The well-established UK litigation team at global firm DLA Piper continues to work for big-name clients across a variety of technical fields. With a traditionally strong focus on technology patents, the past year has seen the three-partner-strong patent team win some new clients, including legacy brand names, through an international coordination strategy. These include building materials manufacturer Knauf and toy company Spinmaster. DLA has also been kept busy with patent licensing work for major commercial pharmaceutical companies, for example GE Healthcare. With no departures or arrivals in the past year, DLA Piper’s patent team has remained stable, with its UK teams in London and Birmingham continuing to work closely together. The Birmingham team is active in the automotive industry, which opens space for more work in the growth field of connected cars cases in the UK. In Germany, DLA has already shown how quickly it can combine its experience in mobile communications with its good relationship with the car industry. For the UK patent team, however, it remains an important challenge to show more presence in mobile communications disputes. It is this which currently defines the market-leading litigation firms. Additionally, the DLA patent team can be distinguished from other competitors such as Pinsent Masons or Gowling in that the partners themselves are not as visible in the market – despite the firm in general having a strong reputation. DLA’s excellent client base in the US is a good starting point for addressing this situation.
Technical patent litigation. Pharmaceuticals including biotech, especially on the licensing side. Strong US practice.
Backed up by a strong US practice, DLA has expanded its European patent team. Today DLA’s European patent practice has 31 litigators working across six jurisdictions and is well positioned. It is especially strong in Amsterdam and Munich. But there remains room for development in Paris and London, especially in the tech field. Unusually, the national head of DLA’s UK patent practice is based in Birmingham rather than London. In Munich, a key centre should the UPC launch, the European strategy is coordinated by Markus Gampp, global co-chair of the firm’s global patent practice. The German practice has eschewed integrating patent attorneys. In Amsterdam, however, a European patent attorney specialises in pharma patents, enabling the firm to conduct opposition and appeal cases at the EPO without external patent attorneys.
3 partners, 3 counsel, 1 of counsel, 4 associates
Broad patent practice with a roster of legacy technical brands, including automotive, consumer products, life sciences and the sports industry, as well as toy makers and breweries. Clear focus on industry clients. In the life sciences sector, DLA focuses on litigation and licensing in the innovative pharmaceutical field, extending to biotechnology. An increasing amount of design rights litigation. Also licensing and transactional work.
Litigation: Knauf (defendant) against Rockwool on revocation case concerning insulation patents; Spinmaster in infringement and revocation case against competitor over patent for Bakugan toy; Alpinestars in infringement and revocation case against Dainese regarding motorcycle airbag technology; BMW (defendant) on infringement claim regarding electric vehicles; Novo Nordisk (claimant) against Regeneron regarding infringement and revocation of a patent using transgenic mice in antibody production. Transactions: GE Healthcare on patent licensing.
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