Bird & Bird LLP

IAM Research

The Patent 1000 focuses exclusively on patent practice and has firmly established itself as the definitive 'go-to' resource for those seeking world-class legal patent expertise.

Gold - Firms: infringement

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.

Bronze - Firms: litigation and transactions

Bird & Bird is an established reference for intellectual property, thanks to its exceptional global reach and multi-sector capabilities. The Polish squad is ideally placed to assist players in the country’s burgeoning technology market, while handling litigation in a responsive, insightful and attentive way. Blazing a trail is Piotr Dynowski, a telecoms and media ace who also has a keen understanding of regulatory issues. His strategic acumen and commercial nous are appreciated by companies embroiled in complex disputes or seeking to get lucrative deals across the line.

Gold - Firms: litigation

Highly-recommended - Firms: transactions

While Bird & Bird’s English contingent is a vital cog in the firm’s global machine, it is also mightily impressive in its own right. With 32 of its lawyers boasting scientific qualifications, the group can easily parse the most technically challenging matters. It “has a great understanding of client needs and expectations, and the ability to communicate simply and effectively”; and it “provides prompt support even when under time constraints”. Co-heading the IP group are Katharine Stephens and Robert Williams. Stephens has a flair for cross-border litigation and the development of pan-European patent enforcement programmes, and increasingly applies her robotics knowledge to advise on electronics and AI issues. Williams is an adroit handler of multi-jurisdictional disputes whose managerial prowess has led to his involvement in the creation of project management tools. Meanwhile, Jennifer Jones, Neil Jenkins, Mark Hilton and Eleanor Root have the life sciences on lock. Qualified in molecular biology and genetics, Jones knows all the right plays when it comes to global patent litigation strategy; while consummate cross-border litigator Jenkins is an expert in regulatory data exclusivity and SPC issues. Hilton co-heads the international life sciences and healthcare group, comprised of over 130 Bird & Bird lawyers across the globe; and IAM Patent 1000 newcomer Root brings valuable insight from recent secondments at two pharmaceutical multinationals. Patrick Kelleher is a vital ally for Israeli biotechnology start-ups that find themselves embroiled in European patent litigation; while Morag Macdonald is “not only a very seasoned litigator, but also exceptionally strong at developing and executing international litigation strategies”. She recently acted for AB InBev in a commercially crucial High Court patent revocation case against Heineken in relation to polymer packaging technology. On the telecommunications side, the group is equipped with Richard Vary and Jane Mutimear. Vary was previously vice president and litigation head at Nokia, and recently represented the telecommunications giant in mediation against Daimler and in litigation against IPCom. “Few people have Richard’s level of knowledge of the most pressing issues. He has worked on many of the major cases in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and the UK, as well as the US and China, so he understands how the major jurisdictions fit together and how to coordinate litigation around the world.” Mutimear litigates across the IP spectrum and also assisted in the development of Pattern, Bird & Bird’s patent portfolio intelligence product. Transactional nous is supplied in abundance by Sally Shorthose and Tom Snaith. Shorthose is a life sciences specialist whose licensing advice is informed by her time as legal director of Novartis UK; while Snaith has a technical background in chemistry and guides private equity firms and major corporations through IP-heavy M&A deals, spin-outs, restructurings and joint ventures. “Tom is responsive, pragmatic, commercially minded and highly regarded by his in-house colleagues.”

Gold - Firms: litigation

Recommended - Firms: transactions

Already regarded as one of Italy’s elite firms, global leader Bird & Bird continues to go from strength to strength. It recently added to its arsenal of innovative in-house legal solutions with twobirds Pattern, an in-house valuation and analysis tool that analyses, values and landscapes patent portfolios. With lawyers and patent agents working hand in glove, it proves itself a trusted ally across all stages of the patent lifecycle. The lynchpins of the practice are “highly regarded litigators” Giovanni Galimberti and Massimiliano Mostardini. The “bright and well-prepared” Galimberti relishes the cut and thrust of cross-border cases and recently coordinated global SEP-related litigation on behalf of NPE Sisvel. “An excellent consultant with great analytical skills”, Mostardini is “reliable, pragmatic and handles every matter in a business-oriented manner”; he is a favourite of luxury clothing companies such as Loro Piana. With a refined understanding of the mechanical and electronics sectors, rising star Elisabetta Bandera also puts in polished performances in court. Meanwhile, Antonella De Gregori has done a brilliant job at building up the firm’s prosecution practice. The chemist manages portfolios with flair and can plan for all eventualities in EPO opposition proceedings. Joining them in the rankings this year is transactions specialist Claudia Ricciardi: “She understands both the client and the counterparty’s viewpoints, and envisages practical solutions that drive negotiations. Her expertise, skill and profound legal knowledge also bring about new research agreements and licensing opportunities.”

Highly-recommended - Firms: litigation

Highly-recommended - Firms: prosecution

Highly-recommended - Firms: transactions

The success of global heavyweight Bird & Bird’s integrated Hong Kong and China practice is undeniable. A team of over 50 IP professionals offers seamless services to respected local and international clients, including the City University of Hong Kong. The side was also the only external adviser to the Hong Kong government on its project to reform the city’s patent system. Matthew Laight leads a team celebrated for its technically savvy individuals, most of whom are bilingual, with an outstanding track record in high-tech patent matters. Cross-border litigator Ted Chwu’s strengths are his “good knowledge, efficiency and how he always tries to accommodate requests and understands problems”. With a background in IP prosecution, Chwu is also a highly competent portfolio manager, “providing technical advice in a clear and concise manner while simplifying any complex issues. He will always find a way to amend claims so they can be accepted by examiners, foresees potential problems and then offers sounds advice and solutions.” As head of the Asia life sciences and healthcare practice, Alison Wong supports companies in the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device industries, handling everything from enforcement in China to transactional issues.

Bronze - Firms: transactions

The market at large is unanimous in its praise for Bird & Bird, a global titan with 300 full-time IP lawyers operating across 29 offices. In Helsinki, the side benefits from deep local know-how, sweeping geographical reach and the technical chops to handle even the trickiest briefs for some of the world’s leading technology companies. At the helm of the practice is Henri Kaikkonen, who recently moved over from Krogerus.In the words of one peer: “Henri is on track to become one of Finland’s leading practitioners. He works efficiently, is great with clients and translates complex legal issues into actionable business advice.”

Recommended - Firms: transactions

Gold - Firms: litigation

Bird & Bird is a colossus of the global IP world and the Paris contingent is no exception, combining local knowledge with the vast resources of the firm’s sprawling network to superb effect. Its 19 IP practitioners regularly feature in some of the highest-profile patent suits in Europe: this year alone, they acted in an infringement dispute and conducted seizures on behalf of Edwards Lifesciences; defended Broadcom in a complex multi-jurisdictional battle against an NPE; and hammered out a favourable result in a preliminary injunction matter on behalf of Amgen. Taking the lead on the latter, Yves Bizollon enjoys the respect of peers as “a smart and formidable opponent”; many headline-grabbing IP decisions in recent years bear his fingerprints. Leadership also comes from Anne-Charlotte Le Bihan, who has been handling the Edwards Lifesciences and Broadcom briefs; she brings a shrewd, commercially minded approach to the coordination of complex cross-border litigation and deal negotiation in the pharmaceutical, telecommunications and electronics sectors.

Recommended - Firms

Bird & Bird has built up a wealth of experience working in China and Hong Kong over the past two decades, offering its services to multinationals with both specific and broad IP needs. The team is especially renowned for its work in the high-tech space and was the only external advisor to the Hong Kong government on the development of the city’s new patent system, which was introduced in December 2019. Department co-head Christine Yiu has proven herself a valuable asset to businesses in cross-border disputes, frequently advising multinationals on patent transfers and licensing transactions.

Bronze - Firms: prosecution

Gold - Firms: litigation

Recommended - Firms: transactions

A mainstay at the top of Singapore’s patent litigation table, Bird & Bird ATMD LLP is “recommended in the strongest possible terms” for work covering the whole of the patent lifecycle. The firm credits its contentious prowess to its across-the-board strength, which lets its lawyers draw on the skills of full-time in-house patent attorneys. Alban Kang is universally recognised as one of Singapore’s most outstanding patent litigators, a reputation hard-earned over 30 years of practice. “Knowledgeable, creative and flexible” Anan Sivananthan’s many years of experience as an in-house counsel for a patent-owning company really shine through: “Anan and his team fully understand the business objectives of the client, which is not always the case with other firms.” Senior patent attorney Hui Leng Tan handles prosecution from major clients both foreign and domestic.

Bronze - Firms: litigation

A force to be reckoned with in the pharmaceutical space, Bird & Bird’s Sydney office continues to go from strength to strength. The team, led by IP practice head Jane Owen, handles oppositions and freedom-to-operate mandates effortlessly. Lynne Lewis’ practice covers IP-related consumer and regulatory law. She fearlessly tackles high-stakes litigation while recent addition Kellie O’Flynn offers strong support as a senior associate in the IP group.

Gold - Firms: litigation and transactions

As members of “a first-rate firm for cross-border patent litigation in Europe”, Bird & Bird’s Belgian practitioners provide stout defence in multi-jurisdictional disputes and see high-rolling deals through to close, working hand in glove with their counterparts across the firm’s global network. Jean-Christophe Troussel is “the glue that keeps the team together” in Brussels; he has “a fantastic track record in patent cases”. He recently linked up with Domien Op de Beeck to represent Proximus NV, Belgium’s largest telecommunications provider and part of the Nokia group, in multifaceted proceedings regarding alleged SEP infringements and FRAND offers – the first case of its kind in Belgium. Op de Beeck is “a superb litigator – one of the best of his generation. He is quiet but effective, with an energetic, methodical approach that is ideal for presenting the case to the judge in court”.

Recommended - Firms

Bird & Bird’s Czech contingent marries international and cross-border expertise with refined local know-how, to wonderful effect. The team – led by one of the country’s finest lawyers, Vojtěch Chloupek – does a terrific job executing on technically dense briefs in the life sciences, electronics and automotive sectors. Charismatic litigator Chloupek “readily makes himself available and has a super-friendly attitude. His skills are undoubtedly superb, as is his ability to coordinate matters in foreign jurisdictions. It is always a pleasure to work with him”. He recently linked up with Jiří Malý to validate the European patents of Celanese International Corporation, a Fortune 500 company operating in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Malý can be relied upon to find well-rounded solutions to tricky technology instructions.

Recommended - Firms: transactions

Silver - Firms: litigation

Famed worldwide for its fearsome contentious capabilities, Bird & Bird is an indomitable opponent in high-stakes litigation. Close collaboration between practitioners across its extensive international network ensures that it can cut through the complexity of technically dense cross-border proceedings with ease. Heading up operations in Madrid is Manuel Lobato, a “great litigator with deep expertise that stretches way beyond IP law”. “He has an outstanding reputation on the market and I rate him very highly,” reports one peer. He recently defended Oncovision, a leading provider of innovative medical imaging devices, in a spat with competitor Sociedad Española de Electromedicina y Calidad. Adding further firepower is new recruit José Miguel Lissén, who joined the ranks from ABG Intellectual Property Law. Detail oriented and dynamic, he brings disputes to a swift and successful close for top life sciences and telecommunications companies. Making her debut in the IAM Patent 1000 this year is Teresa Mercadal, a “bright lawyer with great procedural experience” who “makes sophisticated and creative assessments based on crucial legal doctrines”. On the non-contentious front, Mariano Santos “is a sharp, proactive and responsive professional who is always on top of matters and ready to solve any problems that arise. His knowledge and service level go above and beyond”.

Silver - Firms: litigation and transactions

In Hungary – as elsewhere in the world – Bird & Bird is “a top-notch and highly reputable firm with an exceptionally strong IP group and a tough patent litigation team”. Since the local group merged with Weil, Gotshal & Manges’ Budapest contingent a few years ago, it has been on an unstoppable upwards trajectory, executing flawlessly on instructions from the world’s leading pharmaceutical, life sciences and electronics companies. A crucial cog in these operations is division captain Bálint Halász, a superb litigator and astute strategist. The percipient counsellor can find the optimum solution to any patent conundrum, courtesy of his broad IP, IT and data protection expertise.

Silver - Firms: litigation and transactions

Bird & Bird’s lofty profile on the European patent scene is likewise maintained by its Dutch contingent: the team “is brilliant at what it does” and combines “technical excellence” with “great commercial sense”. Fraught disputes in the high-tech and telecommunications industries are meat and drink to the firm: in recent highlights, “impressive litigator” Armand Killan has been battling it out for Qualcomm in international proceedings against Apple, as well as tackling SEP matters for Nokia. “He has great authority and brings great legal and technical knowledge to every case.” The life sciences practice has also been humming since the European Medicines Agency’s post-Brexit relocation to Amsterdam, with Bird & Bird quickly increasing its market share as a result. The firm is currently assisting leading biopharmaceutical company Ablynx in infringement proceedings under the watchful eye of IP division lead Wouter Pors. The tenacious advocate coordinates international litigation with a sure touch, as further borne out by his fine work for Bicycle Therapeutics in litigation which is being heard in Germany and the United States. Life sciences group head Marc van Wijngaarden and new hire Tjibbe Douma add further contentious firepower. Highly sought after for his agile handling of pan-European disputes and meticulous case preparation, Van Wijngaarden is in hot demand in other sectors too: he has been representing three entities from the Neo Materials Group and acted for Anheuser-Busch InBev in a global dispute against Heineken. Former Dentons lawyer Douma has “astonishing knowledge of foreign legislation and a great technical understanding that results in solid legal arguments. He is dedicated and has a can-do attitude that makes him a pleasure to work with”.

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