Despite being a more modest market for IP litigation compared to those of Germany and the United Kingdom, the Netherlands remains a primary battleground for multi-jurisdictional patent clashes. Decisions made in its courts have repercussions that are felt across Europe and further afield. Driven by a rise in disputes over biosimilar products and questions over the enforceability of second medical use patents, a scene historically dominated by heavy hitters in the pharmaceutical industry has opened its doors to a series of new players scrapping for a place in this crowded market. Patent lawyers continue to ride the tidal wave of contentious instructions which followed Philips’ enforcement campaign – with much of the IP courts’ time over the last year dominated by a host of infringement suits against players looking for a piece of the action. The steady flow of litigation shows no sign of slowing down, with the country set to be a crucial venue for domestic photolithography giant ASML’s battle against rival outfit Nikon. The European Patent Office’s (EPO's) presence in The Hague makes the Netherlands a popular venue for international rights holders looking to secure their intellectual assets; combined with a thriving domestic research scene, this ensures that there is more than enough work to go around for the scene’s long-serving prosecution shops. Looking ahead, the uncertain status of the Unified Patent Court is not a huge worry for firms. While they have been preparing for its implementation for years, they are not pinning their hopes on any particular outcome in its wayward implementation. Practitioners know that whatever happens, the country’s status as a go-to destination is unlikely to change. Following the announcement that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will move to Amsterdam post-Brexit, the excitement in the air is palpable. Lawyers find it hard to believe that there is a direct correlation between the EMA relocation news and an increase in workload, but anticipation of an influx of life sciences and pharmaceutical players has been getting pulses racing.
Firms: litigation and transactions
- HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
- Bird & Bird LLP
- De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek
- Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
- Hogan Lovells International LLP
- Simmons & Simmons LLP
- Vondst Advocaten NV
- Allen & Overy LLP
- DLA Piper Nederland NV
- Taylor Wessing
Allen & Overy LLP
Allen & Overy’s Amsterdam office is firmly back on the map thanks to a renewed focus on intellectual property and series of high-profile instructions. World leaders in all industries rely on the set’s dexterity in litigation and contractual matters, recognising its international resources and innate grasp of regulatory issues. Credited with turning the practice around, Frits Gerritzen is “a careful lawyer, and a rock-solid legal strategist”. An excellent communicator, he “clearly explains complex scientific concepts”, making him a formidable presence in court. Recently he has rushed to the aid of French electronics tycoon Archos, delivering a cerebral defence in infringement proceedings bought by Philips; the outcome will settle a controversial question relating to fair reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing rates. Well versed in intricate transactional fare, Gerritzen has been sought out by US telecoms titan Qualcomm for his input on its acquisition of competitor NXP.
AOMB Intellectual Property
Boasting a half-century of hard graft in intellectual property and an all-embracing spread of multidisciplinary talent in offices across the Netherlands, AOMB is well placed to handle any instruction. Innovators appreciate its tailored offering – dedicated teams for small to medium-sized enterprises, large corporate entities and international buyers allow it to home in on the best IP strategies. Star player in the corporate squad, Hans Dohmen combines technical and legal nous to achieve maximum impact for his clients. Ex-EP&C man René Raggers’ former colleagues will certainly miss him after his recent decampment to the group here, as they lose “a very talented patent attorney and a definite biotechnology enthusiast”. “You don’t see many patent attorneys that are both technically skilled and communicate as well as he does. We love working with him.” Joining the operation toward the end of last year, Raggers has moved quickly, assisting the country’s research sector with patent strategy and acting in oral proceedings on behalf of pharmaceutical generics – for which he has a reputation as a go-to.
Arnold & Siedsma
“Down to earth and results driven,” Arnold & Siedsma has an impressive pan-European reputation that bears testament to its prolific individuals and their dedication to delivering quality. The point-person on any instruction is chosen from an extensive line-up of highly capable experts, each displaying “a remarkable knowledge in their particular technical area” and each “fantastic to work with”. Managing partner and executive chair Paul Hylarides curates this festival of talent, meticulously selecting the best and brightest. Accomplished in an array of engineering disciplines, he is a seasoned veteran before the EPO and a trusted ally to industrial players; he instigated the opening of the Eindhoven office in order to satisfy the city’s IP needs. Sharing Hylarides’ technological and engineering background, as well as his compulsion to protect rights holders’ businesses, Joost Grootscholten celebrates 25 years in practice this year. His exhaustive arguments proving the inventive step in Basic Holdings’ artificial fireplaces formed the basis of victory in a recent infringement claim and related nullity action. Petri van Someren and Marcel van Kooij take the lead in applications for the flourishing plant variety rights sector. Managing partner van Someren is a scientist whose staunch defence is counted on in opposition proceedings before the EPO, while van Kooij has “both feet firmly on the ground” and is “adroit in explaining complex IP matters in layman’s terms”. “A leading partner and a sure-fire specialist in life sciences, he delivers rock-solid advice on patent strategies, taking care of applications in Europe and jurisdictions further afield.” Pillar of the IP community Addick Land is a skilled European patent attorney and redoubtable presence in major IP associations. The former chair of the executive team is an old hand in all aspects of prosecuting and defending patents across the technical spectrum. Fostering a close relationship between the Amsterdam office and Nikon, Arjen Hooiveld has led on the prosecution of the company’s European patent portfolio. The Japanese goliath will be in need of his sage advice going forward; he takes a key role as co-counsel in the Dutch front of its global clash against semiconductor titan ASML. Decades of experience in-house and at the Netherland’s finest legal offerings put Rogier Brouwer in good stead to handle anything sent his way. An academic and an engineer, he is a talented attorney dedicated to achieving successful outcomes in oppositions and appellate work.
Players at home and abroad queue up to pay tribute to BarentsKrans and its team of “incredible litigators”. The firm’s knack for confrontation is put to best use in life sciences and telecoms, with the indomitable Marleen Van den Horst and Jaap Bremer sinking their teeth into instructions for a devoted following. “I am always impressed by the quality of their output, even under incredible time pressures. Both have an in-depth knowledge of the pharmaceutical sector, which really shows when discussing cases.” Together the duo maintain an impressive win rate against Novartis, dispatching claims of infringement brought by the global pharmaceutical outfit against Sun Pharma. Winning a “ground-breaking” decision in a case concerning second medical use patents, the team struck a decisive blow in a multi-jurisdictional conflict relating to generic versions of Novartis’s ALCASTA patent. In charge, “energetic litigator” Van den Horst is “one of the few lawyers to combine in the same person an awareness of IP law with a deep knowledge of diverse regulatory environments across Europe”. Her place in the gold tier comes as no surprise to her peers. Contemporaries also lavish praise on young European Patent Lawyers Association editor Bremer: “Attorneys have a habit of being louder than their mandates demand; yet he is soft spoken, never overstating matters. His arguments strike a chord with the court.” “A pleasure to work with, he catches on to technical issues quickly and is a true collaborator, never taking over. He is an expert in client management, deftly managing expectations throughout proceedings.”
Bird & Bird LLP
A vital piece of a European litigation machine, Bird & Bird’s Dutch office is a sturdy platform from which “the strongest patent litigation team in the Netherlands” expertly mounts impassioned defences of its devotees’ IP rights. Singling the practice out for its telecoms and life sciences expertise, one beneficiary raves about its “outstanding knowledge of the interface between patents and competition law”. “Investing heavily in lawyers with exemplary technical knowledge,” it has produced “truly creative patent litigators with the necessary insights to speak the clients’ language, who relish in deep technical discussions”. “The set pursues long-term relationships, building an international portfolio and working seamlessly alongside both litigators in other jurisdictions and in-house technical people.” In the driving seat is Wouter Pors, who discharges his directorship with aplomb – pushing the instigation of the Unified Patent Court (UPC), counselling the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and taking on a wealth of complex instructions at the forefront of the biotechnology sphere. Armand Killan is “an invaluable asset for cross-border litigation in Europe”; he has assumed the lead role in Nestlé’s IP litigation strategy on the continent and is a crucial player in the Dutch threads of clashes for Nokia and Valeo Vision. A skilled leader of people, Killan’s management of cases is “clear and predictive” and he directs his team “effectively and efficiently from the start”. Frequently highlighted for his adroitness in life sciences endeavours, Marc van Wijngaarden is a supreme tactician, coordinating high-profile cases for the world’s leading pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Exhibiting a strong grasp of international proceedings, he is representing B Braun Melsungen in its battle with Beckton Dickinson, mounting a complex defence in revocation proceedings as part of an intertwining web of pan-European actions. Together, the three partners lead a “very responsive and highly recommended” team.
“First-tier” boutique Brinkhof is renowned for its patent litigation prowess. Complementing its IP team with a robust competition law line-up, the group boasts boundless appeal to pharmaceutical players, representing both innovators and generics in major multi-jurisdictional challenges. In the first-ever infringement case relating to biosimilar compounds in the Netherlands, it batted away a preliminary injunction brought against Celltrion and Mundipharma by Biogen and Roche. In another, it expertly took Leo Pharma to task over its calcipotriol + betamethasone medicine on behalf of Sandoz – notably winning a diverging judgment to that in the German proceedings over the same patent. Taking point in that victory, Daan de Lange is a “brilliant and thorough lawyer who has earned his place” in the rankings and has such talent that he is “able to win practically impossible lawsuits”. A “fierce litigator” informed by “a keen understanding of technical issues and meticulous reasoning”, De Lange produces writs that are “reference material – clearly underscoring key points and the weaknesses of an adversary’s position”. In pleadings, he elegantly pulls apart his opponent’s argument, and establishes his stance in front of the judge. Alongside him in the Mundipharma matter, Mark van Gardingen is a “next generation litigator – intelligent and tenacious” who receives high praise for his “oral advocacy and strategic foresight”. “He is quick and clever, full of energy and in possession of a forceful style that fully gets his points across. Very thorough and a really nice guy, he has the flair necessary to get the ear of the court.” Together, van Gardingen and senior partner Richard Ebbink are “quite simply the best lawyers in the Netherlands and a first choice for multi-jurisdictional patent cases”. Of the “extremely experienced” Ebbink, clients say: “He knows the law and has a fantastic way of explaining technology. An aggressive litigator, his pleadings are outstanding and his preparation for cases is impressive. He is acutely aware of the importance of detail, asking the fundamental and relevant questions long before they show up in court.” Committing to the broadest market coverage possible, the partners have increased manpower at every level. The set “made a good move by bringing Koen Bijvank’s expertise in-house. It’s a more rounded technical team now.” Bijvank’s significant experience in pharmaceutical litigation – particularly relating to supplementary protection certificates – cements the group’s foray into a wider technical space.
De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek
Other firms in the market may handle greater volumes, but De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek fights the Netherland’s most high-profile players for industry pioneers. Highlighted for its resounding professionalism in complex instructions relating to second medical use patents, it has obtained ground-breaking decisions that “establish the standards for infringement in these cases across Europe and bring the Dutch case law on indirect infringement back in line with the rest of the continent”. The set is presently representing Merck Sharpe & Dohme at the Supreme Court, battling for a landmark decision on the infringement of sub-groups. Trusted professionals, its lawyers “bring a thorough and strategic approach”. “It is a challenge to question the thought process that took place during prosecution while maintaining a cordial relationship. They handle this well.” A “stellar litigator and an excellent strategist”, Gertjan Kuipers ascends to the gold tier this year, earning his ranking with “attentive counsel and top notch advice”. “He is a true chess player who sees – and plans – 10 steps ahead.” One high-profile patent attorney confides: “I find it difficult to provide my added value when I collaborate with Gertjan. He really knows his cases, the ins and outs of the issues. He possesses an in-depth technical appreciation of electronics and physics, and understands a lot in a very short time.” Ably assisting him, Tjibbe Douma “makes it his business to ensure first-rate knowledge of the relevant issues in any case”. A “great analyst with deep industry awareness”, he “offers a high-quality and timely service and is available around the clock”.
De Vries & Metman stands out in a crowded field, showcasing its rich industry and patent office experience, strong ties with top-tier law firms and a series of technically attuned teams, which offer a tailored service. Equally popular for prosecution and for technical input in litigation, the set’s role in the vast majority of contentious electronics cases before the Dutch courts speaks volumes for the quality of its output in that sector, while high-profile actors in the mechanical, life sciences and IT arenas round out an impressive client roster. Taking the reins of the life sciences division, Lilian Hesselink adapts her approach to the requirements of start-ups, universities and pharmaceutical titans, steering each carefully down prosecution and enforcement avenues. “A pleasure to work with both on a professional and personal level,” Aarnt Albers operates alongside her. Mechanical and medical device goliaths feel “comfortable relying on his excellent prosecution work”. He is a pillar of the Dutch IP community, with extensive in-house experience at high-profile pharmaceutical outfits and positions in European IP associations, and has been an instrumental cog in many mechanically focused patent litigation teams. Both Erik Visscher and Ferry van Looijengoed are top choices in the field of electronics: “Cooperating with them always goes smoothly as they’re proactive and know their stuff.” Former Dutch Patent Office examiner van Looijjengoed is a legal expert and a computer wizard. He is a trusted ally to KPN, Asus and Wiko, which depend on his attention to detail and broad grasp of the issues to manoeuvre them out of tight spaces; in the Asus v Philips victory, he justified his reputation as a go-to for FRAND licensing issues. An alumnus of the EPO, European patent attorney and attorney at law Visscher possesses the technical ability to complement his legal know-how. “Louw Feenstra’s input is invaluable; he is one of the top patent attorneys for litigation support. A specialist in hardcore physics and good for everything on the telecommunications front, he is tenacious and dedicated.” As co-counsel for Invensas, Feenstra assisted the company in defending its patent, relating to an interconnect structure for computer chips, against nullity proceedings launched by Broadcom.
DLA Piper Nederland NV
DLA Piper’s Amsterdam outpost takes a lead role in countless pan-European IP skirmishes for titans in the life sciences. Mounting a united front with colleagues in the M&A and commercial law divisions – as well as with comrades in the group’s Danish, Belgian and German offices – the IP team ensures that all bases are covered. Charged with realising the vision of a fully fledged patent practice, the savvy Paul Reeskamp has honed the group’s competitive edge. To his collaborators, he is “someone you can depend on to get straight to the point. He takes a stance and then makes a stand.” Reeskamp’s selection of former V O man Johan Renes continues to elicit comment. A skilled IP adviser, Renes has a penchant for strategy development and portfolio management that is an asset to the integrated approach to intellectual property that Reeskamp is building. He has already proven himself a valuable player on the side; he represented medical devices producer MBH International in its victory against Coloplast at the EPO, and led numerous attacks on Regeneron’s transgenic mice patents for Merus. Together, Reeskamp and Renes are active in many of Europe’s most complex multi-jurisdictional cases; the two are battling for Fresenius Kabi against Eli Lilly in a global infringement suit relating to the latter’s Alimta patent, in a case that may settle key questions over whether the scope of a patent’s protection extends to its literal wording or to the underlying innovative concept. Legal director Alexander Tsoutsanis is a prolific litigator and renowned presence in front of the European Union’s highest IP courts.
EP&C’s reach stretches across borders – both geographic and technical – with offices across the Netherlands and Belgium and close ties to industry players. Its versatile band of consultants and strategists is sought after by players on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide. The team goes out of its way to understand both a client’s innovation and what that client wants to get out of protection, building a wish-fulfilment strategy from scratch. “Knowing what you’re doing before you’re doing it, Hendrik Jan Brookhuis is an atypical patent attorney. Not quite as formal as his peers tend to be, he has great interpersonal skills and communicates excellently with his clients.” A civil engineering savant, Walter Hart exhibits a phenomenal technical grasp and champions the outfit’s preparations for the Unified Patent Court. He shares this task with dual-qualified IAM Patent 1000 debutant Jordi Kox. “Kox is my first option in the Netherlands,” says one foreign associate, enthusing over “an extremely talented patent specialist”, whose peers “would not hesitate to consult him”. “He’s technically proficient, a team player and is a great performer in the courtroom, where he stands out from the competition.” Experienced before the EPO, he knows the likely arguments for rejection or cancellation, and channels this knowledge into avoiding common pitfalls in prosecuting applications.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
The Dutch pillar of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s pan-European IP strategy puts multinational minds at ease – capably serving a loyal stream of high-value patrons. A renowned contentious output is complemented with a robust transactional practice, so clients know that the team has them fully covered whatever the challenge. Highlighted for their “extensive background in pan-European patent litigation,” partners Rutger Kleemans and Peter Hendrick are icons on the Dutch patent scene. Kleemans is “an incredibly capable litigator” whose name prompts a deluge of praise from those who have experienced his courtroom endeavours: “He’s a smooth talker, with an excellent way of presenting a case and a deep knowledge of an array of different technical fields. He excels in pharmaceutical and electronics where he’s able to whip out an easily comprehensible story despite the technology in question being highly complex.” Best known for his wins for Novartis, he was lead counsel on the company’s landmark victory against Sun on second medical use claims. In his defence of Roche, Biogen and Genetech’s Rituximab patent, he prevented Celltrion from launching one of the first biosimilars to market. “One of the best litigators in the Netherlands”, Hendrick recently lead victories for Bristol-Myers Squibb against Merck Sharp & Dohme relating to a ground-breaking cancer treatment using monoclonal antibodies. He has thrown himself into preparations for an approaching storm when the supplementary protection certificate for AbbVie’s blockbuster Humira drug expires later this year. “Exhibiting a remarkable capacity across a range of disciplines,” rising star Jelle Drok ably assists Hendrick and Kleemans in any and all endeavours. An aerospace engineering student and legal scholar, he combines the knowledge of a rocket scientist with an acute legal mind.
Hogan Lovells International LLP
Hogan Lovells is a top choice in the Netherlands. The close-knit band of legal strategists is “incredibly responsive”, has “an excellent knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry” and gives “well-reasoned, appropriate and insightful advice”. A host of major industrial players count on its offering, hoping to take advantage of the “vast experience in litigation” brought to the table by partner Bert Oosting. Oosting is at the pinnacle of pharmaceutical litigation and regulatory issues: “Easy to work with, he identifies, retains and coordinates seamlessly with scientific experts. He produces initial briefs that are near perfect, requiring little if any editing.” An “excellent behind the scenes player”, his talents “bring a significant volume of IP disputes to the country”. Whether backing Oosting or taking point on their own instructions, partners Klaas Bisschop and Ruud van der Velden distinguish themselves. “Bisschop is one of the best IP lawyers in the Netherlands.” Efficient and dedicated, he takes the lead in oral hearings for the set – and excels in them.” On seeing his “thorough, detailed and attentive” approach, one collaborator states: “There will always be unforeseen issues in bigger cases, but Klaas was far better prepared than the attorneys to whom I am accustomed.” van der Velden is a young lawyer who is “highly experienced for his age and already well seasoned in litigation”. He recently coordinated the Dutch arm of proceedings against Neo on behalf of Solway Pharmaceuticals, winning court approval for evidentiary seizures despite three out of four of its client’s disputed innovations not having been granted Dutch patents. Alongside Oosting, van der Velden leads the group’s efforts as co-counsel for Nikon in its titanic saga against ASML.
“One of the great names in patent strategy and litigation,” Willem Hoyng is a European IP icon. It is no wonder therefore that ASML selected him and HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER to coordinate their global counterattack against Nikon in the photolithography competitors’ imminent showdown. Hoyng is a member of both the UPC Rules and Procedures Drafting Committee, and its Preparatory Committee, as well as a counsel to the Dutch government. “He’s aggressive. That’s just his style,” says one opponent. “You always know what you will get from him and you always get it.” Hoyng’s second-in-command in the ASML v Nikon campaign is Theo Blomme: “a very talented young litigator with a technical background”. Blomme’s opponents fear him. “His expertise and visibility in court is so much more than that of his competitors. Incredibly focused and concentrated, he works tremendously hard and will fight for you. He’s very thorough, always prepared and has a nice style when pleading a case.” Rounding out the ASML team is Frank Eijsvogels, a formidable presence in Dutch patent litigation. “I wouldn’t hesitate to go to Frank - he’s an incredible lawyer,” says one patent attorney, describing a confrontational master with a keen commercial eye. “Bart van den Broek is the number one lawyer in the Netherlands. He is an exceptional litigation attorney and powerful oral advocate. He quickly grasps complicated technology and is able to convey complex theories with creative and compelling arguments.” Running a strong telecoms and technology practice, the managing partner was an obvious choice for Phillips as it unleashes an onslaught of litigation against a stream of foes using its technology without a licensing agreement. He deploys his wide-ranging abilities to bring a host of issues under control for the company – particular as important questions surrounding FRAND licensing emerge following Huawei v ZTE. Phillips claims Geert Theuws as another champion, relying on skill before the Dutch courts to guarantee satisfactory outcomes. Cross-border life sciences litigator Simon Dack is “phenomenal” and another partner vying for title of “best in the country”, as described by peers. Wilbert Derks is a master of all trades, prosecuting applications and developing strategy for the outfit’s demanding roster. “A valuable and important extension to any in-house team, he is pleasant yet eager to challenge the ideas and strategies as they are developed, extending them with his own insights and ideas.” Derks quickly acquires the necessary insight into technology and excels in freedom to operate searches. “Wilbert’s unique combination of chemistry background, strategic business insight, IP management and excellent interpersonal skills enable him to communicate on any level and in any situation.” An instrumental technical operator, he is but one piece of the extensive prosecution department – a now well-defined entity deployed in both litigation support and as a fully fledged filer. Alongside Derks, David Owen is a uniquely qualified electrical engineer registered to practice before both the US Patent and Trademark Office and the EPO. Michiel de Baat is an impressive prosecutor who “always keeps business in mind – tailoring his advice to the client’s commercial strategy”. His top-notch technical skills makes him excellent value as a portfolio manager and in front of the EPO. “A rising star, Jeroen den Hartog is particularly strong in life sciences.” Collaborators value den Hartog’s shrewd appreciation for the intricacies of Dutch patent law, which he applies towards developing the strategic portfolios of titans in the consumer goods and chemical industries.
Benelux general-practice outfit NautaDutilh boasts a diverse IP practice, well versed in litigation and negotiation – particularly where life sciences patents are at stake. Drawing on an impressive knowledge base, the practice throws everything it has into contentious encounters and its potent transactional offering is a draw for pharmaceuticals and biotech concerns; Johnson & Johnson Innovation is among the many that seek out its services. “An excellent and reliable lawyer with an enormous understanding of technical issues,” patent chief Anne Marie Verschuur is a popular choice, renowned for her “pragmatic and efficient management of proceedings”. An excellent litigator, she has a keen eye for a deal, too, taking point on TPG Capital’s acquisition of Dutch ophthalmic technology developer Vitreq.
Clients rely on NLO’s strategic ability to leverage the value of their intellectual assets and keep them out of trouble. Appreciating the personal nature of the services they get, they also enjoy cultivating long-term relationships with the firm. The group’s approach is paying off, as it finds itself increasingly in demand among large multinationals. Having made his name as a rights protection specialist for some of the world’s leading names, managing partner Hans Bottema brings a wealth of expertise gleaned both in-house and as a partner to every brief. Partner Maarten Ketelaars is skilled in every facet of prosecution. Following a number of years on the firm’s management committee, he now relishes the opportunity to get back to his craft. He recently championed the rights of domestic medical device and green energy producers – asserting their IP rights internationally. Highly skilled in physics and mathematics, he also specialises in the commercial aspects of intellectual property. One of most respected patent attorneys in Europe, Bart Swinkels has an impressive track record in patent prosecution, litigation and opposition and appeal proceedings. “Thanks to his great mentorship, Swinkels has built up a strong team of patent attorneys around him at NLO and thus has a great impact on the biotechnology patent landscape in the Netherlands.” Speaking five languages and a wizard at the EPO, Paul Clarkson rescues clients from potential catastrophes using sheer ingenuity. “Deeply knowledgeable and diligent”, he provides invaluable advice and is well connected outside the firm. “An extremely experienced patent attorney”, Mari Korsten is “excellent prosecutor and great in litigation, too”. A former in-house counsel for Novartis, he ploughs his experience into contentious and non-contentious matters in the life sciences and biotech fields. Standing shoulder to shoulder with Korsten in biotech, Arthur Meekel excels in opposition and appeal proceedings, but truly distinguishes himself with his mastery of supplementary protection certificates. Tri-lingual David Bot has toiled side by side with R&D teams for over three decades, developing a synergistic interaction with rights holders that makes him instrumental to any protection strategy. A former examiner in the Dutch patent office, Hans Hutter’s career stretches back 30 years. Driven by a zeal for innovation in electronics and telecoms, he is an asset in technology disputes.
Quality is king at Hertogenbosch-based prosecution shop Patentwerk. Not content with offering its primarily domestic clientele the highest independently certified standards in customer service, the partners have broadened this focus with a new ISO 27001 certification – ensuring that their customers’ information has the same level of protection as its practitioners secure for their innovations. The firm takes advantage of its close proximity to the EPO and devotion to patent work to tackle a disproportionate volume of opposition proceedings for its size. Highlighted for his deft handling of prosecution, Bas Langenhuijsen is a staunch defender of IP rights. Taking point on food processing applications, Hein van den Heuvel has qualifications that bridge the engineering and business worlds, making him a trusted commercial partner to his followers. He also spearheads the drive for buyer satisfaction, guiding the outfit’s training efforts and launching its drive for international custom.
Simmons & Simmons LLP
Simmons & Simmons’s “substantial and productive” Amsterdam office operates as one with its international colleagues, delivering coordinated cross-border campaigns for multinational high-flyers. Captained by litigation supremo Bas Berghuis van Woortman, the set offers a rock-solid prognosis right from the start of a dispute – and this is reinforced by technical experts hand-picked from the patent office. A stalwart champion of rights holders in electronics and life sciences, van Woortman is hailed by his peers as an unfazeable litigator who is “always in control”. Pioneering endeavours in biotech and pharmaceuticals extoll his faculties in complex multi-jurisdictional instructions – he has been sought after by Bayer, Gilead and many others. Making his name alongside van Woortman in the pair’s fights for Samsung Electronics, Mattie de Koning has done incredibly well for himself. “A star in his field, he’s risen to a high level very quickly. Both a legal and a technical guy, he’s a very special lawyer – he easily grasps technical matters and translates them into the language of the court.” His peers are now accustomed to his skills, but still go out of their way to voice unanimous praise for the recently promoted partner: “What sets him apart is that he’s genuinely a pleasure to go up against. He doesn’t try to confound the opposition. Instead he finds practical solutions for both parties.” Following a victory in infringement proceedings for BASF against IGM Resins in a dispute relating to the former’s photoinitiator technology, he went on to flex his impressive transactional muscles, advising on the sale of the technology resulting from the initial settlement. This year, András Kupecz has thrown himself even deeper into assisting van Woortman and de Koning in high-profile outings in the healthcare and chemical industries. A well-known figure in the Dutch IP scene, he writes regularly on patent issues and has moonlighted as an independent consultant in the field for many years.
Taylor Wessing’s Dutch partners move with surgical precision in nullifying patents held by industry titans. “Strong across all technologies,” the set adroitly handles confrontational and contractual matters from offices in Amsterdam and Eindhoven; leveraging an excellent international network, it also coordinates international patent strategies with alacrity. The trio of Wim Maas, Judith Krens and Carreen Shannon come “highly recommended individually and collectively for their can-do attitude”. First among equals, Maas is “an incredible litigator. People love him, and love to work with him. He’s extremely responsive and entirely focused on their needs. He is creative, pragmatic and possesses a practical mindset”. A valuable player in both attack and defence, Shannon is a trusted legal adviser in the Netherlands: “Deeply experienced in patent litigation, and in possession of a broad knowledge of the healthcare industry, working with her is always pleasant. She provides good guidance from start to finish, is deeply attentive and remains open for discussion on the best route forward.” As ranking officer in the defence of Dredging International’s intellectual property – and in a range of instructions for illustrious actors in the biotech sphere – she has won resounding victories in revocation proceedings. Together, Eindhoven partners Maas and Shannon make a “formidable team”. For Taiwanese computer concern ASUS, the pair defied the might of electronics giant Phillips, turning round an infringement claim brought by the latter to render a number of its patents void; the clash also provided Maas with an opportunity to exercise his skills in the arena of FRAND licensing issues. Clients of Amsterdam partner Krens are deeply satisfied with the service she provides. Peers have high regard for “the quality of her advice and her expertise – particularly in the life sciences fields”. Fighting alone, or in conjunction with her colleagues in Eindhoven, she practises at the forefront of scientific knowledge, finding outcomes to the most complex disputes that can arise.
An appreciation of patents as business assets shines through in everything that VO does, from securing patent protection to supporting litigation efforts. Covering nearly every technical discipline – and serving a diverse mix of domestic and international clients – the 45-strong team features individuals with a strong claim for the title of best patent attorney in the country. Bernard Ledeboer “particularly impresses”, and he is frequently singled out by peers as an example of what a prosecutor should be. The engineering aficionado also boasts qualifications and experience in litigation. He stands out for his recent efforts in conjunction with colleagues in the Belgian office, excelling in opposition proceedings on behalf of plastics giants, and for his instrumental technical contribution to infringement proceedings between medical devices supremo B Braun Melsungen and its arch-rival Beckton Dickinson. “He has a pragmatic approach to IP protection, and is a wordsmith who enjoys direct communication with his clients.” Chair of the partnership Cees Jansen calls on his in-house experience when developing patent strategies for major companies. A technical all-rounder, he can be formidable when disputes heat up. Peers praise Leo Jessen as “a really excellent, strong attorney who’s been around for many years”. Jessen prosecutes applications for a wide segment of devotees, who depend on his aptitude in filing, oppositions and appeals to keep their stress levels low throughout the patent lifecycle. Together, Ledeboer, Jansen and Jessen distinguish themselves before the EPO, where they are increasingly called on to represent multinationals. Leading the chemistry and life sciences division, Otto Oudshorn spends much of his time immersed in the world of pharmaceutical litigation. He adroitly juggles thorny questions relating to supplementary protection certificates for an assortment of industry leaders. In Oudshorn’s team is European and Dutch patent attorney Hajo Kraak. A former in-house counsel at AkzoNobel, Kraak is a legal and scientific polymath who is a heavyweight in the Dutch IP scene.
Vondst Advocaten NV
Toward the end of last year, IP and life sciences specialist Vondst Advocaten celebrated a decade of fighting important battles in Dutch intellectual property. Champion to a brigade of drug manufacturers, the firm is active at the highest levels, exerting its impressive influence in the Supreme Court to argue key questions over second medical use patents. At the root of its offering – and the reason why so many high-profile disciples flock to it – is its meticulous approach: time is taken to understand the technical issues at stake and to develop invulnerable, business-oriented strategies that hold up in court. “Its advice is commercial and always aligned to the client’s needs rather than focusing on the law and process.” Realising this vision over the last 10 years, founding partner Otto Swens garners acclaim from leading peers at home and abroad: “Otto does an incredible job in a number of big cases. He’s well prepared and steady, easy to work with and always prompt and professional in responding to issues, even with very tight deadlines.” Combining his life sciences nous with a deep grasp on regulatory matters, he stands out as an ally to the generic sector, battling on behalf of Teva in its second medical use clash against Merck Sharp and Dohme relating to a hepatitis C treatment. Partner Ricardo Dijkstra pioneers many of the group’s contentious expeditions. He has masterminded defence strategies for Sandoz and challenged the patents of Hoffman La Roche at the EPO. He is equally skilled in contractual negotiations, providing advice and counsel on the worldwide patent portfolio of Modern Dental before its listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, as well as to the University Medical Centre on patent matters. New hire Arvid Van Oorschot is “an excellent catch for Vondst”; the entrance of the former Brinkhof rising star is described as “a considerable re-enforcement” of an already redoubtable line-up.
Other recommended experts
"If you’re a mid-sized domestic company, you need an attorney that’s down to earth and understands your needs. Peter Claassen is exactly that. He’s more hands-on than most, and clients appreciate it.” Operations in need of just such a litigator can find him at AKD. DeltaPatents founder Jelle Hoekstra is an authority on patent work on the continent and a guiding light to the next generation of patent attorneys; he comes highly recommended by peers for his own forays into prosecution too. Offering his sound counsel to a diverse array of domestic and international parties, mechanical and electronics maven Sebastian Pinckaers is renowned for his deft handling of patent litigation, strategy and transactional work. Based out of Van Doorne, he has been sought out by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs as an authority on electronics applications. Jacques van Breda is a renaissance man, a deputy judge at the Appeal Court of The Hague and a patent attorney informed in a diverse array of specialisms; clients of Los & Stigter rest easy knowing that he is at the helm.
- Bas Berghuis van Woortman - Simmons & Simmons LLP
- Simon Dack - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
- Richard E Ebbink - Brinkhof
- Willem A Hoyng - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
- Rutger Kleemans - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
- Gertjan Kuipers - De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek
- Bert Oosting - Hogan Lovells International LLP
- Bart van den Broek - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
- Marleen HJ Van den Horst - BarentsKrans
- Mark GR van Gardingen - Brinkhof
- Klaas AJ Bisschop - Hogan Lovells International LLP
- Theo Blomme - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
- Jaap Bremer - BarentsKrans
- Mattie de Koning - Simmons & Simmons LLP
- Daan de Lange - Brinkhof
- Frank Eijsvogels - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
- Armand Killan - Bird & Bird LLP
- Wouter E Pors - Bird & Bird LLP
- Paul Reeskamp - DLA Piper Nederland NV
- Otto Swens - Vondst Advocaten NV
- Marc van Wijngaarden - Bird & Bird LLP
- Anne Marie Verschuur - NautaDutilh
- Peter Claassen - AKD NV
- Ricardo Dijkstra - Vondst Advocaten NV
- Tjibbe Douma - De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek
- Jelle Drok - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
- Frits Gerritzen - Allen & Overy LLP
- Judith Krens - Taylor Wessing
- András Kupecz - Simmons & Simmons LLP
- Wim Maas - Taylor Wessing
- JC Sebastian Pinckaers - Van Doorne
- Carreen Shannon - Taylor Wessing
- Geert Theuws - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
- Alexander Tsoutsanis - DLA Piper Nederland NV
- Ruud van der Velden - Hogan Lovells International LLP
- Arvid Van Oorschot - Vondst Advocaten NV
- Arnt Aalbers - De Vries & Metman
- Koen Bijvank - Brinkhof
- David Bot - NLO
- Hans J Bottema - NLO
- Hendrik Jan Brookhuis - EP&C BV
- Rogier Brouwer - Arnold & Siedsma
- Paul Clarkson - NLO
- Michiel de Baat - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
- Jeroen den Hartog - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
- Wilbert Derks - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
- Hans Dohmen - AOMB Intellectual Property
- Louw Feenstra - De Vries & Metman
- Joost Grootscholten - Arnold & Siedsma
- Walter Hart - EP&C BV
- Lilian Hesselink - De Vries & Metman
- Jelle Hoekstra - DeltaPatents BV
- Arjen JW Hooiveld - Arnold & Siedsma
- Hans Hutter - NLO
- Paul J Hylarides - Arnold & Siedsma
- Cees Jansen - VO Patents & Trademarks
- Leo Jessen - VO Patents & Trademarks
- Maarten FJM Ketelaars - NLO
- Mari Korsten - NLO
- Jordi Kox - EP&C BV
- Hajo Kraak - VO Patents & Trademarks
- Addick Land - Arnold & Siedsma
- Bas WH Langenhuijsen - Patentwerk BV
- Bernard Ledeboer - VO Patents & Trademarks
- Arthur Meekel - NLO
- Otto Oudshoorn - VO Patents & Trademarks
- David Owen - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
- René J Raggers - AOMB Intellectual Property
- Johan Renes - DLA Piper Nederland NV
- Bart W Swinkels - NLO
- Jacques van Breda - Los & Stigter
- Hein van den Heuvel - Patentwerk BV
- Marcel van Kooij - Arnold & Siedsma
- Ferry van Looijengoed - De Vries & Metman
- Petri van Someren - Arnold & Siedsma
- Erik Visscher - De Vries & Metman
- Peter Hendrick - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP