Norton Rose Fulbright grows with Infineon patent attorney

Norton Rose Fulbright will rely on a mixed team in Germany in future. At the beginning of 2023, the Munich practice will be bolstered by patent attorney Ronak Kalhor-Witzel, with the firm also looking to strengthen its position in view of the UPC. Kalhor-Witzel joins the firm as counsel from the in-house team at Infineon Technologies.

20 December 2022 by Konstanze Richter

From the Munich office of Norton Rose Fulbright, Ronak Kalhor-Witzel will set up the firm's new patent prosecution practice in Germany. ©Andreas Anhalt

Ronak Kalhor-Witzel (41), who is moving to Norton Rose Fulbright in January 2023, began her career at Bardehle Pagenberg in 2012. There, the physicist specialised in electrical engineering in connection with mobile devices, computers and medical technology. Among other things, she managed the portfolio of a major manufacturer of mobile phones and PCs.

In the mixed firm, Kalhor-Witzel was active in both patent prosecution and litigation. She was part of lawyer Johannes Heselberger’s team, which represented Vestel in the infringement dispute against Thomson Licensing. Then, in 2018, Ronak Kalhor-Witzel joined the patent department of Infineon.

Most recently, as director corporate patents, she managed portfolios for MEMS semiconductors and quantum technology in the automotive department.

Ronak Kalhor-Witzel

Norton Rose builds prosecution practice

In her new position, Ronak Kalhor-Witzel’s expertise in electrical engineering and medical technology will strengthen the litigation team, which is currently led by Munich partner Clemens Rübel. She is also expected to set up and lead the firm’s new European patent granting practice.

Stefan Feuerriegel, head of Germany at Norton Rose Fulbright, says, “Ronak Kalhor-Witzel combines extensive experience in all areas of patent law with knowledge in our key sectors, including technology and life sciences & healthcare. She will significantly broaden our service offering, also with the new Unified Patent Court in mind.”

Globally, Norton Rose Fulbright’s patent practice comprises more than 250 patent attorneys and lawyers, according to the firm. In Europe, the firm has patent teams in London and Munich, but these have not included patent attorneys before now. In England, the team comprises five lawyers, including one partner.

Eyes on the UPC

At Norton Rose Fulbright in Germany, so far four lawyers work in patent law, including one partner. Ronak Kalhor-Witzel is the first patent attorney to join the team, with more to follow. With the mixed line-up, the firm is looking to expand its range of services to include patent prosecution. This is especially pertinent with the UPC approaching.

Before now, the German team has litigated in a number of cases, as well as advising on transactions, FTO analyses and employee invention rights. The client list features companies such as Pfizer and Shell. For Clemens Rübel, expanding the practice with a patent attorney in Munich is a logical step in view of the UPC.

He says, “In both telecommunications and medical technology, patent disputes are becoming increasingly global. The new Unified Patent Court, with one of its seats in Munich, will see Europe as a forum grow in importance. So, it makes sense to bolster the office with a renowned expert for these technologies. This is especially since Munich is also home to the European and German Patent Offices, which play a key role in international patent portfolio management.”