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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.

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Germany > Intellectual property > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Patent litigation

Index of tables

  1. Intellectual property: patent litigation
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Patent litigation clients in Germany using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Bird & Bird’s team grew significantly with the arrival of Felix Harbsmeier and Felix Landry, both previously patent attorneys at Uexküll & Stolberg, and the partner promotion of Christopher Maierhöfer. The practice surrounding the renowned Christian Harmsen stands out from competitors due to its work in connection with antitrust and pharmaceutical law. Highlights included representing Edwards LifeSciences in patent infringement proceedings around heart valve prostheses against Boston Scientific and acting for Valeo in several patent infringement proceedings, such as against Mitsubishi regarding alternating current generators and other competitors concerning ultrasound transducers. Broadcom was a client in connection with disputes with Asus and Invensas. With its strong international expertise the team advised Fisher & Paykel on patent infringement proceedings in the medical devices sector, including coordinating the procedures in the UK and the US. The firm also continues to be very active in the telecoms sector: Oliver Jan Jüngst and Matthias Meyer represented Nokia and NSN in multiple patent infringement proceedings against Apple, which were concluded with a settlement and a licence agreement over several years. Boris Kreye led the advice to Technicolor in patent infringement proceedings around the UMTS standard. A client in the area of utility model law was Nestlé in connection with espresso machines.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s team around ‘brilliant strategist’ and practice head Andreas von Falck continues its patent advice work in the telecoms and life sciences sectors, but also showed its strong positioning in the chemical and optics industries with the partner promotion of Alexander Klicznik. In the telecoms area, which continues to centre predominantly around Martin Chakraborty and Martin Fähndrich, a highlight was Steffen Steininger’s successful representation of LGE in two proceedings concerning two standard-essential patents for UMTS and the accompanying validity proceedings. In the life sciences sector Miriam Gundt’s advice to Merck & Co. in the dispute around the HIV drug Isentress stands out; in July 2017 the German Federal Court confirmed the compulsory licence for Merck. The firm also provides transaction-related advice, such as for US automotive supplier Dana in connection with the takeover of Brevini Group’s gearbox business, in this case led by its Italian office.

The team’s ‘outstanding industry knowledge’ and ‘goal-oriented and practical advice’ convince Hoyng Rokh Monegier’s clients as much as its ‘strong business sense’ and ‘the right leverage with experienced partners and very good associates’. Part of the ‘top tier of German patent litigation firms’, the practice is particularly recommended for advice in the electronics sector and matters relating to antitrust law, but is also well positioned in the mechanical engineering and life sciences areas. In the telecoms sector the team’s strength manifests itself in the continued representation of Telekom Deutschland in two patent infringement proceedings. Another client was OpenTV regarding a high-profile patent infringement proceeding against Apple concerning iOS and MacOS-based devices; the firm also coordinated the accompanying border seizure proceedings. Nokia is also a regular client in connection with the entire spectrum of patent law. Besides the ‘particularly experienced litigator’ Christian Osterrieth, ‘outstanding negotiatorKay Kasper and the ‘excellentMartin Köhler are recommended. Klaus Haft, who is ‘especially convincing at court’, is also an ‘excellent project manager’ and ‘always fully informed’. Stefan Richter is ‘legally and technically always up to speed, at the same time also calm, matter-of-fact and extremely reliable’.

Arnold Ruess Rechtsanwälte PartmbBhas high expertise and a powerful, young but at the same time already experienced team of lawyers’, whose legal documents are ‘a miracle in terms of structure and precision and simultaneously to-the-point and a pleasure to read’; therefore the Düsseldorf-based boutique, which is ‘especially recommended for complex disputes’, is ‘in no way inferior to the large IP firms and delivers outstanding work’. The practice continued to handle numerous prominent proceedings: It advised Nokia, Alcatel Lucent and Adtran in proceedings led by Intellectual Ventures and represented Forward Pharma in a dispute with Biogen against its product Tecfidera. The team is led by ‘key player in patent law’ and ‘unflappable’ Bernhard Arnold, who ‘shows unconditional engagement’; ‘energic specialist’ and ‘excellent communicator’ Cordula Schumacher is a ‘top patent litigator’, whose ‘dedication amazes clients’; and ‘very meticulous’ counsel Arno Riße is ‘an outstanding team player’ and ‘future star’.

Bardehle Pagenbergoffers an outstanding level of support’ and the firm’s ‘honest and pragmatic advice’ creates ‘a very high level of trust’ among clients. Particular strengths lie in telecoms and mechanical and electrical engineering, but the team is also well positioned in software, IT and computer technology. It advises longstanding client adidas in various patent infringement and nullity proceedings, including nullity appeal proceedings against Nike. Another highlight is the representation of Intellectual Ventures in a multitude of patent infringement proceedings. Tilman Müller-Stoy shows a ‘great battle attitude at court’ and makes clients ‘feel in the best hands also in emotional moments due to his calm, matter-of-fact demeanor’. Peter Chrocziel joined from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in February 2018.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s patent law advice is firmly anchored in the pharmaceutical and telecoms sectors and there particularly in mobile communications; a distinguishing mark is also the firm’s work on international matters, recently particularly in cooperation with the Amsterdam and London offices. Frank-Erich Hufnagel and Wolrad Prinz zu Waldeck und Pyrmont advised Bristol-Meyers Squibb on the enforcement of a patent for an antibody applied in cancer treatments and the team also provided advice to Genentech in a matter, which combined patent, arbitration and antitrust law. Another highlight was representing NTT docomo, Japan’s largest mobile provider, in four proceedings due to the infringement of standard-essential patents against HTC. The firm furthermore acted for STMicroelectronics International in disputes with the Fraunhofer Institute and parallel actions against the client’s customers. Peter Chrocziel left for Bardehle Pagenberg in February 2018.

Kather Augenstein Rechtsanwältealways finds creative solutions for very complex problems’ and ‘the team is large enough to resolve these in a rapid, resolute and qualitatively outstanding manner, and small enough to facilitate a personal cooperation’; ‘there are no quality differences within the team’, since the ‘partners’ industry knowledge is impressive’ and ‘associates also give advice at the highest level’. The IP boutique predominantly advises renowned players in the electronics, telecoms, medical and automotive sectors, including Ericsson, which the firm represented in a dispute with Deutsche Telekom surrounding the TV service Entertain; Tesa; BASF; HTC and Boston Scientific. An important new client is Deutsche Post DHL. ‘Expert in patent law’ and ‘at court absolutely unique’ senior partner Peter Kather has ‘inexhaustable know-how’; managing partner Christof Augensteinnegotiates with persistence and clever tactics’; Christopher Weber, who provides ‘qualitatively high-grade advice’ and ‘stands out for his precision’, and Alexander Haertel, whose ‘continuous creative engagement’, are also recommended.

KLAKA Rechtsanwälte is thematically broadly positioned, but stands out for its particular expertise in mechanical engineering, electronics and chemistry. The renowned Olaf Giebe, who heads the patent practice together with Michael Nieder, represented 3M in complex nullity proceedings against tesa together with Constantin Kurtz; the firm also advised the client in patent infringement proceedings regarding the same patent against a competitor and in a series of other proceedings in the areas of dentistry and automotive components. Stefan Eck among others regularly advises bike component manufacturer SRAM and another key client is ZTE. The team furthermore represented kitchen system manufacturer Eisfink in patent infringement proceedings against a competitor in the area of mobile cooking stations.

Krieger Mes & Graf v. der Groeben traditionally ranks among the well established firms that cover patent infringement proceedings: A particular focus lies on infringement proceedings in the electronics, digital and telecoms sectors with the renowned Axel Verhauwen as a key figure of the practice. The firm is especially experienced in alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation. Clients include both large international corporations and domestic mid-sized companies. The team represented France Brevets in several infringement proceedings against HTC and Samsung regarding near field communication patents. Name and senior partner Peter Mes is highly recognised.

Both Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP’s Munich and the Mannheim offices enjoy a good and longstanding reputation in patent disputes in the telecoms and technology area and one counsel also advises from the firm’s Hamburg office. Munich-based and frequently recommended practice head Marcus Grosch and Johannes Bukow in Mannheim continue to handle several large patent infringement proceedings, including numerous ones with international aspects, such as for Daimler. Another highlight was representing Google as intervening party in patent infringement proceedings led by Philips against android manufacturers. Other clients include Motorola, Everlight and SWM. Jesko Preuß was promoted to counsel, but non-equity partner Jan Ebersohl joined Allen & Overy LLP as partner in December 2017.

Rospatt Osten Pross is a ‘legally and technically highly competent’ and ‘excellent firm’. The team ‘delivers outstanding work both in terms of strategic advice in the run-up to legal proceedings at court and at court itself’ and ‘always keeps clients’ welfare in mind’; clients particularly appreciate ‘the very short response times due to the lawyers’ skills’. The team has broad expertise, but frequently acts in pharmaceutical disputes: It advised Illumina Sequenom in proceedings against Roche and diagnostic laboratories equipped by Roche in the area of prenatal non-invasive diagnostics. It also handled a global dispute for Biogen surrounding the blockbuster MS medication Tecfidera. Another highlight was representing Samsung Electronics in proceedings against the patent developer FIPA regarding UMTS and HSPA standards. Recommended are the ‘strategically thinking, creative and assertiveThomas Musmann, who ‘also surprisingly wins weak cases’; Max von Rospatt, who has ‘an extremely quick grasp for technically complex matters’; and Henrik Timmann, who is recognised for the ‘precision and persuasion of his pleas’ and whose ‘work quality sets new standards in the premium class’.

Düsseldorf boutique Wildanger Kehrwald Graf v Schwerin & Partner mbB advises on a range of technical areas, with recent highlight matters focusing on telecoms, mechanical engineering and life sciences, where Wolf Graf von Schwerin has particular expertise. Under the co-lead of Eva Geschke the firm advised Saint Lawrence Communications in several proceedings around standard-essential patents against a multitude of mobile phone manufacturers and also acted for Cellular Communications in proceedings against Apple regarding standard-essential patents. In the pharmaceutical sector the firm’s advice to Mylan in proceedings against TEVA stand out and in medical engineering its work for MTW. Peter-Michael Weisse is recommended and Roland Kehrwald has expertise in computer, electrical, medical and genetic engineering.

With a ‘good service level’ and ‘quick response timesCMS continues its strong patent practice advising companies in the mid-sized sector, but also acts for global clients. The team centres around Markus Deck, who ensures ‘a straightforward cooperation’, Matthias Eck and Gerd Schoenen in the automotive and life sciences sectors and here particularly in medical engineering and biotechnology. Another important pillar of the practice is the firm’s work for clients in the consumer goods industry. Highlights included the representation of mechanical engineering company Hinterkopf in patent infringement proceedings and the continuous advice to the Swabian energy supplier Albwerk and a company in the Faulhaber group. The team furthermore acted for machine tool manufacturer Trumpf in patent infringement and nullity proceedings.

With ‘short response times’, ‘great skills’ and ‘adequate team strength despite high work loadsGleiss Lutz’s practice surrounding Düsseldorf practice head Matthias Sonntag is recommended ‘for larger cases with a high level of complextity’ and covers a range of industries with a focus in the life sciences sector, but also handles impressive matters in the automotive, electronic engineering and telecoms areas. Of counsel Thomas Bopp represented betapharm in patent infringement proceedings against Novartis regarding the Alzheimer medication Rivastigmin and the firm continues to act for medical technology company Joline in the dispute with MedTech Development Deutschland surrounding a kyphoplasty procedure. Other clients include Actavis, Procter & Gamble and Opel. Counsel Herwig Lux is noted for his ‘analytic skills’, ‘great care’ and ‘longstanding experience’.

Grünecker has ‘broad expertise’ and is ‘extremely efficient in coordinating and leading complex international teams’; the firm is capable of ‘advising several parallel complex proceedings in a timely manner’ whereby ‘the combination of patent attorneys and lawyers is a decisive and effective advantage’. Since mid-2016 the practice gained some prominent new clients: It advised Broadcom in two parallel nullity proceedings regarding Playstation 4 and Sony Xperia against Sony. Nokia is now also a client in patent litigation, currently in four actions surrounding standard-essential patents against Apple. The team furthermore advises medical technology manufacturer Teleflex Medical in the course of a larger dispute in several parallel proceedings, including in patent injunction procedures. Ulrich Blumenröder, who together with Bernd Allekotte advises a global manufacturer in the automotive industry, impresses with the ‘high quality of work, his quick grasp of technical aspects and his strategic advice’.

Particularly established in patent prosecution, Hoffmann Eitle also continues to act in disputes with a strong focus on the life sciences industry, but also covers the electrical and mechanical engineering and chemistry areas with litigation expertise. Niels Hölder represents Bayer in an action brought by BASF regarding the distribution of the herbicide Tembotrione and acts for Edwards Lifesciences in an action for vindication against Neovasc Tiara due to a patent application for catheter mitral valve prostheses. Another highlight was the defence of ASUS in three patent infringement proceedings. The team also has close connections in Japan and a Japanese-speaking lawyer with Dirk Schüßler-Langeheine, as the extensive list of Japense clients shows; it includes Mitsubishi Electric in connection with the defence in two patent infringement proceedings and another client was Nippon Carbide Industries regarding infringement and nullity proceedings surrounding retro-reflective foils.

Jones Day’s patent litigation practice focuses on advising pharmaceutical companies. The team around practice head Martin Weber, which also includes Christian Paul, represented BioMarin Pharmaceuticals in a patent dispute surrounding Duchenne muscular dystrophy medication together with the London office. Celgene is a regular client regarding proceedings against generic drug manufacturers in the area of cancer medication and the South Korean company CJ CheilJedang sought the firm’s advice in a patent dispute against a Japanese competitor regarding a genetically engineered amino acid. Gerd Jaekel acted for Lufthansa Technik in an international patent infringement proceeding against a US distributor of aircraft cabin electronics. Another client was QA Technologies in inspection, patent infringement and nullity proceedings surrounding test devices for the circuit control of mobile phones.

After the spin-off from Preu Bohlig & Partner in January 2016 Kather Augenstein Rechtsanwälte expanded its patent law practice to Hamburg: There Daniel Hoppe, who joined from Harte-Bavendamm Rechtsanwälte in July 2017, leads the patent team, which otherwise continues its strong practice in the Munich office. Thematically the team has broad expertise with a recently particularly high volume of highlights in the electrical and mechanical engineering sectors. The firm represented PII Pipetronix in proceedings for the transfer of patents to a pipeline testing device and advised Sandvine in patent infringement proceedings in the area of network technology and parallel nullity proceedings. ZKW Group is a client regarding three patent infringement proceedings surrounding automotive headlights. Stephan Gruber and Hannes Jacobsen joined CBH Rechtsanwälte Cornelius, Bartenbach, Haesemann & Partner.

Simmons & Simmons LLP was able to expand its practice with a well-established and strong focus on the life sciences sector by gaining HTC as a new client: The mobile provider sought the firm’s representation in 12 patent infringement proceedings against IPCom due to the infringement of standard-essential telecoms patents in the former Bosch patent portfolio; the matter was led by Michael Knospe, who joined from King & Wood Mallesons’ closed Munich office. Nevertheless the team surrounding practice head Peter Meyer continues to advise on large matters for life sciences clients: It acted for Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica in patent infringement proceedings against Intervet regarding a vaccine for pigs and another highlight was the representation of Mack Rides in connection with the enforcement of patent rights for the use of virtual reality glasses for amusement rides. Daniel Kendziur was promoted to counsel.

Taylor Wessing continues to focus on advising companies in the life sciences, electrical engineering and IT sectors, which are also areas of expertise for the newly promoted salaried partners Sara Burghart and Jan Phillip Rektorschek. A recent highlight was representing ASUS in eight patent infringement proceedings against Philips and parallel nullity proceedings and practice head Christian Lederer acted for Nichia in patent infringement proceedings against Everlight regarding LED technology patents; the team also included of counsel Sabine Rojahn. Christoph de Coster represented Hexal in damage claims against Sanofi due to a preliminary injunction and in proceedings against Eli Lilly surrounding the cytostatic Permetrexed. Also noteworthy is the firm’s representation of Metatron in proceedings against Volkswagen.

Besides several clients in the life sciences sector Vossius & Partner also advises on patent disputes in a wide range of other industries, including telecoms, electronical and mechanical engineering, process technology and physics. Highlights included the representation of various clients in the life sciences area and in particular the conclusion of proceedings at the German Federal Court. The team, comprised of Johann Pitz and Thure Schubert among others, also again demonstrated its strength in the coordination of international infringement series. The broad client portfolio also includes a software provider.

In contentious patent matters Allen & Overy LLP stands out for its ‘very short response times’, ‘strong business sense’ and ‘good industry knowledge’. Particularly in the biotech sector the team around ‘very experienced’ practice head Joachim Feldges is ‘outstanding’. Accordingly the focus of recent highlights lies on the pharmaceutical area, such as representing Pfizer in several parallel injunction procedures on second medical use patents against generic pharmaceuticals companies. Another client was Archos in a mobile communications dispute with Philips. Counsel Philipp Cepl, who has expertise in mobile communications matters, however, left for DLA Piper in October 2017. Subsequently Jan Ebersohl, previously non-equity partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP, joined as partner in December 2017.

Baker McKenzie’s Frankfurt and Munich-based patent law practice covers a broad spectrum of technical areas: double qualified Jochen Herr, who leads the team together with Günter Pickrahn, has expertise both in process technology and mechanical engineering. Longstanding client Becton Dickinson currently seeks the firm’s advice in multinational patent infringement proceedings and the team is also handling a dispute around LED technology. Other clients include technology corporation Giesecke+Devrient, Pelikan Vertriebsgesellschaft and RealD.

Boehmert & Boehmert’s ‘very good’ practice consisting of both patent attorneys and attorneys at law delivers work that is ‘precise and totally reliable’. Recent highlights include Michael Rüberg and Dennis Kretschmann’s comprehensive representation of 3S Smart Software Solutions in a dispute pending in the US around 21 patents in the software industry automatisation area. Another client is Aeritas, company specialising in mobile barcodes, regarding the enforcement of patents around a procedure used by airlines for the electronic transfer of boarding passes to smartphones.

CBH Rechtsanwälte Cornelius, Bartenbach, Haesemann & Partner’s patent litigation team, which continues its strong presence in Cologne, has significantly bolstered its practice with the arrival of Stephan Gruber and Hannes Jacobsen, who both joined the Munich office from Preu Bohlig & Partner in July 2017. The team thereby also expanded its previously predominant and well established focus on employee invention law to additional expertise in patent infringement proceedings in the area of electronic engineering and electrotechnology, chemistry, mechanical engineering and medical technology. Recently Kurt Bartenbach and Jens Kunzmann also represented Volkswagen in an action for vindication with a dispute value in the three-digit million range.

DLA Piper’s patent practice ‘recently significantly gained in visibility in the market, not least due to the management’ under practice head Markus Gampp, who is considered a ‘very good litigation strategist’ and ‘always keeps an eye also on economic considerations. The ‘very dynamic, qualitatively excellent team’ is ‘efficient and pragmatic’ and ‘as part of an impressive global network in patent law also well positioned for multijurisdictional disputes’. Recent highlights include the representation of Robert Bosch in infringement and nullity proceedings in the automotive parts area against Mitsuba and acting for Alpinestars, a manufacturer of clothing and protective gear for motorsports and action sports, in several proceedings against competitor Dainese regarding a motorcycle jacket with an integrated airbag. Techtronic Industries is a new client in the tools sector. Philipp Cepl joined from Allen & Overy LLP in October 2017 and strengthened the team with expertise in mobile communications.

Harmsen Utescher has broad expertise in patent law, but matters in the life sciences sector constitute a main pillar of the practice; other areas include electrical and mechanical engineering and IT. The team led by Rainer Kaase and Karsten Königer is also regularly assisted by patent attorney Sabine Kossak, who specialises in chemistry.

Hengeler Mueller’s patent practice led by renowned Düsseldorf-based practice head Wolfgang Kellenter was again active in numerous matters for collecting societies. It represented IPCom in three infringement proceedings against Nokia, Apple and HTC and advised FIPA in patent infringement proceedings against Sony Mobile Communications, Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics. Other highlights besides acting for General Electrics in several infringement proceedings also included advising Saint-Gobain Abrasives and Piaggio. The client portfolio is furthermore comprised of Sisvel, BRITA and N&W Global Vending, among others.

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek’s practice based in Düsseldorf advises numerous international clients under the lead of Anton Horn. The already in 2016 important matter for the French technology company Echosens surrounding the enforcement of a patent and the representation in parallel nullity proceedings continued to keep the team busy in 2017. Danish company EnerDry remains a client in disputes around an installation for the drying of biomass and sports surfaces provider Sisgrass, Bakker Holding and EGGER also sought the firm’s advice.

With the promotion of Marco Stief to equity partner Maiwald Patentanwalts GmbH’s patent litigation practice has more firmly established itself in the market; in contentious patent matters the teams regularly consist both of patent attorneys and attorneys at law. The firm has particular expertise in the pharmaceutical area, such as representing Radiometer in various infringement proceedings against Brahms, a company specialising in in vitro diagnostics.

Noerr’s Munich-based patent law team surrounding Ralph Nack and Thomas Gniadek focuses on IT and telecoms, but also acts for clients in the life sciences sector. It has been handling patent licence disputes for Thomson Licensing against Pioneer since January 2017 and represents ParkerVision in infringement proceedings around several patents in the mobile communications area and RFID chip technology. Other clients include Data Scape, WiLAN and Japan Aviation Electronics Industry.


Patent prosecution

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Patent prosecution clients in Germany using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

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Bardehle Pagenberg’s patent law team stands out for its ‘enthusiam and excellency’ and ‘always gives honest and pragmatic advice’. It is considered a ‘perfect model for good cooperation between clients and firms’, was able to expand its work in the prosecution area since 2016 not only via the hire of five new associates but also in terms of the volume of handled matters: The firm advises longstanding client adidas increasingly also on IP and research contracts; besides representing Apple at the German Patent and Trademark Office (GPTO) and European Patent Office (EPO) it particularly also advises the client on employee invention law and licence matters; and other highlights included acting for Nintendo and Qualcomm. Especially in patent prosecution, clients additionally benefit from the practice’s combination of patent attorneys and attorneys at law. Hans Wegner’s ‘sense for detail and strategy is incredibly good’ and Christian Haupt is ‘always perfectly prepared’.

Boehmert & Boehmert continues to operate one of the largest patent application practices in Germany and offers ‘precise and absolutely reliable advice’. The team managed to acquire new patent portfolios for strategic advice in the areas of electrotechnology and physics, biotech, pharmaceuticals and chemistry. Other areas of focus include advice in the context of product launches and assisting clients in the life sciences and pharmaceutical sectors on the conclusion of licence, research and cooperation agreements. The firm covers a wide range of technical areas and was able to gain an expert for medical products, mechanical, electrical and textile engineering with Klaus Seranski from Leinweber & Zimmermann. A recent highlight was advising Beauty Union Global on the Europe-wide coordination and enforcement of the strategy against counterfeit products.

Cohausz & Florackparticularly in the area of mobile communications belongs to the top patent prosecution firms’ and offers an ‘excellent service’. The ‘large team of outstanding patent attorneys’ also ‘always takes into consideration economically feasible approaches’. Clients stem from the electrical and mechanical engineering, chemistry, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, physics, IT and communications sectors. Recently the firm advised Deutsche Post DHL on applications, portfolio management and portfolio strategy and the lodging of appeals against property rights of third parties in a series of technological areas. Christoph Walke is ‘not only technically and legally outstanding, but also strong in communication’. Philipe Walter has a ‘very structured working method and always keeps an eye on the big picture regarding the clients’ corporate goals’. Jérôme Krüger joined GOTTSCHALD Patentanwälte.

Very good firmEisenführ Speiser advises on patent law matters in a multitude of technical areas ranging from electrotechnology, software and physics, mechanical engineering, process technology, energy technology and civil engineering to life sciences and pharmaceuticals. In 2017 the firm expanded its work for Philips Lighting and also handled an increasing volume of matters for Philips in the healthcare sector. It furthermore gained the entire patent portfolio of tool manufacturer DICK. Longstanding client Lunos Lüftungstechnik sought the firm’s advice on the application and granting of a basic patent for the control of EC engines. The team is also highly active in giving strategic advice, such as on the individual and competitor-oriented analysis of the patent portfolio of the Federal Printing Office (Bundesdruckerei). The ‘analytic and efficient’ Uwe Stilkenböhmer is recommended. At the start of 2018 the chemistry group was strengthened with Peter Wiegeleben from Uexküll & Stolberg.

Grünecker stands out for its ‘very high quality of advice’ and with ‘excellent and profound expertise’ the broad practice particularly expanded its German and European patent application practice, but also continues its strength in international matters. The team consists of over 80 patent attorneys who cover all technical areas in-house with pillars in mechanical engineering, physics, electronical engineering and IT. One new client gained in 2016 is medical product manufacturer Sorin CRM SAS, which led to increased advice in the medical technology segment. Dietmar Kuhl is recommended in the firm’s main office in Munich. The practice furthermore stretches across the Cologne, Berlin and Paris offices.

In Düsseldorf, Hamburg and Munich Hoffmann Eitle advises on biotechnology, electotechnology and IT with particular strengths in chemistry and mechanics. The firm is well established in patent prosecution, but also has expertise in the execution of due diligence processes and experience in licence law matters. A recent highlight was advising Belgian biopharmaceutical manufacturer UCB Pharma on the enforcement of pharmaceutical patents. Other clients include Seiko Epson, Mitsubishi Electric, Sony Ericsson, Baxalta and Fujifilm. The firm is well positioned in Europe with offices in London, Madrid and Milan and also has strong ties in Japan.

Vossius & Partner’s continuously growing reputation in the life sciences, chemistry and technology areas was substantiated with the partner promotions of Raphael Salzer, who focuses on medical technology and mechanical engineering, biochemist Oswin Ridderbusch and Peter Höcherl, who advises the chemical and pharmaceutical sectors. The team correspondingly saw highlights in these areas of expertise: Hans-Rainer Jaenichen gave comprehensive advice to Merck Sharp & Dohme on patent application procedures and Geniatech was a client regarding FRAND negotiations around several standard portfolios. Alexa von Uexküll focuses on the pharmacology segment.

Jones Day’s team ‘gives companies the feeling of being the only client’ and is ‘always available’. Martin Weber advises on a portfolio by biopharmaceutical company Akebia Therapeutics; the firm also represented the client in opposition proceedings at the EPO that involved relying in part on discovery proceedings led in the US. In opposition proceedings the team was also busy acting for Rational, a German manufacturer of combi steamers and ovens suitable for large and commercial kitchens. Dorothée Weber-Bruls handles the global portfolio management for SMR Patents around rear-view mirrors, particularly with regard to the German and US market and related freedom-to-operate analyses for new camera system technologies. The firm also assisted shipbuilding company Ulstein Group with the development of an application strategy in the area of hulls. The ‘particularly goodChristian Paulworks synergetically’.

From its offices in Düsseldorf and Munich patent boutique König . Szynka . Tilmann . von Renesse has a strong focus on the prosecution area and was able to expand its patent application practice with the takeover of the entire patent portfolio by biotechnology company Mologen and the takeover of 50 patent families of automotive distributor A. Raymond. The firm’s work for Eli Lilly in nullity proceedings around the impotence drug Cialis and its advice to AbbVie in opposition proceedings around the rheumatism medicine Humira shows the practice’s strength in the life sciences and chemistry areas; yet the team has broad expertise and also advises French mining group Imerys in nullity proceedings in the area of raw material particles and industrial packaging manufacturer Mauser. Gregor König is one of the key figures.

Maikowski & Ninnemann delivers work that is ‘punctual, client-oriented, flexible and technically outstanding’. Noted for its ‘high standards’, the team is spread across the firm’s offices in Berlin, Leipzig and Munich and has ‘excellent industry expertise and detailed knowledge’ and a ‘very high service level with at least one contact person available in each team at all times’. With the acquisition of Google, ThyssenKrupp and the wind farm manufacturer Suzlon the team managed a significant expansion of its prosecution practice. It also acts for clients in the electrotechnology, mechanical engineering, biochemistry and chemistry, software and physics sectors, such as AstraZeneca, Carl Zeiss, Rolls Royce and Fraunhofer Gesellschaft. Gunnar Baumgärtel, Ralf Emig, Christoph Schröder and associate Sandro Staroske are recommended.

Maiwald Patentanwalts GmbH has a ‘high understanding of clients’ needs’ and is noted for its ‘outstanding quality of work’ and providing ‘valuable advice’. The ‘big team spirit, also with regard to client relationships’ stands out alongside the ‘practically oriented working methods’ and ‘deep industry expertise’. The practice was bolstered by the merger with Munich-based IP boutique Kotitschke und Heurung; particularly Ralf Kotitschke strengthened the patent prosecution area. A focus lies in assisting pharmaceutical companies and the firm is also building a good reputation in the mechanical engineering, technology, computer and software segments. Highlights included advising Intel and Continental and also acting for Valmet and Massachussetts General Hospital, both regarding biomass treatment and processing. The ‘technically phenomenal’ Eva Ehlich, who ‘achieves optimum results for her clients’ is recommended. Besides numerous contentious proceedings Dirk Bühler was also active in prosecution. Sophie Ertl and Eva Dörner were promoted to equity partners.

Manitz, Finsterwald & Partner distinguishes itself from competitors through its clear international profile, particularly since several attorneys are admitted at the European Patent Office, two at the British and one at the Chinese Patent Office; about half of the firm’s clients base stems from abroad. Advice ranges from global patent applications, including the drafting of new applications, to the representation in opposition, cancellation and nullity proceedings and strategic advice on the management of patent portfolios, including freedom-to-operate research and research on the state of the art. The team advises on mechanical engineering, physics, chemistry and biochemistry, but has a focus on eletrocotechnology and here specifically acts for clients in the automotive industry. Clients include General Motors, ZTE and Sumitomo Rubber Industries.

Meissner Bolte Patentanwälte Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB is ‘a very good firm especially for patent application procedures’ and is noted for its ‘high level of service’. The team has particular industry expertise in mechanical engineering and physics but advises more broadly on chemistry, electrical and medical technology and biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, material science and IT. Highlights included providing comprehensive advice to US aluminium manufacturer Alcoa and assisting Cybex, Electrolux and Facebook. Other clients include Johnson Controls, Mitsubishi Electric, Villeroy & Boch and Voith.

Gulde & Partner’s team led by senior partner Jürgen Hengelhaupt continues to focus on advising the electronics and telecoms sectors, but also acts for industry giants such as Siemens, Robert Bosch, Volkswagen, Coty, Reemtsma Cigarettenfabriken and Imperial Tobacco. With a contact office in Peking and two Chinese patent attorneys in the Berlin office the firm is a port of call for Chinese clients and is also well positioned in the Japanese and Korean markets with patent attorneys admitted in the respective countries. Samsung Electronics continues to be a client regarding patent applications in the telecoms, medical and household technology areas. The practice also gained Audi as new client. Marlene Ziebig left to establish her own firm ZIEBIG, while Diana Taubert and Mark Gobald were promoted to partner.

Hauck Patent- und Rechtsanwälte’s eight-strong team focuses on patent law advice in the mechanical engineering, electrotechnology and physics sectors. Longstanding client Nordex Energy sought the firm’s advice on several opposition and opposition appeal proceedings. The team also handles project-related patent application work and freedom-to-operate research for Jungheinrich and another highlight in 2017 was the takeover of a patent portfolio by Illinois Tool Works in the context of the acquisition of the business division of mounting systems and components from ZF TRW. The practice is predominantly based in the Hamburg office, but the firm also has one partner in Düsseldorf.

Recognised for its ‘high reliability in terms of response times’, ‘very good advice’ and ‘uncomplicated service’, Lorenz Seidler Gossel assists clients with the strategic development of patent portfolios, patent applications and opposition and nullity proceedings. Highlights included acting for a household appliance manufacturer in opposition proceedings and representing an Italian shoe manufacturer in nullity proceedings. Another client was an agricultural machinery manufacturer in several opposition proceedings around a new machines division. In the team surrounding the renowned mechanical engineering expert Dieter Laufhütte particularly Uwe Herrmann and Wolfgang Behr stand out for their ‘high expertise and reliability’ and Michael Thoma also has ‘outstanding technical knowledge’.

In the patent prosecution area Michalski - Hüttermann & Partner Patentanwälte is particularly active in the biochemistry sector, specifically in organic chemistry and biotechnology and electrotechnology, but also has demonstrable expertise in mechanical engineering. The firm’s main office in Düsseldorf is well complemented by the practice in Munich and the firm is one of four members in the pan-European IP network Euripta.

Prinz & Partner’s patent application focus lies in the mechanical engineering segment, but the team also often acts in the biochemistry and electrotechnology sectors. Thomas Kitzhofer and Jochen Sties advised Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies and Roof Systems on strategic questions and application procedures and automotive distributor Valeo sought the firm’s advice for research on the validity of patents held by competitors. Other clients include Fraport, Metrona Wärmemesser Union and the German pharmaceutical and laboratory supplier Sartorius. Tim Hülsheger was promoted to partner.

Munich-based firm Prüfer & Partner advises clients on application and administrative procedures at the GPTO and EPO with particular experience in applications which are subsequently submitted to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). This orientation towards the US is notable in the entire prosecution area with a second focus on the Japanese market. Jürgen Feldmeier, Dorothea Hofer and Andreas Oser head the practice. Clients include Knorr-Bremse, the Novartis Sandoz group, Brother Industries and Mitsubishi Electric.

Uexküll & Stolberg focuses on advising clients in the biotechnology, chemistry and medical technology sectors. The firm predominantly acts for German clients, but clients also stem from other European countries and the US. Besides the firm’s main office in Hamburg the team is also based in Munich. Felix Harbsmeier and Felix Landry left for Bird & Bird. Heinz-Peter Muth is one of the key figures.

Zimmermann & Partner Patentanwälte mbB provides an ‘excellent’ service and is noted for the ‘quality of analyses of written EPA opinions’ and its ‘detailed and convincing line of argument’; clients also appreciate the team’s understanding of Japanese corporate culture. A highlight is advising semiconductor supplier Applied Materials; the firm coordinates the patent applications in Europe together with other firms globally. Clients furthermore include Infineon, Bombardier Transportation and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal. Gerd Zimmermann, the ‘client-oriented’ Dominique Gobert, whose advice ‘gets to the heart of the matter’, Marc Kraushaar and Thomas Leidescher are recommended.


Trade marks and unfair competition

Index of tables

  1. Intellectual property: trade marks and unfair competition
  2. Design law
  3. Hall of Fame
  4. Leading individuals
  5. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Rudolf Böckenholt - Boehmert & Boehmert
    • Arne Lambrecht - Harte-Bavendamm Rechtsanwälte

Who Represents Who

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Bird & Bird continues to focus on contentious proceedings with trade mark and competition law aspects, but also increasingly advises strategically on international trade mark and design portfolios, which involve coordination across multiple jurisdictions, such as giving comprehensive advice to eos (Evolution of Smooth). Recent highlights in the trademark area include Uwe Lüken’s representation of Anson’s Herrenhaus as plaintiff in a dispute with ASOS and the representation of Deutsche Sparkassen- und Giroverband (the German Savings Banks Association) in cancellation proceedings at the German Federal Court. In the area of competition law Joseph Fesenmair acted for AUDI in various disputes with the German environmental and consumer protection NGO Deutsche Umwelthilfe for the implementation of the German energy labelling ordinance for cars; notably AUDI also sought the firm’s advice on design matters, such as the development of cooperation agreements, design development contracts and the defence of design rights against imitators at several higher regional courts. In another highlight Richard Dissmann represented L’Oréal in a series of disputes, such as on advertisement statements and special claims on product packaging. Adidas and Deutsche Telekom are also clients. The practice is led by Christian Harmsen and bolstered its competition law expertise with the arrival of Niels Lutzhöft from Gleiss Lutz. Jana Bogatz was promoted to counsel.

Boehmert & Boehmert’s ‘exceptionally high quality of advice’ on trade mark and competition law is not only due to the team’s ‘innovative thinking’ and ‘exceptionally strategic advice’, but also its ‘quick response times and very good availability’. It focuses on strategically advising clients regarding the establishment and management of trade mark portfolios and stands out for its strong synergies with the copyright law practice. The firm’s strength in trade mark registration is unwavering, especially with regards to EU trade marks. Product piracy matters and border seizure cases constitute further pillars of the practice. In the contentious area the team recently acted for the Bavarian broadcasting organisation Bayerische Rundfunk in a dispute with ProSiebenSat.1 TV Deutschland regarding the title of a dating show, and also advised ASOS in a global dispute surrounding the trade mark ASOS in the fashion and retail area. Other clients include Coty, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and the brewery Staatliche Hofbräuhaus in Munich.Anke Nordemann-Schiffel and Axel Nordemann are noted for their ‘very high industry expertise and excellent knowledge of trade mark and fair trading law’;Rudolf Böckenholt ‘always gives concise advice’ and ‘achieves constantly excellent solutions’; Martin Wirtz and Philipp Johannes Henrichs in Düsseldorf and Silke Freund, Christian Meyer and Carl-Richard Haarmann in Munich are also recommended.

With eight offices across Germany CMS is one of the domestic heavyweights in trade mark and competition law and well positioned both for giving strategic advice and handling portfolio management and representing clients in contentious matters. The IP practice led by Thomas Manderla and Jörn Witt regularly acts for numerous clients, such as 1. FC Köln, in trade mark and competition law matters, but also has broad expertise in design law. Recently the team advised the symphony orchestra Gewandhaus zu Leipzig on the drafting of sponsoring contracts and the redesign of the brand identity and handled design matters and framework supply agreements for Tredy Handels GmbH. It also represents Eyeo in six principal proceedings and several injunction proceedings around the permissibility of online ad blocking; and assisted the Melitta, a German company selling coffee and coffee-making appliances, with competition law proceedings. Another area of expertise lies in domain law matters, such as successfully concluding a dispute for Apologistics with an Austrian internet company, and in connection with press, freedom of speech and copyright law. The firm is a founding member of the European Legal Technology Association, which was established in autumn 2016. Heike Blank is ‘quick’, ‘engaged’ and ‘competent’ and renowned Gordian Hasselblatt is also recommended.

Clients refer to Gleiss Lutz particularly for ‘very complex trade mark law cases’ and note the firm’s ‘very good service level’ and ‘practical advice’. The team led by Stefan Weidert, which ‘caters well for clients’ needs’, assists clients both with the development and implementation of international trade mark strategies, and the settling of international contentious trade mark cases. Additional expertise lies in the transaction-related trade mark matters; clients include the Taiwanese automotive supplier Enterex International regarding trade mark aspects of the takeover of the AVA group by Haugg-Kühlerfabrik and Ströer regarding trade mark and patent law and cosmetic regulations in the context of the acquisition of a majority share in the BHI group. The team, however, also stands out for its work in competition law and recently successfully represented Blizzard Entertainment in proceedings at the German Federal Court around the use of bot programs for the computer game World of Warcraft. It also acted for Euroleague Basketball in a dispute with FIBA and FIBA Europe regarding the question who is permitted to host the European club competitions in basketball. Other clients include Carl Zeiss, Daimler and Phillip Morris. The ‘experienced high-calibre’ Stefan Völker is a ‘proven expert in trade mark law’. Niels Lutzhöft joined Bird & Bird.

Hamburg-based boutique Harmsen Utescher is known for its ‘excellent legal expertise’ and ‘very good industry knowledge’ and ‘gets to the heart of the matter’ with its ‘solution-oriented, pragmatic working methods’. The team advises on strategic considerations and portfolio management, but also is also assertive in contentious matters, such as acting for METRO in proceedings at the ECJ around the registration of an EU trade mark. The firm also advised the client in the context of the spin-off of the Media-Saturn group regarding the finding of a new group name, which involved trade mark law reviews across multiple jurisdictions. Another client is Intersnack concerning the representation at the Court of First Instance in trade mark cancellation proceedings and other highlights included acting for Adler Modemärkte in domestic and international trade mark disputes and data protection matters and representing Amazon in proceedings around trade mark infringements due to incorrectly reproduced AdWords ads. Advising Sky Deutschland on competition and trade mark law matters also kept the team busy. Christoph Schumannalways has a sensible proposed solution’ and is ‘always responsive’; Till Lampel, Henrik Dirksmeier and Jan Peter Heidenreich are also recommended. Til Quadflieg left for boesling IP.

Harte-Bavendamm Rechtsanwälte doubtlessly belongs to the ‘leading IP firms in Germany’ and is an ‘imperative recommendation’ for the ‘best possible advice in a practice area without overhead’. The continuously expanding team ‘both at partner and associate level always serves clients’ interests and advises at the highest level’; it makes clients feel like a ‘chess player, who is always one step ahead of the opponent’ and is not only noted for the ‘legal expertise of individual partners, but also their advisory capabilities and the penetration of legal disputes down to the last fibre. Recent highlight matters include assisting Gruner+Jahr with the management of its international market portfolio, its daily business and contentious matters in the prosecution and litigation area. The team also successfully defended the registration of the arcuate trade mark at the German Federal Court for Levi Strauss. In the area of competition law the firm’s representation of Procter & Gamble in several proceedings against various large competitors around misleading consumers and unfair competition particularly stands out. The ‘brilliant’ Frederik Thiering is considered an ‘outstanding strategist who packs a punch’ and Marion Jacob is a ‘magnificant lawyer who advises at the highest level’. Both are noted for their ‘impressive knowledge and experience in trade mark law’, while Arne Lambrecht is ‘thorough’ and Michael Goldmann a ‘competition law doyen’. Sigrid Cobet-Nüse was promoted to counsel.

Hogan Lovells International LLPleaves nothing to be desired’. The team is well versed both in portfolio management and dispute resolution and has longstanding expertise in drafting demarcation agreements. The coordination of complex court proceedings, such as for Hard Rock Café International around the café of the same name but without a licence in Heidelberg, forms part the firm’s portfolio, as does advice on special forms of trade marks and product piracy. The practice expanded its work for Mars and continued to represent Peek & Cloppenburg Hamburg in several proceedings against Peek & Cloppenburg Düsseldorf regarding trade mark registrations. In competition law areas of expertise include protection against imitation, marketing and advertisement campaigns and as supplementary segment know-how protection and protection of trade secrets. Matthias Koch left for the German Federal Court and Anthonia Ghalamkarizadeh, who focuses on IP enforcement and in particular the pursuit of infringement actions on the internet, was promoted to counsel. Morten Petersenn and Andreas Bothe head the practice.

Both in trade mark and design law and competition law Klaka Rechtsanwälte provides an ‘outstanding service’. The ‘excellent trade mark and design lawyer’ Ralf Hackbarth, who is ‘strong particularly in cross-border matters’, leads the longstanding advice to BMW against Italian manufacturers and German buyers of wheel rim replicas, which requires the coordination of design law proceedings in several European jurisdictions. In another highlight the team advised Longchamp in proceedings around the relevance of traffic surveys and the purview of judicial expertise in the assessment of competitive originality and the danger of deception of origin. It also acted for the client in proceedings around the prohibition of sales of counterfeit goods permitted in non-EU countries. Carola Onken represents Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne in an action for an injunction now at the ECJ surrounding the distribution of a Champagne-containing product. Villeroy & Boch is a client in labelling and licence law matters and another regular client in court proceedings is the Zentrale zur Bekämpfung unlauteren Wettbewerbs, the German association for combatting unfair competition. The boutique’s expertise in domain disputes was sought after by UBS, among others.

Outstanding’ Munich-based boutique Lorenz Seidler Gossel provides a ‘high level of professionalism’ and is mainly known due to its renowned work in the area of trade mark infringements, but also advises its cross-industry client base on strategic questions and on prosecution. Numerous prominent clients sought the firm’s advice on trade mark matters, such as Fred Perry, Otto and the Otto group, and ProSiebenSat.1 Media in infringement proceedings. Telefónica Germany was a client in trade mark and competition law matters in and out of court. Other highlights included the representation of a large brewery group in a dispute around geographical origin and the representation of a large Germn retail company in proceedings against a German sporting goods manufacturer regarding a figurative trade mark for sports shoes. The continued significance of portfolio management for the practice is evident in the high number of portfolio management matters: The firm not only expanded its advice on the trade mark portfolios of a TV presenter and a market leading company in the area of climate technology, but also took over the trade mark portfolio by E-Plus. Philipp Neuwald is ‘highly qualified and very level-headed advisor in all disputes’ and Siegfried Jackermeier stands out for his ‘outstanding expertise and precise advice’.

Lubberger Lehment’s trade mark and competition law practice focuses primarily on companies in the luxury cosmetics industry, but the team around the renowned firm founders Andreas Lubberger and Cornelis Lehment also assists clients in the furniture, food and publishing industries and automotive and rail sectors and also advises FinTech companies and sporting goods manufacturers. The boutique’s main office is in Berlin and is known for its handling of numerous proceedings at the German Federal Court and ECJ and provides comprehensive advice on trade mark law, from strategic advice on trade mark portfolios and the drafting of licence and operating agreements supported by the firm’s expertise in antitrust and compliance to the fight against product piracy, especially in the online retail area. The team also acts in the context of transactions and the preparation of due diligence reports and risk assessments. Benjamin Koch joined the Munich office from Baker McKenzie, while Ulrich Hildebrandt left for SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte.

Taylor Wessing stands out for its ‘excellent practical advice’ and ‘outstanding service’. The firm focuses on trade mark administration and associated disputes, design and domain law and competition law. A noteworthy highlight in the portfolio management area was the takeover of the trade mark portfolio by American Airlines; the EMEA-wide management is now handled via the Düsseldorf office. Wiebke Baars acted for Scotch Whisky Association in trade mark disputes around the absolute grounds for refusal of registration and indications of geographic origin, particularly also in ECJ proceedings on the regulation of spirit drinks. German fine writing instrument company Staedtler Mars sought the firm’s advice on the development of a global online shop and benefitted not only from the team’s trade mark but also its IT expertise. Another client was CHECK24 in numerous competition law disputes with competitors and consumer associates and with the firm’s design law expertise it also advised Nintendo and Alois Dallmayr Kaffee; the latter also received advice on domain law matters. The ‘very good’ team around the frequently recommended Düsseldorf-based practice head Olaf Gillert saw four partner promotions in 2017: Verena Ahmann, who is noted for her ‘skills, thoroughness and punctuality’; Stefan Fröhlich; Henry Richard Lauf and Jan Schumacher.

Baker McKenzie was able to gain various new mandates in the trade mark area, particularly with regards to portfolio management. Recent prosecution highlights of the practice led by Michael Fammler and Rembert Niebel include the representation of Hasbro for the trade mark MONOPOLY in opposition proceedings at the European Union Intellectual Property Office against the trade mark FAIRNOPOLY and sports shoes manufacturer K-Swiss in high-profile cancellation proceedings against a German figurative mark allegedly registered in bad faith, which shows five parallel stripes on a sports shoe. At the level of strategic advice the team advised several clients in the context of rebrandings and international positionings. Another client was Calvin Klein regarding a new enforcement programme for the combatting of the online distribution of counterfeit products. Also noteworthy is a matter in the technology sector regarding the protection of trade and business secrets. Benjamin Koch left for Lubberger Lehment.

Bardehle Pagenbergdelivers excellent and prompt work also under pressure’ and is noted for ‘the team’s business sense’. Besides key competencies in trade mark and competition law the practice is also strong in design law, as shown by various mandates in that area for prominent companies. Important design law clients include adidas and Nintendo; the team represents the latter in a design dispute, which is now at the ECJ. With the firm’s international orientation, it advised H&M on cross-border trade mark matters together with offices in France and Spain. Another highlight is the regular advice to Coca-Cola on trade mark registrations, in contentious proceedings and border seizure cases and the advice to Campari regarding prosecution, demarcation agreements and warnings. Head of the trade mark, design and competition law practice Claus M. Eckhartt is recommended.

Beiten Burkhardt provides ‘from pragmatic solutions to legal expertise everything that clients’ need’ and the ‘extraordinarily high level of service’ and the ‘very good consideration of economic contexts’ also add to the team’s good reputation. It is led by practice head Matthias W. Stecher and primarily advises clients in the games and sports industries with a clear focus on trade mark law. Tilmann Lührig in Berlin, who is noted for his ‘practical answers’, acts for ERGObaby Europe in several product piracy cases. ‘Experienced litigator’ Holger Weimann is ‘quick and creative in his problem solving’ and ‘confident and structured in conversation and negotiations’; Axel von Walter is an ‘outstanding lawyer and advisor, who solves problems pragmatically’; Tanja Hogh Holub, who has ‘broad experience’, and Angelica von der Decken are also recommended. Claudio G. Chirco and Katharina Mayerbacher were promoted to partner.

CBH Rechtsanwälte Cornelius, Bartenbach, Haesemann & Partner enjoys a good reputation particularly for its trade mark and competition law advice. Ingo Jung represented Victor-Group in damage claims proceedings against Deutsche Umwelthilfe around a campaign against the use of compostable carrier bags. In another highlight the firm acted for Donaldson Filtration at the Court of First Instance and the ECJ in proceedings around the preservation of corporate names and trade marks; Nadja Siebertz led the advice. Another client is cosmetics supplier Zacobi regarding proceedings at the German Federal Court on the question of international responsibility during the sale of infringing goods from stock abroad, which also involves issues around the legal exhaustion effect. Also noteworthy is the team’s work in design law: It represented IronMaxx in a dispute with Fitmart regarding the packaging design of food supplements. With the opening of the new Hamburg and Munich offices Sebastian Eble, Hannes Jacobsen, Philipp von Mettenheim and Detlef von Schultz, all previously at Preu Bohlig & Partner, joined the team. Manfred Hecker is now of counsel.

Grünecker provides ‘excellent quality of work’ and is now also a ‘go-to firm’ in the area of IP litigation. The ‘young but efficient’ team expanded its already strong portfolio practice, such as with the takeover of the German trade mark portfolios by Bulgari and the takeover of the entire portfolio by Fenix Outdoor. Contentious matters included Nicolás Schmitz’s representation of DJO Global in pan-European trade mark infringement proceedings and the team also acted for designer furniture manufacturer moooi in extensive proceedings against trade marks by mooi Deutschland. The client base also consists of numerous other companies in the luxury and fashion sector and the US technology sector. Holger Gauss, who ‘really cares about his clients’ and gives ‘hands-on’ advice ‘at the highest level’, is recommended; he is noted especially for his ‘great experience in anti-counterfeiting matters, such as measures against infringers at trade fairs¬’. Anja Franke ‘promptly solves complex IP matters with very high legal expertise’.

FPS provides ‘extremely reliable’ advice with ‘prompt responses and short decision-making paths’. The team led by Christoph Holzbach is known for its ‘excellent industry expertise’ and has particular expertise in portfolio management and contentious matters. It handled product piracy matters, especially border seizure proceedings, for ADURACELL and in competition law it advised Europe-wide leading data centre operator e-shelter facilities regarding the development of a marketing and information platform and the commercialisation of cloud services. Another highlight was advising 3 Sprouts, a Canadian manufacturer of baby and children’s products, in design and copyright matters. Other clients include Innocean Worldwide Europe, MAXON Computer and Urimat Deutschland. Katy Ritzmann and of counsel Hans-Joachim Otto left for GSK Stockmann and Ikze Cho joined Park & Lemke Rechtsanwälte. Jörg Kornbrust arrived from Knauthe Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s practice is strongly oriented towards contractual and competition matters. Andrea Lensing-Kramer led the coordination of the global defence of Volkswagen in numerous competition law proceedings brought by competitors due to the emission of nitrogen oxide by diesel-fuelled vehicles. In trade mark law particularly the firm’s advice to software manufacturer VMWare in a dispute around open source software and the transaction-related trade mark advice to EQT in the context of the sale of BSN Medical to the Swedish company SCA stand out. Other clients include Worldwide Brands regarding the management of the global licence business and ADAC in connection with compliance advice on licence contract matters. Of continued importance is the team’s work for Mars Group in trade mark and competition law matters at and out of court. Since the closure of the Cologne office in December 2016 the practice is based in Düsseldorf.

Since the departure of Florian Geyer to Fresenius Medical Care, Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek has managed to re-strengthen its practice with the hire of three senior associates and three associates and at the start of 2018, the firm gained Andreas Schabenberger from Menold Bezler. In a recent highlight practice head Dominik Eickemeier represented APASSIONATA World in a trade mark and competition dispute with a minority shareholder concerning the continuance of trade mark licences, work title rights and competition rules against attempts to transfer parts of the business to another company. The team also advised COMPO Expert on trade mark demarcations of a newly formed company as the result of a demerger and Dunlopillo Deutschland in connection with trade mark takeovers by the Bettzeit group. The firm also acts as a legal emergency service at events at the Frankfurt trade fair. Other clients include Tommy Hilfiger, Viessmann Werke and Cirque du Soleil.

JONAS Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH’s strength lies in particular in trade mark management: Here a recent client was a luxury food manufacturer, which additionally benefitted from the team’s expertise on border seizure procedures and copyright matters. The firm also handles numerous trade mark infringement proceedings, such as for a surfboard manufacturer, a British tool manufacturer and under the lead of Martin Viefhues for the beeline group, which also sought the firm’s advice on design infringements. In title rights matters Nils Weber acted for a newspaper publisher in proceedings due to likelihood of confusion against a title by a third party and Karl Hamacher regularly assists the agency Saatchi & Saatchi in competition law questions surrounding advertisements for Lexus and Toyota Deutschland, including handling competition law disputes for the latter. Counsel Hanna Karin Held left for ThyssenKrupp Intellectual Property. Markus Robak was promoted to salaried partner.

With a clear focus on competition law Loschelder recently acted not only for Henkel in several summary proceedings in the area of detergents and proceedings around the takeover of product designs and features but also represented a plant manufacturer in proceedings surrounding the infringement of trade secrets. The firm furthermore advised the Federal Office of Justice in landmark proceedings concerning the involvement of litigation funding specialists in the disgorgement of profits from dispersed damages. Another client was the semi-finished goods manufacturer Krüger regarding comprehensive advice in competition and food law. Michael Loschelder, Thomas Schulte-Beckhausen and Stefan Maaßen are the key figures.

bock legal Partnerschaft von Rechtsanwälten predominantly advises clients in the fashion, watchmaking and automotive industries. The firm also represented the German subsidiary of Vodafone in competition disputes with Deutsche Telekom and Telefónica. In addition, the firm advised various well-known clients on design law and trademark law. The Swatch Group, the European Central Bank, Ferrari and Bottega Veneta are also part of the client base. Jan D. Müller-Broich is highly regarded for his ‘long-term experience’. Dominik Weiß joined Bryan Cave LLP.

Combining its ‘good knowledge of the various industries’ with a ‘very high service level’, the IP group at Danckelmann & Kerstnever wanders off the subject, unless necessary’. What is more, the firm is valued because it ‘always handles matters in a swift and meticulous manner’. Accepting mandates from across Germany, the firm has a particularly good reputation for competition law. It recently represented long-term client Deutsche Telekom in proceedings before the Federal Court of Justice regarding the ability according to competition and telecoms law to reject porting requests following the change of supplier. The firm successfully handled another case before the Federal Court of Justice, regarding a misleading advert proclaiming the availability of a particular telecoms service. The group also represented the Wettbewerbszentrale, the German centre for the protection against unfair competition, in several lawsuits against clients in the pharmacy and pharmaceutical areas. Nikolaus Konstantin Rehart is a ‘highly tactical and strategic thinker’ with the ‘ability to capture the essence of a matter, without losing sight of the details’. Jan-Felix Isele and Hans-Jürgen Ruhl are also recommended.

Eisenführ Speiser scores highly thanks to its ‘very good teams’, ‘extremely appropriate legal advice’ and a ‘keen sense of clients’ needs’. In trademark law, the IP boutique extended the legal support of the Asklepios group brands to its entire brand portfolio. For cleaning and care products manufacturer Werner & Mertz, the firm coordinates the product portfolio protection regarding all aspects of design law, a service that is part of the firm’s general legal support to the client, including patent law matters. It also represented furniture manufacturer Asco Möbel in proceedings regarding design law. In addition, the team advises numerous clients in the engineering industry, such as Stiebel Eltron, which the firm successfully represented in infringement proceedings before the European Court of Justice. Sennheiser Electronic retains the firm to cover its complete product portfolio in terms of trade mark and competition law aspects. Julian Eberhardt is recommended.

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner offers clients an ‘excellent level of service’ as well as ‘the highest level of expert knowledge, reliability, an efficient way of working, and fast implementation of decisions’. With its headquarters located in Freiburg, the team gives wide-ranging advice in trade mark and competition law. However, the group has specialist knowledge in competition law in particular; for example, Morton Douglas, is an expert in medical device and pharmacy law who advises clients on the drafting of licence agreements. In a recent highlight, Norbert Hebeis represented the Wettbewerbszentrale in litigation regarding a misleading presentation and name of a beer. He also represented Wilkinson Sword in a case of misleading advertising and product description. Local partner Eva Kessler is recommended for her ‘negotiating skills and profound knowledge of the market’. Hans-Georg Riegger provided legal representation in numerous competition proceedings.

Hoffmann Eitle advises on the entire spectrum of trademark and competition law. While particularly active in Munich, with a team headed by Wedig von Osten-Sacken and Michaela Ring, the firm also has competition expertise in Dusseldorf. The group is active in the area of prosecution, advising the likes of PETIT BATEAU, as well as in litigation, an area in which Burton Snowboards Europe is a client. In another highlight, the firm advised Italian design company Scab Giardino on an alleged infringement of design law in the furniture sector, which also required the group to coordinate proceedings in Milan. The team is particularly well positioned to advise Anglo-American and Chinese clients.

Hamburg-based boutique firm KNPZ Rechtsanwälte is particularly active handling litigation and contract design in the trademark and competition area, but also advises comprehensively on the drafting of contracts for cooperation agreements and on distribution law issues. The group also advises strategically on building and managing brand portfolios, on due diligences in transactions and matters related to contractual covenants. Clients are mainly German and international corporations, while the firm acts also for medium-sized companies and start-ups. Christian Klawitter is a key figure.

Noerr’s group ‘works perfectly together as a team’ and consists of ‘pragmatic problem solvers and strategy developers’ whose ‘service level is at the highest level’; the practice group co-led by Tobias Dolde, who leads the Alicante office, and Ralph Nack advises ‘honestly and competently’ and has a ‘good overview of relevant competitors’ thanks to its ‘broad industry knowledge’. Recent highlights include assisting Sony Pictures Animation with litigation strategies and with a trade mark licence agreement pertaining to multiple support contracts for the use of the emoji brand portfolio prior to the merchandising programme for The Emoji Movie. The group also acted for BVB Merchandising on brand matters. Christiane Zedelius is now of counsel. Associated partner Sandra Sophia Redeker and senior associate Sascha Pres have announced their departure to SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte.

Despite the departure of Detlef von Schultz, Sebastian Eble, Philipp von Mettenheim and Hannes Jacobsen to CBH Rechtsanwälte Cornelius, Bartenbach, Haesemann & Partner, Preu Bohlig & Partner succeeded in winning several new clients: For example, satirist and television presenter Jan Böhmermann retained the firm in January 2017 for trade mark and competition matters. Another highlight is the regular assistance provided to Fossil Europe with trade mark, design and competition law, with border seizures and distribution law issues particularly important. Other clients in the infringement proceeding area are automotive supplier Rausch & Pausch and textile retailer NKD. Astrid Gérard and Andreas Haberl are the key figures. Oliver Scherenberg left the firm to found the spin-off Scherenberg Legal & Licensing.

SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte’s ‘very good’ practice group continues to grow with the addition of associated partner Sandra Sophia Redeker and senior associate Sascha Pres from Noerr in late 2017. Areas of activity include portfolio management as well as infringement proceedings, with border seizure procedures a particular focus. As well as continuing to act for Blackberry in trade mark law and border seizure proceedings, advising football association Bayer 04 Leverkusen on counterfeit jerseys and merchandising articles was another highlight. Ulrich Hildebrandt, who came from Lubberger Lehment in early 2017, advises Coty on strategic trade mark matters. The ‘technically excellent and efficient’ Dorothee Altenburg is recommended along with ‘excellent’ pratice head Magnus Hirsch, who offers ‘exceptionally good advice’.

Hamburg-based boutique firm Schultz - Süchting handles not only trade mark and competition law, but also related pharmaceutical law as well as copyright and media law matters. The client base also includes numerous well-known players in the fields of fashion and cosmetics, publishing and the pharmaceutical industry. Lars Kröner is recommended.

Vossius & Partner advises on prosecution-related trade mark matters with litigation work forming an increasingly significant portion of the practice. Paul Kretschmar assisted MAN Truck & Bus with a brand portfolio analysis and the development of a global brand strategy, along with related prosecution matters, and the co-ordination of a global design protection system for new truck and bus models. In other work, Mathias Kleespies and Simone Schäfer acted for Perrigo Pharma International in a trade mark infringement proceeding against a German manufacturer of e-liquids; the subject matter concerned the differentiation between e-cigarettes and smoking cessation products. Advising the German Federal Association of Sport Article Industry on advertising and sponsorship matters for athletes in preparation for the Olympic Games constituted another highlight.

Dentons was able to strengthen its trade mark and competition law team by adding Stefan Dittmer from DLA Piper, who now jointly heads the team with Constantin Rehaag. With new of counsel Helmut Brandau, the practice also gained expertise in the white-collar crime space. Recent highlights include advising a large pharmaceutical company on trade mark and white-collar crime matters for countering the sale of counterfeit medicine, and assisting a market-leading online retailer with matters pertaining to the distribution of branded products.

In the past year, DLA Piper was able to attract a number of new clients such as Bayer Intellectual Property; the company has been receiving advice on the use of third-party trade marks as part of a product launch in ten different jurisdictions. In other significant work, the team represented Coty in several prosecutions, and advised the publisher Heinrich Bauer on a number of disputes pertaining to labelling requirements and the offer of extra publications. Stefan Engels and Thilo von Bodungen jointly head the team. Competition lawyer Stefan Dittmer moved to Dentons.

Stuttgart-based law firm Lichtenstein, Körner & Partner, which specialises in intellectual property and commercial law, is particularly active in trade mark law: as a highlight, the team represented the Swiss Ethical Coffee Company in a cancellation proceeding against a Nestlé 3D trade mark. In other work, a client received assistance with its national and cross-border co-ordination of trade mark proceedings in Russia and India, while a different client instructed the team to act in design law proceedings pertaining to the design protection of a shoe sole. Kerstin-Gründig Schnelle is recommended.

Rospatt Osten Pross provides full-service trade mark law advice, spanning from providing strategic advice on the development of trade marks and representation in prosecution and litigation proceedings to portfolio administration and licence agreement draftings, while also handling competition and design law matters. Recently, Rüdiger Pansch acted for the pharmaceutical company Almirall in trade mark-related defence proceedings covering parallel imports from medicinal product importers, and Stephan von Petersdorff-Campen represented Paul Green in proceedings before the German Federal Court (BGH) pertaining to the right of prior use of trade marks. In design law, the team acted for Thonet and Lock & Lock; the latter instruction was co-led by Henrik Timmann.

Squire Patton Boggs significantly expanded its trade mark and competition law practice by adding Reinhart Lange, Christofer Eggers and Eva Schalast from WilmerHale. Recent highlights include advising the Zippo Manufacturing Company on licensing agreements alongside trade mark and domain law matters, and providing trade mark and competition law advice to Deutsche Bank. In other work, the team acted for a German scientific publishing house in a global trade mark dispute. The team’s client roster also includes Zott, LSG Lufthansa Skychefs and the international luxury goods group Richemont.

With a specialism in IP, Düsseldorf-based boutique Arnold Ruess Rechtsanwälte PartmbB provides strategic advice on the development of trade mark and design portfolios and assists with the conception of advertising campaigns and branding strategies. Acting for clients in litigation and handling licensing matters are also part of the firm’s offering. Renowned team head Peter Ruess is the main contact.

Since January 2017, the trade mark and competition law group at Eversheds Sutherland has been led by Tobias Maier, who was made partner in May 2016. The team, which has expanded its international scope significantly by merging with the US law firm Sutherland, scores highly with clients due to its ‘quick response times and good industry knowledge.Axel Zimmermann advised a private-label company in the food sector on counterfeiting proceedings. Other clients include Aspen Pharma, Avon Cosmetics, the Kering Group and Starbucks.

Hamburg boutique Fechner Rechtsanwälte stands out for its ‘above-average commitment’ and ‘highly professional work’. The team primarily advises clients from the advertising industry and is noted as being able ‘to manage the restless and fast-moving advertising business with confidence’; Georg Fechner in particular ‘knows the industry like no other in Germany’ and has ‘a good economic understanding’. Key areas of expertise include advising on transactional trade mark matters and strategic trade mark developments as well as assisting clients with the administration of portfolios and representing them in infringement proceedings. Birte Lorenzen is singled out for her ‘entrepreneurial and strategic thinking’ and is praised as ‘always being ready to go the extra mile’.

GSK Stockmann noticeably expanded its trade mark and competition law team by welcoming Katy Ritzmann from FPS. In recent highlights, the team represented Ryanair in contentious key word advertising and domain law matters, and has been providing ongoing advice to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on rights concerning the Oscar award with a focus on product piracy. ‘Client-oriented’ team head Jörg Kahler ‘provides efficient, practical and business-oriented advice’ and ‘is always eager to advance the client’s business’.

Hoyng Rokh Monegier is ‘definitely to be recommended’. The team led by Thomas H. Schmitz and including counsel Sandra Stolzenburg-Wiemer stands out for its ‘very good industry knowledge and experience in the cosmetics sector’. The team advised the hair and toiletry manufacturer Dr. Wurt Wolff on trade mark and competition law proceedings, while assisting the sanitary facility manufacturer Mepa with design law matters.

Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH expanded its client roster with new client The Nomad Company, a Dutch outdoor company, which has been receiving advice on trade mark and competition law matters, while the team has been representing long-term client Daniel Wellington in several counterfeiting proceedings. The group, which is jointly led by Geert Johann Seelig and Detlef Mäder, is also experienced in handling distribution law work, which led to several instructions from Harley Davidson, among other clients. In other work, it handles trade mark portfolio instructions from Imperial Tobacco, Kamps and valve manufacturer VAG Holding, while the latter client also received advice on the reorientation of its global trade mark strategy.

Meissner Bolte Patentanwälte Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB is ‘particularly well versed in handling application procedures’. With a clear focus on prosecution-related work, the team acts for a number of well-known clients, who regard the team’s ‘good mix of patent and trade mark lawyers as a particular bonus’. Highlights included assisting ACO Severin Ahlmann with various contentious and non-contentious matters pertaining to strategy development and portfolio administration. Oliver Nilgen is an ‘experienced trade mark lawyer’.

Menold Bezler is experienced in the administration of trade mark portfolios, and, in recognition of this strength, received new instructions from Rieker Holding and the SACS BOYSEN AEROSPACE Group to manage their portfolios. In the contentious space, the team represented Daimler in litigation against Deutsche Umwelthilfe covering the alleged use of incorrect statements in its C-Class advertising campaign. Also in litigation, the team acted for new client Sparda-Bank Baden-Württemberg in several competition law proceedings against Sparkasse Karlsruhe-Ettlingen, while the Centre for Protection against Unfair Competition in Frankfurt am Main instructed the group to assist with a proceeding, partly held before the ECJ, concerning the inadmissibility of extra charges for 0180-numbers. Andreas Schabenberger joined Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek at the start of 2018.

Oppenländer Rechtsanwälte is noted for its ‘quick response times, good industry knowledge and hands-on advice’ but also scores highly with clients for its ‘uncomplicated co-operation’. Several health sector clients such as GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare and a large mail-order pharmacy rely on the team’s advice. Other clients including the Reckitt Benckiser Group retained the team to assist with supplier relationship matters and competition law issues. In design law, the team acted for an industrial lighting manufacturer. Timo Kieser is recommended.

Attracting praise for its ‘practical and business-oriented advice and its strong technical expertise’, the team at von Boetticher Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaftsgesellschaft mbB is also noted for its ‘good knowledge of the Berlin medical technology start-up scene’. It handles various trade mark portfolios and is experienced in litigation. Recent work includes assisting Aachenmünchener Versicherungen with its international trade mark portfolio, and providing regular advice to a mobile accessories provider on licensing and distribution law matters. Other clients include Cosmos Versicherungen, a fruit juice manufacturer, and Leo Pharma. Angelika Hoche is ‘experienced and reliable’ and her ‘understanding of corporate goals complements her knowledge perfectly’. Solicitor Holger Alt, who is based at the Berlin office with newly promoted partner Matthias Bergt, provides ‘well-thought-through recommendations’and is praised for his ‘excellent contract drafting skills’.

White & Case LLP predominately deals with competition law work but can also refer to a number of highlights in the trade mark sector: team head Markus Mette advised the Anschutz Entertainment Group on the strategic development of its trade mark Eisbären Berlin, and provided Printus with trade mark, competition and copyright law advice. Penta Hotels received assistance with the development of its trade mark portfolio in over 60 jurisdictions. Other clients include Henkel and Lichtblick.

Since March 2017, WilmerHale’s trade mark and competition law practice has been under the leadership of Vanessa Wettner, who joined the firm from Hengeler Mueller as a response to a number of significant losses: former practice head Reinhart Lange, Christofer Eggers and counsel Eva Schalast joined Squire Patton Boggs, while Klaus Schubert and Julia Goetz moved to K&L Gates LLP. The team acts for clients across a range of industries but has specialist expertise in the luxury fashion and consumer goods industries as well as the digital sector. As a highlight for the latter, the team handled a number of competition law-related matters for Facebook.


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Legal Developments in Germany

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  • LAG Düsseldorf: Dismissal with immediate effect valid in response to threat

    Anyone who seriously threatens their employer or superior should expect to be dismissed with immediate effect. This was confirmed by a ruling of the Landesarbeitsgericht (LAG) Düsseldorf [Regional Labour Court of Düsseldorf] from June 8, 2017 (Az.: 11 Sa 823/16).
  • Tax evasion: Only voluntary disclosure affords protection from severe penalties

    Anyone who has been caught for tax evasion should expect to be faced with severe penalties. Voluntary disclosure is the only way of returning to a state of normal tax affairs and avoiding penalties.
  • GSK Update: AIFM Marketing in Germany - The clock is ticking for U.S. and other non-EU fund managers

    Our GSK Update informs about the impact of recent German investment fund legislation (UCITS V Implementation Act) for AIF managers, who are not domiciled in the EU (“non-EU-AIFM”) and who seek to market AIF shares in Germany in accordance with applicable German investment fund law under the EU-AIFM Directive (2011/61/EU).
  • GSK expands Luxembourg presence with a new tax partner

    Opened at the beginning of March 2016, GSK Stockmann + Kollegen continues to expand its Luxembourg office. Mathilde Ostertag recently joined the Luxembourg team of Equity Partners Dr. Marcus Peter, Andreas Heinzmann and Dr. Philipp Mößner as Local Tax Partner.
  • EIA - Strengthening the role of the public

    Among other things, the recent amendment to the Environmental Impact Assessment Act has broadened the rights of (what is termed) the "affected public". The affected public consists primarily of various citizens' initiatives pursuing environmental or public-health purposes. It may for instance file an appeal against a negative decision at the screening stage (i.e., a decision according to which the given project does not require the issuance of an EIA report), and seek its annulment in court. The affected public has been granted a stronger voice also in subsequent procedures in which the fate of a building project is being decided: zoning proceedings and the proceedings on the issuance of a building permit. Taken together, these legislative changes may make it more difficult to implement projects which require an EIA report; in particular, the length of permission proceedings may be substantially extended.
  • New Top Level Domains – Noerr expert warns against trademark infringements

    On June 13, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) published the names of those who have applied for a new top level domain the ending of which may be geographic, such as "munich", industry identification such as "insurance" and even all trademark names and company descriptions such as "canon" and "adidas".
    - Noerr
  • No obligation to set up filtering systems in order to prevent copyright violations

    ECJ, decision of February 16th, 2012, ref. C-360/10 – SABAM
  • Further ECJ Ruling concerning NGO’s right of action under German environmental law

    For the second time within a short period of time, the non-governmental organisations right to challenge administrative decisions under German law is going to be subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). In January 2012, the German Supreme Administrative Court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht) referred a case to the ECJ for a preliminary ruling concerning the NGO’s right of action.
  • Lessons in Cross-Border M & A Transactions

    The fundamental advice for international business transactions is obvious and easy to understand: different countries have different laws, business habits and cultures. These differences may range from minor nuances, such as lengthy French business lunches or unusual Spanish office hours, to significant legal roadblocks, such as strict European employment laws.
  • Priority rental rights in insolvency

    Parties to rental contracts for commercial premises often agree priority rental rights. In practice, this concept is used to cover a whole series of legal structures. These range from fixed options for the tenant to a promise made by the landlord as a business policy that if any additional premises become available, they will be offered to the tenant. In 2010 the Berlin Court of Appeal issued a ruling on such priority rental rights in insolvency; the decision has recently been published.

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