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.
Bronze - Individuals: prosecution and nullity
Thanks to its rich experience in the field, Samson & Partner regularly acts as a crystal ball for its clients, accurately predicting the outcomes of cases and creating bespoke strategies based on those predictions. The firm’s technically capable team – which consists of 10 partners, 12 associates and five patent engineers and trainees – is especially suited to acting for non-practising entities, but also serves some of the world’s largest corporations. The trio of physicists bringing the outfit to life are Friedrich von Samson-Himmelstjerna, Tobias Stammberger and Wolfgang Lippich. Samson-Himmelstjerna gives the outfit its name, and serves as a court expert at the Munich Court of Appeal, as a result of 30 successful years in practice. Stammberger brings experience within a multinational electrical engineering group to his practice advising heavyweights in the electronics, IT and automotive fields, while Lippich’s CERN doctorate in experimental particle physics is invaluable to his work protecting and defending IT and software patents.
Wolfgang Lippich is a German patent attorney, as well as a European patent, trademark and design attorney.
He studied physics (with honours) in Munich and Geneva and attained a doctorate in experimental particle physics at CERN (where the World Wide Web was invented). Dr Lippich also studied computer science at the Trier University of Applied Science and is a master of computer science with a thesis on quantum computing. Topics covered in depth in his computer science studies include IT networks, databases, IT security, embedded systems, Android programming, data structures and algorithms, parallel and distributed processes, image processing, deep learning, software engineering and theoretical computer science.
As a patent attorney, he has gained extensive experience in obtaining, defending and enforcing patents, including the elimination of wrongfully granted patents in the fields of information technology and telecommunications, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. In many inter partes opposition, nullity and patent infringement proceedings, Dr Lippich has successfully represented various internationally important companies.
Dr Lippich is the author of the textbook German and European Patent Law and is a visiting lecturer at the Hagen Law School.
Dr Lippich has been recommended in Juve 2012–2020, Managing Intellectual Property’s IP Stars 2013 and 2020, the IAM Patent 1000 2014–2020 and Who’s Who Legal Germany 2021.
Samson & Partner Patentanwälte mbB was founded by Friedrich R von Samson-Himmelstjerna in 1983 and has since grown into a patent law firm of 12 partners supported by 13 associate attorneys and three patent engineers and trainees.
The firm’s head office is in Munich, close to the EPO and the German Patent and Trademark Office. The firm also has its own representation in Alicante, Spain.
Each of the firm’s patent attorneys has a wealth of expertise gained through technical university studies, special training in patent law and professional work experience. In addition, the firm provides ongoing training to its professionals – a reflection that what drives the firm is its future achievements rather than its past ones. The firm’s professionals have numerous teaching roles, as assistant professors at the Hagen Law School, at technical seminars and in the training of new talent – all of which shows that the firm is always happy to go that extra mile, which naturally also benefits clients.
Successful patent attorneys must have more than just a good grasp of the law. They must be able to understand, evaluate and define what is to be protected, down to the smallest detail. This is an accurate description of the patent attorneys at Samson & Partner, where physicists, computer scientists, electrical and mechanical engineers and chemists work together under one roof.
The firm’s recipe for success has always been anticipating outcomes. The firm’s extensive experience in implementing and litigating patents benefits clients right from the outset (ie, the procurement of IP rights) until enforcement.
Samson & Partner has represented and continues to represent clients on both the offensive and defensive sides of major global patent battles between big international players in a range of technological fields. In such disputes, a number of patents are typically litigated in several jurisdictions, often in parallel in Europe and the United States. Thanks to its structure and professionals’ expertise, the firm has proven to be well positioned to establish strong teams of patent attorneys to support clients in these multinational litigations.
Work areas and services
The firm works in all areas of IP law – both nationally and internationally. Its services range from the assessment of protectability and the drafting of patent and utility model applications to the procurement of protection rights through the relevant authorities. The firm also defends clients’ patents against attacks by third parties (eg, oppositions, nullity and cancellation actions).
Samson & Partner has a strong focus on patent litigation, in which the firm supports clients in the enforcement of their patents against infringers through infringement analysis, warning and infringement actions. The firm also supports companies concerned by the patent rights of competitors – for example, through clearance and violation analyses, the removal of questionable patent rights through prior art searches, representation in opposition proceedings or nullity and cancellation actions, and defence in infringement proceedings. The firm also advises on licensing, transmission, cooperation and non-disclosure agreements; carries out due diligence; advises on patent strategies; and evaluates the patent portfolios of clients and their competitors.
The world of inventions and patents is as varied as the technical areas that Samson & Partner covers, which include:
- applied physics (eg, semiconductors, supra-conductors, laser technology, optics, opto-electronics, sensors and biophysics);
- information and communication technology (eg, software, multimedia, networks, telecoms, business processes and hardware);
- electro-technology (eg, electronics, integrated circuits, control engineering, feedback technology, electric drives and electro-communication technology);
- mechanics and process engineering (eg, vehicles, aircraft, machines, medical technology, weapons, construction and printing); and
- chemistry and biochemistry (eg, inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry, organic chemistry, pharmaceutics, immunology, protein chemistry, molecular biology and genetic engineering).
Samson & Partner is frequently recommended for both patent prosecution and litigation – for instance, in Juve in 2022. In 2012 the firm received the Managing Intellectual Property award for Patent Prosecution Firm of the Year in Germany, while Managing Intellectual Property’s IP Stars handbook has ranked the firm for Germany since 2013. The IAM Patent 1000 has recommended the firm for prosecution and nullity since its 2014 edition.