The Netherlands

Bird & Bird expands Dutch IP practice with team from Dentons

International full-service firm Bird & Bird has strengthened its Dutch IP offering with the hire of Tjibbe Douma in Amsterdam. Douma and a team of two further associates join from the Amsterdam office of Dentons. He will work in the firm's trade secrets and patent practice.

2 February 2021 by Amy Sandys

Tjibbe Douma After two years at Dentons, Tjibbe Douma has joined the Amsterdam office of Bird & Bird as a partner, along with two associates ©Bird & Bird

Tjibbe Douma (38) has joined the Netherlands practice of Bird & Bird as a patent and trade secrets specialist. Douma joins from the Amsterdam office of Dentons, where he was head of the Netherlands’ Patent Litigation and Venture Technology practices.

Douma’s arrival at Bird & Bird in Amsterdam means the firm now has four patent partners in the Netherlands, with five partners in the general Dutch IP group. He will work alongside well-known Dutch litigators Armand Killan, Marc van Wijngaarden and Wouter Pors.

He says, “I am very excited to join the Bird & Bird IP group. The firm’s cross-border work and focus on technology were especially attractive for me, and the European IP group’s strength in every jurisdiction presents some great opportunities. My new colleagues at Bird & Bird are entrepreneurial, with the offices showing great connections and collaboration. We’re like-minded about the future of European patent law.”

Jeroen Van Der Lee, co-head of the Bird & Bird offices in the Netherlands, says, “The Netherlands is one of the key countries for patent litigation in Europe. With Tjibbe joining us as a partner, we will further expand our capability of giving expert advice on matters pertaining to patent litigation for our European clients and those in our wider international network.”

From Dentons to Birds

Douma joined Dentons in February 2019. Prior to this, he was a senior associate at Dutch full-service firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek. Here, he was part of the 18-lawyer-strong team around partner Gertjan Kuipers.

During his time at Dentons, Tjibbe Douma had a broad practice. However, he retained a strong focus on life sciences and telecommunications work. He also has specialisms in the energy field, as well as in consumer goods. Douma also does advisory work, for example on IP strategy and in the technology venture field. Furthermore, he has acted in EPO opposition proceedings.

Recently, Douma represented US software company ASSIA in first-instance proceedings against Dutch telecommunications company KPN in a Dentons team. His practice will be a mix of clients joining him from Dentons, as well as new opportunities.

Small team move

Douma is joined by two associates from Dentons, Lucas Wolthuis Scheeres and Alexandra Michel. The team’s departure from Dentons leaves behind two partners and eight associates in its IP team.

Marc Elshof is an IP partner at Dentons in Amsterdam. He says, “Partner Alexander Odle will take the lead in Dentons’ patent practice in The Netherlands. The team will continue supporting clients on the protection and enforcement of patents, trademarks, tradenames, designs and copyrights. Dentons’ European leadership has identified patent litigation as an area for growth and investment. We are open to hearing from top talent in strategic markets across Europe.”

“This could mean expanding our team in Amsterdam, if we find a lawyer with the right fit in terms of experience, market profile and business case.”

Furthermore, Dentons has recently expanded its Munich office with the hire of patent attorney Ann-Kathrin Michel from German IP boutique Glawe Delfs Moll.