Gleiss Lutz is widely acknowledged as one of Germany’s leading full-service law firms with over 300 lawyers. The firm's lawyers are lauded as "clear specialists in their area. They are extremely knowledgeable, and follow our day-to-day commercial work to advise us on the legal aspects of it" (Chambers Europe 2016). Founded in 1949, the firm has a longstanding tradition of strong IP practice. Its 25 dedicated IP lawyers provide the full range of IP advice, particularly in domestic and multi-jurisdictional litigation, arbitration and counselling involving patents, utility models, supplementary protection certificates, trademarks, designs, copyrights, trade secrets, employee inventions, as well as licensing, technology transfer, unfair competition, food law and related regulatory laws.
Gleiss Lutz’s IP lawyers are praised for their “fast feedback, deep knowledge and ability to find new pathways to reach excellent results.” (Chambers Europe 2018). Being part of a full-service law firm allows Gleiss Lutz’s IP team to call on renowned experts from related practice areas (eg, antitrust and subsidies) and offer integrated advice. In addition, clients can benefit from the infrastructure and resources of one of Germany’s major full-service firms.
Patent litigation is the main pillar of the Gleiss Lutz IP group. The patent team represents plaintiffs and defendants in infringement proceedings and invalidity proceedings before all competent German courts (at trial and appellate level), as well as in domestic and international arbitration proceedings, customs action and inspection and seizure of evidence proceedings. Over the past decade alone, the firm’s patent team has litigated over 100 patent infringement cases. Co-authoring a legal handbook on the proceedings in the UPC and having offices at (or near) all locations of the German chambers of the UPC, the Gleiss Lutz patent team is well suited to represent clients in the UPC. Its lawyers not only have a firm grasp of the technical questions at the heart of patent disputes, but also understand the need for cost awareness. Together with the firm’s renowned competition law and antitrust practice, the patent team has specialist knowledge in disputes relating to patents essential for technology standards and FRAND licensing, giving clients a key advantage in related litigation and negotiations, as well as in dealing with the relevant authorities. In addition to litigation, the patent team provides a broad range of patent-related legal services, including freedom-to-operate analysis and strategic counselling, technology transactions, licensing, patent pools and R&D collaboration.
While electronics, pharmaceuticals and life sciences are its particular strengths, Gleiss Lutz’s patent team has worked across all major technical fields. Its clients are national and multinational corporations, such as DAX-listed and Fortune 500 companies from a wide range of industries, including automotive, biotechnology, chemicals, consumer products, computer, electronics, food, healthcare, industrial manufacturing, mechanical engineering, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, telecoms and tobacco, as well as universities, financial institutions, private equity investors and public authorities. As a matter of policy, Gleiss Lutz does not represent non-practising entities.
Gleiss Lutz’s IP lawyers regularly handle litigation that is part of a multinational approach and are familiar with the need to closely liaise with counsel in charge of parallel litigation abroad. As a leading independent, Gleiss Lutz is able to set up, with the highest level of flexibility, an international team of top-flight patent litigators and patent agents all over Europe, the United States, Japan and other important jurisdictions, tailored to the clients’ specific needs.
Gleiss Lutz regularly handles critical, high-stakes patent disputes of strategic importance to clients. Its lawyers have been involved in a number of landmark cases, including the first case before the European Commission to deal with the abuse of the patent system to block the market entry of generics.
- Matthias Sonntag, Partner