JUVE Patent

Rankings UK 2023

Hogan Lovells – UK 2023

JUVE Comment

Despite being one of the smaller practices in the UK patent market, the London patent team of market-challenging Hogan Lovells continues to retain a steady list of high-quality clients while cementing its reputation, and the reputation of its lawyers, as a reliable and talented firm for patent litigation. “They’re a quality group,” says one competitor, with the whole firm often praised as “well-integrated and easy to work with”. While the practice is well-balanced in its expertise, in Stephen Bennett it has one of London’s go-to lawyers for life sciences. Under his helm, the practice has navigated cases for clients such as Astellas against Teva and Sandoz for overactive-bladder treatments, which also involves knowledge of SPCs.

On the telecommunications side, no-one could fail to notice the firm’s high visibility in multiple cases at the UK courts – especially in litigation for Oppo, which is keeping the team and lead partner Paul Brown extremely busy against clients such as Nokia. In these proceedings, Hogan Lovells is representing Oppo in the UK, Germany, Spain, France, and Russia, as well as working alongside other firms in China, India, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands – for example, leading Dutch boutique Brinkhof is taking the lead in the latter country. With the London team coordinating the global FRAND proceedings, however, the case demonstrates the fully integrated approach taken by Hogan Lovells’ lawyers while serving to highlight their knowledge in an area with continually developing case law. In other proceedings concerning mobile communication companies, the practice has long been visible for Vodafone against IPCom concerning Crown Use, with ongoing proceedings now focusing on damages. The practice also acted for the telecoms giant against TOT in now-settled proceedings concerning jurisdiction and patent rights.

While Hogan Lovells did make a partner hire from Herbert Smith Freehills in the second half of 2021, generally the practice prefers to nuture talent in its team from newly qualified level onwards. This has not harmed the firm’s reputation – indeed, the practice is well-integrated and stable, with the talent of its partners securing new instructions for clients in areas away from life sciences and telecommunications, such as for General Electric over wind turbines. However, whether the firm can ensure its small London practice adapts to heightened client demands on the eve of the UPC remains to be seen. This is especially pressing given the successful integration of its European patent teams.

Strengths

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

European set-up

Hogan Lovells has a truly cross-border litigation team. Between London, Düsseldorf, Munich and Amsterdam it is homogeneous, something reflected in its international presence in important pharmaceutical, mobile communications and electronics cases. The team is active across borders, for instance, for Oppo, Eli Lilly, HTC and Vodafone. Hogan Lovells is present at all relevant potential UPC locations, as well as boasting a strategic position in London.

In Germany, the firm 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 a smaller, but also very well-established team in Milan, recently strengthened with a second partner promotion. With this setup and its strong ties to the US, the European Hogan Lovells patent practice has a very good starting position to play a leading role at the UPC. This is also helped by the mixed approach of the German team.

When it comes to building up a patent attorney practice across Europe, however, main competitor Bird & Bird is ahead. But Hogan Lovells is far ahead of competitors such as Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in transatlantic work, thanks to its well-established US patents practice.

Recommended individuals

Stephen Bennett, Daniel Brook, Paul Brown (“very good and experienced lawyer in terms of SEP, good advice”, client)

Team

14 lawyers

Partner moves

Joel Smith(from Herbert Smith Freehills)

Specialties

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

Clients

Litigation: Oppo (defendant) against Nokia over infringement of SEPs and FRAND; Vodafone (defendant) against IPCom over costs following EPO revocation; Vodafone (defendant) against TOT Power over wireless communication systems (settled); General Electric (claimant/defendant) against Siemens Gamesa over wind turbine technology; Bristol-Myers Squibb (defendant) against Teva over anticoagulant medication apixaban; Bristol-Myers Squibb (defendant) against Sandoz and Teva over formulation patent for apixaban; Astellas (defendant) against Teva and Sandoz over overactive-bladder treatment; Astronics and Panasonic (defendant) against Lufthansa over compensation for infringement of patent relating to aeroplane seats. Advice: KBR on investment in Mura regarding recycling solutions.

Location

London