JUVE Patent

Rankings Netherlands 2022

Taylor Wessing – Netherlands 2022

JUVE Comment

Over the past twelve months, Taylor Wessing’s well-positioned patent practice has overcome several changes at partner level to remain visible and recommended in the Dutch market. It was dealt a blow earlier in 2022 when the firm’s head of patents Judith Krens departed, along with two associates, to help build up Pinsent Masons’ life sciences offering in Amsterdam. Clearly, losing its foremost life sciences partner could have been disastrous for a firm so strongly associated with the sector. But in Eindhoven, the office’s capabilities were bolstered with the promotion of Eelco Bergsma and re-hire of Charlotte Garnitsch, who returned to the firm’s partnership after one year away. These changes give the Taylor Wessing team enough capacity to continue working for an important key client in a cross-border project involving its European offices, and for a medical device company in a global dispute. Recently, the firm has also won a new instruction from a leading life sciences company. Regarding work on SPCs, the Dutch offering of Taylor Wessing is more visible than some of its peers, for example retaining cancer institute Dana Farber in a case regarding applications for an SPC for cancer drugs. Yet while Taylor Wessing is clearly working to strengthen capabilities in this area among its associate base, it could be wise for the firm to consider a lateral hire to foster further client connections on the life sciences side.

On the other hand, neither have the recent changes negatively impacted the Dutch practice’s telecommunication capabilities, with the firm remaining active in some leading litigation. In the past twelve months, a headline case for the firm has been its work for Ericsson against Apple, which saw partners Wim Maas and Eelco Bergsma obtain an anti-anti-suit injunction against the US company. The team has also asserted nine patents – including seven SEPs – against Apple as part of a global strategy alongside its Belgian colleagues. The renewed assignment by Ericsson for the Dutch parts of this global dispute demonstrates once again that nothing can come between Ericsson and Wim Maas in the Netherlands. Last year, he was set for the dispute against Samsung, although this was quickly settled.

However, the firm has not been active for key client Asus in a couple of years, although its previous case as a defendant against Philips was a high point for the firm’s ability to coordinate FRAND litigation work across its European and London offices.

Strengths

FRAND and telecommunication litigation with cross-border aspects. Life sciences litigation.

European set-up

Despite fewer direct litigation links with the London or German offices, Taylor Wessing maintains a strong focus on expanding its expertise across the entire Benelux region. This axis is increasingly important for the firm, with these offices evenly sharing out much case work – for example, for the ongoing proceedings initiated by Ericsson against Apple – while strengthening the firm’s regional offering in preparation for the UPC.

The UK and Germany teams remain particularly well-coordinated, with patent practices in these countries benefitting from being in the important patent jurisdictions of London, Munich and Düsseldorf. For example, the offices are working together in high-profile litigation for a US company, in a case over medical devices which has already seen action over multiple patents at the German courts.

Additionally, the Amsterdam and Eindhoven offices are developing strong ties within the Benelux offering, where two patent partners were added to the firm’s small Belgium office. With one of these bringing life sciences expertise to the Brussels office, the firm is addressing the loss of its main life sciences partner in Amsterdam.

However, since Taylor Wessing’s European offices are not fully financially integrated, its teams develop joint work between offices less frequently than some of the European market leaders, such as Hogan Lovells and Allen & Overy. But the patent team’s set-up in all major jurisdictions is well positioned for more cross-border work, which will be an asset for the impending opening of the UPC.

Recommended individuals

Wim Maas (“very pragmatic approach”, competitor)

Team

12 lawyers

Partner moves

Judith Krens (to Pinsent Masons)

Specialties

Pharmaceutical litigation, including SPCs and biosimilars. SEP litigation, including FRAND. Licence agreements and transactions.

Clients

Litigation: Ericsson (claimant) against Apple over SEPs and implementation patents (public knowledge); Barco (claimant) against Delta, Kindermann and CleverDutch regarding electronic communication tools for meetings (partially settled); Dana Farber (claimant) against Dutch Patent Office over refusal of applications for cancer drug patents; Biota (defendant) against Van der Knaap Diensten and Triqua International over organic liquids for plant cultivation (settled 2022); SEaB Energy (claimant) against Waste Transformers over renewable energy microgeneration system; Van Loon Group (defendant) against FrieslandCampina over meat replacement technology (settled). Advice: Excentr over professional cleaning device; Stascafe over coffee capsule technology; Innodox over method for auto-mooring ships.

Location

Amsterdam, Eindhoven