Germany

In November 2020 the Bundestag reconfirmed Germany’s involvement in the Unified Patent Court (UPC) through an overwhelming vote in favour, marking 2022 as a possible target date for the establishment of the new court; however, details remain sparse and its future is still unclear. In the meantime, most practitioners remain optimistic about Germany’s continued status as a patent litigation hub – although the market is split on whether Brexit’s long-term effects (and in turn, the effects of the United Kingdom’s exclusion from the UPC) will give a boost to the European IP scene or render the continent weaker as a whole. SEP and FRAND issues continue to dominate the courts: the seminal dispute between Nokia, Daimler and a range of intervenors on both the automotive and telecommunications sides is still attracting headlines; while the Federal Court of Justice’s ruling in Sisvel v Haier points to a positive future for SEP owners. Meanwhile, the patent office has been typically busy despite having pivoted to a virtual model; and the volume of patents filed in Germany by both domestic and international players confirms that, whatever the global challenges, innovation in the country is not slowing down.

Firms: infringement

Firms: transactions

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy’s German IP group is a vital part of its indomitable European offering. Despite its relative youth, the tightly knit team – based in Munich and Dusseldorf – has already earned a glowing reputation for its poised performances in high-profile disputes at the cutting edge of patent law and practice, including those interwoven with SEP and FRAND or SPC and second medical use threads. Its clientele features industry giants from both life sciences and high technology: as an example, the firm is acting for Samsung Electronics – including in a set of preliminary injunction proceedings – under the watchful eye of Jan Ebersohl. He litigates across the technical spectrum, but is especially well known in the car connectivity and Internet of Things fields, and also takes charge of the firm’s global automotive sector group. With a wealth of unfair competition know-how, he has a percipient take on issues that straddle patent and antitrust law. Heading the German life sciences group is 30-year veteran Joachim Feldges, who has lately been advising Bayer on the German components of two cross-border litigations in relation to veterinary products. He coordinates international patent strategies for pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical devices players, and is also a qualified arbitrator and mediator. Completing the line-up is all-rounder Jens Matthes, whose remit covers the full range of IP rights, as well as unfair competition and employee invention law, and whose contentious caseload is complemented by a steady contract negotiation and corporate transactions practice. “Jens is a very dedicated adviser and one of the very best German commercial IP lawyers. He displays a profound understanding of business requirements and his proposals are always very helpful.” “He assists with some of the most critical projects through his tremendous expertise, smart contract interpretation skills and a highly efficient negotiation style that never is intimidating, but always leads to great solutions.”

ARNOLD RUESS Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB 

Competitors single out Arnold Ruess as one of the premier IP boutiques on the German stage. Many landmark cases bear its fingerprints: recent examples include representation in a cross-border infringement suit for Sanofi; a ground-breaking FRAND action for Sisvel – one of the first cases of its kind since the landmark Huawei/ZTE judgment was handed down; and a boundary-crossing connected cars dispute for Nokia, which involved the first instance of an anti-anti-suit injunction in Germany. Leading on the latter two precedent-setting matters is Cordula Schumacher, a “top-rate litigator” whose advice is “clear, pragmatic and realistic”: “She never promises anything that cannot be delivered, but goes above and beyond to get the best possible outcome for her clients. She also understands the client’s commercial goals and adjusts her approach based on feedback.” Spearheading the Sanofi campaign and giving the firm its name is “IP litigation star” Bernhard Arnold: “He is a great counsel to have on your side and manages an efficient team. He is not afraid to come up with creative solutions and is internationally well connected.” A third gladiator in the mix is Arno Riße, whose metier is high-technology litigation; he recently defended US software and hardware player Adtran against a patent infringement claim. “Arno is one of the most outstanding attorneys in his field,” reports one source. “He knows all the tricks of the trade of modern patent litigation. There is hardly a notable patent matter in the German courts which does not name Arnold Ruess on one side of the docket sheet, and most often Arno is one of the attorneys in the trenches.”

Baker McKenzie

The German contingent of global juggernaut Baker McKenzie is modest but mighty. Its patent litigation group was put firmly on the map in 2013 when dual-qualified attorney at law and patent attorney Jochen Herr came on board; since then, he has done a superb job in building out the practice, which is now engaged on a wide range of both infringement and validity disputes. Key clients include fintech leader Giescke & Devrient, which it recently represented in a high-profile patent infringement spat against the US government; and Real-D, whose 3D cinema technology it has defended in a patent infringement suit and in parallel opposition proceedings. Herr has a technical background in mechanical and process engineering, and an affinity for issues at the intersection of patent and antitrust law. Anchoring the non-contentious side is Constanze Ulmer-Eilfort, who was previously managing partner across both the German and Austrian offices. She has a flair for the fine print of collaboration, licensing and R&D agreements, especially within the life sciences.

BARDEHLE PAGENBERG Partnerschaft mbB 

Bardehle Pagenberg set the precedent for the hybrid model in Germany, having played host to both patent attorneys and attorneys at law since as early as the 1980s, and it continues to enjoy first-mover advantage today: “Bardehle Pagenberg is one of the top patent litigation firms in Europe. Its lawyers are extremely knowledgeable and capable, and their grasp of both the legal and technical issues is extraordinary. The good business sense they bring to the table is invaluable; their communications are consistently timely; and they are open to discussing new ideas and impress with their strategic thinking.” On the prosecution side, Joachim Mader is the resident mechanical engineering and automotive maven. He is a worthy advocate in oppositions; regularly collaborates with attorneys at law to resolve infringement and nullity proceedings; and manages hefty portfolios – such as that of global auto parts company Aptiv – with a deft touch. For electronics, the names to note are Tobias Kaufmann and Johannes Lang. A stint in-house at a leading electronics company means that Kaufmann speaks the language of innovators such as Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm, which he recently represented in EPO opposition proceedings. Co-managing partner Lang is a prolific filer across the electronics, IT and telecommunications fields whose recent credits include representing adidas and Apple at the EPO. Assisting him on the former mandate was Christian Haupt; whereas his partner on the latter was Christof Karl. Haupt is highly sought after for his infringement and validity opinions – in particular, in the mechanical engineering, computer-implemented inventions and electronics spaces. Telecommunications expert Karl – who has also been representing Japan Tobacco and Nintendo in administrative proceedings – is truly multi-talented: dual qualified as a patent attorney and attorney at law, he is also licensed to practise law in both Germany and New York and speaks four languages fluently. Similarly dual-qualified is co-managing partner Johannes Heselberger, who has recently gone out to bat for Amgen in a high-profile cross-border patent battle alongside colleague Tilman Müller-Stoy. Heselberger brings keen technical insight gained through his academic training as a physicist to his diverse patent litigation practice; while Müller-Stoy’s broad wheelhouse encompasses everything from cross-border patent disputes to patent-related antitrust law and the creation and enforcement of licensing programmes – especially where SEPs and FRAND issues are concerned. Working across the high-technology, automotive and pharmaceutical sectors is elder statesman Peter Chrocziel, who excels in cross-border proceedings and provides unparalleled guidance on US matters, thanks to his qualification to practise in New York. He juggles his contentious work with a thriving IP transactional practice and is currently putting his entire skillset to good use in counselling semiconductor solutions company SK Hynix through a cross-border infringement dispute, while also advising it on related licensing and antitrust concerns. Equally capable in cross-border contexts is Alexander Haertel, who recently made the switch from Kather Augenstein and has an enviable track record in high-profile litigation across all key European venues. Finally, firm namesake Jochen Pagenberg is an illustrious figure who has litigated in the electronics, telecommunications and automotive fields for more than three decades and is an adroit coordinator of multi-disciplinary international teams.

Bird & Bird LLP

As a central cog in the firm’s global IP machine, Bird & Bird’s German practice provides an A-to-Z patent service – from EPO oppositions and Patent Cooperation Treaty filings to representation in patent infringement proceedings – to the likes of Edwards Lifesciences, Sandoz, Nokia and healthcare company B Braun Melsungen. Acting for Edwards Lifesciences are Anna Wolters-Höhne and Boris Kreye, who relish the cut and thrust of cross-border litigation. The pharma-focused Wolters-Höhne has appeared in numerous headline-grabbing preliminary injunction proceedings; while Kreye’s broad practice sees him involved in everything from pharmaceutical battles to SEP and FRAND disputes. Colleague Felix Rödiger has also featured in a number of FRAND firsts in Germany and is a smooth broker of litigation, arbitration and licensing agreements across Europe and the United States. Acting for Sandoz, as well as for Broadcom in a series of infringement, opposition and nullity proceedings, is Oliver Jan Jüngst, a “clear and concise communicator” with “a pragmatic approach to litigation”: “He is clearly well respected by judges and opposing counsel, and is an impressive advocate.” Nokia turns to German department head and international IP co-head Christian Harmsen, whose “valuable, business-minded advice” leads to “insightful strategic decision making”; while B Braun Melsungen has both Matthias Meyer and Daniela Kinkeldey on its side. Equally at home at the deal table as in the courtroom, Meyer also serves as head of the China desk in Germany; while Kinkeldey draws on a doctorate in chemistry in her pharmaceutical disputes work. Meanwhile, patent attorneys Felix Landry and Michael Alt are on hand for prosecution briefs. PhD physicist Landry is a telecommunications and IT specialist who has lately carried out EPO filings and oppositions for the likes of Garmin and Airbus. The contentious experience of PhD biochemist Alt stretches to acting in nullity proceedings in court and consulting on cross-border infringement actions; he also recently appeared in cancer therapy-related opposition proceedings on behalf of Zentiva.

BOEHMERT & BOEHMERT 

“One of the best-established and most prominent IP outfits in Germany”, according to competitors, BOEHMERT & BOEHMERT is home to some 70 dedicated professionals – including both patent attorneys and attorneys at law – who can meet and exceed every patent need of its discerning clientele. Key patrons on the prosecution side include blockchain innovator Black Gold Coin, biotechnology company Gennova Biopharmaceuticals and research institution King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre. Assisting Black Gold Coin is physicist and portfolio manager Dennis Kretschmann, whose glittering academic career saw him study in Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom and Italy. The latter two clients are safe under the wing of PhD biochemist Markus Engelhard, a farsighted strategist and EPO advocate who comes highly recommended by the market. Their fellow patent attorneys are physicists Heinz Goddar and Christian W Appelt. Elder statesman and IP strategist Goddar shares his wisdom by teaching patent and licensing law at the University of Bremen and the Munich Intellectual Property Law Centre; while Appelt has a contentious focus, regularly acting in opposition and nullity proceedings and supporting on infringement suits. He is a trusted adviser to Chinese, US and especially Japanese clients, having spent time in the IP department of Sony Corporation in Tokyo, as well as in private practice in Osaka. Attorneys at law Michael Rüberg and Carl-Richard Haarmann have it all covered on the contentious front. Rüberg is a law PhD whose recent credits include an ongoing set of disputes on behalf of Aeritas relating to mobile boarding and location-based services within the aviation industry; while Haarmann is a savvy portfolio manager who also appears in infringement battles for the likes of JVC.

Braun-Dullaeus Pannen Emmerling 

Commercially focused boutique Braun-Dullaeus Pannen Emmerling arrives in the IAM Patent 1000 this year on a wave of client commendations: “Its advice is clear, well thought out and applicable across multiple jurisdictions; and the team is detail oriented, sensible and shows great judgement.” With legal and technical expertise in abundance, it has made annulment actions something of a specialty: it is currently involved in 5% of all such pending proceedings in Germany. In the spotlight is physicist Friedrich Emmerling, who has been appearing in oppositions and drafting applications for Huawei, while also representing adidas at the EPO. “Friedrich’s attention to detail is immaculate and he recalls all of the issues straight away, so you can discuss any point with him instantly. He is one of the best German patent attorneys out there and has a good feel for what will work before the courts.” Fellow namesake and physicist Karl-Ulrich Braun-Dullaeus is “an impressive analyst” with “broad knowledge of SEP procedure” and the ability to handle a challenging number of cases in parallel.

Clifford Chance

The small but perfectly formed German IP group at Clifford Chance draws judiciously on the wider firm’s sweeping global network and complete command of law to hammer out the rights results on consequential cross-border mandates. Patent infringement, nullity and unfair competition proceedings; IP-rich M&A deals – it has seen and done it all for its loyal following of pharmaceutical, high-technology and telecommunications multinationals and dynamic domestic concerns. “Efficient cooperation, responsiveness and time and cost-effective recommendations” are hallmarks of its service. Running the show is Claudia Milbradt, who leads both the German IP group and the German tech group. Having dispensed globally minded IP advice across the contentious/non-contentious divide for more than two decades, she has developed “an increasingly respected patent litigation practice”, according to peers.

COHAUSZ & FLORACK 

With both patent attorneys and attorneys at law on deck, and a total headcount of 22 partners, COHAUSZ & FLORACK stands as one of Germany’s elite patent firms. “I have never encountered a smarter, more effective, more versatile, more cost-efficient group of lawyers,” marvels one client. “They are sensitive to every issue and thoughtful in addressing them, and maintain the highest ethical standards. Their evaluation of patents holds up without failure; and they are great in enforcement actions as well.” It is currently assisting leading European paint and varnish manufacturer Brillux with a sprawling set of EPO oppositions – a matter orchestrated by chemist Arwed Burrichter. A PhD earned in California and a stint in the IP litigation group of a New York law firm have given him keen insight into US patent procedure. Gottfried Schüll, Philipe Walter and Christoph Walke have electronics on lock. Communications and video compression technology ace Schüll “created the gold standard for patent pool licensing” and has acted in upwards of 750 contentious patent matters. Electrical engineer Walter has won many fans among Germany’s Mittelstand for his canny portfolio development and regularly plays a role in battles between smartphone companies, set-top-box manufacturers and automotive suppliers. Walke has lately been assisting Sharp Corporation in infringement proceedings at the Mannheim and Munich Regional Courts, and receives rave reviews: “Christophe is clearly in Germany’s top patent attorney league. He makes life as easy as possible for in-house teams, with his clear strategic recommendations and well-prepared drafts. His technical expertise is outstanding and he puts himself into the shoes of clients in order to understand their business needs.” Mechanical engineering and mining technology are fortes for Andreas Thielmann, who has spent almost 30 years in the game and holds a post as an honorary judge in the Senate for Patent Attorney Matters at the Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe.

df-mp 

df-mp enjoys a stellar reputation as a prosecution shop par excellence, with special proficiency in life sciences and electrical and mechanical technology. “A relationship with df-mp is built on mutual trust and respect, high professional standards and ethical conduct,” reports one client. “They listen actively; bring curiosity, entrepreneurship and creativity to the table; and always communicate clearly and concisely.” Teva recently engaged the firm on SPC-related nullity proceedings; while Biogen has enlisted it for a set of EPO oppositions. Acting on the former brief is biotechnologist and firm co-founder Ulrich Dörries, whose varied diet includes drafting and prosecution, EPO advocacy and SPC advice. Fellow co-founder Sandra Pohlman is looking after Biogen; she heads up the biotechnology and pharmaceutical group, has a flourishing DNA and CRISPR practice, and is qualified to act before the USPTO. Also active on the life sciences side is chemistry head Elisabeth Greiner, a “proactive and strategic thinker” and “a diligent and pleasant person to work with”. For electronics and mechanics, dial up physicists Dominik Ho and David Molnia, who recently acted for Unwired Planet in a series of infringement and nullity actions as part of its seminal dispute with Huawei, LG, Samsung, HTC and Google. Ho is a dual-qualified patent attorney and attorney at law who lately represented Sonos in a spat with Google over smart speakers; while firm co-founder Molnia is a qualified US patent agent whose other recent highlights include acting for Nokia in an infringement battle against Daimler.

DLA Piper

Growth is the central narrative at DLA Piper, which has picked up a slew of new instructions over the last 12 months, including infringement proceedings on behalf of Dell, Microsoft and HP. Audio electronics company Harman is another pioneering client which the firm is representing in a series of suits, including its intervention in the ground-breaking Broadcom v BMW case. Leading on this is practice head Markus Gampp, who “provides consistent, creative and effective counsel”: “He is proactive in considering upcoming issues and is very knowledgeable on the substantive legal issues, while also considering the business realities.” Life sciences don Philipp Cepl has been busy advising medical devices leader Medtronic on patent enforcement and preliminary injunctions. “He is a standout patent litigator with immense procedural experience and sound judgement”; “His advice is practical and he never loses sight of clients’ economic interests and goals.”

Dompatent von Kreisler Selting Werner

Arriving in the IAM Patent 1000 thanks to effusive peer feedback, this “reliable stalwart” provides a holistic offering to a legion of multinationals across the chemistry, biotechnology, electronics and telecommunications fields. It plays host to both patent attorneys and attorneys at law, filed more than 1,000 European patents in 2019, has around 320 EPO oppositions on its plate at present and regularly features in must-win litigation. The twin pillars of its practice are Christoph Schreiber and Alexander von Kirschbaum, whose tenures with the firm are both approaching the 25-year mark. Chemistry PhD and seasoned portfolio manager Schreiber has the life sciences down cold; while mechanical engineer von Kirschbaum effortlessly gets to grips with the tech in fields as varied as medical technology and automotive.

DREISS Patentanwälte PartG mbB 

Domestic SMEs and multinationals from the United States, Korea and China flock to the doors of patent attorney outfit DREISS for its precision prosecution. Through smart collaborations with other legal teams, it also tackles major disputes for the likes of illustrious Japanese innovator Pioneer and packaging leader Storopack. First among equals is process engineering ace David Sinz, who “shows high technical expertise, maintains a good overview of matters and provides fast support in litigation”. Alongside his portfolio management workload, he recently represented Philip Morris International in opposition proceedings alongside colleagues Thomas Knapp and Andreas Pfund. The former has valuable industry experience from his time as an aerospace engineer and a wide knowledge base encompassing everything from medical technology to machine tools; the latter is a semiconductor nanophysics PhD who is similarly fluent in myriad technical disciplines, having worked as a solid-state physics research associate in Switzerland. This broad technical acumen is shared by electrical engineer and Spanish speaker Michael Kröhnert, who is steadily growing his AI practice.

EIP 

While perhaps best known for its hybrid practice in the United Kingdom, EIP’s German IP litigation squad is a formidable force. This year it has continued to act for Conversant – both on the German component of its sprawling pan-European litigation against Huawei, ZTE and LG, and in a brace of hotly contested connected cars disputes with Daimler and Tesla. Avago has also engaged it in litigation against Daimler; while Broadcom has sought it out for out-of-court portfolio analysis and infringement advice. Providing input on all of these briefs is Florian Schmidt-Bogatzky, an “extremely creative and hardworking attorney who can quickly master new technologies”. Leading on the Conversant matter and heading up the Dusseldorf office, Christof Höhne litigates across the electronics, pharmaceuticals and mechanical engineering industry and regularly pairs up with patent attorneys to defend clients in EPO oppositions.

Eisenführ Speiser 

The patent attorneys and attorneys at law at Eisenführ Speiser draw on “in-depth knowledge of both technical and legal matters” to provide an inter-disciplinary, commercially focused service. One recent highlight was its representation of NPE Sisvel in patent infringement proceedings against Xiaomi – a high-profile matter to which attorneys at law Volkmar Henke and Tilman Müller and patent attorney Jochen Ehlers made vital contributions. “Amiable and well respected” among major communications players, Henke skilfully handles both infringement disputes and licensing mandates, with “a notably high success rate”. Müller’s remit encompasses patent infringement and nullity proceedings, SEP and antitrust-related issues, IP-related arbitrations and contract negotiation. Prosecution, litigation and transactions all fall within the purview of telecommunications and semiconductor expert Ehlers, who also comes equipped with FRAND and SEP know-how. Other esteemed patent attorneys on deck include electrical and telecommunications engineer Klaus G Göken – an IP strategist and litigation sage with rich industry experience from his previous career in the semiconductor field at Siemens and IBM; and life sciences whizz Manuel Söldenwagner, who recently represented fragrance and flavours company Symrise in a series of oppositions. “Manuel is efficient, organised and sensitive to client needs,” reports one happy patron of 10 years’ standing. “I have nothing but praise for his work, responsiveness and quality advice.”

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Competitors observe that Freshfields’ German patent group is “a collaborative and close-knit team which is involved in many of the biggest cases on the market, working day and night to reach winning solutions”. From five bases across the country – and with robust support from the firm’s global network – its practitioners coordinate multi-jurisdictional litigation and negotiate IP-rich transactions with finesse. Tenacious litigator Frank-Erich Hufnagel heads up the Dusseldorf office and has been with the firm for over two decades – his highlight reel includes acting for the likes of Ericsson and Lenovo in SEP disputes and advising Novartis on pharmaceutical and biologics patents. Fellow courtroom warrior Wolrad Prinz zu Waldeck und Pyrmont also has a diverse practice and often works at the intersection of patent and competition law. His linguistic capabilities in English, French and Russian make communication a breeze for international clients. Captaining the Hamburg IP practice is Jochen Dieselhorst, a transactional maven whose stomping grounds are the IT and life sciences sectors. Notable briefs include shepherding M&A deals over the line for the likes of Merck KgaA and Boehringer Ingelheim; and counselling BioNTech SE on covid-19 vaccine-related licensing and collaboration agreements with Pfizer.

Gleiss Lutz

Gleiss Lutz provides a reassuringly holistic patent offering: cross-border litigation, strategic advice and IP-related transactions and licensing are all dispatched with alacrity and poise. As one of Germany’s largest corporate law firms, it has an edge on multi-faceted mandates, making it a persuasive one-stop shop for its multinational clientele. Versatile litigator Matthias Sonntag acts in disputes across the industry spectrum, although telecommunications is a stronghold. He also assists on IP-related M&A projects, bringing international insight from time spent on secondment at an IP law firm in New York. He is joined on the disputes side by elder statesman Thomas Bopp, who has been with the firm for almost three decades and specialises in healthcare battles. Pure-play transactions lawyer Herwig Lux changes the game for life sciences and automotive titans through the licensing agreements and M&A deals he gets inked for them.

Grünecker Patent Attorneys and Attorneys-at-Law 

Hybrid firm Grünecker “continues to dominate” in prosecution, while steadily growing its reputation in the contentious space through its involvement in a range of automotive and electronics disputes. “It shows sound judgement and a deep understanding of the technology, and delivers exceptional results while billing very efficiently,” report clients; while competitors attest that it is “very professional, rigorous and well prepared, and has great experience in oral proceedings at the EPO”. Its SEP know-how is another USP; as is its sensitivity to the specific needs of companies from the United States and China. The group’s electronics and software experts – who act for the likes of Microsoft and Samsung – include patent attorneys Anton Pfau, Moritz Höffe, Reinhard Knauer, Thomas Eickelkamp and Peter Miltényi. The “efficient and capable” Pfau has impeccable academic credentials: he holds a doctorate in physics and studied semiconductor technology at the University of Berkeley, California. Höffe is fluent in disciplines ranging from physics and software to medical devices and mechanical engineering; oppositions and infringement and licensing opinions are his bread and butter. Computer scientist Knauer devises futureproofed IP strategies for some of the world’s leading high-technology companies; electrical engineer Eickelkamp has an intuitive grasp of the essence of inventions in spaces as diverse as nanotechnology and renewable energy; and physicist Miltényi has a unique perspective as a dual-qualified German patent attorney and Spanish patent agent. For life sciences instructions, look no further than microbiology PhD Heike Vogelsang-Wenke, a trusted ally of major biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies for the last 25 years. The litigation division is jointly led by attorneys at law Ulrich Blumenröder and Bernd Allekotte, both of whom shine in the heat of cross-border litigation. Blumenröder is a law PhD and a UPC expertwho has spent almost 30 years at the patent coalface; and SEP and automotive sector specialist Allekotte has a flair for matters at the intersection of patent and antitrust law.

Hannke Bittner & Partner

With offices in Regensburg, Koblenz, Trier and Kassel, IP boutique Hannke Bittner & Partners offers a cradle-to-grave patent service to a varied group of innovators, including the likes of Volkswagen. Its “trustworthy and efficient” practitioners “communicate well to ensure clients have all the information they need to make the best decisions”; “their patent applications are always well drafted and thorough”. Name partner Bernhard Bittner is a dual-qualified patent attorney and attorney at law and “a relentless fighter in opposition proceedings – he is always well prepared and presents convincing arguments”. He shares his physics specialism with patent attorney Melanie Pfeuffer, a prolific prosecutor and EPO representative who can instantly parse the complexities of everything from computer-implemented inventions to automotive technologies.

Hengeler Mueller

Hengeler Mueller’s patent division delights and reassures with its “consistently high-quality work”, “proactive guidance” and total mastery of even the most challenging patent infringement suits. SEP issues and cutting-edge technologies are increasingly a focus: in the last year alone, it has intervened in Germany’s most hotly discussed dispute (Nokia v Daimler) on behalf of Renault; duked it out for France Brevets and IPCom in a set of infringement actions against Apple; and represented General Electric subsidiary Concept Laser in a series of 3D-printing-related matters. Acting on all these cases is the “smart, practical and results-oriented” Wolfgang Kellenter. Whether in litigation or licensing scenarios, the patent infringement group head “quickly grasps the facts, asks intelligent questions and delivers solutions promptly. He puts himself in his clients’ shoes and sees their problems before they even see them themselves”.

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek

The thriving patent litigation practice at full-service firm Heuking – which handles both infringement and nullity proceedings in all venues at home and in Europe – is bolstered by abundant ancillary know-how in other relevant areas, such as trade secrets, antitrust and wider commercial law. Its international profile has recently expanded, with increasing numbers of instructions pouring in from across the continent and beyond to complement its domestic caseload. Clients which have lately benefited from its staunch representation include telecommunications company Swissphone, in infringement proceedings; French medical technology company ECHOSENS, in a dispute which has seen parallel proceedings take place in Austria and India; and Dutch lawn sport surfaces leader Sisgrass, in both infringement proceedings and parallel EPO oppositions. Running point on these is department head Anton Horn, who has a cosmopolitan outlook from a stint at a corporate law firm in Mexico City; life sciences and high technology are his happy hunting grounds. Alongside him on the latter two mandates is Sabine Dethof, an enforcement ace who knows both the medical devices and mechanical engineering fields like the back of her hand.

HOFFMANN EITLE

Established in 1892 and with more than 150 professionals on deck today, HOFFMANN EITLE stands as one of the continent’s largest, most storied IP firms. With offices in three German cities and additional outposts in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Italy and Spain, it is within easy reach of its international clients, which appreciate its holistic patent service and special expertise in EPO oppositions. “The team is meticulous, focuses on understanding clients’ needs and provides constructive suggestions in difficult situations. The attorneys are relaxed to work with and concentrate on the work product, and not on prestige.” For mechanical engineering issues, Claus Thomas Becher and Frank van Bouwelen are the first port of call; while Veit Peter Frank has it all covered on the electrical engineering side. Becher recently put in the hours in EPO oppositions for Novo Nordisk in relation to its medical devices and for PopSockets in relation to its innovative mobile phone accessories. Dual qualified as a German and Dutch patent attorney, van Bouwelen is the architect of fruitful prosecution programmes across Europe, the United States and the Far East; while Frank is a tenacious EPO advocate with a focus on telecommunications. The sizeable life sciences team includes Joachim Renken, Morten Garberg, Joseph Taormino, Peter Klusmann, Thorsten Bausch, Leo Polz and Andreas Stefferl. Biotechnologist Renken recently appeared in EPO oppositions on behalf of the University of Tokyo; while Garberg’s diverse pan-European chemistry practice is enhanced by his dual qualification as a British and German patent attorney and fluency in English and Danish. Microbiologist Taormino co-heads the biotechnology group and brings deep technical acumen gained through a PhD from the John Hopkins University in the United States. Chemistry group co-head Klusmann has an intuitive grasp of everything from pharmaceuticals to polymers; while fellow co-head Bausch is hailed as “a widely experienced technical expert and one of Germany’s go-to patent attorneys”. Biochemist and seasoned EPO representative Polz earns plaudits as a “trustworthy global adviser”. Neurobiologist Stefferl is a valuable resource for start-ups, thanks to time spent nurturing early-stage biotechnology companies as an investment manager. The attorneys at law to note are Dirk Schuessler-Langeheine and Clemens Tobias Steins, each of whom beats a path through the European patent jungle for Japanese clients and regularly delivers advice in Japanese. Schuessler-Langheine puts in resonant performances in proceedings on home soil and coordinates them worldwide; while Steins concentrates on high-rolling IP transactions and licensing.

Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells’ German patent group ranks firmly among Europe’s crème de la crème, as reflected in the glowing client feedback it attracts: “They fully grasp new ideas and have great attention to detail. The lawyers are technically sharp and highly skilled, and their arguments persuasive and clear.” Must-win multi-jurisdictional litigation is a forte: as an example, Stephan Neuhaus and Andreas von Falck are currently fighting the corner of F Hoffmann-La Roche in cross-border patent infringement and revocation proceedings. Both have an affinity for pharmaceutical disputes, but are also known for their involvement in telecommunications and high-technology battles respectively. Von Falck’s other recent credits include a semiconductor-related dispute on behalf of Ford alongside colleague Steffen Steininger, who has litigated upwards of 250 cases throughout his career; he is “careful to present a full and accurate picture of every case and always listens to the needs of clients”. He recently collaborated with Martin Fähndrich in a series of proceedings for Koch Group subsidiary Molex; with dual academic qualifications in engineering and law, Fähndrich makes light work of technically dense cases and is singled out by the competition as a standout practitioner. Miriam Gundt is likewise acclaimed by clients as “friendly, legally astute, technically adept and one of Germany’s top IP litigators”; she has a wide remit, but focuses on pharmaceutical – and especially SPC-related – disputes. Clemens Plassmann showcases similar dexterity in his practice: his recent credits range from acting for healthcare company Medinol in a major nullity action to representing HTC in both a FRAND-related dispute and a patent validity suit. Alongside him on the latter mandate is Henrik Lehment, an authority in the telecommunications, consumer electronics and automotive fields who is “experienced, hardworking, responsive and skilled at developing winning strategies”. Also handling telecommunications cases – including those with FRAND components – as well as automotive and life sciences disputes is the “client-oriented and reliable” Benjamin Schröer: “His deep knowledge of SEPs, patent litigation and patent licensing enables him to give high-quality, up-to-date advice in ever-changing areas of law.” Dual qualified as a European patent attorney and attorney at law, fellow all-rounder Alexander Klicznik knows all the right moves both in court litigation and in EPO opposition proceedings. For licensing and technology transfer issues, meanwhile, no IP-related agreement or transaction is beyond the capabilities of Hamburg managing partner Christian Stoll.

HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER 

As the largest IP litigation boutique in mainland Europe – and one of the most successful outfits of its kind anywhere in the world – HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER has won the loyalty of a slew of household names in the life sciences and high-technology sectors. Clients and competition agree that it sits at the apex of the German patent litigation scene. “The team is responsive, does not over-engineer cases and streamlines litigation efforts. The range of scientific expertise on show is unique.” Leading the charge is Martin Köhler, who has spent more than 20 years defending the interests of his sector-diverse clientele to the hilt in court; he is responsible for the firm’s ongoing representation of Samsung in both infringement and nullity proceedings. Teaming up with him on this are Tobias Hahn and Mirko Weinert. Hahn’s fine-grained understanding of FRAND and unfair competition law proves invaluable for numerous telecommunications, high-technology and automotive companies; while Weinert is called on by the likes of Huawei and Gilead for his “excellent knowledge of European patent law, technology and the German legal system”. Leading on matters for Huawei, Tobias J Hessel is intimately familiar with US patent law and “provides clear guidance, is willing to take educated risks and puts the interests of clients first, second and third”. The Gilead mandate was run by Christine Kanz, an adroit coordinator of cross-border pharmaceutical and biotechnology disputes across Europe and beyond. For telecommunications battles, FRAND and SEP expert Kay N Kasper is “one of the best to turn to”: he recently represented Telekom Deutschland in a set of sprawling infringement proceedings, with support from a group of hotshot attorneys at law including Stefan Richter and Klaus Haft. Richter also focuses on telecommunications and earns praise for his “solid and well-tested litigation style”. Qualified physicist Haft has been busy advising Airbus on patent protection and enforcement, and representing Intel in globe-spanning litigation proceedings: “He is intimately familiar with worldwide legal systems and commands the attention and respect of judges. He is an excellent strategist, is very personable and can quickly grasp the technology.” Two luminaries who continue to guide the firm and devise astute global litigation strategies are Christian Osterrieth and Thomas Reimann. The former has been litigating for 35 years and knows French patent procedure inside out; while the latter is an eminent figure of almost 50 years’ standing who manages global disputes with a sure touch, while also taking part in German and EPO opposition and nullity proceedings.

Jones Day

US player Jones Day has its flag firmly planted in the German market and provides the full spectrum of patent services to a high standard, although competitors highlight the litigation group as deserving of special mention this year. Its bench of redoubtable practitioners reflects this versatility: crack litigator Christian Paul draws on academic qualifications in chemistry to advance sophisticated arguments in complex life sciences disputes; while Dorothée Weber-Bruls holds things down on the prosecution side and heads up the firm’s physics patent team Europe-wide. IP-related transactions are the metier of fellow physicist Gerd Jaekel, who also plays a strong hand in contentious issues and dispense shrewd strategic advice.

karo IP Patentanwälte Kahlhöfer Rößler Kreuels PartG mbB 

When clients enlist karo IP Patentanwälte Kahlhöfer Rößler Kreuels PartG mbB, they gain access to a deep well of scientific and legal acumen, first-class strategic counsel and a fine-spun web of industry contacts across Europe, the United States, China and Japan. Automotive and telecommunications companies are especially well served by the team, which is distinguished by its “proactive, creative and service-minded attitude”, its “circumferential knowledge of European patent law”, and its “short response times and high-quality work”. Matthias Rößler and Justus Kreuels have been filing prolifically on behalf of Volkswagen. Rößler manages large patent portfolios with finesse; his “strong technical know-how and ability to see the world through the eyes of his clients” translate into “clear and practical advice”. “Unafraid to dive into the detail”, fellow co-founder and mechanical engineer Kreuels conducts “unprecedented levels of research” to produce “reassuringly precise applications”. The practice is guided by august figure Hermann Kahlhöfer, a physicist, patent attorney and qualified patent assessor who continues to advise on portfolio management across Europe, the United States and Asia.

Kather Augenstein Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB 

Despite being founded just five years ago, German boutique Kather Augenstein has already developed a potent offering which rivals that of its international competitors and is attracting some of the highest-profile contentious instructions on the market. The 12-strong team delivers “precise, creative and prompt work of the highest quality” to industry icons such as Volkswagen, BASF, B Braun, Ericsson and HTC. Giving the group its name are Peter Kather and Christof Augenstein. Kather has spent more than three decades deftly coordinating sector-diverse cross-border disputes and has almost unparalleled procedural knowledge as a result. Augenstein “anticipates opponents’ moves – and even the judges’ thinking and decision making – effectively communicates technical arguments to the court, dismantles the opponent’s arguments and argues his client’s case brilliantly, and with the necessary vigour”. Co-founder and managing partner Miriam Kiefer has appeared in more than 100 patent suits and comes recommended for her “legal and strategic acumen, her pleasant demeanour and her availability”. Christopher Weber is another consummate litigator and SEP maven who “is well organised, and reliable, facilitates productive collaboration and works tirelessly for his clients”. Debuting in the IAM Patent 1000 this year due to stellar market feedback, Sören Dahm recently spent time on secondment at a leading UK IP litigation boutique and thus has “an excellent grasp of the particularities of both English and German patent law”.

KLAKA Rechtsanwälte

“A solid patent firm with a longstanding reputation”, KLAKA thrives on the rough-and-tumble of crucial contentious briefs – including not only infringement battles, but also nullity, opposition and cancellation proceedings. Its multi-talented professionals have the electronics, telecommunications, life sciences and mechanics sectors on lock and are committed to finding workable solutions no matter how challenging the matter. Dusseldorf office head Olaf Giebe has spent more than three decades racking up the wins in complex patent disputes of every flavour; while law PhD Constantin Kurtz acts across the IP spectrum, but focuses his patent practice on SEP-related telecommunications suits. Also with a law doctorate is Stefan Eck, whose contentious nous is complemented by a facility for licensing arrangements and employee invention issues. The venerable Michael Nieder founded the firm seven years after his admission to the bar in 1972; not only intellectual property, but also unfair competition, food and drug law fall within his wheelhouse.

Klinkert Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB

Longstanding client relationships, a collaborative working style and impeccable work product characterise the service at boutique Klinkert. “Its lawyers have sharp strategic thinking and excellent language skills – and they are all fun to work with.” The trio of litigators at the heart of the operation are Friedrich Klinkert, Philipp Ess and Nora Keßler, who recently joined forces to represent Japanese light-emitting diode (LED) technology leader Nichia Corp in a series of battles against HTC over patent infringement and licensing issues. Namesake and master strategist Klinkert keeps pace with the latest advancements in patent law worldwide and draws on this knowledge in coordinating multi-jurisdictional litigation; while trade secrets expert Ess performs with brio both in the courtroom and at the deal table. The pair are “dedicated, commercially minded, pragmatic professionals who do outstanding work”. Fluent Italian speaker Keßler, meanwhile, is “a reliable partner who spontaneously comes up with constructive suggestions in novel scenarios. “Her expertise in the pharmaceutical sector has been crucial to overcoming deadlock situations, and her advice is tailored, practical and incisive.”

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

This flourishing prosecution shop has made the pharmaceutical sector its own: Abbvie, Eli Lilly and Bayer are just a handful of the industry heavyweights it has lately represented before the EPO Opposition Division and Boards of Appeal; and it has also carved a niche in the area of cutting-edge antibody patents. Firm namesakes Gregor Sebastian König, Max Wilhelm Tilmann, and Dorothea von Renesse enjoy elevated standing on the market. König marries “substantial legal knowledge” with “both a technical and strategic mind”; while “meticulous” engineer Tilmann has valuable industry insight from his time working in the wind turbine department of a large British electrical group and in a German chemical group. Meanwhile, microbiologist and SPC sage von Renesse earns respect from competitors as “a formidable opponent in oppositions”. Fellow microbiologist and IAM Patent 1000 debutant Carla Roth hails from a genetics and biochemistry research background; she is “deeply engaged in the science and extremely responsive”.

Krieger Mes & Graf v der Groeben 

Almost 100 years after its establishment in 1929, Krieger Mes & Graf v der Groeben remains a “leading patent litigation firm that deserves to be ranked highly”. Contentious might, strategic portfolio advice, productive contract negotiation and accurate IP rights evaluation are all available in spades. In the spotlight is “standout litigator” Axel Verhauwen, a trusted adviser to electronics multinationals – especially regarding SEPs – whose packed global contact book facilitates seamless coordination of cross-border disputes. Other stars on the team sheet include Jens Michael Künzel, Jochen Bühling and Peter Mes. Künzel combines deep patent know-how with a keen appreciation of competition law; Bühling splits his time pursuing clients’ interests both in and out of court and in licensing negotiations; while firm co-founder Mes has penned many seminal works during his 40-year career, including a renowned commentary on the Patent and Utility Model Act.

KUHNEN & WACKER Intellectual Property Law Firm 

Founded more than four decades ago, KUHNEN & WACKER offers a bespoke prosecution service – encompassing portfolio management, freedom-to-operate analyses and due diligence work –  to a diverse clientele of start-ups, SMEs and automotive and electronics multinationals. Its 20-strong cadre of patent attorneys and attorneys at law is backed up by a crack squad of specialists and patent engineers, cutting-edge IT tools and an enviable international network of foreign associates. Senior partners Stephan Kopp and Rainer Kuhnen are both key names to note.

Linklaters LLP

Linklaters’ German contingent is a vital cog in its slick machine, which stands out for its “strong strategic advice, solid technical understanding and passionate approach”. Its practitioners work hand in glove with their counterparts in foreign offices – especially those in the United Kingdom, France and Belgium – to secure optimum results for clients. This frequently makes the difference in high-profile cross-border disputes, including battles for pharmaceutical originators and SEP and FRAND-related matters in the telecommunications space, with additional support often coming from the antitrust division. Highlights of its recent caseload include assisting GlaxoSmithKline in a pan-European enforcement action; spearheading a global enforcement campaign for Seoul Semiconductor; and representing Sanofi and Regeneron in cross-border patent infringement proceedings. All three matters were handled by Julia Schönbohm and Bolko Ehlgen. Schönbohm is also a US-qualified lawyer, whose “strategic acumen always leads her to a solution – she always provides sound and valuable input”. Admitted to practise in New York, Ehlgen has “a deep understanding of the technical side, especially for an attorney at law”. Working together with them for Seoul Semiconductor piece, and well versed in SEP and FRAND matters, is Atif Wolfgang Bhatti, who brings “unusually high technical expertise” to the mix: “He is a reliable and responsive lawyer who always incorporates the business context into his advice.”

Maikowski & Ninnemann 

With four offices in Berlin, Munich, Leipzig and Frankfurt, well-specced prosecution outfit Maikowski & Ninnemann impresses for its “highly qualified attorneys, commercial focus, reliability and ability to facilitate productive working relationships”. It has lately been busy processing a significant volume of applications for LG Electronics and Google; and undertaking drafting and oppositions work on behalf of Fresenius, Rolls Royce, automotive manufacturer Joyson Safety Systems and Chinese robotics company Globe Tools. Meanwhile, on the contentious front, it has assisted Freshfields in defending Lenovo and Continental against Nokia and acting for Broadcom in a set of disputes against Nintendo; and teamed up with Hogan Lovells for Israeli high-technology company Solar Edge in nullity proceedings against Huawei. Playing a part in all these contentious matters are physics PhD Gunnar Baumgärtel and chemistry PhD Felix Gross; and Andreas Tanner, an electrical engineer with an insider’s perspective on the innovation process thanks to experience working in R&D at ABB Sécheron. Working alongside this trio to file Google’s patent applications are Christoph Schröder and Ralf Emig. Electrical engineer Schröder holds a PhD from the Georgia Institute of Technology and has spent time as a research scientist working on medical imaging systems; while mechanical engineer Emig’s fluency in English, Spanish and French makes for flawless communication.

Maiwald Patentanwalts- und Rechtsanwalts-GmbH 

Maiwald is not only one of Germany’s leading patent prosecution outfits, but also one of its strongest IP firms overall, thanks to the talented attorneys at law who support its 80-plus scientifically adept patent attorneys. “It is extremely service oriented and works closely with its clients, developing a strong understanding of their needs.” Growth in the life sciences is a central narrative, with Abbott, Merck, Mundipharma and Takeda instructing it for prosecution work over the past 12 months, and generics leader Dr Reddy’s seeking out its assistance in infringement proceedings. Leading lights include patent attorneys Eva Ehlich, Andreas Ledl, Dirk Bühler, Derk Vos and Norbert Hansen. The small molecule and biologics know-how of chemist Ehlich is highly prized by pharmaceutical companies across Europe, the United States and Japan. “Attentive to detail, passionate, driven and determined”, Ledl is a polished EPO advocate. Biochemist Bühler is singled out for his “gravitas and clarity”; while Vos is a master portfolio strategist and international coordinator with in-depth knowledge of chemical processes relating to everything from medicinal products to plant protection agents and lubricants. Contentious sage and IP portfolio manager Hansen has stacked up more than 15 years in the game and holds a doctorate in organometallic chemistry. On the electronics side, digitalisation and data security head Christian Schäflein is a veritable encyclopaedia of US patent law; he “is service oriented and always up to date on the technical side in fields like AI and neural networks”, and wins further plaudits for his “collaborative working style”. Heading up the legal department is seasoned attorney at law Marco Stief, who is equally proficient in litigation and licensing scenarios. Recent credits include acting in preliminary injunction proceedings on behalf of Fresenius against Eli Lilly.

Mayer Brown

US player Mayer Brown has some 100-plus dedicated IP practitioners stationed across North America, Europe and Asia, many of whom hold both legal and scientific qualifications. This versatility is also characteristic of both the German team and the instructions it attracts: it has lately gone out to bat for Maxell Europe in cross-border patent infringement proceedings against Apple; enforced Nautilus’s patents against a legion of infringers; and represented Chinese chemical company Anhui Jonhe Industrial Co in infringement proceedings and parallel EPO opposition proceedings against Celanese Sales Germany. Leading on the Maxell Europe brief is Christoph Crützen; while the latter two matters were deftly handled by Ulrich Worm. Litigation and licensing are the specialist subjects of Crützen, whom peers hail as a “gem of the German patent space that deserves recognition”. German IP head Worm likewise traverses the contentious/non-contentious divide with ease and benefits from his scientific background in chemistry.

McDermott Will & Emery

“On the ball” and with “top-notch legal knowledge”, McDermott Will & Emery’s German patent practitioners love nothing more than to sink their teeth into high-stakes litigation for innovators of all stripes, both domestic and multinational. As the firm’s headquarters are in Chicago, both German and US patent law are all sewn up; although with more than 160 IP lawyers located around the world, no regime – or technology – is off limits. Dusseldorf head Henrik Holzapfel operates with dexterity across the industry spectrum: as examples, he recently handled an electronics dispute for Scolmore International and a set of nullity, SPC and border seizure proceedings for Huvepharma. Taking charge in Munich is Boris Uphoff, a veteran of myriad cross-border patent battles across Europe, the United States, China and Japan who also regularly tackles unfair competition matters. Both have also brokered their fair share of SEP-related licensing deals within the automotive field.

McDermott Will & Emery

“On the ball” and with “top-notch legal knowledge”, McDermott Will & Emery’s German patent practitioners love nothing more than to sink their teeth into high-stakes litigation for innovators of all stripes, both domestic and multinational. As the firm’s headquarters are in Chicago, both German and US patent law are all sewn up; although with more than 160 IP lawyers located around the world, no regime – or technology – is off limits. Dusseldorf head Henrik Holzapfel operates with dexterity across the industry spectrum: as examples, he recently handled an electronics dispute for Scolmore International and a set of nullity, SPC and border seizure proceedings for Huvepharma. Taking charge in Munich is Boris Uphoff, a veteran of myriad cross-border patent battles across Europe, the United States, China and Japan who also regularly tackles unfair competition matters. Both have also brokered their fair share of SEP-related licensing deals within the automotive field.

Meissner Bolte

The abundant resources at Meissner Bolte – which is home to a cohesive group of 60-plus patent attorneys and 15 attorneys at law – mean that its output is nothing short of prodigious: it processes some 2,000 applications annually and appears in countless contentious proceedings before both the EPO and the courts. Nine German offices and one in England make it readily accessible to clients; while the fluent English, Chinese and Japanese speakers on deck prove a further boon on international instructions. Making his debut in the IAM Patent 1000 this year is patent attorney and doctor of physics Ole Trinks, who has been busy filing patents for Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and security equipment company Johnson Controls Inc. He joins colleagues Kay Rupprecht, Gernot Schröer, Michael Munsch, and Tobias Wuttke. A patent attorney litigator with academic qualifications in both electrical engineering and law, Rupprecht has been appointed as an honorary judge of the Senate for patent attorney matters. Schröer on the other hand is a patent attorney and skilled portfolio manager who holds technical knowhow in mechanics and electrical engineering and plays a role in managing the firm’s Nuremberg office. Attorney at law Munsch joined the firm in 2020 and brings with him a wealth of SEP and FRAND know-how; while fellow legal eagle Wuttke heads up the litigation group and “performs outstandingly, guiding clients through international disputes with professionalism and a high level of tactical skill”. Recent highlights include acting for Deutsche Telekom in a set of cross-border infringement and nullity proceedings.

Michalski Hüttermann Patent Attorneys

Michalski Hüttermann’s rising profile in the German patent prosecution space can be attributed to the strength, dedication and ambition of its leading practitioners: competitors observe that the firm has “assembled a team with impressive expertise, generating high growth in a short space of time”. Led by namesakes Stefan Michalski and Aloys Hüttermann, it assists clients in sectors as diverse as chemistry, mechanical engineering, consumer goods and electronics, processing huge volumes of patent filings, managing large patent portfolios and putting in winning appearances in EPO hearings. Master strategist Michalski has a wealth of both chemistry and biochemistry knowledge, while Hüttermann holds a doctorate in synthetic organic chemistry; the pair have been lately tending to the prosecution and opposition needs of Lotte Advanced Materials & Lotte Chemical Corporation. They are joined by electrical engineer Guido Quiram and physicist Dirk Schulz, who both receive rave recommendations from clients. Quiram is an “out-of-the-box thinker who can grasp the economic context of all legal decisions” – qualities valued by the likes of ABB AG/Hitachi Power Grids and pump systems innovator WILO SE. The “pragmatic and efficient” Schulz primarily provides technical support to law firms on infringement actions; he “manages his team effectively, is dynamic in coming up with creative arguments and quickly becomes familiar with every technical aspect of not just the patent at hand, but also the relevant prior art”.

Osborne Clarke 

Germany is a bastion of strength for Osborne Clarke, a formidable foe in IP litigation across the whole of Europe. From four bases in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich and Cologne, its practitioners provide total support in litigation and licensing scenarios. Its courtroom sharpshooters include the likes of Johannes Ballestrem and Tim Reinhard. Ballestrem regularly features in international patent and unfair competition disputes and has just published a book on the legal issues surrounding artificial intelligence and machine learning. Reinhard is an astute patent litigator and commercial mediator whose broad horizons – he previously spent time in an international law firm in New York – chime with global players in the medical devices, biotechnology and consumer electronics industries. IP commercialisation maven Andrea Schmoll has a flair for the fine print of licensing deals, technology transfer arrangements and R&D projects in the life sciences and consumer goods sectors.

Patentanwälte Isenbruck Bösl Hörschler PartG mbB 

Patentanwälte Isenbruck Bösl Hörschler lands its first spot in the rankings this year as “a reliable group of professionals characterised by profound knowledge of patent issues and excellent strategic insight”. Its thriving EPO oppositions practice is in particularly hot demand among biotechnology and pharmaceutical multinationals. Many of these are catered to by the “outstanding” Fritz Lahrtz, who has been with the firm since its establishment in 2003; he is highlighted for his “tough but fair approach” and “remarkable technical expertise”. At his side are fellow pharmaceutical aces Stephanie Nottrott and Stefan Feaux de Lacroix. Nottrott’s post-doctoral achievements in the biochemical and molecular biology fields underpin the “deep scientific understanding” she displays in commercially crucial office actions. Founding partner Feaux de Lacroix holds a PhD in polymer chemistry; he not only acts in a broad range of EPO oppositions, but also provides valuable support in court litigation.

Pinsent Masons

The German IP contingent of international outfit Pinsent Masons makes its debut in the IAM Patent 1000 this year, joining its UK and French counterparts as further testament to the firm’s rapid growth in the European patent space, despite the current global challenges. Active across all IP-heavy industries, it is at the cutting edge when it comes to digitisation issues and draws judiciously on a close network of alliances across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Leading both the local IP team and the life sciences team is Marc Holtorf, whose recent highlights including advising molecular diagnostics company GNA Biosolutions on the IP aspects of its PCR covid-19 test; and representing a Canadian healthcare company in a case which set a precedent on where lines are drawn between pharmaceuticals and medical devices. His counterpart on the high-technology side is SEP and FRAND wizard Michael Schneider, who combines a PhD in patent litigation with 20 years of courtroom experience; he matches abundant IP disputes know-how with keen transactional acumen.

Preu Bohlig & Partner

A mainstay of the German patent space for the past six decades, Preu Bohlig & Partner operates with finesse across all industries, with IT and data protection an increasing focus. Healthcare disputes are also swiftly and favourably resolved, thanks to close collaboration between the IP team and the firm’s parallel pharmaceutical practice group. Clients report that the group is characterised by “strategic thinking, deep knowledge of court procedure and strong commercial focus”. “It seeks extra-judicial solutions and takes a realistic view of legal proceedings; and all of its practitioners are highly personable and professionally capable.” In the spotlight in Berlin is barrister Christian Donle, who has carved a niche defending telecommunications companies against NPEs and recently intervened in the seminal Nokia v Daimler battles on behalf of Huawei. The electronics and telecommunications fields – and especially network technologies – are likewise fortes for Munich’s Alexander Harguth, whose recent credits include acting for Girard Sudron in a dispute over LED bulbs at both the Regional Court of Mannheim and the EPO. Also in Munich is Andreas Haberl, who acts on both the contentious and non-contentious sides; he is “precise in his arguments, quick to grasp technically complex subject matter and open minded in suggesting low-escalation, cost-effective solutions, while rising to the challenge in court litigation”. Over in Dusseldorf, the key figure is IP and IT doyen Christian Kau: “He keeps the atmosphere friendly and constructive without ever losing focus, and responds to issues comprehensively and straightforwardly at short notice.”

Prüfer & Partner mbB 

“Prüfer & Partner provides results-oriented solutions, responds to clients’ needs quickly and appropriately, and demonstrates a strong ability to understand and analyse both legal and technical issues – overall, an excellent service.” Over the past 12 months it has continued to provide longstanding client Novartis and baking oven innovator Wachtel with on-point strategic advice; and processed a high volume of patent applications across multiple jurisdictions for Knorr-Bremse Systeme für Schienenfahrzeuge in relation to truck and rail braking and maintenance systems. Leading on the Novartis brief is Andreas Oser, who holds a PhD from the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry; while the latter two mandates are handled by Jürgen Feldmeier a mechanical engineer who has participated in more than 100 contentious actions during almost 30 years at the patent coalface. Both serve as managing partners of the firm, alongside Dorothea Hofer and Andreas Jacob. Responsible for the group’s ongoing relationship with medical implants leader SME Biederman Technologies, physicist Hofer “has a broad understanding of complicated technical matters and always puts together the most appropriate team for the job”. Attorney at law Jacob earns praise for his “agile project management, strong leadership and timely derivation of effective measures”.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP

“Quinn Emanuel has a brilliant ability to make itself fully available at the most critical stages. It provides quick, straightforward, relevant and grounded recommendations – all within a friendly but professional working atmosphere.” The reputation of its German patent litigation group has never been stronger, thanks to its recent involvement in a raft of must-win disputes in the electronics and telecommunications fields. These include the largest-ever telecommunications/automotive crossover litigation of its kind, pitting client Daimler against the likes of Nokia, Sharp and Broadcom; it has also managed a patent litigation campaign on behalf of BlackBerry against Facebook, and defended Google against patent infringement claims from Philips. Key to all three matters is Marcus Grosch, who has chalked up 20 years of courtroom experience in high-stakes, multi-jurisdictional battles. Working alongside him on the Daimler piece are Johannes Bukow and Jérôme Kommer, who both share a wealth of FRAND knowledge and a flair for coordinating cross-border litigation and parallel EPO proceedings.

rospatt osten pross 

Established more than 70 years ago, storied IP boutique rospatt osten pross has established itself as a potent force for patent litigation. It has carved a solid foothold in the telecommunications sector – especially in relation to FRAND issues – and has also been building up its pharmaceutical and biotechnology practice, with Amgen, Biogen, Samsung Bioepsis, and Dr Falk Pharma all seeking out its representation in the last 12 months. Acting for Amgen in preliminary injunction proceedings is firm namesake Max von Rospatt, a passionate yet strategic litigator whom competitors hail as “unquestionably esteemed”; he also recently went out to bat for LG on the electronics side. Thomas Musmann is fighting the corner of Biogen and Samsung Bioepsis in biosimilars disputes; his litigation strategies consistently yield results and his counsel is highly sought by both medical and mechanical technology SMEs in need of guidance. Defending Dr Falk Pharma against a series of infringement claims is Henrik Timmann, another master strategist and “extraordinary attorney”: “He has the finest mind – his pleadings are crystal-clear; his briefs are succinct, persuasive and to the point; and he thinks the case through to its end while others are still struggling to get acquainted with the issues. He is incredibly smart and belongs in the very top group of German patent lawyers.” Further contentious firepower comes from Stephan von Petersdorff-Campen, Rüdiger Pansch and Hetti Hilge. von Petersdorff-Campen “is passionate about his work and makes clients feel confident that there could be no better partner on their side”. Pansch knows the mechanical engineering and automotive sectors like the back of his hand stands out for his “outstanding technical understanding, well-thought-out strategy and strong performances in oral proceedings”. SEP maven Hilge “devotes herself to her cases, always putting the client’s interests first”. “A fierce fighter with a fast mind, she is friendly in tone but tough in substance, and looks at the details while never losing sight of the big picture.”

Samson & Partner Patentanwälte mbB 

A firm distinguished by continued growth and an affinity for the specific requirements and interests of NPEs, Samson & Partner is running hot on the radar right now. Lauded by clients for its flexible, agile approach to opposition proceedings and for the breadth of technical acumen on show, the Munich-based patent attorney outfit has been processing a prodigious volume of patents on behalf of Intel and Amadeus, and supporting law firms in representing industry giants such as Apple, Facebook and Nokia in infringement proceedings. Founder Friedrich R von Samson-Himmelstjerna is a physicist and patent attorney of 30 years’ standing who crafts winning patent strategies and serves as a court expert at the Munich Court of Appeal. At his side are fellow physicists Tobias KW Stammberger and Wolfgang Lippich. The former has walked in his clients’ shoes, having previously worked at a multinational electrical engineering group; while computer scientist and enforcement ace Lippich holds a doctorate in experimental particle physics from world-renowned research organisation CERN.

Schaumburg und Partner Patentanwalte mbB

Schaumburg und Partner makes its IAM Patent 1000 debut this year thanks to impeccable patent prosecution work for the likes of Canon. “The firm provides a superior service at a fair price; it is reliable, consistent and precise, and efficiently accommodates clients’ differing needs.” Its growing profile is in large part due to the efforts of physics PhD Jürgen Landskron, who garners rave reviews from clients: “Dr Landskron is intelligent, capable, patient and a clear communicator; and the briefs he drafts are precise and digestible.”

Simmons & Simmons LLP

The patent litigators at Simmons & Simmons rank among the continent’s most formidable and regularly feature in some of the hardest-fought cases around: over the last 12 months, they have defended HTC against infringement claims from NPE IPCom; acted for Match Group – the owner of dating app Tinder – in a commercially consequential patent dispute; and represented patent licensor WiLAN in FRAND-related proceedings against Sony Mobile. Running point on the HTC case is Michael Knospe; while the latter two matters were orchestrated by Thomas Gniadek. Knospe is “one of the best lawyers out there for complex IP matters and software contracts”, and provides “excellent legal advice informed by commercial understanding”. IAM Patent 1000 newcomer and “passionate advocate” Gniadek knows the score when it comes to SEP and FRAND issues and has handled more than 30 high-technology suits for US and Chinese multinationals. A-listers in the telecommunications and life sciences spaces have Peter Meyer on speed dial: “Peter has a keen intellect and a solid command of the technology, and collaborates closely with patent attorneys to ensure that his arguments are concise, accurate and technically sound.” His recent credits include acting for Gemalto in a series of four patent disputes in relation to SIM card technologies.

TALIENS

Since spinning off from corporate law firm Olswang four years ago, boutique TALIENS has established a thriving cross-border practice, operating out bases in Munich, Paris and Madrid. The “dynamic, highly responsive and patent-savvy” German contingent makes its first appearance in the IAM Patent 1000 this year, impressing for its “no-nonsense working approach which prioritises commercial objectives”. The firm has fast become a fan favourite of telecommunications players, especially for FRAND litigation: in the last year it has acted for ZTE in its seminal dispute against Conversant and represented TCT Mobile Europe in a major FRAND suit against Siemens AG. Leading on both matters and heading up the practice is co-founder Thomas Lynker, a technical renaissance man who has also brought home the wins in pharmaceutical, mechanics and medical technology disputes; he has valuable insider insight from a stint as in-house counsel at Infineon Technologies.

Taylor Wessing

Life sciences and high technology are strongholds for European IP litigation powerhouse Taylor Wessing, which tirelessly protects the crown-jewel assets of a slew of US, Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese and Korean innovators. On the life sciences side, Anja Lunze has been assisting US research organisation Dana-Faber Cancer Institute with a hotly contested ownership battle; and Dietrich Kamlah has been representing Abbott in a heart valve-related patent infringement dispute. Lunze is “direct and to the point in her arguments, and diligent and thorough in her working style”; while Kamlah stands out for his “close and consistent attention to detail”. He has also been working on the SEP cases that form part of ASUS’s ongoing litigation against Philips, with Roland Küppers tackling the non-SEP cases. Like Kamlah, Küppers has a broad compass in terms of sector focus, but the common thread to his caseload is its cross-border nature. Other master tacticians in multi-jurisdictional cases include the technically adept Gisbert Hohagen, who has “wide knowledge of the relevant case law and the secrets of the different German courts”; pharmaceuticals and medical devices sage Christoph De Coster, who has been busy with pan-European SPC-related litigation for Mylan; and fellow pharmaceutical and biotechnology expert Sabine Rojahn, the architect of numerous precedents over her 30-year career. Heading up the IP department of the firm’s China group is transactions ace Thomas Pattloch, whose thick address book of Chinese contacts makes him a trusted guide for US and European business seeking to assert their patent rights in the world’s second largest economy.

Ter Meer Steinmeister & Partner

Premier prosecution outfit and IAM Patent 1000 newcomer Ter Meer Steinmeister has crunched through a dizzying number of filings over the last year, with pharmaceuticals a particular area of focus. Its hotshot team includes Bernd Aechter, Jörg Riemann, Christian Hollatz and Stefan Manzer. Chemist and portfolio manager Aechter and electrical engineer and video conferencing guru Reimann both boast valuable in-house experience: the former was previously global patent counsel for BASF, while the latter worked at Philips. Chemist Hollatz has “tremendous technical expertise and an astonishing ability to streamline difficult cases down to the core issues”. Communications technologies boffin Manzer “quickly gets to grips with the key facts, rendering opinions swiftly to the court and demonstrating thorough preparation”.

Uexküll & Stolberg 

Established in 1958, Uexküll & Stolberg fields a deep bench of 18 patent attorneys across twin offices in Munich and Hamburg. Its diverse clientele includes Danish biotechnology company Chr Hansen, $255 billion petroleum titan ExxonMobil and pharmaceutical originators Amgen and Bristol Myers-Squibb, which have variously engaged the firm for patent filings, international portfolio management and representation in EPO opposition proceedings. Leading on a significant chunk of this work is biotechnology head and immunology PhD Albrecht von Menges, who has stacked up 20 years of EPO advocacy experience. His team includes the likes of “flexible, amiable and technically capable” André Guder, a molecular biology PhD who previously worked at a patent law firm in Chicago. Chemistry know-how is supplied by Bernd Christian Janssen – who also served time at a Chicago law firm – and Heinz-Peter Muth, who holds a doctorate in nucleic acid chemistry and undertook post-doctoral research at the Salk Institue for Biological Studies in San Diego.

UNIT4 IP 

Executing flawlessly on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide, boutique UNIT4 derives its name from its unified working approach, which separates it from the competition. Its clients hail from across the industry spectrum, although it has enjoyed great success of late on behalf of a series of mechanical engineering players and a household-name consumer goods group. Leading the charge is Arno Grohmann, a shrewd patent litigator and contract negotiator for whom trade secrets are a growing additional focus.

Vossius & Partner Patentanwälte Rechtsanwälte mbB 

With a presence on the market for the last six decades, Vossius & Partner is increasingly turning heads for its cradle-to-grave patent offering: “It is becoming one of the most highly reputable patent firms on the market. The group is outstanding in prosecution and oppositions, and facilitates positive and constructive relationships.” Pharmaceutical work is a central focus, although it is also increasingly attracting SEP and FRAND-related mandates: most recently for WIKO against the likes of Philips, Ericsson and Intellectual Ventures in a matter that showcased its ability to assemble tailored multi-disciplinary teams, made possible by the firm’s hybrid model. Taking charge here is attorney at law Andreas Kramer, who arrived at the firm in 2018 and enters the IAM Patent 1000 this year. Other eminent attorneys at law include Kai Rüting, Georg Rauh (with whom Kramer collaborated on the WIKO brief), Thure Schubert and Johann Pitz. Rüting recently partnered with Rauh to defend ZTE in a set of litigation proceedings and provide comprehensive advice to Orion Pharma; and with Schubert to represent Boston Scientific in a significant entitlement action. Pitz, meanwhile, was behind the establishment of the firm’s legal department and is acclaimed for his “great litigation experience and strong technical and legal skills”. On the patent attorney side, resident life sciences experts include Jürgen Meier and Hans-Rainer Jaenichen, who recently teamed up to manage the patent filings of cutting-edge gene therapy leader CRISPR Therapeutics AG. Biochemist Meier brings insight from his time working at the Centre of Neuroscience Research at Montreal’s McGill University and serves as chair of the AIPPI Biotech Committee; while molecular biology Jaenichen is one of the country’s foremost authorities on CRISPR. Fellow life sciences maven Joachim Wachenfeld has a PhD in immunology and builds patent portfolios with a deft touch. For mechanical engineering questions, Elard Schenck zu Schweinsberg has all the right answers across the entire patent lifecycle, and has carved out a niche at the interface of mechanics and biology which sees him regularly collaborate with the firm’s biotechnology group. Electrical engineer Rainer Viktor is a favourite of medical devices, bioinformatics, software and electronics companies, and excels at guiding start-ups and university spin-outs through the patenting process. Fellow electrical engineer Josef Schmidt joined the firm in 1984 after a stint in the manufacturing industry and knows everything there is to know about software-related inventions.

Wallinger Ricker Schlotter Tostmann, Patent- undRechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB 

Munich-based IP firm WALLINGER RICKER SCHLOTTER TOSTMANN combines the talents of patent attorneys and attorneys at law to offer a wraparound service which never leaves clients wanting. Its 20-strong team has earned the loyalty of myriad leading innovators such as BMW, Fresenius Medical Care, Boehringer Ingelheim and Immunolight, which provides energy conversion technology for the medical and commercial industries. Taking care of BMW’s prosecution needs are Michael Wallinger and Michael Platzoeder; while attorney at law Thomas Schachl – a seasoned patent litigator and orchestrator of parallel proceedings – has been counselling the auto manufacturer in litigation. Namesake Wallinger has been in the game since the 1980s and is lauded as “one of the true greats in the German patent space”; while high-technology group Platzoeder is a physicist who previously worked in the IP department of global semiconductor supplier Infineon Technologies. Heading up the chemistry and pharmaceutical group are co-founders and doctors of chemistry Mathias Ricker and Holger Tostmann. Ricker joined forces with Platzoeder on the Fresenius work, which involves strategic advice, opposition proceedings and the drafting of AI-related patent applications; while IAM Patent 1000 newcomer Tostmann has an enviable success rate in oppositions and is managing Immunolight’s portfolio. Also appearing in the rankings for the first time are chemist Christiane Maxien, who joined the partnership in 2018; and biotechnology doyenne Cornelia Oetke, who has a flair for advancements such as small molecules and antibodies, and recently assisted Boehringer Ingelheim with patent prosecution and opposition proceedings.

Weickmann & Weickmann PartmbB 

For almost 140 years, Weickmann & Weickmann has offered a technically proficient, strategically minded service from its base in Munich, the patent prosecution capital of Europe. Its 40-plus patent attorneys speak the language of inventors and have an intuitive understanding of the commercial needs of modern businesses. Anchoring the mechanical engineering and electronics sides is Markus Herzog, who has spent more than 25 years prosecuting and defending patents; before which he spent time in academia, imparting his solid-state physics knowledge and developing  semiconductor technologies. His counterparts on the life sciences front are biochemists Wolfgang Weiß and Christian Heubeck. Weiß has been practising for almost three decades and splits his time between dispensing strategic advice and masterminding EPO oppositions; while the technically and commercially adept Heubeck lends his hand to everything from routine filings to freedom-to-operate analyses and licensing advice.

Wildanger Kehrwald Graf von Schwerin & Partner mbB 

Competitors speak highly of Wildanger as a “strong firm which makes a good impression in court hearings”. It has carved a notable niche representing SEP owners, but disputes of every flavour are handled with finesse by its supremely capable, diversely qualified team of 13 lawyers. Spearheading the group’s SEP efforts is Peter-Michael Weisse, who was behind some of the first post-Huawei v ZTE judgments and played a key role obtaining the first German anti-anti-suit injunction against a Chinese anti-suit injunction. Also working in this space is Alexander Reetz, who joined the partnership in 2019 and regularly appears in cross-border disputes with FRAND licensing implications; and Joerg Schmidt, an IP all-rounder who is especially noted for his facility for SEP-related telecommunications suits and thriving medical technology practice. Roland Kehrwald and Eva Geschke are similarly versatile: 30-year veteran Kehrwald advises and litigates across the IT, genetic engineering and medical technology sectors; while Geschke has a wealth of scientific know-how and is hailed by peers as “a strong litigator who knows what she’s doing”. Also with broad horizons, but with a focus on the biotechnology and pharmaceutical spheres, is Wolf Graf von Schwerin, who has litigated countless consequential cross-border cases throughout his career, including many which have resulted in landmark decisions.

Wuesthoff & Wuesthoff

Established in 1927, Wuesthoff is the longstanding partner of ground-breaking innovators in spaces including consumer goods, electronics and medical technology; software has also become a growing focus of its practice, not least thanks to the efforts of Rainer Röthinger and Rainer Gunzelmann. Physicist Röthinger draws on a breadth of experience which includes time spent in the semiconductor research department of Daimler-Benz and at a US law firm; while electrical engineer Gunzelmann’s pre-Wuesthoff career included a period as a software engineer for MAN Technologie and a stint at Siemens, whose Beijing patent licensing centre he established. Fellow Siemens alumnus Bernhard Thum formerly headed up its patents and standards department; today he is a prolific drafter and prosecutor of patents in the mechanical and biomedical engineering spheres. For biotechnology, chemistry and pharmaceuticals issues, Hendrik Wichmann is the one to call. As comfortable managing sprawling portfolios as he is appearing before the EPO’s Opposition Division and Boards of Appeal, he has also intervened in cross-border litigation within the food chemistry and therapeutic antibody fields; plant varieties are a further specialism.

Zacco 

Following in the footsteps of its counterparts in countries including Sweden, Denmark and Norway, Zacco’s German arm makes its debut in the guide this year for its forward-thinking approach to IP consultancy, deep industry knowledge and prestigious and expanding client base. The firm has enviable geographical reach, thanks not only to an unparalleled pan-Scandinavian offering, but also to a base in the United Kingdom and an Indian office which serves as a gateway to the sub-continent’s booming economy. Its rainmakers are PhD biochemist Carsten Prusko and former Tetra Pak patent director Olav Jaeger. The “client-oriented” Prusko is praised for his “interpersonal skills and concise and coherent writing skills, deep scientific knowledge and flexible approach to portfolio management and oppositions”. Jaeger has “a great understanding of client needs, an unflinching ability to negotiate and settle problems before they become overwhelming, and excellent knowledge of both European and US patent procedure”.

Zimmermann & Partner Patentanwälte mbB 

Business minded and creative, patent prosecution group Zimmermann & Partner keeps clients’ interests firmly front and centre on all instructions. Its flexible, non-hierarchical team – which includes representatives of 13 different nationalities – is distinguished by a collaborative style that ensures each brief is optimally resourced. Over the last year, General Electric sought out its support in oppositions – ably provided by Benedikt Neuburger; and Samsung Electronics enlisted it for assistance with both nullity proceedings and infringement proceedings, which came courtesy of Joel Nägerl. Neuburger is an oppositions ace whose physics qualifications are complemented by a PhD in patent valuation – the perfect balance between the technical and the commercial. Nägerl holds a PhD in semiconductor optics and has acted for innovative multinationals in a litany of multi-jurisdictional litigations of every sort. Fellow physics PhD Dominique Gobert excels at large-scale patent portfolio management and optimisation, teaches at the EPO Patent Academy and has made numerous appearances as a technical expert in the country’s courtrooms.

Other recommended experts

UK-headquartered Forresters’ representative in Munich is Matthew Thomas Barton, who draws on a PhD in inorganic chemistry in his thriving EPO prosecution and oppositions practice. Based at Lederer & Keller since 1998, Michael Best is known for his involvement in oppositions relating to blockbuster pharmaceutical products – competitors call him “a formidable but respectful adversary who is never easy to come up against”. At AMPERSAND, the technically versatile Hosea Haag maintains a busy patent litigation and commercial contracts practice underpinned by razor-sharp business insight. Global juggernaut Reed Smith has a patent litigator par excellence in the form of “talented analyst” Anette Gärtner, who is qualified to practise in Germany, England and Wales and Ireland; she “aims to settle disputes without the need for time-consuming and costly court proceedings”. Computer-implemented inventions expert and German, French and European patent attorney Robert Harrison receives praise for his “exhaustive attention to detail”; fluency in seven languages makes communication a breeze for international patrons. He is based at Sonnenberg Harrison alongside colleague and fellow namesake Fred Sonnenberg, who pairs extensive physics knowledge with an acute awareness of the business cultures of both Germany and France. For dynamic emerging and established biotechnology companies, VO Munich office head Bettina Hermann is just the ticket with her highly cultivated drafting skills and strategic wisdom. She stays the course in lengthy examination proceedings and emerges with ironclad protections for her clients’ cornerstone innovations. SR Huebner’s titular founder Stefan Rolf Huebner enters the IAM Patent 1000 this year thanks to his burnished industry reputation and pioneering work in the field of nanotechnology – a subject on which he is a recognised authority. The communications engineering and high-frequency technology know-how of WITTEWELLER’s Stephan Keck translates into meticulous patent applications for computer science and electronics inventions. Robin Keulertz has significantly elevated Olbricht’s profile, offering “robust analysis and validity opinions which always demonstrate an understanding of the big picture”. Based at Harmsen Utescher, attorney at law Karsten Königer deploys his academic qualifications in physics to superb effect in his busy and varied patent litigation practice. Gramm, Lins & Partner is home to electronics and physics maven Edgar Lins, whose precise approach sees him cover all bases and leaves no stone unturned. Patent attorney Tim Meyer-Dulheuer is managing partner and founder of hybrid firm Meyer-Dulheuer; a trusted guide through the patenting process, he comes equipped with a doctorate in chemical engineering. At Noerr, Ralph Nack is a polished litigator and effective contract negotiator with specialist knowledge of Chinese patent law. HGF recently bolstered its German offering by merging with Patronus; leading lights at the firm include Jan Robert Naefe and Markus Zoller. Naefe is an EPO oppositions ace and materials science sage who “drafts patent applications with litigation in mind”, while biotechnology expert Zoller offers litigation strategy and portfolio management advice to clients on every scale, and brings experience working in a New York patent firm. Elisabeth Opie runs a busy IP transactions practice out of her eponymous firm; a qualified solicitor not only in her native Australia, but also in England and Wales, she has a cosmopolitan outlook which is valued by her German and European clientele. CBH’s Martin Quodbach appears in the IAM Patent 1000 as a “prolific litigator who is always worth recommending”. The bulk of Oliver Scherenberg’s IP transactions and licensing instructions come from NPE Sisvel: “Oliver is trustworthy, approachable and even handed, and always ensures that each party understands the matter at hand, irrespective of their native language. He is a smart, efficient and creative lawyer who is very adept at closing agreements in complex and unique settings.” Christian Schmidt – who has called Manitz Finsterwald home since 1996 – is a mechanics and electronics expert for whom sensors and lasers are a specific focus. Based at the eponymous 2s-ip Schramm, Scheider Bertagnoll, dual-qualified patent attorney and attorney at law Michael Schramm tackles technically dense cases on behalf of major innovators in the automotive, telecommunications and energy fields, and also lends a hand to the drafting of licensing, software and R&D contracts. Herbert Smith Freehills’ Ina vom Feld coordinates complex cross-border patent and pharmaceutical regulatory disputes with a deft touch and has a pristine record in preliminary injunction proceedings. She is also no stranger to SPC matters and provides her loyal clientele with invaluable contractual advice. UK, Irish and European patent attorney James Ward anchors Haseltine Lake Kempner’s Munich office and is a familiar face at the EPO; his broad physics know-how ensures he can quickly get to grips with everything from 3D printing to sensors for deep-sea fishing gear, injection moulding machines and telephone routing and recording systems. At JONAS, Nils Weber has an encyclopaedic understanding of both IP and competition law, and is hailed for his poised performances in preliminary injunction proceedings and game-changing contractual work.

Individuals: infringement

Individuals: prosecution and nullity

Individuals: transactions

Luminaries

  • Thomas Bopp - Gleiss Lutz
  • Heinz J Goddar - BOEHMERT & BOEHMERT
  • Hermann Kahlhöfer - karo IP Patentanwälte Kahlhöfer Rößler Kreuels PartG mbB
  • Peter Mes - Krieger Mes & Graf v der Groeben 
  • Michael Nieder - KLAKA Rechtsanwälte
  • Jochen Pagenberg - BARDEHLE PAGENBERG Partnerschaft mbB
  • Thomas W Reimann - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
  • Sabine Rojahn - Taylor Wessing