JUVE Patent

Hogan Lovells – UK 2020

Rankings:

JUVE Comment

The patent litigation team of this global law firm maintains a stable position as one of Europe’s leading practices, although smaller in partner size than comparable firms such as Bird & Bird and Allen & Overy. However, the expertise of Hogan Lovells’ litigators means it continues to act in complex cases in the pharmaceutical sector, such as for Merck Sharp & Dohme against GSK, and for Akebia against Fibrogen. Hogan Lovells is also concentrating on consolidating its pan-European litigation practice, which sees its lawyers act in patent courts across Europe’s key jurisdictions. The instruction of MSD in two major disputes against Pfizer subsidiary Wyeth, and against GSK, are transatlantic. The London team works for MSD across the US and Japan, as well as across Europe. Back in London, Hogan Lovells has recently been active at the Court of Appeal, securing a win for startup Olaplex against global brand L’Oréal. In mobile communication cases, the firm also defended key clients Vodafone and HTC against non-practising entity IPCom’s significant 100A patent. The team is representing HTC in another important SEP case against Philips. Both Vodafone and HTC are key clients of the German patent team as well. The European patent team has a clear focus in representing industry clients against NPEs. Only very few firms like Allen & Overy are able to maintain such an alignment with such consistency. Although not yet making a name for itself in the connected cars field, some work for car manufacturers could see Hogan Lovells add another string to its patent litigation bow. This is alongside other innovative names on its client list, such as therapeutic medical device manufacturer Akebia. The addition of such clients to its roster highlights the firm’s push to develop further. Furthermore, a promotion at the beginning of the year increased the partnership in London to four litigators, which remains relatively small for the UK market, however. Hogan Lovells thus has room for expansion, especially if it wants to continue to win clients at the highest levels of the telecommunication and pharmaceutical industries. Here, its German practice has shown the way. Despite originally having five partners, five new partners have been added over the past five years.

Strengths

Strong in both pharmaceutical and telecommunication disputes for industry clients. Large, international client base and strong pan-European team. Very active in cross-border litigation.

European strategy

Hogan Lovells has a truly cross-border litigation team. Between London, Düsseldorf and Amsterdam the team is homogeneous, something reflected in its international presence in important pharmaceutical, mobile phone and electronics cases. The team is present at all relevant UPC locations, although its visibility in Paris has dropped off slightly. The German practice is also present at the Munich and Hamburg patent courts with well-positioned teams in their local markets. This office distribution means Hogan Lovells is clearly a European market leader with an excellent setup for the potential start of the UPC. When it comes to building up a patent attorney practice across Europe, however, main competitor Bird & Bird is ahead; Hogan Lovells only started two years ago to expand its patent attorney arm in Germany. However, the firm is closing the gap between the two firms, putting resources into ensuring its cross-border offering in litigation is backed up by technical expertise.

Recommended individuals

Stephen Bennett (“very good, very sensible lawyer”, competitor), Daniel Brook, Paul Brown

Team

4 partners, 2 counsel, 8 associates

Specialties

Litigation and strategic advice, including competition law and transactions. Specialties in the pharmaceutical, medical devices and telecommunications sector. Coordination of cross-border litigation for both European and global client base.

Clients

Litigation: Olaplex (claimant) against L’Oréal in infringment and revocation case over hair products; Vodafone and HTC (defendants) against IPCom in infringment case over SEP including FRAND; HTC (defendant) against Philips in infringment case over SEP including FRAND; Merck Sharp & Dohme (claimant) against Wyeth in revocation and infringement cases over formulation of pneumococcal vaccines; Merck Sharp & Dohme (claimant) against GSK in revocation case over formulation of pneumococcal vaccines; Astronics and Zodiac Seats (defendants) against Luft Technik over energy supply in airseats; Akebia (claimant) againts Fibrogen over HIF stabiliser for treatment of anaemia (all public knowledge).

Location:

London