The well-positioned London litigation team of Osborne Clarke has become more visible in the London market since 2020’s headline-grabbing work, as co-counsel with EIP, for Unwired Planet against Huawei over SEPs and FRAND. Now the patent holder’s subsidiary Optis has retained Osborne Clarke’s patent team in an extensive battle against Apple involving multiple trials. The continued work from the NPE is a boon for leading partner Arty Rajendra, whose dedication to the matter and its associated competition law aspects has not gone unnoticed in the market. Her visibility will be a key driving factor behind the firm’s ability to continue to attract work in this area, especially as the FRAND landscape in Europe and China begins to compete more fervently with the UK courts.
On the life sciences side, Will James is kept busy with work for his core client Amgen, including on a case against Sanofi and Regeneron over cholesterol-lowering antibodies alongside several other ongoing matters. The firm also boasts BioNTech as a client, although the work here is concentrated more on the regulatory side of the German practice. Nonetheless, it shows that Osborne Clarke has a foot in the door for future potential litigation battles over COVID-19 vaccine patents. The practice is also becoming more visible in medical devices in its defence of new client Med-El Elektromedizinische.
Osborne Clarke has also benefitted from the hire of Tim Harris as a partner in late 2020, with his twin approach to life sciences and technology bridging the respective clear specialities – technology and life sciences – of the other two patent partners. The hire also bought the team several new clients, including an innovator pharmaceutical company preparing for a potential challenge to its patents. As such, over the past year the firm has also increased its staff capacities. But, despite growing strength in pharma and technology disputes, Osborne Clarke continues to lack the strong cross-border connections which characterise other leading European patent firms.
Telecommunications cases, especially regarding FRAND and competition law.
The firm’s London patent team is ahead of its European colleagues, both in eminence and team size. Unlike the team in London, neither the German nor the Paris patent team has yet to make a lasting impression on its market. The success of the London team could help to change this in the future.
However, the competition in FRAND cases on the interface with competition law is fierce, especially in Germany. An experienced lateral would make it much easier for Osborne Clarke to take on the competition on the continent. Such an investment could also be worthwhile given that the UPC launch is looking now likely. This firm’s presence at two central venues, Paris and Munich, provides a basis for the UPC. A focus on consolidating the cross-border aspects of the practice would enhance the firm’s standing in Europe.
Arty Rajendra (“she fights hard for her clients. She’s ambitious and talented”, “extremely competent in what she does”, both competitors), Will James
Strong in mobile communications cases, especially in competition law in FRAND disputes. Biotechnology advice in licensing projects. Work for innovator pharmaceutical companies.
Litigation: Amgen (claimant) against Sanofi and Regeneron over cholesterol-lowering drug Praluent; Med-El Elektromedizinische (defendant) against Advanced Bionics over cochlear implant technology; PanOptis (claimant; co-counsel with EIP) against Apple regarding mobile phone handover standards including SEP and FRAND; Unwired Planet (claimant; co-counsel with EIP) against Huawei over SEPs and FRAND licensing at the UK Supreme Court. Advice: Amphista Therapeutics over corporate fundraising; BioIndustry Association over commercial agreements; Etex Building Performance over corporate due diligence; Inflowmatix over utilities; Juvenescence over transactions and licensing; Thirty Technologies over licensing.