JUVE Patent

Rankings UK 2021

Hogan Lovells – UK 2021

JUVE Comment

The London patent team of Hogan Lovells has all-round expertise and especially strong court visibility. Its high-profile clients across both the pharmaceutical and mobile communications sectors means it remains in an excellent position to challenge the market leading firms, a position reinforced through the breadth of experience across its small team. But even with only four partners, Hogan Lovells has been especially active in the UK High Court over the past year, including a particularly strong run in pharmaceutical cases such as MSD against Pfizer subsidiary Wyeth regarding pneumococcal vaccines.

On the medical devices side, the firm also acted for therapeutic medical device manufacturer Akebia against Fibrogen. Indeed, life sciences continues to be a core strength to the international team. Its work for MSD against Wyeth and GSK, although the latter has now settled, are both transatlantic. Furthermore, although historically on the innovator side, the London team of Hogan Lovells continues to prove it is on top of its game regarding developments in the life sciences sector. For example, work in medical devices has entered its array of litigation expertise.

In mobile communications cases, Hogan Lovells has long worked on the side of industry, defending its clients in litigation brought by non-practising entities. Its litigation work around SEPs and FRAND on the implementor side also forms a core of the firm’s patent work offering in high-stakes cases. For example, at the beginning of 2020, the team won a patent infringement case for Vodafone against IPCom regarding crown use. Now in the appeal process, this is an important judgment likely to contribute significantly to future patent case law in the UK. Hogan Lovells’ work for HTC also incorporates much of the ongoing developments around FRAND; the mobile phone manufacturer is involved in another ongoing dispute against IPCom. Both Vodafone and HTC are also key clients of the German patent team, which works closely with its London colleagues to offer a truly pan-European litigation practice.

However, away from electronics and life sciences, the team’s flexible approach to other patent fields is highlighted through its continued work for start-up Olaplex regarding hair treatments, and for Astronics over electric supplies for aeroplanes seats. With four partner litigators, Hogan Lovells remains a smaller practice compared to its closest rivals Bird & Bird, and Allen & Overy. It has not made any significant hires in the past year and the team size remains stable.

Currently, the London team has no plans to include patent attorneys. However, in Germany, the firm continues to build up this part of the practice, which is used by the London team. This is helping to further strengthen the London team’s already tight relationship with the continent.

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 is truly cross-border in litigation. Between London, Düsseldorf, Munich and Amsterdam it has a homogeneous team, something reflected in its international presence in important pharmaceutical, mobile communications and electronics cases. It is active across borders for clients e.g. Apple, Eli Lilly, HTC and Vodafone and is present at all relevant potential UPC locations.

In Germany, Hogan Lovells belongs to the leading teams in the market; in France, the Netherlands and the UK the firm is a fierce challenger of the market-leading firms. The practice has smaller teams in Milan and Madrid as well. When it comes to building up a patent attorney practice across Europe, however, main competitor Bird & Bird is ahead; Hogan Lovells only began two years ago to expand its patent attorney arm in Germany. But it is far ahead of competitors such as Bird & Bird, Allen & Overy and Freshfields as regards transatlantic work, thanks to its well-established US patents practice.

Recommended individuals

Stephen Bennett (“not an easy opponent, but always a joy to litigate against”, competitor), Daniel Brook (“superb strategist”, competitor), 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: Vodafone and HTC (defendants) against IPCom over SEPs and FRAND; Vodafone (defendant) against TOT Power over jurisdiction; HTC (defendant) against Philips in infringement case over SEP und FRAND (settled); MSD (claimant) against Pfizer over vaccines; MSD (claimant) against GSK in revocation case over formulation of pneumococcal vaccines; Astronics and Zodiac Seats (defendants) against Lufthansa Technik over energy supply in airseats; Akebia (claimant) against Fibrogen over HIF stabiliser for treatment of anaemia; Solvay (claimant) against Neo over cerium oxide in vehicle exhaust catalysts; Olaplex (claimant) against L’Oréal in infringement and revocation case over hair products (all public knowledge). Advice: Novartis over Microsoft partnership.

Location

London