the Dutch courts, a lack of visibility in this sector could put the firm on the back foot in terms of competing for clients in this field. Perhaps this is where the firm’s connections to its German and UK offices will be useful, for example through the Munich team’s strong connections to SEP implementers such as Microsoft, as well as a US handset maker. London partner Deborah Bould who joined in early 2020, harbours expertise in FRAND and SEP telecommunication cases which could help increase the Dutch DLA Piper office’s visibility in such cross-border disputes.
Mechanical and technical areas of patent law.
Although boasting a strong and growing team in London, as well as well-regarded German practices in Munich and Cologne, DLA Piper’s European practice is yet to expand its presence to Paris. Indeed, the French capital had been the blank spot in DLA’s continental offering, but with the addition of a larger IP team that also has patent expertise, the firm began to close that gap in early 2021. Prior to this, the London patent practice had strengthened its position with the arrival of Deborah Bould from Pinsent Masons in 2020. She brings expertise in the mobile communication field. The firm currently has smaller offerings in Brussels and Milan, the first of which complements the Dutch practice on the Benelux axis, but further expansion into France would allow the firm to better compete with some of its close competitors such as Allen & Overy, which already boast strong pan-European offerings.
Exploiting its connections to London might also enhance the visibility of the Amsterdam office in cross-border litigation, which despite a European network remains underdeveloped. This is especially important given the imminent arrival of the UPC, and the uncertainty surrounding the relocation of the previous pharmaceutical division in London.
1 partner, 3 associates, 1 of counsel
IP matters with a strong focus on patent litigation. Also entitlement actions and SPC cases.
Litigation: Scenic Biotech (defendant) against Vivoryon Therapeutics over immuno-oncology and research exemptions; Fresenius Kabi (defendant) against Eli Lilly over cancer drug pemetrexed (settled in 2021); Easypath Nederland (claimant) over street paving elements; Asetek (claimant) against Cooler Master over computer cooling technology; Euro Caps (claimant) in EPO opposition proceedings regarding coffee capsule patents (settled). Advice: Kumagaya Kunststoffen for patent entitlement; Bollegraaf Recycling Machinery regarding seperation device; Euro Caps regarding freedom to operate and patent infringement.