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.
Silver - Individuals: infringement
Referees declare the patent litigation offering at Kather Augenstein, the firm named for Peter Kather and Christof Augenstein, to be “nothing short of excellent. Peter is great for high-end, open-minded advice on all manner of patent issues. Every member of this outstanding IP litigation boutique contributes with excellent legal and strategic skills, but also with a great character and personality to a deep and therefore successful approach to a legal matter.” Kather has more than 30 years in the field and delivers counsel with expertise, efficiency and organisation. Augenstein, on the other hand, has been litigating patents for 15 years and is known as a tenacious and hard-headed advocate for his clients. Managing partner Miriam Kiefer “is very thorough, clear and good to work with. She has excellent legal, technical and strategic understanding, and she is very good at presenting arguments, both orally and in writing. She has an extremely fast comprehension of complex technical issues and has a professional and very kind, frank and honest character.” Two other names to know are Christopher Weber and Sören Dahm. Weber is a skilled and thoughtful coordinator of cross-border enforcement campaigns. His knowledge of tactics and procedure make him instrumental in fields as far flung as software, plastic processing and pharmaceuticals. Dahm has been involved in hundreds of proceedings involving technologies in telecommunications, automobiles and medicine. Among the firm’s many big-ticket patrons is Ericsson, whom all of the above-mentioned have been involved in representing in its longstanding spat with Apple. Dahm and Kather take on Hilti AG for Rhefor GmbH in a series of lawsuits for vindication of numerous patent families. Dahm and Kiefer collaborate for Centripetal Networks in disputes with Cisco, Keysight and Palo Alto Networks involving a total of 11 patents.
Miriam Kiefer is a founding partner and, since January 2019, managing partner of Kather Augenstein. She has been active as a lawyer for 15 years. Ms Kiefer began to specialise in industrial property during her studies and obtained an LLM in industrial property rights from the Centre for Industrial Property Rights at Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf. She is also a certified IP specialist. Ms Kiefer’s expertise has been recognised in various rankings (IAM Patent 1000, Managing Intellectual Property’s Top 250 Women in IP and IP Stars).
Ms Kiefer has conducted more than 100 infringement proceedings, primarily for patents and utility models. Many of these disputes were cross-border proceedings; she is thus familiar with the coordination of multinational disputes. Although one of her passions is medical technology, her enthusiasm and love of detail are also engaged in many other technical areas. In addition to the enforcement of technical property rights, she represents German and international clients in design, trademark infringement and unfair competition proceedings.
Ms Kiefer has co-authored two commentaries on patent law and the Unified Patent Court. She is also a regular speaker on patent law issues and provides training for patent lawyers within the context of the working group in North Rhine-Westphalia. M Kiefer assisted with the 2018 study question on joint liability for IP infringement for the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property. She is also a member of the German Association for Intellectual Property and Copyright, the Association of Intellectual Property Experts and the European Patent Lawyers Association.
Ms Kiefer is also engaged in supporting female professionals in their career and was appointed in June 2019 as a member of the board of Women in IP eV, a non-profit organisation promoting and supporting women who are active in the field of intellectual property.
Kather Augenstein is a boutique law firm with a team of 14 specialised lawyers based in Dusseldorf, Germany. The firm was established in 2016 after a spin-off from Preu Bohlig as Kather Augenstein’s members wanted to focus on what they know best: IP litigation. They relish the challenging cases. Their passion is to disentangle complex situations, make sense of apparently contradictory facts and get to the root of a problem. They latch onto the matter and never give up.
The team has been working together for many years and combines its experience and knowledge in IP litigation. In the past year, Kather Augenstein has welcomed two new associates to its team – both of them moving from international law firms. The Kather Augenstein team now comprises six partners – the most recently promoted of which is Sören Dahm – seven associates and one of counsel lawyer, and communicates with clients in German, English, French, Italian and Spanish. Our lawyers bring together the experience of a boutique law firm and that of large international law firms, pooling the best of both worlds in one team. For each mandate we form a tailor-made team that advises and represents our clients in the field of patent law at the highest level. All our partners have a great deal of expertise in all areas of intellectual property.
Kather Augenstein’s work focuses on patents, trademarks, designs and unfair competition. Our lawyers enforce IP rights in all technical areas, including telecommunications, electrical engineering, automotive, pharmaceuticals, medical technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, engineering and chemistry.
One of our core competences is to prepare complex technical issues in a way that is comprehensible for the technical layman. Our profession also faces the challenge of the future Unified Patent Court, a completely new system with no established legal principles or precedents. Together with associate foreign law firms, we have considered the subject thoroughly and examined the new law from different national sides. Since the role of judges will be even more decisive at the Unified Patent Court than it is in any existing system, our role as translators of technical facts will also become even more important.
Our organisation structure means that the team is extremely flexible and gives full attention to each mandate – something all clients can rely on. Kather Augenstein works exclusively in litigation as the team’s area of expertise is contentious disputes and overarching coordination – national and international. Further, the team has extensive experience with arbitration. Our lawyers are frequently appointed as arbitrators and are thus familiar with the other side of the bench.
The team can handle comprehensive and complex litigation cases by joining forces and knowledge. For example, in 2018 Kather Augenstein represented Audi AG and Volkswagen AG in a major dispute in the context of connected cars against Avago and Broadcom, and handled the coordination of a total of 13 proceedings. In parallel, Kather Augenstein represented Ericsson in a litigation about eight SEPs and two implementation patents against Wiko. This is the kind of work at which Kather Augenstein excels. Thanks to the size of our firm, we are more flexible than many large international law firms because, among other things, the decision-making processes are much shorter. Nevertheless, with 14 IP lawyers our team is larger than many litigation teams of international law firms in Germany.
For international legal disputes, our lawyers work seamlessly with similarly experienced firms around the world and have vast experience in coordinating international legal disputes for their clients.
Since its inception, Kather Augenstein has been listed as a recommended firm in national and international rankings such as the IAM Patent 1000, JUVE, The Legal 500, Chambers & Partners, IP Stars, Kanzleienliste 2019, Who’s Who Legal and Leaders League Group, among others. Further, our lawyers regularly speak at conferences, take part in panel discussions and have their work published in law journals.
In 2019 Kather Augenstein moved to new premises and is now located in the centre of Dusseldorf in order to accommodate the steady growth in personnel.