The Netherlands remains one of Europe’s premier jurisdictions for patent filings and litigation; intense competition is prompting firms to modernise and streamline their services and maximise efficiencies. An increase in second medical use and biosimilars cases represents a challenge in the life sciences arena, while standard-essential patents (SEPs) are an increasingly hot topic. Firms continue to jostle for position ahead of the introduction of the Unified Patent Court (UPC), despite the uncertainty surrounding its implementation.

Firms: litigation and transactions

Bird & Bird LLP
De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek NV
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Hogan Lovells International LLP
Simmons & Simmons LLP
Vondst Advocaten NV
DLA Piper Nederland NV
Taylor Wessing

Firms: prosecution

Algemeen Octrooi- en Merkenbureau BV
Octrooibureau Los & Stigter BV
Patentwerk BV
Algemeen Octrooi- en Merkenbureau BV
A valuable partner for any business, AOMB advises clients of all sizes on all manner of patent briefs. Comprehensive domestic coverage is achieved through four offices in key commercial hubs, while players with global ambitions are well served through the outfit’s membership of the AIPEX European alliance of independent IP firms. Based in Eindhoven, Hans Dohmen has helped AOMB to cement its standing in the electrical engineering and telecommunications sectors over two decades of first-class service. A trusted ally of international rights holders, Tom Wittop Koning provides staunch representation before the Dutch, Belgian and European patent offices. Chemistry and life sciences are his metiers, and he counts numerous research institutes and innovative biotech companies among his satisfied clients. With almost 150 specialised attorneys to call upon, European IP juggernaut Arnold + Siedsma has the capacity to dispatch any patent matter with consummate ease. ISO 9001 certification confirms the quality of its internal procedural standards, while its enviable reputation is evidenced by its position as chief editor of Manual IP – a comprehensive guide to patent, design and trademark filing throughout the world. A smooth operator before the European Patent Office (EPO) and the Dutch courts, Addick Land is a font of applied physics knowledge. Biotechnology doyenne Petri van Someren is an authority on plant breeders’ rights and is moulding the next generation of patent professionals as a tutor at the University of Strasbourg’s Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies. Arjen Hooiveld manages Federal Mogul Corporation’s vast worldwide patent portfolio and is a dab hand at opposition, appeal and restoration proceedings. Major multinationals such as Boeing and Samsung Electronics put their faith in Paul Hylarides’ technical abilities; his exemplary commercial nous is put to good use in his role as managing partner. Working alongside Hylarides on the Samsung Electronics brief is IAM Patent 1000 debutant Joost Grootscholten, a first name in the contact book for all things software related. An esteemed academic with abundant industry experience, Rogier Brouwer has a 360-degree perspective on patent protection.
“Always providing new and useful angles”, BarentsKrans is “highly knowledgeable and consistent in its work”. The “great patent litigation team” is the preferred choice of a slew of influential pharmaceutical and biotech companies; recent highlights include representing Actavis in a crucial dispute against Servier, guiding Sun Pharmaceuticals through a landmark case against Novartis regarding second medical use claims and prevailing for Mylan in invalidity proceedings brought against Janssen Pharmaceuticals. “Stellar life sciences lawyer” Marleen Van den Horst heads the IP and technology group; keen insight into IP and regulatory issues makes her “a first choice in the Netherlands” for industry heavyweights. The Hague-based outfit is also a frontrunner in electronics, telecommunications and mechanical engineering - spheres in which Jaap Bremer specialises. A “fine lawyer” and “extensively experienced patent specialist”, Bremer also has an affinity for the fine print of licence agreements.
Bird & Bird LLP
Commercial titan Bird & Bird enjoys a “tremendous reputation for patent litigation across Europe”. As an integral cog in its continental machine, the “fine and dedicated” Dutch patent litigation squad is “worthy of high praise”. A member of the firm’s global IP steering committee, Armand Killan is a “smart and high-quality lawyer with a genuine global focus – a great asset for any international litigation team”. Taking the lead in major battles for Nestlé, Nokia and Actavis, Killan “makes complicated cases look simple – both in the way that he manages them and in the way that he presents them to the court”. Marc van Wijngaarden is a “thorough and persistent” life sciences aficionado who “constantly looks for ways to improve his position when others would have given up long ago”. He has spearheaded multiple high-stakes suits, including a successful action for Teva against AstraZeneca relating to the former’s DuoResp Spiromax product. Heading the Dutch IP group, Wouter Pors is one of only two lawyers on the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Standing Committee on Patents. He has been closely involved in the development of the UPC and is “probably one of the best-informed lawyers” on the incoming system.
A 13-strong patent team, including four dedicated litigation partners, and impressive linguistic capabilities put Brinkhof “head and shoulders above the competition”. Its facility for coordinating cross-border lawsuits is recognised by a multitude of global concerns, including Sandoz, ZTE and Tata Steel. The set is also up to speed on all developments concerning the UPC, thanks in no small part to Richard Ebbink – a former president of the European Patent Lawyers Association who is a thought leader on the topic. Fluent in five languages, Ebbink is an “excellent and highly experienced patent litigator who commands enormous respect” from peers. The “outstanding” Mark van Gardingen is "a true star of Dutch patent litigation”. The “intelligent and tenacious operator” “quickly grasps complex technological issues and never loses sight of clients’ interests”. Van Gardingen is training judges for the UPC alongside the seasoned Ruprecht Hermans, who makes light work of pan-European litigation, border seizures and technology licensing briefs. Brinkhof has further boosted its contentious capabilities with the recent addition of chemistry and life sciences ace Koen Bijvank; the former V O Patents & Trademark man is a veteran in opposition proceedings before national courts and the EPO. “Consistently showing a sincere interest in getting the most out of cases for his clients”, Daan de Lange takes even the most technically complex proceedings in his stride, convincing courtrooms with his “well-founded and pragmatic arguments”. Featuring in the IAM Patent 1000 for the first time this year, Arvid van Oorschot publishes and lectures regularly on IP enforcement. “He is phenomenal – he’s really making a name for himself.”
De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek NV
Premier full-service firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek’s competence across the commercial spectrum – from competition to M&A, contract law, regulatory law and information and communications technology – adds extra potency to the punch of its patent practice. The internationally focused operation can effortlessly resolve complex multi-jurisdictional litigation: it recently assisted Ericsson in a major dispute with Apple over global fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licences for its SEPs. Global pharmaceutical companies – including Merck Sharp & Dohme, Ferring, Bayer and Sandoz – also flock to the firm for its “attentive counsel and top-notch advice”. Heading the life sciences division is Gertjan Kuipers, an “extremely knowledgeable and well-read lawyer who always sees beyond the present”; “versatile and dedicated, he provides the perfect delivery to his clients”. Tjibbe Douma is a “walking encyclopaedia of knowledge and a pleasure to work with, on both a professional and personal level”.

With a phalanx of patent attorneys boasting abundant private and in-house experience, De Vries & Metman has the capacity to tailor its services to the needs of any rights holder. The prosecution powerhouse is also renowned for due diligence work, multinational licensing advice and assistance in complex litigation proceedings, consistently delivering exceptional results on must-win mandates. Excelling in the contentious arena are Arnt Aalbers and Lilian Hesselink. Mechanics maestro Aalbers recently assisted Aebi Schmidt and Becton Dickinson in hotly contested disputes, while Teva has turned to chemistry authority Hesselink for support. Technically and academically sharp, Louw Feenstra relishes the most intricate of mechanical engineering and physics briefs. A former EPO examiner, Erik Visscher is also qualified as an attorney at law, giving him invaluable insight into the outcome of prosecution processes. He regularly teams up on electronics instructions with Ferry van Looijengoed, who bolsters the firm’s physics offering while also bringing a wealth of IT know-how to the table.

DLA Piper Nederland NV

Cross-border patent suits are a cinch for DLA Piper – a multinational major leaguer that also offers far-reaching advice on transactions, licensing and portfolio restructuring. Its European litigation capabilities were reinforced by the addition of Paul Reeskamp to the Amsterdam team in 2016. A well-established name in the Dutch market, Reeskamp has ably assisted Merus in a biotech battle against pharmaceutical heavyweight Regeneron and MBH International in a multi-jurisdictional dispute concerning the standard of inventive step. A crucial cross-border injunction obtained on behalf of Glen Dimplex Group bears the fingerprints of “smart and creative” legal director Alexander Tsoutsanis; he “knows how to push cases forward to get results”. Reeskamp and Tsoutsanis were recently joined by “highly experienced patent attorney” Johan Renes, who is “one of the best when it comes to biotech”.

Eschewing overly formal procedures in favour of a modern, pragmatic approach has allowed EP&C to develop trusted and long-standing partnerships with rights holders across the industry spectrum. Clients’ needs are attentively tended to by a growing team of dedicated, hands-on professionals; while a new Belgian branch has expanded the firm’s regional reach. Hendrik Jan Brookhuis “is a genius”, effuses one peer: “I had a patent case which I won because of his creativity – I wouldn’t have won it with any other patent attorney.” The life sciences are René Raggers’ domain; healthcare, biotechnology and food and nutrition players seek his counsel on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide. With valuable in-house experience on his résumé, Walter Hart is a shrewd operator for innovative companies in the oil and marine engineering industries.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Freshfields’ Amsterdam division is the preferred choice of a plethora of big-time players in the pharmaceutical, energy and technology, media and telecommunications sectors. Its glowing reputation for cross-border litigation is underpinned by a spotless track record of domestic successes; its outside-the-box tactics really resonate with rights holders. The aptitude of “great litigator” and practice head Rutger Kleemans in bet-the-farm pharmaceutical disputes is undoubted; he lately obtained a precedent-setting injunction for Novartis against Sun based on second medical use. Working alongside Kleemans on this matter was “very impressive, clever and highly personable” litigation virtuoso Jelle Drok, who has also fought the corners of Bristol-Myers Squibb, Ajinomoto and Hewlett-Packard in a slew of fraught disputes. The seasoned Peter Hendrick’s “sharp focus” continues to prove invaluable for national and international clients seeking expert representation before Dutch courts and the EPO.
Hogan Lovells International LLP
With around 400 IP professionals working across an expansive international network, Hogan Lovells has the capacity to tackle global litigation with consummate ease. Its line-up of technically qualified lawyers also ensures that no stone is left unturned in the pursuit of razor-sharp patent protection: “Easy to work with, they identify and cooperate extremely well with scientific experts and their initial briefs are near perfect, requiring very little editing.” Sitting on the firm’s IP steering committee, Bert Oosting is a “go-to for pharmaceutical litigation”; his role in the EU-wide protection of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Reyataz product highlights his nuanced grasp of how patent and regulatory regimes intersect. He is “extremely responsive, has excellent knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry and gives well-reasoned, appropriate and insightful advice”. Klaas Bisschop is a “great litigator” with a talent for isolating the pertinent details of cases across an array of sectors. “A champion” in defending the interests of clients, Ruud van der Velden “always catches the key aspects of problems and makes very wise assessments. Above everything, he is a really hard worker who makes you feel incredibly comfortable about the matters he manages”. HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER is “uniformly excellent – it is definitely number one, top of the bill. It has smart people who are great to work with and who do a really good job”. Following the merger of Hoyng Monegier with ROKH IP in 2015, it is maximising the potential of both legacy firms, with a legion of IP specialists stationed throughout Europe at clients’ disposal. High-stakes cross-border litigation is the name of the game for the Dutch contingent, which consistently impresses in life sciences, electronics and telecommunications disputes; while the in-house prosecution squad provides first-rate technical support. “Outstanding” name partner Willem Hoyng is a pioneer in the patent litigation field. Regularly appearing before all national courts as well as the European Court of Justice (ECJ) and the EPO, he recently guided AstraZeneca to a significant victory against Sandoz in a dispute over its breast cancer drug Faslodex. Bart van den Broek is adroitly handling multiple pending litigations and other matters for Royal Philips. Clients “always come back to him because he is tenacious and really digs into the details – you can be fully confident he has mastered the case’s technical aspects. He gets results and knows how to work with other teams in international battles”. The coordination of multi-jurisdictional disputes is also a standout feature of Simon Dack’s practice. A favourite for many peers in the event of a conflict, “he is sensible, pragmatic and plays straight and hard”. IP all-rounder Frank Eijsvogels has unparalleled contentious experience and also excels in the drafting of licensing agreements; while fellow renaissance man Theo Blomme’s technical background and ability to swiftly grasp concepts across a diverse array of sectors prove invaluable. Working alongside Van den Broek for Royal Philips are Geert Theuws and David Owen, Theuws has spent over a decade in the courtroom handling suits spanning the mechanics, electronics and pharmaceutical sectors; while the dual-qualified Owens – who is admitted to practise before the US Patent and Trademark Office and the EPO – is the only practitioner in the jurisdiction to be recommended for litigation and transactions as well as prosecution. Organic chemist Jeroen den Hartog is a senior lecturer at the Dutch Institute of Patent Attorneys and boasts unrivalled technical know-how; he has teamed up with Wilbert Derks to build the portfolio of chemicals giant Borealis. Derks “exhibits mastery of substantive legal matters and great client management and counselling skills”. Commercially focused mechanics maestro Michiel de Baat’s advice is always timely and insightful – he “provides excellent value due to his top-notch technical and strategic skills”.
The savvy patent squad at full-service firm NautaDutilh expertly caters for innovators of all stripes. Proficient across all sectors, but shining brightest in the life sciences, the set has the broad market knowledge and capacity to offer 360-degree counsel underpinned by complementary know-how in related areas. Directing the practice is accomplished litigator Anne Marie Verschuur, whose “outstanding knowledge of the law” and astute appreciation of the factors at play in the life sciences industry endear her to embryonic start-ups and multinationals alike. “She gives thoughtful and clear legal advice that is good value for money and she and her team are reliably responsive.” NLO’s dexterity across the IP spectrum translates into bespoke, business-oriented solutions for rights holders. Its readily accessible partners espouse an eminently client-centric approach throughout the firm’s four Dutch locations, while the recent addition of an office in Ghent has strengthened the outfit’s foothold in Belgium. Drafting and prosecuting complex biotechnology briefs is second nature to Bart Swinkels, whose practice also encompasses contentious matters: he lately assisted Novozymes in a dispute against DSM before the District Court of The Hague. A refined understanding of the pharmaceutical sector and a holistic perspective gleaned from in-house roles sets Mari Korsten apart from the crowd. Adding further dynamism to NLO’s pharmaceutical offering is Arthur Meekel, a dab hand on supplementary protection certificates (SPCs). “A highly skilled patent agent when it comes to physics and mathematics”, Hans Hutter regularly publishes on the subject of software-related inventions. Fellow physics whizz and managing partner Hans Bottema has deep experience across the patent lifecycle. Clients in need of profitable IP strategies in the food and nutrition sector rely on David Bot for discerning counsel that straddles the contentious/non-contentious divide. Recently switching from a management position to a fully client-focused role, the commercially on-point Maarten Ketelaars specialises in medical devices and alternative energy resources. With over 13 years as an examiner at the EPO and advanced US procedural know-how under his belt, Paul Clarkson is a valuable asset for rights holders looking to bridge the Atlantic.
Octrooibureau Los & Stigter BV
The dedicated attorneys at storied prosecution outfit Los & Stigter have all disciplines on lock, securing unassailable protection for inventions. Offices in Amsterdam, Utrecht and Eindhoven provide comprehensive domestic coverage, while international mandates are swiftly executed through an extensive network of associated overseas firms. Mechanical, electronics and software-related briefs are the backbone of Jacques Van Breda’s practice. A prudent choice for drafting and filing patents, he is equally at home defending clients’ rights in opposition and appeal hearings as at providing guidance on licensing agreements.
Patentwerk BV
Boutique operation Patentwerk deftly dispatches prosecution briefs for clients seeking protection both at home and abroad – especially in burgeoning emerging markets. The firm’s creativity in oral proceedings garners praise from peers, while clients enjoy added assurance in the form of ISO 9001 certification. A clinical business mind helps Bas Langenhuijsen to formulate winning strategies for chemical and mechanical engineering patentees: Innovation 4 Flooring’s patent family has grown significantly under his watchful eye, while a successful defence of the company against a nullification request highlights his contentious capabilities. Founder Hein van den Heuvel sits on the supervisory board of the Netherlands Institute of Patent Attorneys; his advocacy in infringement and opposition proceedings is much admired.
Simmons & Simmons LLP
The Amsterdam IP practice is a pivotal cog in Simmons & Simmons’ international offering. Focusing on life sciences and technology, media and communications, the team is replete with technical know-how. “A great lawyer heading a substantial and productive IP group”, Bas Berghuis van Woortman is the first port of call for complicated high-risk litigation. His work for Bayer Healthcare has been pushing the boundaries of healthcare patent law: a recent proceeding dealt with the application of an ECJ judgment regarding the scope of SPC regulations. In the electronics arena, van Woortman continues to assist Samsung with patent infringement matters involving its printer cartridges – a brief on which IAM Patent 1000 debutant Mattie de Koning lends crucial support. “Diligent, sharp, creative and not afraid to try something new”, De Koning “quickly captures the commercial reality of clients’ businesses. He explains various procedural options and suggests solutions that he believes will work best. Most often he is right; he does not hold back in mentioning that certain tracks are not advisable and explaining the reason why”.
Taylor Wessing
Its 2015 merger with native firm Deterink continues to reap rewards for full-service set-up Taylor Wessing. Seamless collaboration between its offices in Europe, the Middle East and Asia underpins the set’s resolutely global focus. Department head Wim Maas dispenses internationally targeted portfolio management advice and is a silver-tongued courtroom performer. Maas also knows the lie of the land in FRAND disputes and is acting on behalf of electronics heavyweight Asustek Computer in three parallel infringement proceedings concerning SEPs. Providing able support on this is Carreen Shannon, an “excellent IP lawyer who thinks constructively, is immediately accessible and is always looking forward for solutions”. Prolific filer V O steers rights holders through all stages of prosecution, as well as providing infringement opinions and assisting in the coordination of disputes. It provides joined-up counsel to tech-rich clients from offices across the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, and has a hawkish eye out for new opportunities in growing markets. A founding member of the firm’s China desk, Bernard Ledeboer is a font of insight on the Middle Kingdom. Working alongside Ledeboer on the China desk is chemical engineering champ Otto Oudshoorn, for whom SPCs are a specialist subject. Boasting ample in-house experience, fellow chemistry maestro Hajo Kraak is a trusted partner for clients seeking bulletproof patent portfolio advice. “Technically strong and practical”, Cees Jansen fronts the ‘s-Hertogenbosch office and devises pragmatic strategies for rights holders in the telecommunications and mechanics sectors. Heineken is one of the big names that engage Leo Jessen for his drafting and prosecution talents.
Vondst Advocaten NV
Applying current developments in case law to new situations is a forte” for forward-looking ensemble Vondst. The set has a glowing reputation for the results it routinely secures in high-profile cross-border patent litigation, with the pharmaceutical and medical devices sectors particular bastions of strength. “A really pleasant guy to work with”, Otto Swens “is timely and thorough, very hands-on and a stellar litigator”. Ricardo Dijkstra’s intricate knowledge of pharmaceutical law, regulatory and marketing issues makes him a steadfast ally in all manner of contentious situations. The pair win praise for their “attention to detail and willingness to take the additional step”. They recently successfully fought Teva’s corner in a case involving the issue of a paediatric extension of an SPC for orphan medicinal products that were removed from the Orphan Drug Register.


Peter Hendrick - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Individuals: prosecution

Arnt Aalbers - De Vries & Metman
Koen Bijvank - Brinkhof
David Bot - NLO
Hans J Bottema - NLO
Hendrik Jan Brookhuis - EP&C BV
Rogier Brouwer - Arnold + Siedsma
Paul Clarkson - NLO
Jeroen den Hartog - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
Hans Dohmen - Algemeen Octrooi- en Merkenbureau BV
Louw Feenstra - De Vries & Metman
Joost Grootscholten - Arnold + Siedsma
Walter Hart - EP&C BV
Lilian Hesselink - De Vries & Metman
Jelle Hoekstra - DeltaPatents BV
Arjen JW Hooiveld - Arnold + Siedsma
Hans Hutter - NLO
Paul J Hylarides - Arnold + Siedsma
Cees Jansen - V O Patents & Trademarks
Leo Jessen - V O Patents & Trademarks
Maarten FJM Ketelaars - NLO
Mari Korsten - NLO
Hajo Kraak - V O Patents & Trademarks
Addick Land - Arnold + Siedsma
Bas WH Langenhuijsen - Patentwerk BV
Bernard Ledeboer - V O Patents & Trademarks
Arthur Meekel - NLO
Otto Oudshoorn - V O Patents & Trademarks
René J Raggers - EP&C BV
Johan Renes - DLA Piper Nederland NV
Bart W Swinkels - NLO
Jacques Van Breda - Octrooibureau Los & Stigter BV
Hein van den Heuvel - Patentwerk BV
Ferry van Looijengoed - De Vries & Metman
Petri FHM van Someren - Arnold + Siedsma
Erik Visscher - De Vries & Metman
Tom H Wittop Koning - Algemeen Octrooi- en Merkenbureau BV

Individuals: litigation

Bas Berghuis van Woortman - Simmons & Simmons LLP
Richard E Ebbink - Brinkhof
Rutger Kleemans - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Bert Oosting - Hogan Lovells International LLP
Bart van den Broek - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
Marleen HJ Van den Horst - BarentsKrans
Mark GR van Gardingen - Brinkhof
Klaas AJ Bisschop - Hogan Lovells International LLP
Jaap Bremer - BarentsKrans
Daan de Lange - Brinkhof
Frank Eijsvogels - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
Ruprecht Hermans - Brinkhof
Armand Killan - Bird & Bird LLP
Gertjan Kuipers - De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek NV
Wouter E Pors - Bird & Bird LLP
Paul Reeskamp - DLA Piper Nederland NV
Otto Swens - Vondst Advocaten NV
Marc van Wijngaarden - Bird & Bird LLP
Anne Marie Verschuur - NautaDutilh
Mattie de Koning - Simmons & Simmons LLP
Ricardo Dijkstra - Vondst Advocaten NV
Tjibbe Douma - De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek NV
Jelle Drok - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Willem Hoorneman - CMS Derks Star Busmann
Jan Pieter Hustinx - Hustinx & Co BV
András Kupecz - Kupecz Intellectual Property
Wim Maas - Taylor Wessing NV
JC Sebastian Pinckaers - Van Doorne NV
Carreen Shannon - Taylor Wessing NV
Alexander Tsoutsanis - DLA Piper Nederland NV
Ruud van der Velden - Hogan Lovells International LLP
Arvid Van Oorschot - Brinkhof

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Issue 89