Miriam Kiefer

Ranked in Germany
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.

Silver - Individuals: infringement

IP boutique Kather Augenstein has one of the largest teams of its kind on the German market – comprising 13 lawyers solely dedicated to intellectual property. Patents are the focus, and the group prides itself on its ability to handle technically complex cases while making it appear simple. “The firm is outstanding, offering reliable and responsive support at a reasonable cost. Its strength is litigation, where it demonstrates broad experience and an understanding of individual judges and proceedings.” Giving the outfit its name are Peter Kather and Christof Augenstein. Kather has collected his expertise over 30 years spent fighting in cross-border patent disputes, and applies his knowledge generously. Augenstein, meanwhile, has been litigating patents for over 15 years and continues to receive effusive praise for his work: “Christof is very easy to work with, which is a prerequisite for handling technically and legally complex cases in multiple jurisdictions, which typically involves collaboration between many people. He pays great attention to all details of the cases, both from the technical and the legal side, and is very proactive while keeping a view of the overall scenario.” The eponymous pair co-founded the ensemble with Miriam Kiefer, who has played her hand in over 100 patent disputes, to successful effect. “Miriam is a strategic thinker – she is always exceptionally helpful in explaining the intricacies of German patent law and offers valuable advice on how to proceed.” Christopher Weber is another partner who has been with the firm since its founding – his diverse practice sees him handle briefs in fields as varied as pharmaceuticals and software, and he also steps in to advise on unfair competition issues. Matching this versatility is Sören Dahm, who has been litigating patents for the past decade, over which time he has tried his hand in almost every technical area. Since becoming a partner in 2018 his reputation has been steadily growing, not only on home soil but also internationally, thanks to his near-constant involvement in cross-border issues.

Miriam Kiefer's Profile

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 Düsseldorf. She is also a certified IP specialist. Ms Kiefer’s expertise has been recognised in various rankings (IAM Patent 1000, The Legal 500, 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.

Firm Profile

Kather Augenstein is a boutique law firm consisting of five partners and eight lawyers specialised in intellectual property law, based in Düsseldorf, Germany. The team is larger than many other teams of international law firms in Germany, and they relish 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. Our lawyers bring together the experience of a boutique law firm and that of large international law firms, such as Linklaters, Bird & Bird and Hogan Lovells, pooling the best of both worlds into 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 fields, in particular telecommunications, automotive, electrical engineering, automotive, pharmaceuticals, medical technology, biotechnology, nanotechnology, mechanical engineering, chemistry and many more.

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 become even more important. Kather Augenstein’s partners are qualified to be a judge at the new Unified Patent Court – expertise that benefits our clients.

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, and our lawyers are frequently appointed as arbitrators and are thus familiar with the other side of the bench.

Kather Augenstein is unique in terms of size and structure. With 13 specialised IP lawyers, we have a powerful team that can work together on a single large case if necessary. This enables us to represent our clients even in large litigation. The long-standing expertise of all our lawyers comes to bear in important international mandates, such as the large mandate Audi AG/VW against Broadcom/Avago, Ericsson against Samsung and Ericsson against Apple. Thanks to the size of our firm, we are more flexible than many large international law firms in Germany because, among other things, the decision-making processes are much shorter.

For international legal disputes, our lawyers work seamlessly with similarly experienced firms worldwide 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 IAM Patent 1000, JUVE Patent, The Legal 500, Chambers & Partners, IP Stars, 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.

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