Jan Krauss and Nils Schmid are leaving top German firm Boehmert & Boehmert along with three other patent attorneys to set up their own outfit in Munich by the name of SKM-IP. It is one of the largest patent attorney spin-offs of recent years.
19 December 2022 by Mathieu Klos
The year 2022 began with a major move of seven patent attorneys from Isenbruck to Simmons & Simmons. It now ends with the departure of five patent attorneys from Boehmert & Boehmert’s Munich office. Biotechnologists and life sciences experts Jan Krauss and David Kuttenkeuler, as well as mechanical engineering experts Nils Schmid, Florian Malescha and Paul Schieler, will leave the firm at the end of the year and launch SKM-IP.
All five are founding partners of the new firm. With the exception of Schieler, they were also partners at Boehmert & Boehmert. Malescha joined the partnership at the well-known German IP firm in 2021, Kuttenkeuler five years ago. Schmid and Krauss are the senior partners at SKM-IP.
Lawyer Max Philipp Klüpfel rounds off the starting team. He will join as an associate from df-mp, which is also based in Munich.
SKM-IP is launching with two clear specialties. Schmid, Malescha and Schieler specialise in mechanical engineering and related fields. According to public sources their past clients have included Calik Denim, Gabo, Hans Lutz Maschinenbau, Ruag, Salamander, Samson AG and a renowned German automotive supplier.
Kuttenkeuler and Krauss provide advice in the life sciences sector, especially in the biotech field. They advise many research institutes as well as start-ups from the biotech scene. Past clients include the German Cancer Research Centre, the Fraunhofer and Helmholtz Gesellschaft, as well as various German and international universities.
The Tübingen-based biotech company Immatics was an important client of Krauss for many years. Following disagreements, however, the company specialising in cancer immunotherapy recently ended its cooperation with Boehmert & Boehmert.
It is not yet known which clients will follow the five patent attorneys to SKM-IP.
Lawyer Klüpfel will advise exclusively on soft IP. He was previously an associate at df-mp and will continue in this role at SKM-IP.
For patent litigation, SKM-IP will work with external law firms. It has two patent attorneys with litigation experience in its ranks, however, in the shape of Krauss and Schmid. The new firm is looking not only to ramp up the work of the patent attorneys in EPO proceedings, but also in UPC suits.
The new court is expected to open its doors at the beginning of June. Patent attorneys can run proceedings at the new court if they hold an additional certificate.
Boehmert & Boehmert is one of the best-known German patent attorney firms. With 44 patent attorneys, it is also one of the largest outfits in the German market. Its flagship fields are the life sciences sector as well as electronic and chemical patents.
It operates six offices in Germany (Berlin, Bielefeld, Bremen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich) and is internationally represented in Alicante, Paris and Shanghai. Asian clients make up a substantial part of the client portfolio.
The firm provides all-round IP advice – including soft IP and media law – and also brought lawyers on board years ago to handle patent litigation.
The departure of the five patent attorneys weakens above all the biotech and mechanical engineering departments at the Munich office.
The firm is still represented in the life sciences sector by the well-known Markus Engelhard as well as, in Berlin, Ute Kilger, and their teams. For mechanical engineering, Klaus Seranski remains in Munich, while other partners advise from Düsseldorf and Frankfurt. Partners from the firm’s electronics and IT practices also advise clients in the mechanical engineering sector.
Boehmert & Boehmert already saw a spin-off in Berlin in 2019, when four partners set out on their own as Nordemann Czychowski & Partner. They do not advise on patents, however, but on copyrights, trademarks, unfair competition and IT law.