Germany

Talk of the town among the German IP community is the constitutional complaint which has been made concerning ratification of the United Patent Court Agreement. The complaint is based on three key grounds: incompatibility with EU law; non-compliance with the requirement that a transfer of sovereign power to EU institutions must be decided by two-thirds of the Bundestag and the Bundesrat; and the lack of democratic legitimacy of the system’s judges. With the much-awaited system unable to come into force until the complaint has been resolved, practitioners are eager for it to be heard as quickly as possible. Until then, firms that had already started re-orienting their offerings in preparation for the system have been left in limbo, unsure whether to move forwards with their plans or to take a step back. Rights holders are also becoming irritated by the lack of clear advice being provided. Meanwhile, Germany’s own legal system remains a hive of activity; Dusseldorf, in particular, is the locus for a striking number of Europe’s most significant patent cases. In the telecoms space, fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) term issues are hot, while the automotive industry has been re-energised by its convergence with the high-tech space and the arrival of waves of new software start-ups. With regard to pharmaceuticals, the blurring of the line between innovator and generic companies has brought notable movement in the market. Because the driving force of the economy remains the Mittelstand, boutique firms, which mirror the culture of 50-500 employee companies, remain an extremely popular choice.

Firms: infringement

Firms: prosecution and nullity

Firms: transactions

Allen & Overy LLP

Although some of Allen & Overy’s competitors may offer lower hourly rates, few tackle matters with equal efficiency. Its worldly wise patent practitioners can instantly separate the wheat from the chaff when a bulky file lands on their desk; on top of that, they handle cross-border matters seamlessly working with colleagues in international offices. The firm’s renowned name as a purveyor of the highest possible level of customer service is drilled into every individual in its ranks. This ensures that the service is extremely cost-effective. Pharmaceutical litigation is the team’s metier – 2017 saw it before the courts time and time again – but it has also been making waves in the transactional space, with highlights such as assisting Facebook with its acquisition of Fayteq and advising one of Asia’s most renowned internet companies with regards to an autonomous driving project. Involved in both matters, Jens Matthes is a commercially astute licensing virtuoso. “He’s wonderful to work with – very knowledgeable in intellectual property, extremely responsive, practical and a great problem solver. He always stays focused on clients’ business objectives, and helps move things forward in productive ways with counterparties.” His teammate Joachim Feldges is a battle-hardened litigator with over 30 years’ experience under his belt. He has appeared before all the major courts in the country and knows how to advise on a case that has parallel proceedings in the United States.

Arnold Ruess

“Arnold Ruess is a young, energetic, visible boutique with a particularly strong patent litigation practice. It has an impressive track record handling big pharmaceutical cases for high-profile companies.” The trailblazing firm serves up impeccable legal knowledge with a personal touch; its dynamic partners handle everything themselves, rather than simply delegating work to their associates and always make time for face-to-face meetings. This has proven to be a winning formula – although it was only founded in 2010, the firm has won mandates from rights holders in all manner of industries. Bernhard Arnold and Cordula Schumacher make up the nucleus of the practice. Arnold is a “brilliant, extremely experienced patent attorney with remarkable technical knowledge as well as impressive management skills”, while Schumacher has singular supplementary protection certificate (SPC) expertise; in this regard she has represented clients before the Federal Court of Justice and on references to the European Court of Justice.

Baker McKenzie

Dispensing the whole gamut of patent-related services – from filing and rights transfers through to courtroom enforcement – Baker McKenzie is a reliable choice for rights holders in the market for a one-stop shop. It uses sophisticated online software to make portfolio management as smooth as possible and glues together global enforcement strategies with insights from practitioners in an array of jurisdictions. Based in Munich, the “terrific” Jochen Herr is a man for all seasons. “He has more than 10 years of experience enforcing patents across all technical fields. While he has a particular focus on life sciences matters, he has also been involved in numerous proceedings in the automotive and consumer goods sectors in recent years. He’s one of the few lawyers in Germany who has a technical background – in mechanical and process engineering – and is a German patent attorney and a European patent attorney, but is also is admitted as an attorney at law.” His running mate Constanze Ulmer-Eilfort is accomplished in the transactional space. She has inked countless collaboration, licence and equity investment agreements for high-tech, pharmaceutical and media companies the world over. Complementary knowledge of employee inventions law serves her well.

BARDEHLE PAGENBERG Partnerschaft mbB 

At BARDEHLE PAGENBERG patent attorneys and attorneys at law have worked hand in hand since its establishment in 1977. While many competitors have now adopted this model, the firm’s sheer experiences in streamlining cooperation between contentious and non-contentious practitioners sets it apart – this machine is oiled like no other. “It’s among the most professional and efficient firms you could ever hope to work with. Because everyone there really knows what they are doing, the service is phenomenal.” Another selling point is how well it is positioned for cross-border matters, having substantial international offices in Paris and Barcelona, longstanding friendships with first-rate firms in the United States and a strategic partnership with Singaporean firm Yusarn Audrey. Last year it filed nearly 1,000 European Patent applications and handled approximately 200 opposition proceedings before the European Patent Office (EPO), as well as tackling scores of complex telecommunications cases. A notable thread in its workload continues to be its activity for the highly litigious Intellectual Ventures, which currently has proceedings pending against Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefónica. Tilman Müller-Stoy acts as lead counsel on these and is ably supported by his litigation co-head Johannes Heselberger and strategic marvel Hans Wegner. Müller-Stoy is an “extremely bright and gifted lawyer with a great attitude and approach to cases.” His knowledge of standard-essential patent (SEP) issues is second to none. The “very experienced” Heselberger also wins praise for his “impressive technical and legal skills” while Wegner is singled out for being “clear about what he thinks at all times. He never beats around the bush, which makes him a pleasure to work with. It’s rare to find someone who’s so straightforward and easy to understand.” His portfolio management advice is always airtight. Peter Chrocziel was born with a brain for business. Give him a few minutes and he will come up with a unique way to monetise a patent. Prosecuting cutting-edge applications for Apple keeps Johannes Lang busy. Peter K Hess has a wealth of experience handling opposition and nullity proceedings before the EPO and the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA). Finally, name partner Jochen Pagenberg is a doyen of intellectual property and a true inspiration for up-and-coming practitioners. Over the last 30 years he has seen nearly everything there is to see in the field. With such an abundance of talent in the firm’s ranks, its sky-high reputation is unquestionably well deserved.

Betten & Resch

“Betten & Resch is an excellent law firm whose patent attorneys possess a wealth of experience in the IT, telecoms and medical devices sectors and are very professional.” The crack team files with finesse and fine tunes portfolio management strategies until it has found the perfect approach. Focusing wholeheartedly on customer service, its practitioners conduct significant background research into the unique commercial concerns of their clients’ industries, so they know exactly what makes their businesses tick and respond to queries as soon as they are received. This approach has won it favour among an impressive range of start-ups, small to medium-sized enterprises and prestigious research institutes. Alexander Esslinger is a name for the contact book.

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird’s 40-strong patent team is among the largest in Germany, comprising 16 patent attorneys who not only shine in opposition and nullity actions, but also have the wherewithal to pitch in and effectively support their contentious counterparts in complex litigation. A forte for the side has become the intersection of patent and antitrust law; it acted in the landscape-changing dispute between Huawei and ZTE and continues to explore new territory when it comes to SEP issues. Other litigation activity includes assisting Nokia and NSN in a series of infringement proceedings against Apple and representing Edwards Lifesciences against Boston Scientific in relation to heart valve prostheses. Christian Harmsen and Oliver Jan Jüngst, two market-leading litigators, played a pivotal role in the former highlight. “Harmsen is one of the top telecoms experts in Europe, and, in addition to his incredible knowledge, he also has the people skills to bring opposing counsel to the negotiating table and secure solutions that work.” Jüngst wins similar praise from interviewees: “He’s formidable and completely client-oriented.” Further enforcement firepower is provided by Anna Wolters-Höhne, Boris Kreye and Felix Rödiger. The “really brilliant” Wolters-Höhne has had her hands full assisting Teva/ratiopharm on a dispute with Pfizer/WLC concerning significant second medical use issues. “She’s very smart and has an incredible personality. Her track record in the pharmaceutical space is amazing.” Leading the German life sciences practice, Kreye is another scientific whizz. He complements his courtroom prowess with notable arbitration experience. Rödiger is the team’s FRAND expert. He relishes a sprawling battle with parallel litigation in Europe and the United States. On the transactional side, a differentiating factor is the team’s close cooperation with colleagues in the public procurement practice, which has enabled it to develop innovative tendering models. Matthias Meyer and Fabian Niemann are the guys to go to for monetisation assistance. Meyer has taken care of the IP threads of myriad high-profile business acquisitions and Niemann has a complete command of commercialisation issues arising from cloud computing, big data and the Internet of Things. Michael Alt tackles prosecution with aplomb. Before joining the firm, he worked in-house at a biopharmaceutical company and therefore has an intimate knowledge of the industry’s idiosyncrasies and pressure points.

BOEHMERT & BOEHMERT 

BOEHMERT & BOEHMERT sets the benchmark for quality and volume when it comes to patent prosecution. “It’s one of the best firms in Germany. Everyone there knows what they are doing and is detail-oriented; clients are kept fully informed on the progress of their matters each step of the way – something that gains their confidence.” Its commercially savvy lawyers listen carefully, weigh up the options open to them and then adroitly draft applications that check all the boxes that examiners are looking for. Lately the firm streamlined its service by further integrating its Dusseldorf and Munich offices and placing additional focus on the infringement side of the practice. Markus Engelhard shines in the life sciences, pharmacology and biotechnology sectors and has singular knowledge of the legal issues surrounding therapeutic biomolecules and pharmaceutical active agents. The forward-looking, internationally minded Christian W Appelt handles matters on the electronics side; his client roster features notable names from the United States, Japan and China. Michael Rüberg picks up the baton when things turn contentious. “He’s extremely sophisticated, knowledgeable and driven, with the ability to find a solution to any problem. On top of that, he always advises clients in a clear, simple way and is friendly and easy to talk to.” Luminary Heinz Goddar is on hand to disseminate wisdom gained from decades at the IP coalface when things are looking particularly dicey. He has served as president of the Licensing Executives Society International and is an esteemed figure in the IP community.

Clifford Chance Deutschland LLP 

Riding on the crest of a wave, Clifford Chance breaks into the IAM Patent 1000 for 2018 with headline-grabbing matters, such as representing B Braun Medical on patent infringement proceedings against Prontomed – a non-admission complaint is currently pending before the Federal Court of Justice – and advising Schaeffler on the IP-related aspects of the purchase agreement for the electric engine manufacturer Compact Dynamics. Fully integrated in the firm’s global network, the German squad takes an international perspective on all matters and has ample resources on which to draw when the going gets tough. Claudia Milbradt helms the practice with assuredness. She oozes experience and commercial common sense and goes out of her way to make things as simple as possible for time-pressed business executives. Her technology transfer capabilities have helped plenty of companies make big bucks from their IP rights.

COHAUSZ & FLORACK 

Ambitious Dusseldorf-based IP boutique COHAUSZ & FLORACK has “vast experience in filing, not to mention pre-litigation patent validity analysis, and infringement and nullity proceedings. Its lawyers are cooperative, collegial and extremely knowledgeable, and it’s a pleasure working with them.” Lately they have been flexing their muscles representing Columbia University, Godo Kaisha IP Bridge 1, Tagivan, Mitsubishi Electric and Panasonic on enforcement actions against Huawei and ZTE concerning patents for the digital video encoding standard AVC/H.264, which is used in smartphones. Leading the charge on this was Gottfried Schüll, utilising his profound wisdom of the telecoms sector. Christoph Walke played a key role too. “His excellent technical knowledge in mobile radio communications, cryptography and image processing are of indispensable value for clients, as is his extensive experience conducting patent essentiality evaluations as an independent evaluator for patent pools. He has the talent to make technically challenging cases understandable for judges, which is of particular importance for campaigns that deal with complex and standard-essential inventions. His pleading in court is highly persuasive. He can flexibly adapt to any situation that may come up.” On the non-contentious side of the practice, Arwed A Burrichter is a diligent portfolio builder who files with finesse and treats every patron as if they were his only one. Fellow prosecution sage Andreas Thielmann is an “extremely experienced professional who plays a significant role in IP committees and is hands-on with his clients”. Electrical engineering wonder Philipe Walter has the foresight and analytical dexterity to put together inviolable strategies.

df-mp 

df-mp is a distinguished name in patent prosecution and portfolio management. Its sagacious lawyers put their business hats on in consultations with rights holders to confect incisive strategies that reap long-term results. The client catalogue features names from an impressive range of areas, including biotechnology, chemistry, electrical engineering and mechanics. Co-founders of the firm, David Molnia and Sandra Pohlman are ever-reliable choices for the telecoms and pharmaceuticals sectors respectively. Cognisant of the latest software and hardware developments shaping smartphones, Molnia makes light work of even the most technically complex briefs; Pohlman is a regular before both the DPMA and EPO. The razor-sharp Hans Ulrich Dörries has extensive experience advising on issues surrounding SPCs.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s German practice is coming on leaps and bounds with a string of significant new hires and an expanding client roster. In the courtroom, the go-getting group has racked up highlights such as representing British Airways on infringement proceedings concerning its mobile boarding services, which is a key part of its customer service, and assisting Bosch on a strategically important action against direct competitor Mitsubishi, which concluded with a settlement agreement in February 2017. Having handled both matters, Markus Gampp remains the lynchpin of the practice. “He’s an outstanding lawyer – extremely bright, creative, incredibly responsive, straightforward and adept at explaining German legal issues to international clients.” New arrival Philipp Cepl zeroes in on clients’ business objectives; he applies pressure in enforcement battles in a way that makes commercial sense.

Eisenführ Speiser 

Eisenführ Speiser makes things as simple as possible for rights holders. As one client enthuses: “If we have a new idea, we tell them about it and they immediately get to work on the documents that need to be filled in for us to get a patent. The service really is perfect – we don’t have to worry about anything.” With offices in Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg and Munich, face-to-face meetings with its patent attorneys and attorneys at law can be set up with minimal fuss. Klaus G Göken and Manuel Söldenwagner are portfolio management pros. Bringing R&D experience at IBM and Siemens to the table, Göken understands the computer hardware and industrial manufacturing sectors as well as anyone. With an eye to the future of pharmaceuticals, and a passion for getting companies off the ground, the hands-on Söldenwagner has been focusing his time on the start-up scene; Audiocure Pharma, Comnovo, Themis Bioscience and Medineering are four of his cutting-edge patrons. The firm is unquestionably most famous for its prosecution practice, but it also has a growing reputation on the contentious side, thanks to eye-catching activity in the telecoms area and a strong track record when it comes to SEP issues. Volkmar Henke has been turning heads with his successful representation of Dolby Laboratories in litigation against Wiko concerning audio coding patents; the court did not consider the AAC standard to be market dominating for mobile phones. He has a robust understanding of procedural issues and pleads with poise.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s “extremely knowledgeable and efficient” patent enforcement crackerjacks leave no stone unturned in their efforts to win crucial cases. Integrated into the firm’s 28-office network, the German squad has been receiving a steady stream of instructions from multinationals with cross-border trouble, but it is also proving popular among the local business community. The esteemed Frank-Erich Hufnagel provides the backbone for the firm. “He’s a fantastic lawyer known for his excellent courtroom performances.” Wolrad Prinz zu Waldeck und Pyrmont is not wet behind the ears either. He is an SEP sage who has represented Sony Mobile Communication on proceedings relating to telecoms standards. A keen linguist, he speaks English, French and Russian. Given the strength of the firm’s corporate practice, it is unsurprising that the team also excels in the transactional space. Commercialisation ace Jochen Dieselhorst studies his clients’ competitors closely to ensure that their patents are never undervalued.

Gleiss Lutz 

Having safeguarded countless drug-related patents, Gleiss Lutz is regarded as a guardian angel by many pharmaceutical giants. However, it is no one-trick pony and boasts cracking highlights in the electronics, consumer goods and automotive realms too, for example successfully representing Gillette on a dispute concerning its razor blades against Wilkinson Sword and Edgewell Personal Care and assisting Arvato Systems in connection with the sale of Arvato Systems Business Services to Atos. It has the depth of technical expertise in its ranks to assist rights holders of all stripes. Matthias Sonntag is commended for his SEP dexterity. “He’s extremely competent, easy to work with and helpful in regard to SEP issues – something most companies don’t understand that well.” Like Sonntag, Thomas Bopp is a dazzling litigator and a client favourite. Together they have been representing betapharm Arzneimittel, Luye Pharma, Sanofi-Aventis, Winthrop Arzneimittel and Zentiva Pharma on a dispute with Novartis before the Mannheim Regional Court. In addition, Herwig Lux comes praised for his transactional nous. “He is a responsive, excellent lawyer who provides in-depth support in complex contract negotiations and has a broad base of experience.”

Gowling WLG 

Constantly adding new entries to its ledger of patent litigation victories, Gowling WLG is a prime address in Munich for rights holders needing representation in high-profile pan-European skirmishes. Its enforcement mavens appreciate how to weave facts and complex legal concepts together into the sort of compelling narrative that can swing a sensitive case. They show exemplary forward thinking and pragmatism – raising potential issues the second they materialise rather than waiting for clients to bring them to their attention. Experienced litigator Carsten Schulte should be the first point of contact for any interested parties.

Grünecker 

With telecoms, IT, software, engineering, physics, electronics and life sciences all covered by at least a dozen patent attorneys each, Grünecker has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to technical knowledge. “It’s an outstanding firm – one of the leading IP boutiques – and it has huge clients.” Last year it leveraged this to submit approximately 1,400 national patent applications and over 3,100 European patent applications, as well as filing over 100 new appeals at the EPO. On the litigation side, the team has also been firing on all cylinders, representing Broadcom and Avago on a significant action against Sony concerning its Playstation 4 console and Xperia smartphone, and assisting Nokia on a string of standard-setting complaints against Apple. Co-head of the litigation team, Bernd Allekotte is a FRAND virtuoso with real charisma and reams of courtroom experience. His teammate Reinhard Knauer is another magnetic litigator. Whereas Allekotte is at his best enforcing life sciences inventions, Knauer excels in electronics issues. Biotechnology start-ups are immediately put on a sure footing by Heike Vogelsang-Wenke’s wealth of expertise. She has the scientific knowledge and creativity to get even the most complex patents registered. The quick-witted Peter Miltényi also has excellent instincts for what DPMA and EPO examiners are looking for and is extremely hands-on. Debuting in the IAM Patent 1000 for 2018, Klara Goldbach is emphatically recommended by peers: “She’s a true expert in the chemistry field and always provides extremely helpful advice in regard to the prosecution of European patents.” Finally, on the transactional side, Gerhard Hans Bernhard Barth doubles down to meet his customers’ needs, routinely putting in late nights and keeping a close eye on all the moves and shakes in their markets; he is a transactional veteran.

Hengeler Mueller

Hengeler Mueller’s exceptional sector knowledge, profound experience and premium level of customer service add up to an attractive package. Its litigators’ hard graft and out-of-the-box thinking has carried countless clients to victory in cliff-edge cases and their efficiency ensures that bills match up to expectations. On top of four offices in Germany – in Berlin, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Munich – the firm also has bases in Brussels, London and Shanghai; this spread has made it a particularly popular choice among rights holders with interests overseas. The modern and cosmopolitan Wolfgang Kellenter is routinely the first name on the team sheet. He has a complete command of LTE and UMTS mobile phone standards.

HOFFMANN EITLE 

HOFFMANN EITLE’s “prestigious and extremely impressive” patent group has a prodigious workload and an ever-expanding client roster; with expertise in every technical discipline under the sun, plus a reputation for lightning-fast response times, this is little surprise. No firm has a comparable number of individuals ranked in Germany’s ‘prosecution and nullity’ table for 2018. Andreas Stefferl, Joseph P Taormino and Leo Polz dazzle on the biotechnology side. Having worked as an investment manager at a venture capital firm specialising in start-ups, Stefferl has real business smarts and understands how to get a nascent company moving in the right direction. Taormino has handled legions of opposition and appeal proceedings before the EPO. Combining extensive scientific knowledge with sound practical reasoning, Polz is a problem-solver extraordinaire. Peter Klusmann, Joachim Renken, Thorsten Bausch and Morten Garberg are at their best handling complex chemistry patents. Keeping rights holders’ long-term commercial objectives front and centre in his thinking, Klusmann can be counted on to provide pragmatic, real-world counsel. Renken’s can-do attitude makes all the difference when a client wants to secure a game-changing patent. The outward-looking Bausch takes a panoramic view at all times and relishes the challenges involved in cross-border matters. Garberg has a feel for what the EPO wants and files meticulously researched and well-reasoned oppositions. When it comes to mechanical engineering matters, Claus Thomas Becher and Frank van Bouwelen are fantastic choices. Becher is an “extremely skilled attorney” with a complete command of the issues facing manufacturing plants. Meanwhile, van Bouwelen has singular experience with regard to sealing systems for extreme conditions and ultra-hard materials. Finally, Veit Peter Frank makes his debut in the IAM Patent 1000 this year: he has been labelled “one of the most respected electrical engineering patent attorneys in Germany” by an impressed peer.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

“Hogan Lovells is at the top of the tree – where everyone else wants to be. It has an extremely experienced and successful litigation team that has been involved in truly tremendous cases. Some of the best lawyers in Germany are there.” Offering premium IP support out of its Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf offices, the firm has unique local knowledge of district courts across the country and can conduct face-to-face meetings wherever and whenever is convenient. Leading the charge, Andreas von Falck is a courtroom celebrity, for whom “patent law is in the DNA. He’s known by everyone in intellectual property and not without reason. He really is outstanding – one of the most incredible lawyers in Europe.” While he is undoubtedly the team’s most visible member, he is far from its only star. Martin Chakraborty and Martin Fähndrich also have a wealth of experience. Chakraborty’s résumé features activity such as representing HTC in multi-jurisdictional patent litigation against a non-practising entity and assisting Qualcomm in its worldwide tussle with Nokia. Having successfully run more than 100 cases before German courts, Fähndrich knows exactly what will and will not fly before experienced judges. Recently promoted to partner, Alexander Klicznik is a client favourite who also has a cracking enforcement practice. “He’s extremely capable and intelligent and always masters the technology at issue thoroughly. He’s very client-friendly and accommodating, too, responding promptly to all communications, listening closely to what he’s told and working exceedingly well with in-house legal and technical teams. On top of that, his written submissions and oral presentations are remarkably clear and persuasive. The work ethic and skill he shows are exactly what one wants when a lot is riding on the outcome of a case.” Stephan Neuhaus is a life sciences sage who has proved his mettle in a plethora of nullity actions before the Federal Patent Court and the Federal Court of Justice, while the internationally minded Steffen Steininger loves taking the game to competitors on foreign turf; he has notable experience before courts in the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and Italy. For telecoms and engineering matters, rights holders make a beeline for Christian Stoll – an “extremely bright, star individual, who studies even the smallest details of a case but never gets bogged down by them and is a pleasure to work with” – or the pragmatic and forward-thinking Alexander Reetz, who also has significant expertise in the burgeoning field of robotics. Last but not least, Miriam Gundt brings outstanding knowledge of SPC issues to the table.

HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER 

Housing more than 100 IP professionals in its Amsterdam, Brussels, Dusseldorf, Madrid, Mannheim, Munich and Paris offices, HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER is Europe’s largest IP boutique and a stellar choice for multinationals with expansive portfolios. The Dusseldorf office is particularly impressive, with an exceptional record handling patent litigation in the telecoms and pharmaceutical sectors. “It’s a pleasure working with the firm because its lawyers are reliable, fast and well informed about everything.” Klaus Haft is one individual who stands out. “He’s a spectacularly good patent litigator – one of the few who understands how to convey complex issues simply while remaining precise. Both his technical and legal knowledge are great, maybe because he has not just a degree in law but also one in physics. Overall, he’s certainly up there with the very best, especially when it comes to telecoms matters.” His worldly wise colleague Christian Osterrieth also wins effusive praise: “He provides excellent advice with respect to the licensing and litigation of SEPs and has a unique understanding of the proportionality of injunctions.” For knotty pharmaceutical, biotechnology or chemistry cases, Christine Kanz is an inarguable choice. “She’s really personable and energetic and always goes the extra mile for clients.” Martin Köhler and Tobias Hahn are telecoms whizzes who have published widely; Köhler has upended plenty of critical cases with inspired pleadings, while Hahn has complementary knowledge of unfair competition law. Having taught German, European and US patent law, Kay Kasper takes an international perspective on matters and is au fait with global case law; he is a real big-picture guy. Having over 40 years of experience under his belt, Thomas Reimann is regularly asked for advice by his teammates. He is a true pioneer in the German IP world.

Jones Day

Rights holders choose Jones Day first and foremost for its global capabilities. When it comes to both prosecution and litigation, its German cadre routinely teams up with colleagues in offices around the globe to provide seamless, sophisticated cross-border support. A recent example of this came in the firm’s representation of Idenix Pharmaceuticals in a high-profile lawsuit against Gilead concerning the blockbuster drug Sofosbuvir; there are parallel proceedings in Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, France and other countries. This is exactly the sort of multifaceted challenge Christian Paul loves to take on. He is a hard-hitting litigator who relishes the challenge of putting together the pieces of the most complicated patent puzzles. Technically sharp physics virtuoso Dorothée Weber-Bruls shines on the prosecution side. Material science, nanotechnology and thermodynamics issues see her at her best.

Kather Augenstein Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB 

The newly established Kather Augenstein is on a rocket ride in German intellectual property, putting in blinding courtroom performances for huge telecoms companies, such as Ericsson and HTC, as well as blue-chip national entities. Setting the firm apart from its competitors is its striking combination of dazzling expertise and 24/7 partner-level attention; Christof Augenstein and Peter Kather run the show – and they both adopt a distinctly hands-on approach. “Christof adapts to his clients’ needs to a great extent and is really easy to work with, which is a prerequisite for handling technically and legally complex cases that span multiple jurisdictions and entail collaboration between many people. What’s really impressive is the attention to detail he shows at all times and how proactive he is.” Fellow name partner Kather is “really excellent” too. In the last three decades he has overseen hundreds of patent and utility model infringement cases in an assortment of sectors including telecoms and biotechnology. Responsible for assisting Coloplast on a series of cross-border proceedings against competitor Hollister, Miriam Kiefer is an accomplished litigator with an avid following of loyal brands. “Miriam is an excellent IP lawyer, who is always able to provide well-founded and thorough answers to any questions posed to her. She’s excellent at analysing complex legal and business situations and gets the balance between formal and informal communication just right – she won’t hesitate to pick up the phone in an effort to move a case forward.”

KLAKA Rechtsanwälte

Rights holders entrusting KLAKA with their patents can rest assured that they will receive tight, pragmatic and commercially informed counsel on budget and on time; the firm does not mess about. It has particular experience handling SEP issues in the telecoms sector, but excels in pharmaceutical and mechanical matters as well, fielding teams composed of “fantastic” members from both its Dusseldorf and Munich offices. Based out of Dusseldorf, Olaf Giebe and Constantin Kurtz are two street-smart litigators who recently teamed up to assist ZTE on complex patent infringement proceedings concerning the LTE standard. Giebe’s 30 years at the legal coalface have endued him with an extremely sharp instinct for when to keep pushing and when to settle. He is “convincing and straight to the point” at all times. While “Kurtz has a superb understanding of the legal, technical and economic aspects of patent litigation. Cooperation with him is always efficient and effective”. Founding member Michael Nieder is a fount of information on patent case law. He is revered by the judicial community for his rock-solid advocacy.

KNPZ Rechtsanwälte 

KNPZ Rechtsanwälte is a transactional titan. The characteristics the C-suite looks for in outside counsel are inculcated in every KNPZ practitioner: proactivity, pragmatism, flexibility, transparency, responsiveness and, of course, a resolute focus on long-term commercial benefits. This has helped the firm secure monetisation mandates from some of the biggest names in the world. Mathias Zintler and Christian Klawitter handle no small number of these. Zintler complements his splendid technology transfer practice with an all-encompassing knowledge of media and advertising law. Author of License Agreements and Antitrust Law, Klawitter is a shrewd business negotiator who comes into his own advising on matters situated at the confluence of patent and antitrust law.

KÖNIG . SZYNKA . TILMANN . VON RENESSE Patentanwälte . Partnerschaft mbB

Over the past 85 years KÖNIG . SZYNKA . TILMANN . VON RENESSE has forged a reputation for creative filing and commercially adroit portfolio management – and it shows no signs of letting up. The firm’s perspicacious lawyers succeed in carving out niches for rights holders in even the most crowded marketplaces and get really fired up by new technologies. The triumvirate of name partners Gregor Sebastian König, Max Wilhelm Tilmann and Dorothea von Renesse are the practice’s spine. König gets how to maintain exclusivity and secure long-term protection as well as anyone, showing immense commitment and care in everything he handles. Having worked in the wind turbine team of a UK energy group and been involved in the planning of large power plants while at a German chemical company, Tilmann has unique mechanical engineering expertise. SPC filing is the preserve of von Renesse; she is quick-witted and never drops the ball when something unpredictable happens.

Krieger Mes & Graf v der Groeben 

Thanks to a set of “formidable lawyers who always put in excellent courtroom performances” Krieger Mes & Graf v der Groeben enjoys a “top reputation” in the patent world. The most famous of its members is unquestionably the redoubtable Axel Verhauwen, whom peers enthusiastically label “the IP litigator in Dusseldorf if you want to win”. His encyclopaedic knowledge and quick reflexes are famed in the IP community; there is no such thing as a dead-end situation for him, with digital technology and telecoms being his preferred provinces. Having served as president of the German group of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property, Jochen Bühling is also widely respected. Pan-European litigation is bread and butter for him and he is also adept at alternative dispute resolution. With over four decades of experience under his belt, Peter Mes has a refined appreciation for his clients’ needs – and a sixth sense for what will turn a closely contested case.

KUHNEN & WACKER Intellectual Property Law Firm 

KUHNEN & WACKER is a nimble-footed boutique that plies its trade at the leading edge of patent law. Over the past 40 years it has refined its service so that rights holders receive unreservedly commercial support and around-the-clock attention at a price that makes sense. No application is deemed good to go until it is truly watertight and monetisation opportunities are pounced upon in double-quick time. Mechanical engineering ace Stephan Kopp is the first point of contact for interested parties.

Lederer & Keller Patentanwälte Partnerschaft mbB

Lederer & Keller has a reputation that belies its modest size. Its dynamic, dedicated IP squad pulls out all the stops to further its clients’ interests. With the legal and technical know-how to secure even the most left-field patents, it manages to make headway with the DPMA and the EPO where others would simply sink in the mud. Name partner Günter Keller is singled out for his “tremendous biotechnology expertise”, while Michael Best is regarded to be a “remarkably experienced and attentive chemistry professional”. Either lawyer would make a steadfast ally for any ambitious rights holder.

Maikowski & Ninnemann 

Maikowski & Ninnemann has long been popular among German rights holders but lately it has also strengthened its position among US companies, with Google a recent addition to its roster. The side has been skilfully filing and prosecuting national and European patent applications for the tech giant as well as assisting in the preparation of US and Patent Cooperation Treaty applications. Other notable names that it represents from the United States include CommScope and Fenwal. Of course, at the end of the day it tends to be the prowess and personality of specific individuals that win mandates and in Gunnar Baumgärtel and Christoph Schröder the firm has two real client magnets. Baumgärtel stands out from the crowd for his tremendous technical and legal knowledge. “He is extremely respected by judges, because he is precise and constructive in all oral hearings. It’s a pleasure working with him.” Schröder is an electrical engineering maestro whose far-sighted strategies never fail to reap big rewards.

Maiwald 

Prosecution and post-grant validity challenges before the EPO account for a significant slice of Maiwald’s workload, but multi-jurisdictional infringement battles also weigh heavily. With special technical knowledge of the biotechnology sector, the firm has always been a favourite among pharmaceutical companies, but it is now also making significant inroads into the electronics and telecoms worlds. It drafts European patent applications for Intel and recently represented Kenilworth Funding in a case concerning visual voicemail technology against Blackberry and Microsoft. Involved in this battle, the high-profile Marco Stief is an ambidextrous lawyer who is equally competent on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide. “He has extensive patent litigation and licensing experience and a profound understanding of his clients’ needs.” His teammates Dirk Bühler and Christian Schäflein are sophisticated portfolio managers. Bühler has been handling significant opposition proceedings for Mundipharma, while Schäflein is the primary contact for Intel. “He is one of the most active international prosecutors in the German market with huge portfolios from US companies. He is deeply knowledgeable and responsive and delivers excellent advice, especially when it comes to IT security and artificial intelligence (AI) issues – there are very few practitioners in Europe who have comparable AI expertise.”

McDermott Will & Emery

McDermott Will & Emery leaves competitors standing when it comes to infringement and invalidity proceedings concerning automotive and electronic patents. Its hardworking, commercially focused lawyers rally round a case, ensuring that clients are alert to the consequences of all possible actions and in the loop every step of the way. The arrival of crack litigator Henrik Holzapfel in October 2016 gave a significant boost to the practice and since then it has come on leaps and bounds. “He’s a diligent and legally brilliant lawyer who delivers sound performances and has the experience to provide a realistic assessment of the merits of a case very quickly.” His stablemate Boris Uphoff has put in his fair share of stellar courtroom showings too. “He’s extremely professional and able to develop game-changing strategies in a short amount of time.”

Meissner Bolte

Home to over 50 patent attorneys and 15 attorneys at law, Meissner Bolte has the manpower to supervise expansive portfolios and to extinguish even the most ferocious infringement fires. Electrolux, Facebook and Mitsubishi Electric are three notable patrons. Leading the line on a string of patent cases for Deutsche Telekom, Tobias Wuttke is a go-getting and spirited enforcement pro who knows all the tricks in the book. The “experienced and business-minded” Kay Rupprecht is another lodestar. His exquisite electrical and medical engineering skills make all the difference to rights holders who constantly need to elbow away challengers in extremely competitive markets.

Michalski Hüttermann Patent Attorneys

Michalski Hüttermann’s new office in Essen is proving poxpular with small and medium-sized Ruhrgebiet-based businesses wanting outside counsel with whom they can organise regular in-person meetings at short notice. Supplementing existing camps in Dusseldorf and Munich, this expansion reflects the enormous success the practice is currently enjoying. Organic chemistry guru Aloys Hüttermann is a sensible first port of call. He is a dab hand at drafting and delivers reports that are crystal clear and easily reviewable in the boardroom. There are few patent attorneys in Europe who can claim comparable knowledge of the forthcoming Unified Patent Court; he recently published an exhaustive book on its procedures.

Preu Bohlig & Partner

For over half a century, Preu Bohlig has been leaving its mark on German intellectual property by securing landmark judgments on behalf of illustrious blue-chip and privately held companies, a striking number of which feature on the DAX 30 stock market. The firm’s lawyers have experience before courts of all instances and cooperate closely with patent attorneys; the firm runs the much-respected Preu Course to train budding patent attorneys for their final exams, something that has helped it to establish a strong external network. Telecoms maestro Alexander Harguth is the star of the show. “His judgement, knowledge and guidance on trial strategy is outstanding.” Hewlett Packard Enterprise has been relying on him in its battle against Packet Intelligence before the Federal Patent Court.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP

Offering 24-carat counsel on contentious matters, Quinn Emmanuel Urquhart & Sullivan is a destination of choice for rights holders with infringement worries. A blend of courtroom cogency, commercial canniness and close contact continues to attract mandates from household names. Clients particularly appreciate the firm’s candour: its lawyers are not afraid to speak up when they think that it would be counterproductive in the long term to pursue a particular fight. Market-leading litigator Marcus Grosch is allergic to cookie-cutter solutions. He takes the road less travelled and always has a skip in his step. The interface between patent and antitrust laws is his favoured province. His teammate Johannes Bukow is also adept at advising on FRAND defences. Quick thinking, creativity and responsiveness are the hallmarks of his practice.

rospatt osten pross 

Located in Dusseldorf and Mannheim – the two leading venues for patent litigation in Europe – rospatt osten pross is a force to be reckoned with. It handles over 100 patent litigation cases in Germany annually and is currently engaged in a string of significant SEP tussles; a notable example is assisting LG Electronics on infringement proceedings against WiLAN. Telecoms and electronics matters see it at its strongest, but it is also making waves in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and automotive sectors, with the likes of CSL Behring, Magna and Mundipharma all having sent work its way of late. The firm’s exalted reputation rests on the shoulders of Henrik Timmann, Max von Rospatt and Thomas Musmann; between them, this trio of pre-eminent litigators have seen nearly everything there is to see in patent law. “Timmann understands all technologies – it’s unbelievable. One month he will be working on a big telecoms case, then the next it’ll be a big mechanical engineering one, and he will provide equally strong support in both.” Von Rospatt has been skilfully advising Siemens on a case against High Wind concerning a method of effectively assembling offshore wind turbines, while Musmann knows the pharmaceutical world inside out and has been at the helm of the firm’s recent push into the medicinal space.

Samson & Partner Patentanwälte mbB 

Delivering timely, business-focused counsel that always hits the bullseye, Samson & Partner is an unimpeachable choice for prosecution. Its lawyers keep their shoulders to the wheel to ensure that every conceivable outcome is figured into their calculations and that applications are as tight as can be. Over the last 35 years founding partner Friedrich R von Samson-Himmelstjerna has secured countless patents for German and international businesses. He gets directly to the point in telephone calls or face-to-face meetings and drafts crisp reports that the C-suite can easily digest. Tobias KW Stammberger is a physics master whose astute appreciation of commercial pressures results from a spell working for a major multinational electrical engineering group. Wolfgang Lippich has a complete understanding of programming and software issues and specialises in computer sciences; his enterprising spirit makes him a great fit for companies at the vanguard of technological developments.

Simmons & Simmons LLP

Representing Imperial Tobacco on a patent dispute with British American Tobacco concerning cigarette packaging and assisting Kite Pharma with innovative cancer immunotherapy treatments is the sort of work that Simmons & Simmons is known for in Germany. Its eight-strong patent squad works closely with colleagues in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and France to devise effective cross-border strategies that reap big rewards for multinationals. Leading the national practice, Peter Meyer is “a go-to lawyer for patent enforcement issues in Europe. He has excellent knowledge of his clients’ businesses and is extremely responsive while meeting expectations in regard to fees.” Ina vom Feld and Michael Knospe always make the starting line-up too. Vom Feld has put the ball in the back of the net for myriad global pharmaceutical companies, while electronics expert Knospe burns brightest on FRAND issues.

Taylor Wessing

Taylor Wessing hits the sweet spot when providing single-source support for European-wide product launches and enforcement campaigns; multinationals with diffuse patent portfolios can rest assured that they will be able to effortlessly find out the latest news with regard to their rights in different jurisdictions from one point of contact. A recent highlight is the firm’s representation of ASUS on eight patent infringement suits against Philips concerning four alleged SEPs and four other patents. FRAND savant Dietrich Kamlah has been working closely on this case with teammates in the United Kingdom, the United States and the Netherlands. His crisp courtroom pleadings are the stuff of legend. Gisbert Hohagen complements a stellar patent litigation practice with exemplary knowledge of employee inventions law. High-value transactions are handled by Klaus-Dieter Kupka, Christoph De Coster and Thomas Pattloch. The commercially shrewd Kupka’s personable negotiating style works like magic. Coster also understands how best to get signatures on the bottom line of lucrative technology transfer agreements in no time at all. Pattloch’s speciality lies in advising European and US companies on licensing issues relating to China; he has a fine-milled understanding of the country’s legal and cultural particularities. Sabine Rojahn is of counsel in the Munich office; she has driven multiple landmark decisions at the Federal Court of Justice and is kept on speed dial by many illustrious rights holders.

Ter Meer Steinmeister & Partner

Ter Meer Steinmeister & Partner’s exhaustive legal knowledge and hands-on customer service make for an enviable package. The nimble IP boutique’s technically sharp practitioners – all of whom are qualified as both German and European patent attorneys – prosecute with prowess and have an exceptional track record in opposition and appeal proceedings before the DPMA and the EPO. Bernd Aechter stands out for his “extremely thorough argumentation and preparation of reports in high-end matters concerning chemistry patents” while the “very experienced” Jörg Riemann is lauded for his “extraordinary skills in the automotive area”. Both contentious and non-contentious matters are safe in their tremendously capable hands. Another esteemed individual, Christian Hollatz maps out incisive portfolio management strategies for pharmaceutical entities; he has the creativity and intelligence to surmount even the most forbidding obstacles.

Uexkull & Stolberg

Uexkull & Stolberg shapes its portfolio management service to fit the contours of its clients’ businesses. Whether it is a start-up with limited funds desperately needing to establish a basic portfolio as swiftly as possible or a household name wanting to make the most out of every right it possesses, this IP boutique will deliver astute assistance. Spearheading the biotechnology practice, Albrecht von Menges is a technical ace who makes light work of even the most convoluted briefs. Bernd Janssen’s in-house experience at ExxonMobil’s offices in New Jersey and Texas continues to serve him well; he has an acute appreciation for the strains and stresses of day-to-day business life. Not one to be intimidated by the nitty-gritty details of a complex pharmaceutical invention, Heinz-Peter Muth is a dab hand at drafting. Like Muth, Peter Franck has a chemistry background. Multiple US Fortune 500 have entrusted him with their most valuable rights.

Von Kreisler Selting Werner

Technical mastery, creativity and rigour characterise the thriving patent practice at Von Kreisler Selting Werner. Its cohort of “extremely experienced” patent attorneys has what it takes to help clients serenely ride out changing circumstances in their markets, securing potentially valuable patents and finding novel ways to monetise existing ones. Alexander von Kirschbaum is a compelling choice for mechanical engineering companies. Never losing sight of what really matters to them, he maps out robust strategies with an emphasis on long-term commercial objectives and writes reports in straightforward, yet engaging language.

Vossius & Partner Patentanwälte Rechtsanwälte mbB 

Vossius & Partner has been historically known for its biotechnology practice, but it is now also making ground in the telecoms realm; having employees based in China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan has meant that the firm has been winning significant new mandates from businesses in East Asia. A notable highlight in this respect is the firm’s representation of ZTE on a series of infringement proceedings concerning MPEG LA patents. With five patent attorneys and two attorneys at law ranked in the IAM Patent 1000 for 2018, Vossius can provide cradle-to-gave assistance and the manpower to maintain an enviable workload. Biotechnology masters Hans-Rainer Jaenichen and Jürgen Meier have been teaming up to provide far-ranging strategic guidance to healthcare giant Roche. Ploughing the same furrow, Joachim Wachenfeld is a favourite among pharmaceutical entities. Rainer Viktor and Elard Schenck zu Schweinsberg come into their own in physics, electrical and mechanical engineering matters. Viktor counts 3M as a loyal fan and zu Schweinsberg is a key ally for the multinational Israeli metal-cutting tools company ISCAR. On the litigation side, Johann Pitz is “extremely experienced in patent matters. His technical and legal skills are remarkable.” His contentious brother-in-arms Thure Schubert recently impressed with his successful representation of Smith & Nephew in an infringement proceeding against KCI before the Higher Regional Court of Dusseldorf regarding negative pressure wound therapy. The distinguished Wolfgang Christian von Meibom has long been recognised as a thought leader in intellectual property. Now serving as of counsel, he pitches in on complicated matters as well as regularly sharing his wisdom with the firm’s younger cohort; he is passionate about inspiring and educating the next generation of leading lawyers.

WALLINGER RICKER SCHLOTTER TOSTMANN 

Located in Munich, mere metres from the DPMA and the EPO, WALLINGER RICKER SCHLOTTER TOSTMANN is home to patent attorneys who understand exactly what examiners are looking for – an asset that has helped them get great results for the likes of Archroma, BMW, Boehringer Ingelheim and Eastman Chemicals. “The service is beyond fantastic – clear, well-reasoned recommendations and a laser focus on what customers want.” Mathias Ricker and Michael Platzoeder embody this ethos, delivering exhaustive, practical, business-minded counsel time and again in the chemistry and physics realms respectively. Although the firm is best known for its prosecution practice, it also packs a punch in the courtroom, thanks to enforcement heavyweights such as Michael Wallinger. Having deliberated and considered an issue from every angle, he comes up with ingenious solutions that consistently take opposing counsel by surprise.

Weickmann & Weickmann PartmbB 

The 1882-established Weickmann & Weickmann continues to earn acclaim for its top-quality yet cost-effective patent prosecution; the guiding principles of 24/7 availability and attentiveness to every aspect of a client’s markets have served the firm well and generated long-lasting and collaborative relationships with some of the most distinguished rights holders in Europe. Markus Herzog and Wolfgang Weiß are the team’s standout stars. Herzog contrives incisive, informed strategies in the mechanical engineering space, while Weiß is a chemistry cognoscente with an inquisitive mind.

Wildanger Kehrwald Graf von Schwerin & Partner mbB 

“Wildanger Kehrwald Graf von Schwerin is a renowned firm whose excellent attorneys at law have a profound knowledge of IP case law.” For half a century the firm has been a regular in German courtrooms, checkmating opposing counsel with carefully thought-out moves. Among the finest litigators in the country, Wolf Graf von Schwerin and Peter-Michael Weisse handle many of the firm’s most prestigious matters. “Graf von Schwerin is simply brilliant. Judges in the Dusseldorf courts, and those in other cities too to be honest, know him very well. When you start your career at a firm like Wildanger you must be good – and he really is. It’s a pleasure working with him.” Weisse is a telecoms titan, who has handled a striking number of proceedings that have led to landmark decisions by the Federal Court of Justice, especially regarding SEPs. While they are the firm’s most prominent practitioners, they are far from its only enforcement experts. Eva Geschke is widely known to be “extremely professional”. “She has impressive knowledge of patent law and leaves a great impression on everyone she works with.” Innovative members of the Mittelstand as well as DAX-listed institutions feature on her client roster. “Roland Kehrwald really excels in submissions – he’s very thorough in preparing them. You can be sure they will be of the highest standard every time.” With extensive experience in an array of technical sectors, Joerg Schmidt is popular across the board; he has the creativity and powers of recall to succeed in thorny cases.

WITTEWELLER

WITTEWELLER is a Stuttgart-based IP boutique that has a small footprint but thinks internationally. Its outward-looking, cosmopolitan practitioners keep a close eye on trends at patent offices around the world and hunt far and wide for novel monetisation opportunities. Seasoned hand Stephan Keck is a safe bet for engineering matters. He files with finesse and has a lock on the semiconductor, image processing and coding spaces.

Wuesthoff & Wuesthoff 

Founded in 1927 by the first female patent attorney in Germany, Wuesthoff & Wuesthoff has a vibrant history in German intellectual property. However, not content to rest on its laurels, the firm is always looking at ways of staying ahead of the curve – whether through sophisticated new IT infrastructure or exciting training programmes for its members. The most prominent threads in its workload are the filing and prosecution assistance it provides to LG Electronics and Olympus; it handles over 400 applications for each client annually. Other well-known Wuesthoff patrons are Airbus, Colgate, VALEO and Novozymes. The “fast and ever-reliable” Rainer Röthinger is a popular choice among electronic clients owing to the time he spent working in the semiconductor research department of Daimler-Benz. Bernhard Thum also has invaluable in-house experience, having worked for Siemens Medical and engineers love that he can speak their language. With over 20 years of experience under his belt, Hendrik Wichmann knows a thing or two about application, opposition and appeal proceedings before the EPO. He is particularly adept at handling plant variety issues.

Zimmermann & Partner Patentanwälte mbB 

“Not only do the lawyers at Zimmerman & Partner understand technology, they also know how to explain it effectively to judges. When they defend patents against invalidation attempts by others, they seem to figure out pretty well how to differentiate a patent from the prior art and, if necessary, creatively rephrase patent claims in ways that preserve as much commercial value as possible for clients. As for their court demeanour, they represent clients vigorously but in a likeable, positive and constructive way.” One feather in the side’s cap is the work it has done on behalf of Samsung Electronics on infringement proceedings against Unwired Planet concerning six notable patents. Like much of the firm’s most significant activity, this was handled by Joel Nägerl, who is acclaimed by peers and clients alike. One interviewee acknowledges that he is “among the brightest patent attorneys in Europe, with remarkable expertise in the telecoms space.” In a similar vein, another comments: “He is a top-notch litigator in all respects. He is extremely skilled in identifying and weighing the legal relevance of specific technical issues and his infringement and validity evaluations always hit the mark. The way he pleads in court has to be mentioned too – he uses clear and concise language that really resonates with judges.”

Other recommended experts

The founding partner of CBH Rechtsanwälte, Kurt Bartenbach is a savvy strategist, for whom inking a tricky licensing agreement is a breeze. Having worked as a product manager for a nanotechnology company, Rolf Claessen at Freischem & Partner marries technical mastery with an intimate understanding of commercial pressures. The 100-plus nullity, opposition and infringement proceedings Jürgen Feldmeier of Prüfer & Partner has participated in span a striking range of technologies, but the automotive sector has seen his very best performances. The “incredibly smart” Anette Gärtner at Reed Smith has a “really analytical mind” and is “a pleasure to work with” – her stomping ground lies at the intersection between patent and employee inventions law. Arno Grohmann at UNIT4 IP is a whip-smart, extremely personable lawyer who dazzles in the courtroom and has the commercial nous to carry off lucrative technology transfers. AMPERSAND’s battle-hardened litigator Hosea Haag is widely regarded to be “extremely visible, professional, client-oriented, hands-on and fun to work with”. He has been representing Unwired Planet in its marathon battle against Samsung, Huawei and HTC. Quick-witted and meticulous, Christian Heine at KNH Patentanwälte builds impregnable patent portfolios for electrical engineering and innovative software companies. Biotechnology authority Bettina Herman at VO is assiduous in her drafting of applications; nothing escapes her gimlet eye. High-stakes life sciences litigation is a staple for Anton Horn of Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of relevant case law. The “magnificent” Christof Keussen at Glawe Delfs Moll is an “obvious choice” because he “knows everyone and has handled loads of patent litigation cases. It’s a pleasure working with him.” Klinkert Rechtsanwälte’s Friedrich Klinkert matches exhaustive IP knowledge with commercial awareness and sound practical reasoning; Karsten Königer of Harmsen Utescher is an excellent litigator whose expertise in regard to second medical use patents has made him popular among pharmaceutical titans. “He obviously knows the law inside out but also understands how to skilfully manage settlement negotiations. His combination of technical competence and calm, professional personality gets great results. Everyone he works with has the highest respect for him.” Becker, Kurig, Straus’s filing hotshot Thomas Kurig has a sharp, analytical mind and a “fantastic understanding of telecoms standards”. Fritz Lahrtz at Isenbruck Bösl Hörschler leverages his academic background in immunology and neurobiology to serve up technically flawless patent counsel to start-ups, universities and household names in the pharmaceutical industry. Organic chemistry buff Tim Meyer-Dulheuer at Dr Meyer-Dulheuer & Partner puts together airtight applications that check all the boxes examiners are looking for. Noerr’s Ralph Nack is “one of the most trusted licensing experts around – he has worked on some really big, complex transactions. He’s also active and impressive in the courtroom”. Dieter Pellkofer of Manitz, Finsterwald & Partner is an authority on data processing issues; his electrical engineering background enables him to speak fluently with inventors. CBH’s Martin Quodbach enforces patents with an iron fist; medical technology is his favoured province. Carsten Rocke at Müller-Boré & Partner stands out for software issues. “He has extensive experience working with US clients and always produces concise, straightforward reports.” Christian Schmidt of Manitz, Finsterwald & Partner comes recommended for his “outstanding track record” in opposition and nullity proceedings. The flair and finesse with which Osborne Clarke’s Andrea Schmoll monetises patents make her a top choice for pioneering companies; she has bags of experience advising on the IP aspects of high-value M&A transactions. Michael Schneider of Pinsent Masons has a glowing reputation for extracting value from patents and enforcing them in the courtroom. Linklaters’ dynamic and driven Julia Schönbohm is “heavily involved in cross-border litigation concerning pharmaceutical patents”. Dual-qualified as an attorney at law and a European patent attorney, Michael Schramm at 2s-ip Schramm Schneider Bertagnoll Patent- und Rechtsanwälte knows how to protect patents from all angles. Gille Hrabal Struck Neidlein Prop Roos’s “quick-witted” Norbert Struck has a reputation for excellence when it comes to the prosecution of involute chemistry patents. Hans Ter Smitten knows all there is to know about the automotive sector and works out of Patent Attorneys Ter Smitten Eberlein Rütten. He is an extremely able, efficient and pragmatic practitioner whose steady focus on clients’ commercial objectives generates outstanding short and long-term gains. Frank Truckenmüller at Geitz & Truckenmüller is applauded for his “tremendous technical expertise” as well as his “thoroughness and precision” in preparing applications. Paul-Alexander Wacker serves as of counsel at Stolmár & Partner. In his distinguished career he has untangled multifarious telecoms and engineering issues; if a second opinion is needed in a dicey case, there are few better options out there. JONAS’s Nils Weber makes an indelible impression on rights holders with his precise drafting and flawless strategic advice. Ulrich Worm at Mayer Brown consistently performs at the top level. “He is responsive, cost effective, knowledgeable and a great communicator. One of the most valuable traits in an attorney is the ability to combine substantive legal knowledge with an understanding of the practical aspects of the business world. Too many attorneys have one but not the other. Ulrich can intelligently and articulately explain the legal nuances of IP law in Germany, but also has brilliant business acumen. He helps clients make informed decisions on a day-to-day basis.” Jörk Zwicker at ZSP Patent Attorneys has “deep knowledge in the life sciences field and gets how to convey complex legal issues in a straightforward manner. He has significant experience before the DPMA and EPO.”

Individuals: infringement

Individuals: prosecution and nullity

Individuals: transactions

Luminaries