Allen & Overy LLP
A loyal blue-chip following turns to Allen & Overy time and again for its customised solutions to all manner of patent conundrums. Best known for its contentious output, which frequently involves blockbuster drugs and spans multiple jurisdictions, it has lately been enforcing second medical use patents with finesse and building up notable experience in fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing disputes. Alternative dispute resolution is a strength too: a recent highlight saw the team successfully represent Ansaldo Energia – a turbine equipment manufacturer – in International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitration proceedings against Siemens. Involved in this matter, Joachim Feldges
“is a terrific lawyer who is very diligent and responsive. To get results for clients, you need to know the law extensively; but that’s the easy part – you need experience too, and he has that”. The battle-hardened Philipp Cepl
has also spearheaded more than 100 patent infringement cases in his time: “He is a fantastic litigator who is always well prepared and does a fantastic job.” Of Jens Matthes
, one interviewee remarks: “I choose him for extremely difficult matters because he is an internationally recognised lawyer whom I can trust to handle matters professionally and expertly.” The smooth negotiator and transactional whizz recently assisted on Facebook’s acquisition of video app MSQRD. The intersection of copyright and patent law requires rigorous examination when software rights are at stake; he has a nuanced grasp of the issues at play.
“Arnold Ruess is a dynamic boutique with a fantastic reputation. It already has the critical mass to handle huge cases and it is expanding all the time, so it will only become more and more important on the IP scene.” The firm combines market-leading know-how with a personal touch, constant availability and unflinching commitment. It has lately been representing Nokia, Alcatel-Lucent and Adtran in a headline-grabbing mobile phone war initiated by Intellectual Ventures; and it secured a consequential injunction for Ethical Coffee Company against Nespresso, Krups and De’Longhi, blocking the sale of coffee machines. Bernhard Arnold
and Cordula Tellmann-Schumacher
are helping to boost the firm’s growing profile; both are passionate about a range of technologies, ensuring that work can be easily distributed between them. “Arnold is fantastic in patent litigation. The amount of detail he puts into case preparation is tremendous. He is a top lawyer who excels in difficult cases.” The indefatigable Tellmann-Schumacher “never gives up”. She has a razor-sharp mind and in every case can swiftly drill down to the key facts and issues at stake.
Baker McKenzie’s patent practice has come on in leaps and bounds since the arrival of Jochen Herr
in 2013. He wins plaudits for his “superb work” and the depth of his understanding: “He is a strong litigator, but he is also qualified as a European patent attorney, so he understands the technical side, which helps him to get along with mechanical engineers and other non-legal professionals.” He has recently been assisting longstanding clients Becton Dickinson & Company and Pelikan on a number of infringement and opposition proceedings. He works out of the Munich office, which collaborates seamlessly with its counterpart in Frankfurt – and with the firm’s wider international network of 77 offices in 47 countries – making sprawling multi-jurisdictional mandates a walk in the park. Based in Munich, too, Constanze Ulmer-Eilfort
is a transactional expert whose no-stone-unturned approach translates into watertight licence and R&D agreements.
When it comes to protecting patents, BARDEHLE PAGENBERG is “one of the most renowned firms in Germany” and has a reputation for “superb” work. Clients remark: “We have been extremely pleased with its service and especially its efficiency. We would endorse it enthusiastically.” Recent highlights include successfully defending BMW’s Intelligent Emergency Call system in preliminary injunction proceedings and assisting Intellectual Ventures on dozens of infringement complaints and over 20 nullity proceedings. With posts in Paris, Barcelona, Verona, Venice and Milan, in addition to its home turf bases in Munich and Dusseldorf, procuring pan-continental protection is a cinch; it has recently been assisting adidas on prosecution briefs across Europe. It is also strengthening its presence in Asia through a partnership with Singaporean outfit Yusarn Audrey. The nucleus of the firm’s enforcement practice, Tilman Müller-Stoy is an “extremely bright and gifted litigator with a great attitude – someone who would be a good fit for US clients”. Luminary Jochen Pagenberg has over 30 years’ courtroom experience and continues to command respect from all corners. On the prosecution side, Hans Wegner is a “highly respected figure who has strong technical understanding and is really easy to work with”. The “excellent” Johannes Lang is a computer whizz firmly plugged into the latest technological developments. Managing partner Peter K Hess has been busy prosecuting patents for Guardian Industries; he drafts with finesse and has a resolutely commercial outlook. Straddling the contentious/non-contentious divide, Johannes Heselberger is an erudite professional who shares his insights with students at the Munich Intellectual Property Centre, but also throws power punches in the Federal Court of Justice.
Betten & Resch
Betten & Resch has been prosecuting patents with skill and rigour since 1978. Based in Munich, the boutique represents a broad sweep of clients, from start-ups to world-renowned tech entities, before both the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) and the European Patent Office (EPO). Its team boasts abundant in-house experience and competency in numerous foreign languages, including French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Japanese and Chinese. Alexander Esslinger is the first port of call for many satisfied clients.
Bird & Bird LLP
“Bird & Bird has a very strong practice: it is a really significant player in Germany.” Intellectual property is etched in its DNA; it has lately been adding patent attorneys to the practice – a move that has turned heads in the market – but remains strongest on enforcement and transactional matters. With offices throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East, it has the local knowledge to help clients of all stripes protect their patents and sew up lucrative licensing agreements in far-flung markets. Co-head of the firm’s international IP practice and a favourite among industry heavyweights such as Caterpillar, Ericsson and GlaxoSmithKline, Christian Harmsen
is “one of the top patent litigators in the country; he is especially strong in the information, communication and technology space”. “Formidable lawyer” Oliver Jan Jüngst
“is completely client oriented. He is a smart thinker and a strong strategist. Plus, he’s reliable and trustworthy – when he says something, you believe it”. Anna Wolters-Höhne
, Boris Kreye
and Felix Rödiger
add further contentious firepower. Wolters-Höhne is a “diligent and proactive life sciences litigator who has handled plenty of pan-European cases”. Kreye likewise counts life sciences as a strong suit; he has a broad IP practice and notable expertise in ICC proceedings. The business-minded Rödiger is a “top choice for issues surrounding SEPs”. Transactional matters are adroitly handled by Matthias Meyer
and Fabian Niemann
. Meyer has an affinity for the fine print of R&D agreements, while Niemann is a cloud computing expert. On the prosecution front, technical maestro Michael Alt
cut his teeth as a patent attorney for a notable biopharmaceutical company.
Ranked among the most prolific patent filers in Europe, BOEHMERT & BOEHMERT is a prosecution powerhouse with stellar expertise across the technical spectrum, from engineering to electronics and biotechnology. It invests considerable time and effort in familiarising itself with clients’ industries and keeps a close eye on their rivals’ activities to help them to maintain a competitive edge. Portfolio management is second nature to the commercially minded Christian W Appelt
, who also brings keen transactional nous to the table. “Markus Engelhard
is a brilliant patent attorney with a superb command of biochemistry, molecular biology, pharmacology and biotechnological issues and a broad client base.” The team effectively blends patent attorneys and attorneys at law, and has lately been strengthening its enforcement practice, which pivots around Michael Rüberg
. Having worked in-house for BMW, he knows what businesses prioritise and how best to support them. Luminary Heinz Goddar
is a former president of the Licensing Executives Society International with a razor-sharp business brain.
“COHAUSZ & FLORACK is excellent to work with. It has one of the most impressive teams in Dusseldorf
, is always up to speed and delivers top results.” The first-rate boutique has specialists across the board, while the premium it puts on customer service – in particular, straightforward communication – ensures that each client has a single contact at the firm for all enquiries. It has recently been handling applications the world over for logistics titan Deutsche Post DHL and securing European patents for the pioneering Ascensia Diabetes Care. Rainmaker Andreas Thielmann
“is a really experienced professional who is fully committed to clients and notably active for international IP organisations”. The honorary judge of the Munich Higher Regional Court has a razor-sharp mind and a flair for watertight drafting. Chemistry virtuoso Arwed A Burrichter
has notable expertise in supplementary protection certificate (SPC) issues. With five years of scientific and professional experience in the United States – including a stint at what at the time was one of New York’s leading boutiques – he has a complete command of the country’s legal system. Electrical engineering is the province of Philipe Walter
, who has unique knowledge of the technical standards in Blu-ray technology and video encoding. Gottfried Schüll
is both a precision prosecutor and a potent litigator; he has recently been busy enforcing valuable NFC patents.
The outward-looking df-mp has significant experience before both the EPO and the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and an enviable track record in oppositions. A recent highlight in this regard was its representation of Teva Pharmaceuticals in proceedings against Novartis Pharma concerning a European patent; the team won revocation at first instance. Cost effectiveness, technical rigour, responsiveness and uniquely tailored solutions are hallmarks. “David Molnia
is one of the most promising IP practitioners in Germany. He is both a European attorney and a US attorney, so he has a broad point on view on key issues.” The “excellent Sandra Pohlman
understands the value that patents have as strategic investments. She has a very strong commercial sense and develops strategies that will realise long-term business goals”. Co-founder Hans Ulrich Dörries
is an “excellent” professional who heads the firm’s biotechnology and pharmaceuticals group, together with Pohlman. They make a formidable team and have recently been assisting Biogen MA on opposition, cancellation and infringement proceedings against Forward Pharma.
The trailblazing Eisenführ Speiser has a team of much-respected patent attorneys and attorneys at law and a glittering client catalogue featuring world-renowned names and a striking number of Germany’s hidden champions. On the non-contentious side, it recently conducted a characteristically customised patent portfolio analysis for the Federal Printing Office; while in the courtroom, it put its SEP knowledge to good use for Sisvel in a Dusseldorf District Court battle against Haier, in which its requests for injunctive relief and damages were granted. It was the first IP law firm in Germany to introduce a wholly electronic filing system; clients now benefit from remote access to their documents, which reduces their own infrastructure expenditure. When it comes to talent, clients are spoilt for choice, with Volkmar Henke
and Klaus Göken
both leading lights on the market. Robust enforcer Henke has been assisting an electronics giant on a crucial infringement matter concerning FRAND issues and has conducted plenty of cross-border campaigns in his time. The ever-reliable Göken is a steady pair of hands for tricky prosecution and portfolio management briefs. Having worked in the R&D team at IBM and Siemens, he has impeccable technical knowledge of semiconductors. Companies also have the option of biotechnology virtuoso Manuel Söldenwagner
, who debuts in the IAM Patent 1000
on the back of effusive recommendations: “He is one of the few lawyers who you can trust to always deliver outstanding quality and who you never have to second guess. He respects deadlines, uses his brain, thinks ahead and points out potential issues proactively.”
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
“Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has a client-oriented ethos and is extremely experienced in international litigation. You know that the practitioners there will be experts; if they weren’t, they wouldn’t be hired.” Whether a company is looking to monetise its patent portfolio or enforce its rights in court, Freshfields is a premium choice. The team’s most renowned member is unquestionably Frank-Erich Hufnagel
: “His preparation is immaculate. He asks his clients questions until he has really double-checked every issue on the technical side. He is a very strong speaker too and will fight hard in court – he’s a skilful lawyer.” He is ably supported on contentious matters by Wolrad Prinz zu Waldeck und Pyrmont
and Peter Chrocziel
. “Wolrad is very keen and enthusiastic. He dives deep into technical waters and has a sophisticated understanding of complex issues.” Chrocziel has chalked up over 25 years at the coalface and cultivated a refined understanding of US legislation and the business mentality of North American companies. For assistance on consequential transactions, Jochen Dieselhorst
is the man to call: “He is results oriented, professional, hands-on and fair – he knows how to get a deal done.”
When household-name innovators find themselves locked in bruising patent battles with NPEs, they call in the cavalry in the form of Gleiss Lutz, which has a real facility for coordinating cases with an international dimension. It has lately been busy in the automotive realm, assisting Adam Opel/General Motors on injunction proceedings brought by Synchronicity IP. Involved in this matter, Matthias Sonntag
is a contentious sharpshooter with a resolutely corporate mind; he never loses sight of clients’ business goals or commercial realities. Fellow enforcement maven Thomas Bopp
excels in the healthcare and life sciences sectors, and hawkishly scrutinises issues from every possible angle. For technology transfers, Herwig Lux
is a top choice. He provides practical, on-point counsel and handles negotiations with a sure hand.
“Gowling WLG has a lot of experience and always goes the extra mile for clients.” Its collegial, reliable IP practitioners in the bustling life sciences hub of Munich can pick up the phone and draft in reinforcements from the firm’s 18-office international network, any time day or night. The enforcement of pharmaceutical patents sees the firm at its very best, but it is quick off the mark on everything that is sent its way. The “creative and highly responsive” Richard Schlötter
is a firm favourite among everyone from Boehringer Ingelheim to the Technical University of Munich. He handles parallel proceedings in Europe and the United States with relish. Full-blooded litigator Michael Schneider
also knows how to get favourable licensing contracts inked.
With “excellent” specialists in every key discipline”, Grünecker is a fine choice for clients of all stripes. The deep technical know-how of its phalanx of patent attorneys ensures it can process a prodigious workload, even on very short notice. It is currently flexing its muscles for Yahoo, Pinterest, Tumblr and Twitter in a high-profile patent infringement case against TLI Communications concerning the uploading of images via mobile phones; while other industry players such as Apple, Google and Facebook preferred to settle in their battle with TLI Communications, Grünecker’s clients chose to stick to their guns and duke it out – evidence of their confidence in the firm. It has also been assisting Samsung Electronics – a loyal client for over a quarter of a century – in a much-publicised case against Dyson. Active in both matters, the versatile Reinhard Knauer
is “very experienced and fantastic to work with. He always puts in a strong performance”. Like Knauer, Bernd Allekotte
straddles the contentious/non-contentious divide. With a real affinity for the overlap between antitrust and patent law, he is the man to go to for advice on FRAND issues. Peter Miltényi
recently teamed up with him to assist Align Technology with a slew of infringement, nullity and opposition proceedings; physics and software are notable fortes of Miltényi's. Heike Vogelsang-Wenke
is a life sciences sage with a PhD in molecular biology and a pristine track record in revocation proceedings. Pragmatic patent pro Gerhard Hans Bernhard Barth
is also well versed in neighbouring fields such as copyright and unfair competition law.
The progressive Hengeler Mueller has won itself a loyal fan base encompassing everything from start-ups to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and multinational juggernauts. Four offices in Germany – in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich –are supported by outposts in Brussels, London and now Shanghai, making it ideally positioned for cross-border patent battles. The “top-class” Wolfgang Kellenter
is a “diligent and very experienced practitioner whose talent is unquestionable”; he has carved a real niche in the pharmaceutical and technology, media and telecommunications spaces.
“HOFFMANN EITLE is extremely well regarded in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. It has always been one of the largest firms in Germany, but it’s very active in China too now and has a lot of market visibility.” Filing some 4,000-plus patent applications a year, it maintains a bustling prosecution practice; with its finger on the pulse of the Asian scene and a growing clientele in the region, it processes about 10% of all European patent applications originating from Japan. The Tokyo-headquartered Kao Corporation recently engaged it for prosecution and opposition matters concerning its hair dye foam products; it also went out to bat for South Korean multinational Hyundai in opposition proceedings against Volkswagen. Representing Kao Corporation, Joachim Renken
is an “extremely capable patent attorney who is creative and reliable when preparing and presenting arguments. He is always a pleasure to work with too, because he’s friendly and open-minded, with a good sense of humour. Even under the most difficult circumstances, you feel comfortable. He is at his best handling opposition and appeal cases before the EPO. He comes to matters extremely well prepared and is always in total control of the situation, as he has an exceptional understanding of the game and always keeps his mind clear in spite of the stressful atmosphere”. Plying their trade alongside Renken in the biotechnology department, Joseph P Taormino
, Leo Polz
and Andreas Stefferl
handle EPO proceedings with similar poise. Taormino is “gifted in oppositions” and the “really experienced” Polz always “fights tooth and nail for clients”; while Stefferl brings significant business nous to the table, thanks to stints as an investment manager at a venture capital firm and a research analyst at a rating agency. Chemistry is the forte of technical whizz Thorsten Bausch
– “a fantastic strategist who delivers top-quality service and writes impressive articles”. The dynamic Peter Klusmann
and Morten Garberg
– who has an “excellent feel for oppositions” – shine in chemistry matters too; they have recently been assisting Allergen on oppositions concerning patents for new Botox formulations. “Claus Thomas Becher
provides pragmatic counsel with creative strategies that can help a smaller client to obtain consistently big results while managing costs.” Veit Peter Frank
is an electrical engineering trailblazer who publishes widely. Although the firm’s reputation is in large part thanks to its prosecution and oppositions prowess, it is also a notable player in the litigation and transactional spaces, making it a true one-stop shop. Never afraid to lock horns, it has been busy representing Sanofi and Regeneron against Amgen in an infringement action over an antibody for cardiovascular diseases that cannot be treated with statins.
Hogan Lovells International LLP
“Unquestionably at the top of the tree in Germany, Hogan Lovells is a fabulous firm with many extremely experienced and successful litigators, who can handle complex cases at short notice and do so brilliantly. Its client base is very impressive too.” With medical devices and pharmaceuticals suits now frequently fought in parallel in multiple countries, its 49-office network is ideally placed to support companies with global interests. “The team provides first-rate legal representation,” enthuses one client. “It has superb knowledge of the law and also a strong understanding of our needs. The results have been spectacular.” Another highlights its pioneering spirit: “What I associate with Hogan Lovells is its desire to push the boundaries. One could say, ‘That hasn’t worked before, so there’s no point pursuing the possibility,’ but the team there says, ‘Let’s try it.’” Central to the practice’s phenomenal reputation is Andreas von Falck
: “He is as brilliant as he always was. He has tremendous knowledge and experience, having been involved in huge cases, and is extremely well connected in the community. He’s a very likeable and approachable person too.” He has been teaming up with IAM Patent 1000
new entrants Stephan Neuhaus
and Miriam Gundt
to assist Merck Sharp & Dohme with a precedent-setting appeal in relation to preliminary injunction proceedings. “Neuhaus is a rising star who is doing a great job on some really big cases and gathering more and more experience.” Gundt is “straight to the point, responsive, creative, really focused and keen to engage in dialogue and exchange ideas”. These are just three of a staggering nine professionals ranked – clients are spoilt for choice. Steffen Steininger
dexterously navigates start-ups and international titans through the challenges of district court, Federal Court of Justice and international litigation. “Martin Chakraborty
is a team player who really inspires confidence: he is calm, focused, down to earth and simply an excellent lawyer.” When an endurance runner who consistently goes the extra mile of his own accord is needed, clients call on redoubtable litigator Martin Fähndrich
. For cases concerning theoretically complex inventions, the smart choice is Alexander Reetz
: “He is an attorney at law, but he doesn’t just rely on the knowledge of patent attorneys – he dives extremely deep into technical issues himself, which is really important and something that clients value.” “A star individual in Germany”, Christian Stoll
is another contentious sharpshooter: “He is extremely bright and, on top of that, a pleasure to work with.” Master strategist Alexander Klicznik
has prepared plenty of lengthy freedom-to-operate reports and knows how best to monetise a portfolio.
Renowned for its work in the telecommunications and life sciences industries, HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER is afraid of no one. It recently prevailed for OpenTV in a patent suit against Apple: OpenTV obtained a valuable injunction concerning the California titan’s iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV products. “It is one of the leading firms in Europe and the Dusseldorf team is solid, thorough and ever impressive in enforcement matters. Its members are knowledgeable, experienced, professional and personable, and come to pleadings extremely well prepared.” With a broad talent pool, the firm has specialists on hand for every type of client and effortlessly maintains responsiveness. “Klaus Haft
is one of Germany’s best patent litigators. He always keeps an eye on the ultimate objective. Perhaps his biggest strength is his oral presentation in court. He can always win judges round with his tremendously skilful, knowledgeable, fact-driven and friendly pleadings. Few other patent litigators have both a legal and technical degree.” Teammate Kay Kasper
is another contentious heavyweight, whom peers line up to praise: “He is among the most disciplined people I have ever worked with. He manages things beautifully – nothing will be left behind.” Tobias Hahn
is a standard-relevant patents pro whose advice on FRAND defences plays well with telecoms outfits. “Having Martin Köhler
on your side is a real asset,” says one interviewee. “He develops so much enthusiasm for every case. His pleadings are extremely convincing and, even when he is under pressure, he comes up with the perfect argument.” Christine Kanz
is a pharmaceuticals and medical devices maven who knows how to bring complex technical concepts to life in the courtroom. Christian Osterrieth
is a smooth operator on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide; life sciences is his forte. Revered by the IP community, Thomas Reimann
is a true luminary with over 40 years’ experience.
Life sciences and engineering are bastions of strength for Jones Day, which is a potent presence on the German patent landscape. The team makes light work of pan-European and transatlantic briefs, dovetailing neatly with counterparts in other offices to provide a faultless joined-up service. It recently assisted Akebia Therapeutics in a significant battle against FibroGen; thanks to close cooperation with the firm’s practitioners across the Atlantic, who successfully pursued Section 1782 discovery proceedings, it was able to use valuable evidence relating to confidential compounds tested by FibroGen in European opposition proceedings. Involved in this matter, formidable litigator Christian Paul
is dual-qualified as a natural scientist: “He is really intelligent. His chemistry background separates him from the crowd. He definitely knows what he’s doing.” Physics ace Dorothée Weber-Bruls
can quickly get to grips with even the most abstruse technical concepts. A professor at the University of Frankfurt, she has unique access to the institution’s laboratories for the investigation of cutting-edge issues.
Kather Augenstein Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB
“Kather Augenstein is extremely thorough and has an excellent eye for detail. Each of the partners in the team is very strong and works hard to deliver the best result possible for the client. They provide pragmatic, high-quality advice and know how to find creative solutions to very complex problems – often taking unusual and innovative paths.” Although the firm was only established in 2016, its star-studded squad has already made it a bright light on the patent enforcement scene. When a fraught tussle with Apple loomed, Ericsson knew where to turn: the firm filed three complaints involving 12 different patents on one day. It never shies away from a fight, but if a favourable settlement is achievable, it will steer clients in that direction, always keeping their overall business objectives front and centre. “The team provides in-depth opinions with wonderful routes of attack or defence depending on the nature of the case.” With “brilliant rhetoric in the courtroom”, Peter Kather
has a “high standing among judges. He is a really well-known and experienced litigator who is seen in high-end cases. The level and specificity of his knowledge are unique.” Fellow name partner Christof Augenstein
is also “one of the best litigators in the business. He adapts to clients’ needs to provide an excellent, focused service, paying great attention to all technical and legal details of the case. He is always dead-on with his analysis and has deep knowledge of the relevant court decisions and court currents, which helps him to choose the right place for litigation. Even though he is involved in a lot of cases all the time, he remains approachable, companionable and a pleasure to work with.”
“Whenever urgent help is needed, the outstanding KLAKA has the resources and bench strength to provide effective solutions. Everyone works in the same stringent manner and delivers excellent counsel in a very short period of time." From its acclaimed Munich and Dusseldorf offices, the team handles fraught disputes with finesse. It recently represented ZTE in infringement proceedings against Optis Cellular Technologies concerning SEPs; and it is also assisting 3M with matters including a significant clash with tessa SE which has come before both the Federal Patent Court and the Federal Court of Justice, and continues to rumble on. Enforcement virtuoso Olaf Giebe
, who is taking the lead for 3M, is “extremely thorough – someone who really examines the details. His written submissions in particular are excellent: convincing and always to the point. He is a very pragmatic professional”. Luminary Michael Nieder
possesses invaluable infringement experience, having participated in many landscape-altering cases over the past 40 years.
KNPZ’s seasoned IP practitioners know how to maximise gains through the clever management of patent portfolios. With an unerring instinct for what parties on the other side of the table are thinking, they know how to get signatures on the bottom line of lucrative technology transfer agreements; SEP licensing has proved a rich seam of work for the firm, with the automotive sector a particular stronghold. The business-savvy and cost-conscious Mathias Zintler
provides tremendous bang for the buck. Christian Klawitter
delivers transparent, on-point counsel with a uniquely personal touch; the shrewd IP ace is a past president of the German regional group of the Licensing Executives Society.
KÖNIG . SZYNKA . TILMANN . VON RENESSE Patentanwälte . Partnerschaft mbB
The innovative, forward-looking KÖNIG . SZYNKA . TILMANN . VON RENESSE prides itself on staying firmly ahead of the curve in Germany. It has turned prosecution into an art form, with cast-iron drafting that is particularly popular with players in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors. It has a reputation, too, for sweeping in and rescuing companies that have already lost at first instance or are simply stuck in a legal quagmire. Gregor Sebastian König
is “one of the few patent attorneys who is both technically excellent and a great strategist. He is very experienced when it comes to cutting-edge enforcement”. Like König, Dorothea von Renesse
burns brightest on biotechnology mandates; Max Wilhelm Tilmann
, meanwhile, is a mechanical engineering whizz. Both Tilmann and Renesse come recommended for their professionalism and percipient insights.
Revered boutique Krieger Mes & Graf v Der Groeben has been a heavy hitter on the litigation scene since 1929. It works tirelessly to enforce the patents of pioneers in a range of industries, from electrical engineering to pharmaceuticals. It has broken new ground at the Federal Court of Justice on numerous occasions, to the benefit of clients. Patent maven Axel Verhauwen
has “unprecedented standing in court. He is a truly outstanding individual who knows how to convey complex concepts in simple words so as to make himself understood”. A well-connected, worldly-wise professional with real business nous, teammate Jochen Bühling
is the current president of the German group of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property. With over four decades of experience under his belt, Peter Mes
is a lodestar in the IP community. He penned the popular tome Kommentar zum Patent-und Gebrauchsmustergesetz
(Commentary on the Patent and Utility Model Act
KUHNEN & WACKER’s 19 technically proficient patent attorneys provide watertight counsel to ambitious businesses and academic institutions across Europe, Asia and the United States. Having been in the game for over 40 years, the nifty boutique prosecutes with aplomb and is well attuned to commercial realities. Hallmarks of its finely honed non-contentious service are responsiveness, meticulousness, pragmatism and creativity; patrons can be sure that no efforts will be spared to reap maximum benefits from their inventions. Mechanical engineering specialist Stephan Kopp is a key contact.
Maikowski & Ninnemann is home to a well-oiled team of technically sound and pragmatic patent attorneys with expertise spanning every sector. Its client roster glitters with prestigious names, while its workload is weighted towards first filing. It has recently been partnering with Fresenius-Kabi – one of the top 30 German companies on the DAX – as well as renowned state-run research institute Fraunhofer Gesellschaft on a slew of prosecution matters. News of its first-rate service has also crossed the Atlantic, with players such as US company Fenwal seeking it out of late. Gunnar Baumgärtel
and Christoph Schröder
are the engines of the practice. Baumgärtel’s physics background makes him a technical sage; while the “very experienced” Schröder likewise has “excellent technical understanding. His applications are unimprovably comprehensive and well drafted. When representing clients in opposition proceedings, he is very precise in his judgement, too – he knows whether further submissions or additional argumentation will be needed”. Baumgärtel and Schröder have also been counselling BROSE Fahrzeugteile before the EPO and coordinating with other foreign counsel representing the German automotive manufacturer throughout Europe and in China, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, Mexico and the United States. While the firm is strongest in filing, it also has the firepower to handle enforcement; it is currently putting in the hours for HTC in a major matter before the district courts in Dusseldorf and Mannheim and the Federal Patent Court.
Maiwald Patentanwalts GmbH
Maiwald suffered notable personnel losses in 2016, but has worked hard to rebuild its offering and maintain its reputation on the market. It has pivoted its practice to focus more heavily on representing biosimilar manufacturers and other cutting-edge inventors. The internationally minded outfit is also cultivating its profile in Asia, especially Japan, and cementing links with businesses there. With both patent attorneys and attorneys at law among its ranks, it provides a holistic service that protects innovations from cradle to grave. Energy and proactivity are hallmarks. Versatile IP practitioner Marco Stief
has notable in-house experience and a resolutely commercial outlook as a result; he keeps a hawkish eye out for monetisation opportunities and is a dab hand at design matters. Obtaining SPCs is a forte of biochemistry star Dirk Bühler
Meissner Bolte Partnerschaft mbB
With nearly 50 patent attorneys and more than 10 lawyers on board, Meissner Bolte Partnerschaft is a preferred one-stop shop for myriad big-name clients. On the prosecution side, it has been counselling A-listers such as Facebook, Electrolux and Mitsubishi Electric. Japan is a real focus for the team, which has now established a dedicated desk to assist its growing client base in the region. In the courtroom, it has recently been fighting the corner of Deutsche Telekom before the Mannheim District Court and the Federal Patent Court in exciting cases relating to video streaming technology. The skillset of battle-hardened litigator Tobias Wuttke
takes in multiple technologies; while Kay Rupprecht
is an electrical engineering mastermind who astutely advises national and international companies on even the most esoteric issues.
Michalski Hüttermann Patent Attorneys
A litany of eye-catching applications bear the stamp of prosecution powerhouse Michalski Hüttermann. It acts for many of Germany’s biggest companies – including automotive and industrial manufacturer Schaeffler Group, which has entrusted it with drafting, prosecution, opposition and freedom-to-operate issues – not to mention a cluster of leading multinationals. It recently formed IP law network Euripta together with Corradini, IPLodge and Kaminski Sobajda
& Partners; when clients need assistance in Germany, Poland and Belgium (where these three firms have offices), it knows exactly where to send them for a seamless service. The learned Aloys Hüttermann
is a chemistry sensation who dives head first into the intricacies of an application.
Preu Bohlig & Partner
Preu Bohlig may have been rocked by the loss of notable Dusseldorf
partners Peter Kather and Christof Augenstein, but it still boasts deep experience on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide. The firm has strengthened the integration of its offices – in Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Munich, Berlin and Paris – to ensure that the perfect team can be assembled for every instruction, including strong second chairs. In recent times, the telecommunications space has become a particularly happy hunting ground, but its diverse client roster features major players across the board. Alexander Harguth
is an adept swordsmith with a far-reaching IP practice.
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP
“Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan is an extremely prominent firm. It has notable expertise in SEPs and has been active in some of the sector’s most prestigious telecommunications cases.” One of the most fearsome US patent enforcement firms around, its eminence in Germany in no small part thanks to the efforts of top-tier litigator Marcus Grosch
. “He is a fantastic individual who comes to cases really well prepared and often even works without a patent attorney. It is very impressive how much he knows.” The renaissance man is intimately familiar with the inner workings of numerous industries. Teammate Johannes Bukow
is another seasoned litigator who is fazed by nothing and conducts multi-jurisdictional matters with the hand of a maestro.
“rospatt osten pross is a superb firm that really stands out. Its lawyers are very practical and focus on the main points, with clear language. They will never include a sentence that doesn’t say something – the structure of their writs and pleadings is very impressive. They are on point every time.” The firm handles more than 100 patent litigation cases in Germany annually and is always up to speed with the hottest trends. It has recently built up notable knowledge at the intersection of patent law and antitrust law, and has also been carving out a niche in the SEP sphere, representing LG Electronics in its much-publicised war with Unwired Planet. Lead counsel for LG, the “practical and straightforward” Max von Rospatt
is “brilliant at finding innovative solutions”. Also burning the midnight oil on this battle is Henrik Timmann
, an “outstanding practitioner with very strong technical and legal understanding. He is extremely quick too”. “Thomas Musmann
has a really deep understanding of the chemistry and pharmaceuticals spaces – he is aware of all the latest trends. Despite being an attorney at law, he easily grasps difficult technical concepts and knows how to translate them into words that a judge will understand.” He has been busy representing AbbVie in a high-profile case against Gilead over the latter’s HCV drug – one of the biggest blockbusters ever.
A prime prick for patent prosecution, Samson & Partner couples technical horsepower with pragmatism and an unswervingly commercial ethos. With keen insight into enforcement, its articulate practitioners know how to put together watertight applications that can weather even the most intense courtroom storms. Tobias KW Stammberger brings invaluable in-house experience to the table, having previously worked for an electrical engineering multinational. The energetic and down-to-earth Wolfgang Lippich is another rainmaker at the firm who is a font of wisdom when it comes to computer sciences. In his 30 years of practice, Friedrich R von Samson-Himmelstjerna has seen nearly everything there is to see at the DPMA and the EPO. He is also the man of the hour for mediation.
Simmons & Simmons LLP
A strong concentration on pharmaceuticals is paying handsome dividends for Simmons & Simmons. The results it secures for industry leaders such as Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica have made waves in the market; it recently represented this new client in a dispute with Intervet over a crucial animal vaccine. Its practitioners have a singular understanding of skinny labelling and cooperate closely with European colleagues on continent-wide strategies and cross-border battles. Revered admiral of the German fleet, Peter Meyer
is frequently engaged in the highest-stakes suits and routinely comes out on top. Life sciences doyenne Ina vom Feld
likewise “has extensive experience in multi-jurisdictional litigation and in opposition and nullity proceedings before the DPMA and the EPO”. In a major coup for the team, Michael Knospe
jumped on board in November 2016. He is a battle-hardened litigator and a true legal scholar with a razor-sharp mind.
With 11 partners dedicated to patents in Germany, Taylor Wessing effortlessly handles a prodigious workload for its enviable client base. The Munich and Dusseldorf offices work hand in glove with their counterparts across the continent to coordinate Europe-wide product launches and protect patents across borders. By way of example, it recently sent German, UK, Dutch and French practitioners out to bat for ASUS in infringement proceedings with Philips over a number of SEPs. Doing great things for ASUS, Dietrich Kamlah
“knows the law inside out. He is very knowledgeable from a technical standpoint, but is also completely familiar with all the various courts”. In the automotive realm, robust litigator Gisbert Hohagen
has been busy representing Peugot/Citroën in preliminary injunction proceedings before the Munich District Court. When it comes to transactions, Klaus-Dieter Kupka
and Thomas Pattloch
draft R&D, licence and technology transfer agreements with rigour and succinctness. The business-minded Christoph De Coster
has been successfully enticing US clients to the practice of late, in close collaboration with members of the Palo Alto and New York offices. Sabine Rojahn
is famed for her farsighted strategic counsel and courtroom poise.
Ter Meer Steinmeister & Partner
Ter Meer Steinmeister & Partner is an invaluable ally for cutting-edge innovators. The firm’s partners are all qualified as both German and European patent attorneys and have a wealth of experience in examination, opposition and appeal proceedings before the DPMA and the EPO. Chemistry whizz Christian Hollatz
is an ever-responsive and pragmatic professional who serves clients with an unstinting commitment to their care. Bernd Aechter
and Jörg Riemann
shine on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide. “Aechter is a seasoned pharmaceutical litigator who is very cooperative, precise, effective and fast.” Riemann goes over the details of every invention with a fine-tooth comb: “He is technically proficient and experienced.”
Uexkull & Stolberg
The close-knit team at Uexkull & Stolberg dispatches patent briefs with alacrity and a personal touch; industries are extensively studied and strategies are fine tuned until they harmonise with long-term business interests. The firm’s biotechnology and chemistry practices remain at the core of its offering – it is a prime destination for several multinational pharmaceutical behemoths. Leading the biotechnology team, Albrecht von Menges
comes recommended for his “excellence in European patent prosecution and opposition proceedings”. Chemistry matters are effectively dispatched by Bernd Janssen
, Peter Franck
and Heinz-Peter Muth
. A spell working in-house for ExxonMobil in New Jersey and Texas has given Janssen keen insight into the mindsets of US companies. Similarly experienced in transatlantic matters, Franck takes a practical approach that gets results time and again; while Muth brings refined technical expertise and negotiating nous to the table.
Von Kreisler Selting Werner
The patent-focused Von Kreisler Selting Werner is a fine choice for companies and research institutes with complex inventions on their hands. Its deep bench of talented engineers and natural scientists can effortlessly parse the most arcane technologies and tailor creative solutions around them. Complementary know-how across the IP spectrum makes it ideally positioned to undertake design and copyright-related mandates too. Mechanical engineering hotshot Alexander von Kirschbaum
has a sparkling track record in nullity and opposition proceedings, and is also adept at freedom-to-operate analyses.
“Vossius & Partner is one of the big players in German intellectual property. It has an experienced and committed patent team that is easy to work with and well respected.” The high-end boutique has offices in Munich, Dusseldorf
, Berlin and Basel, plus an extensive network of alliances the world over, and protects and enforces patents across Europe, the United States and Asia with consummate ease. Prosecution is the preserve of Rainer Viktor
, Jürgen Meier
, Joachim Wachenfeld
, Elard Schenck zu Schweinsberg
and Hans-Rainer Jaenichen
. The “stellar” Viktor “has a strong mastery of both the law and our business, which enables him to reach outcomes that tally with our objectives,” enthuses one client. “His success rate before the EPO is extremely high. I see him as an essential part of our team when it comes to protecting and commercialising our products.” Schenck zu Schweinsberg is a mechanical engineering magus with a reputation for efficient, proactive counsel. Meier, Wachenfeld and Jaenichen are all part of the team’s biotechnology practice, and recently teamed up to represent the august Max Planck Society. Meier has specialist knowledge of antibody issues; Wachenfeld completed part of his studies in Illinois and still has strong ties to the United States; while Jaenichen has handled matters in every corner of the biotechnology space and shares his unique insights through regular international speaking appearances. Johann Pitz
and Thure Schubert
are formidable litigators. Pitz has “fantastic enforcement experience” and handles continent-wide matters with panache; while the redoubtable Schubert recently flexed his muscles assisting ZTE on a successful appeal against Huawei in nullity proceedings at the Federal Court of Justice. Of counsel Wolfgang Christian von Meibom
is a highly respected figure who knows patent law like the back of his hand; he has lectured around the world on the subject.
A blend of technically proficient patent attorneys and erudite attorneys at law makes WALLINGER RICKER SCHLOTTER TOSTMANN a persuasive one-stop option. “It works very fast, drafts applications in an extremely clear and concise manner and keeps clients well informed every step of the way.” No industry is beyond its competence, but it has lately been particularly busy in the life sciences realm; much of this work is undertaken by “proactive” co-founder Mathias Ricker
, “an excellent strategic thinker who is always sensitive to costs”. Colleague Michael Platzoeder
is “one of the best patent attorneys you could choose in Germany – someone you can rely on in difficult cases. He always gets great results”. Stints in-house in the IT and semiconductor industries have given him a first-hand appreciation of the client’s perspective.
Weickmann & Weickmann casts a long shadow on the German IP landscape, helping clients to prosecute patents and monetise their crown-jewel assets since 1882. Its members have intimate knowledge of every provision in the Patents Act and an instinct for what plays best at the DPMA and the EPO. “Markus Herzog is extremely diligent, with a firm grasp of the technology and the law. He is a fantastic professional to work with – he is one of the deepest thinkers around, who always finds a way to help others understand the complex concepts at issue”. Grant and opposition proceedings are bread and butter for nimble-witted biochemistry don Wolfgang Weiß.
“Wildanger Kehrwald & Graf von Schwerin is a very strong boutique that is involved in loads of cases in the Dusseldorf courts. Its practitioners are simply brilliant – they are smart, responsive and easy to work with.” When their most valuable rights are threatened, multinationals make a beeline to this enforcement heavyweight. A familiar face at the Federal Court of Justice, Peter-Michael Weisse
has chalked up plenty of IP headlines: “He plays in the Premier League of patent litigation. It is exciting working with him because he never stops until he is 100% sure he will win. His legal analysis is truly brilliant.” Wolf Graf von Schwerin
is another lodestone of the practice: “He is a well-known patent litigator with tremendous courtroom skills.” The ever-impressive Roland Kehrwald
orchestrates parallel proceedings around the world with aplomb; he is well versed in an array of disciplines, including information technology, genetic and electrical engineering and medical devices. “A true expert in the law and a really tough fighter who will never give up”, Eva Geschke
is a favourite of SMEs and Fortune 500 titans alike. Joerg Schmidt
has exemplary business nous and comes up with ingenious solutions to all manner of patent conundrums.
Witte, Weller & Partner
Stuttgart-based Witte, Weller & Partner is the most prominent patent attorney firm in Southwest Germany. Renowned for its vitality, ambition and cost effectiveness, it is a preferred choice of high-tech start-ups. It prosecutes with pizzazz and gets maximum bottom-line impact from portfolio monetisation. “Stephan Keck
is a true mastermind when it comes to telecommunications and electronics. His knowledge is superb.” He can shape patents that prove unassailable in the courtroom.
Customer-centric boutique Wuesthoff & Wuesthoff marries a rich history and a forward-looking approach, to superb effect. The firm was founded in 1927 and has an illustrious track record, but continually hones its service to meet and exceed the demands of today’s clients. It has the resources to manage portfolios of all shapes and sizes, with files accessible through a cloud-based system; e-billing is another feature of its service. It files and prosecutes over 400 new patent applications for LG Electronics annually, and is also assisting Google with robotics matters. Representing both clients is Rainer Röthinger
, an internationally minded professional who is intimately familiar with the dynamics at the USPTO. Mechanical engineering sage Bernhard Thum
“is excellent at prosecution and counselling”. His time working in the R&D department of Siemens Medical whetted his technical expertise and outside-the-box creativity. For over 20 years, Hendrik Wichmann
has been assisting multinationals in the biotechnology, chemistry and pharmaceuticals sectors; plant varieties are a specialty.
Zimmermann & Partner is home to an impressive bench of patent attorneys whose know-how spans the technical spectrum; their never-say-die ethos and down-to-earth approach have won them many ardent fans. A torrent of instructions has been flooding in from the telecommunications, electrical engineering and medical science realms of late. “ Joel Nägerl provides high-level expertise, especially in the telecommunications field, and compared to other patent attorneys has significant experience in litigation – rather than only in prosecution”. He serves as an appointed expert at the Higher Regional Court of Dusseldorf and so knows the importance of creating strong suits of armour for crucial inventions.