In JUVE Patent's recent German patent ranking, ten lawyers and patent attorneys drew the market's attention with their impressive development. Their increasing visibility and prowess in some of the country's major cases over the past year mean all are well on their way to becoming the crème de la crème in their craft. JUVE Patent's new category recognises these impressive patent litigators.
10 November 2021 by Christina Schulze
Freshfields bolsters presence at second location with a talent with strong communication skills
“Clever and strong communicator” is how competitors characterise Munich-based patent litigator Nina Bayerl. She started her career at Freshfields less than six years ago and is building a considerable reputation in the market. She is heavily involved in representing the firm’s regular clients in the pharmaceutical industry such as Novartis, Bayer and Bristol Myers Squibb. Bayerl is developing special expertise in second medical use cases and in tech patents; she was recently involved in cases for Lenovo and Facebook.
Despite senior partner Peter Chrocziel departing from Freshfields’ Munich office to competitor Bardehle Pagenberg in February 2018, the patent team continues to operate from both Munich and Düsseldorf. But although the interoffice approach works, the team’s external profile is still heavily concentrated on the latter. Thus, Nina Bayerl is the face of the Munich office.
Bayerl’s partner opportunities look excellent. The firm’s goal is to once again build up a third partner for patent litigation. Previously, Freshfields has excelled in establishing excellent patent litigators under its own steam rather than relying on lateral hires.
Partner Wolrad Prinz zu Waldeck und Pyrmont was named partner a good six and a half years ago. Shortly before, litigation talent Arno Riße moved to Arnold Ruess. An IP spin-off in Düsseldorf consisting of several lawyers trained at Freshfields around Bernhard Arnold.
Read JUVE Patent’s analysis of Freshfields in the JUVE Patent Germany ranking 2021
With young partners like Hannes Jacobsen, CBH Rechtsanwälte is making a name in patent litigation
Hannes Jacobsen continues to score points primarily in traditional proceedings, such as those involving electronics patents. He litigates for Phoenix Contact against competitor Harting over plug connections, for example. As such, Jacobsen focuses on detailed inventions that improve conventional products through new innovations, and promise clients a market advantage in the face of tough competition. He also works on the mechanics dispute for Schaeffler against BorgWarner over vehicle technology.
However, Jacobsen’s flagship instructions quickly reach the dimension of mobile phone battles. Opponents wage numerous attacks and counterattacks. One opponent says, “He really gives his all and is raising his profile.” In the pharma sector, he represents a German drugstore against Stada over a second medical use claim concerning an anti-aging component in sunscreens.
He leads most proceedings in a small team together with his mentor, Stephan Gruber. Together, the two also work for Wacker Chemie and in medical technology for Siemens Healthcare. Jacobsen’s broad reach is not surprising, as he learned his trade under Gruber at Preu Bohlig & Partner in Munich.
And the move from Preu Bohlig to CBH Rechtsanwälte in 2017 together with Gruber paid off when the firm elevated Jacobsen to partner. He has made a decisive contribution to the success of CBH’s IP practice. The Cologne office undisputedly dominates in inventions law and the Munich team is now making great strides in patent litigation.
Read JUVE Patent’s analysis of CBH Rechtsanwälte in the JUVE Patent Germany ranking 2021
Thomas Hell is an important hopeful for Bosch Jehle as it undergoes a generational change
Thomas Hell belongs to the second generation of German patent attorneys who have built up a clear profile in litigation and thus stepped into the limelight. After name partner Matthias Bosch turned his back on the legal profession, younger partners such as Thomas Hell must steer Bosch Jehle’s fortunes.
The firm has an excellent reputation for its patent prosecution work in mechanics, IT and telecoms. However, it is best known throughout Europe for its litigation work in the mobile communications sector. Between 2014 and 2018, together with the litigators of Wildanger Kehrwald Graf von Schwerin & Partner, it led a very successful campaign for Saint Lawrence Communication against Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone over SEPs.
Hell was involved as an associate. Currently, his firm is litigating alongside Wildanger for VoiceAge against renowned companies such as HMD, Lenovo/Motorola, Apple and Xiaomi. The case relates to speech coding technology for mobile devices. The firm is also launching another campaign for Crystal Clear Codec against Lenovo.
In contrast to the campaign for Saint Lawrence, Thomas Hell and his partner Rudolph Reichold are at the forefront. They can no longer rely on the support of the firm’s former founder, who was considered a shrewd networker and rainmaker. Now Hell and the other partners follow in his footsteps.
Competitors have no doubt that the 38-year-old Hell has what it takes to lead highly complex SEP proceedings. One lawyer praises, “He has very strong technical expertise, is meticulously prepared and always precise to the point.” Another describes him as “incredibly smart, provides super explanations” and “a future star”. With his litigation for Lavazza over hot beverage machines, however, Hell also advises on mechanics patents.
Read JUVE Patent’s analysis of Bosch Jehle in the JUVE Patent Germany ranking 2021
The Meissner Bolte patent attorney played an important role in a patent battle over the German bottle deposit system
Florian Henke was in the thick of it when US manufacturer Envipco launched an attack on the German bottle deposit system via a patent lawsuit in 2017. The Munich-based patent attorney was part of a Meissner Bolte team acting on behalf of the German retail company Netto after Envipco accused Netto, Gerolsteiner and Rako of infringing a German patent.
Shutting down bottle recycling machines due to patent infringement would have had serious economic consequences. Consequently, the lawsuits were met with huge resistance. According to sources, Florian Henke played a part in challenging the DE 134. In June 2019, the German Patent and Trademark Office revoked the patent. Since then, courts have stayed infringement proceedings in Düsseldorf, Mannheim and Hamburg. In spring 2021, Envipco and DPG settled the dispute.
Involved lawyers say the 39-year-old did an extremely good job for Netto. One describes the trained mechanical engineer as “conscientious and very bright”.
Indeed, the mixed IP law firm has increasingly focused on patent litigation for several years. It built up its own litigation team, and younger patent attorneys like Henke are also increasingly participating. Henke’s current clients include child seat manufacturer Cybex, which is fighting against various competitors over children’s seats. Another client is ITW, which challenged competitor Madag Printing over packaging machines.
Just five years after completing his training as a patent attorney, Henke already serves an enormous range of different industries and technologies.
Read JUVE Patent’s analysis of Meissner Bolte in the JUVE Patent Germany ranking 2021
With the proceedings for InterDigital against Xiaomi, including ASIs, Ho is again taking part in new legal developments
Dominik Ho is a prime example of the successful work offered by patent attorney litigation firm df-mp Dörries Frank-Molnia & Pohlman. Together with David Molnia, Ho is involved in numerous major mobile phone cases. He began his career at the firm and passed the European patent attorney exam in 2013. Df-mp made him a partner four years ago.
Dominik Ho fights many cases for NPEs such as IP Bridge, Conversant, Wsou, Fipa and IPcom. Most recently, he represented new client InterDigital. Before agreeing a licensing deal with Xiaomi this summer, the company had fought globally over cellular wireless, including 3G, 4G and 5G, WiFi and HEVC video technology for its cellular-enabled mobile devices.
The climax was anti-suit injunctions, which also broke new legal ground in Germany. He is fighting side by side with lawyers from Arnold Ruess.
In other cases, especially for NPEs, Ho and his colleagues often appear together with Ampersand, EIP or Hengeler Müller. At the same time, the German Bar this year also admitted Ho, which should provide him with deep insights – and prepare him well for the UPC. Above all, competitors praise him for his excellent preparation in proceedings.
As such, with his list of cases, the 40-year-old has already gained a wealth of experience. As a result, lawyers continue to recommend Ho.
Read JUVE Patent’s analysis of df-mp Dorries Frank Molnia Pohlmann in the JUVE Patent Germany ranking 2021
In hiring Stephan Neuhaus, Allen & Overy closes a gap in Düsseldorf and tackles an upcoming generational change
For a long time, Allen & Overy’s German patent team had a gap, with an office in Düsseldorf but no proven patent experts. As such, for a long time the Munich partners led the way. However, in April 2021, Allen & Overy brought in Stephan Neuhaus specifically to fill the Düsseldorf position in the patent team.
Neuhaus learned his trade in the patent practice of market leader Hogan Lovells. Here he worked, for example, for Eli Lilly, most recently keeping generic versions of the anti-cancer drug pemetrexed off the market. Additionally, he advised Hoffmann-La Roche. Both companies are also important clients for Allen & Overy’s pan-European patent practice.
Allen & Overy’s German team is currently using young talent to strive for the top of the market. It often brings in in young lateral hires who have just become partners. In 2017, the firm captured Jan Ebersohl from Quinn Emanuel for the mobile communications sector. Now Neuhaus is expected to further increase the clout of the German team in pharma litigation.
Allen & Overy’s European patent practice is also a long-time premier league player when representing original drug manufacturers such as Bayer, Eli Lily or Pfizer. The firm also probably hired Neuhaus to secure the long-term succession of the German team leader Joachim Feldges. He is currently the driving force behind the team in the life science sector.
Now, Neuhaus has landed MSD as a new client in Germany. He is litigating in an opposition at the EPO against a Bristol Mayer Squibb patent for an antibody product to treat cancer. Since his move to Allen & Overy, the 41-year-old lawyer is becoming significantly more visible. He is increasingly recommended by colleagues, who describe him as “whip-smart” and a “very good litigator”.
Read JUVE Patent’s analysis of Allen & Overy in the JUVE Patent Germany ranking 2021
Successful teamwork means Arno Riße’s partners have never overshadowed him. Yet recommended litigators consider him an inside tip
The connected cars battle between Nokia and Daimler shaped the past year – and Arno Riße was right in the middle, representing Nokia alongside Cordula Schumacher. In the large circle of defence lawyers and co-litigants, his work earned him a great deal of attention.
Competitors characterise him as “meticulous as he is innovative”. They also emphasise in other proceedings his “extraordinary” work and how he digs “very deep into the matters”.
Arno Riße joined Düsseldorf IP boutique Arnold Ruess in mid-2015. Like the founders and Cordula Schumacher, he began his career in Frank-Erich Hufnagel’s team at Freshfields. There he was involved in mobile phone cases for Apple, among others. On his move to Arnold Ruess, the team was deeply involved in proceedings for Max Sound against Google and YouTube concerning video coding. Thus, Riße gained his first experience on the side of NPEs.
In 2018, Arnold Ruess made the then 40-year-old Riße partner, working closely with Bernhard Arnold and Cordula Schumacher for Nokia. The team represented the company against Blackberry over SEPs and against Intellectual Ventures over mobile phone patents.
The long and fierce battle over SEPs for Sisvel against Haier also involved Riße’s talents. In the following year, the first litigation series began for Wi-LAN against Nvidia over graphics memory. Riße led this case as a partner.
Read JUVE Patent’s analysis of Arnold Ruess in the JUVE Patent Germany ranking 2021
The Quinn Emanuel lawyer stepped out of his mentor’s shadow to Daimler’s side in connected cars cases
Stuttgart is not known as a patent case hotspot. Nevertheless, Jesko Preuß is head of the Stuttgart office of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and two years ago made his breakthrough as a patent litigator by stepping out of the shadow of Marcus Grosch. Now Preuß is developing an increasingly strong profile in the market.
Luxury car manufacturer Daimler, which has its headquarters in Stuttgart, helped here. The company defended itself before various German patent courts against the lawsuits of SEP owners Nokia, Sharp and Conversant as well as Broadcom/Avago.
Until the settlements the dispute between Daimler and its various suppliers of connectivity modules, and the three members of the Avanci patent pool, was the model connectivity patent case in Europe. Although Marcus Grosch remains the defining figure in the courtroom, the younger Quinn Emanuel partners increasingly scored points for coordinating work in the joint defence teams and pleadings in the courtroom. Before Preuß was also very active in the dispute against Broadcom/Avago.
As such, competitors and clients alike have taken notice of Preuß. One lawyer says, “Hands on, he knows connected cars litigation extremely well.” Another says, “Definitely a rising star, he has what it takes to be a partner.”
In 2020, Quinn Emanuel appointed Preuß equity partner. In other firms, one must first become salary partner. Preuß also works for Netflix against Broadcom, for Google against Sonos and for Blackberry against Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp.
But the young partner positions himself more broadly than most of his colleagues. In addition to patent law, Preuß also conducts general litigation with a strong technical connection. For example, he is currently advising Daimler extensively in proceedings concerning emissions manipulation in diesel cars.
Preuß thus demonstrates in which direction the German practice as a whole wants to go. Namely, away from a one-sided focus on patents and towards a broader positioning in commercial litigation.
Read JUVE Patent’s analysis of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in the JUVE Patent Germany ranking 2021
Hogan Lovells makes Schmid its first patent attorney partner to build up its patent attorney practice
At Hogan Lovells, Andreas Schmid is an outlier as the first pure patent attorney to make it into the partnership at the international firm. In 2018, the German patent practice of Hogan Lovells brought in Schmid as its first pure patent attorney. It was the beginning of a separate patent attorney practice.
The firm had taken initial steps in this direction with two dual-qualified patent attorney and lawyer partners Martin Fähndrich and Alexander Klicznik. But Andreas Schmid is not quite your typical patent attorney, because like Fähndrich and Klicznik he concentrates entirely on patent litigation. To date, Hogan Lovells does not offer patent prosecution work.
The now 41-year-old patent attorney joined the litigation track early on in his career. Schmid worked alongside his mentor Fritz Emmerling, now at Braun-Dullaeus Pannen Emmerling, for Huawei for many years. By switching to Hogan Lovells, he remained connected to the implementer side – the law firm works across Europe for mobile phone providers such as Apple, Google and Vodafone.
So far, Schmid has not acted for Huawei again, but recently was on the side of other Chinese mobile phone manufacturers. For Xiaomi, he fought the SEP and ASI battle against InterDigital in recent months, and for Oppo he is currently trying to fend off an extensive series of lawsuits from Nokia with a Hogan Lovells team. He covers the technical aspects of the infringement proceedings, as well as nullity suits and EPO oppositions against the patents in suit.
But Andreas Schmid is by no means limited to mobile phone lawsuits. The trained physicist is currently also venturing into the world of solar technology. Thus, he remains connected to electronics in the broadest sense. For the Israeli solar technology manufacturer SolarEdge, he is litigating against the German competitor SMA Solar and the multinational Huawei. As the old saying goes, you always meet twice in life.
Read JUVE Patent’s analysis of Hogan Lovells in the JUVE Patent Germany ranking 2021
Maikowski & Ninnemann and Andreas Tanner are omnipresent for implementers in mobile phone proceedings
Andreas Tanner completed his studies in electrical engineering at RWTH Aachen University in 2006. His thesis was titled ‘Gate Driver for a Monolithic Bidirectional Semiconductor Switch’. Clearly, Tanner is no stranger to complex subjects. Since 2012, Tanner has been a patent attorney in the Munich office of Maikowski & Ninnemann. He focuses on electrical engineering, physics and software. However, his speciality is mobile phone cases for implementers such as Apple, Xiaomi and Continental.
The market considers these technically extremely complex, especially when it comes to SEP suits. These are particularly complicated because of the related FRAND and antitrust issues. But Tanner seems suited to such cases, recently providing technical assistance in many of these proceedings. His work has recently caught the eye of opponents and defence lawyers of co-litigants. “He conducts proceedings very well,” praises one. Another says, “just top”, while a third describes him as “simply good, a rising star”.
As an ongoing leading patent attorney firm in this sector, Maikowski & Ninnemann is a good platform for conducting such proceedings. For example, its patent attorneys are currently litigating together with outside counsel for Continental, Oppo, Xiaomi, LG, Google and Apple, to name just a few.
Tanner used his involvement in such proceedings in recent years to rise to partner and build up his own profile as a lawyer in the market. For example, he appeared alongside Continental as co-defendant of Daimler against Nokia over connected cars patents and Lenovo against Nokia. What Tanner should never say, but what many German patent lawyers know from the courtroom, is that he was also active for Apple against different NPEs in the past.
Most of the time, the 39-year-old defends his clients against the lawsuits of SEP holders. For LG, however, he recently changed sides and sued the mobile phone manufacturer Wiko.
Co-author: Mathieu Klos
Read JUVE Patent’s analysis of Maikowski & Ninnemann in the JUVE Patent Germany ranking 2021
Read more about JUVE Patent’s research criteria for the Ones To Watch category