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Editorial

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.

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