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Switzerland > Intellectual property > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

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

Leading individuals

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Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Intellectual property clients in Switzerland 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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Homburger advises on the full spectrum of patents, trade marks and copyright matters and exhibits particular expertise in the pharma, life sciences, TMT and sports industries. Recent highlights include the representation of Illumina and Nestlé/Nespresso in separate patent infringement proceedings before the Swiss Federal Patent Court and advising Volkswagen on the protection of its trade mark at the Geneva Motor Show. Andri Hess, Gregor Bühler and Georg Rauber are the key contacts.

Top-tier firmLenz & Staehelin provides an ‘excellent level of service’, ‘gives appropriate advice’, is ‘extremely responsive’ and ‘has deep industry knowledge’, particularly in the pharmaceutical, food and beverages, IT and retail sectors. The group handles the full spread of patents, trade marks, designs, copyright and geographical indications issues and recently defended Migros in a patent infringement dispute regarding coffee capsules and also supported Emmentaler in an appellation of origin matter in Italy. The ‘knowledgeable, sensible and straight-forwardThierry Calame and counsel Lara Dorigo are recommended. Jürg Simon and Geneva-based Daniel Tunik are other notable practitioners.

FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Weinmann Zimmerli

WEINMANN ZIMMERLI is a leading Swiss IP firm based in Zurich and Zug specialising in Swiss and international trade mark, patent, copyright and design law, as well as unfair competition and antitrust law. The firm is handling prosecution and litigation. It was formed in January 2013 through the merger of two firms: KRSW WEINMANN and Zimmerli, Wagner & Partner AG. Since its foundation it has been the fastest growing IP law firm in Switzerland with a very good success rate in court.

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As one of the ‘leading firms in Switzerland’, Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd (MLL) also fields a highly reputed IP practice that covers trade mark, copyright and design matters, patent litigation and advertising. The group is particularly often retained by pharmaceutical industry clients and recently represented Gilead Sciences in all patent disputes related to tenofovir. Other highlight work included representing Max Bill Stiftung in a copyright infringement matter concerning its design icons. Michael Ritscherthinks strategically and has extensive knowledge of the court system’, while pharma patent lawyer Simon Holzer and trade mark and design expert Peter Schramm are other prominent practitioners. Michael Reinle and Lukas Bühlmann joined from their former boutique firm Bühlmann Rechtsanwälte.

Walder Wyss Ltd´s IP team gives ‘commercial, no-nonsense advice’, is ‘willing to be creative when it comes to problem-solving’ and ‘continues to impress with the speed of its responses and the results it achieves’. The practice focuses primarily on trade mark and patent litigation, as well as on IP advice related to technology transactions and recently represented the German and Swiss entities of Merck in a trade mark and unfair competition dispute against MSD. ‘True professional’ Markus Frick ‘ensures that clients receive timely, effective and budget-conscious advice’; IP litigator Magda Streuli-Youssef and newly promoted partner Michael Isler are also key individuals. Roger Staub and counsel David Vasella joined from Froriep in January 2017.

Baker McKenzie impresses with ‘very good response times, broad knowledge, excellent cooperation and a customer-friendly service’. The team is renowned for its work in trade mark, design and copyright litigation, IP right enforcement and prosecution, as well as unfair competition matters; additional non-contentious expertise is provided in trade mark registration and with regards to commercial contracts and transactions. The practice provides ongoing advice to Swarovski on trade mark clearance, design filings as well as on the enforcement and prosecution of both. Other key clients include Abbott, Estee Lauder and Swatch Group. The ‘quick and pragmatic’ Eva-Maria Strobel offers ‘very practical advice and a hands-on approach’, especially in connection with trade mark infringements, while ‘trade mark law expert’ Michael Treis is ‘dedicated to his work and has a very good business sense’. Former ITC head Nicolas Passadelis left for an in-house position at Swisscom in May 2017.

Bär & Karrer Ltd. is adept at advising on IP aspects of M&A and capital market transactions as well as on licensing arbitration matters for pharmaceutical and technology companies. The team assisted Bank Coop with IP issues related to its rebranding to Bank Cler and advised chemicals company Lonza on cross-licensing structures related to its strategic partnership with Sanofi. Volkswagen Truck & Bus, Sanofi and EQT are other active clients. Practice lead Markus Wang is a ‘very experienced lawyer with great expertise’. Pierre-Yves Gunter joined from Python in January 2017.

BianchiSchwald LLC‘s IP practice is well versed on the full spectrum of trade mark portfolio management, including advice on filings, renewals and enforcement both for corporate and private clients. The team also represents clients in IP-related arbitration proceedings and unfair competition disputes. Recent highlights include representing Stadler Rail in an international patent litigation against Bombardier, which concerned the construction of rail vehicles, as well as advising Tyco on international trade mark and design registrations related to its merger with Johnson Controls. Christoph Gasser, who joined after the merger of parts of formerly Staiger, Schwald & Partner with BCCC, and managing associate Stéphanie Chuffart-Finsterwald are the main practitioners. Andreas Bättig is another name to note.

Froriep exhibits particular strength in advising clients from the retail, fashion, healthcare, technology, automotive and media sectors on the whole array of IP right prosecution and enforcement. Meltwater relies on the practice’s strategic advice regarding its global trade mark portfolio and the group also represented Christian Louboutin as claimant in an unfair competition court case against two shops in Geneva who allegedly took advantage of the client’s unregistered red-sole trade mark in Switzerland. Bentley Motors and Richemont International are other active clients. Nicola Benz in Zurich is the key partner. Frédéric Serra joined LBM AVOCATS & ASSOCIES SA in 2018.

Fuhrer Marbach & Partners’ IP practice focuses on the protection of trade marks, designs, patents as well as on copyright. The group has further experience in the advertising and media sector and also assists with IP-related unfair competition issues. Eugen Marbach is the name to note.

Niederer Kraft & Frey AG‘s ‘small, but strong and growing practice’ is ‘highly effective at delivering results for clients’ and has ‘considerable experience in the life sciences sector’. The group regularly assists with trade mark, design and domain name registration and administration, as well as with IP dispute settlement and unfair competition matters. The recent caseload includes advising FIFA on IP aspects of broadcasting sponsorship agreements and product licences and assisting Procter & Gamble with IP and advertising issues. The ‘highly intelligent, dedicated and focused’ Nicholas Birkhäuser is a ‘pleasure to work with’. Clara-Ann Gordon is the second key partner.

Pestalozzigoes way beyond just delivering a good result’, provides ‘invaluable input on strategic questions’ and is ‘very strong in IP and advertising legislation’. The practice focuses on patent, trade mark, copyright and unfair competition law for life sciences, food, luxury and ICT companies. A recent highlight was the representation of a global pharmaceutical company as claimant in an enforcement dispute regarding licensing royalties; British American Tobacco and McDonald’s Switzerland are also among the team´s notable clients. Lorenza Ferrari Hofer, Michèle Burnier and associate Janine Demont all have a ‘particularly noteworthy eye for detail and quality’.

Rentsch Partner AG combines patent expertise with experience in non-contentious and contentious designs and trade marks matters as well as product labelling. Matthias Städeli and Christian Hilti are the key contacts for IP litigation, while Louis Lagler, Alfred Köpf and Dany Vogel serve as patent lawyers.

Troller Hitz Troller is a boutique firm based in Luzern and Bern. It handles the filing and administration of trade marks and designs, IP searches, monitoring and licence agreements. Patrick Troller is recommended.

Vischer’s biggest strengths are advisory and contentious IP services in the broadcasting media and life sciences industries. The team is representing Swisscom in the first Swiss ISP blocking case against film rights holders and regularly advises Netflix on copyright issues in Switzerland. Private TV network 3 Plus Group is another key client. Rolf Auf der Maurprovides pragmatic, useful advice in a timely fashion’.

B•M•G Avocats has a focus on the protection and enforcement of trade marks and designs. Another major area of expertise is the strategic portfolio management and contractual advice. Sylvie Gurry-Veit and Anne-Virginie La Spada are the main advisers.

id est avocats sàrl provides advice at the interface between IP and M&A transactions, product launches, e-commerce, contracts and litigation. The team manages energy technology company DEPSys’ IP portfolio. Juliette Ancelle and Michel Jaccard are supported by three associates.

Kellerhals Carrard covers patent, copyright and trade mark matters as well as IP issues related to technology transfers. The team advises Magnolia International on all IP structuring, strategy development and rights protection aspects. Daniel Alder and Nicolas Mosimann are the leading individuals of the practice.

Lalive mainly handles contentious IP matters, but also advises clients on trade mark portfolio management. ‘Proactive and extremely knowledgeable’ counsel Thomas Widmerresponds very quickly and keeps clients updated’; he represented IKKS in proceedings against third-party usage of its trade mark.

Nater Dallafior Rechtsanwälte AG´s Mathis Berger focuses entirely on contentious IP issues. Recent matters include the enforcement of patents, copyright, trade marks and designs, contractual disputes and infringement claims.

Python handles IP rights prosecution, IP-related transactional matters as well as contentious issues and is particularly experienced in the technology, e-commerce and entertainment sector. Felix Locher is assisted by counsels Dominique Graz and Inge Hochreutener.

Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd‘s ‘impressive’ IP practice exhibits ‘unique experience’ and ‘excellent court decision know-how’ in contentious patent, trade mark, copyright and licensing matters for pharmaceutical, biotechnological and medical devices companies. The team defended Quark Pharmaceuticals in an ICC arbitration concerning a patent licensing agreement. Brother Industries, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Bayer are also active clients. ‘To-the-point, commercial and strong advocatPhilipp Groz and Roland Mathys are the key partners. Andrea Mondini left for Times Attorneys in October 2017.

Weinmann Zimmerli is ‘very responsive and delivers good quality for a reasonable price’. Focus areas include international trade mark, patent, design, copyright and licensing law, including the registration and prosecution of intellectual property and IP disputes. The ‘driven, proactive and straightforwardAlban Shabaniis immediately liked by demanding clients’; Madeleine Schim van der Loeff is ‘very experienced and pleasant-to-work-with’ and Conrad Weinmann leads the practice.

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Press releases

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Legal Developments in Switzerland

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • 17 February 2017: Auris Medical's Public Equity Offering

    Auris Medical Holding AG (NASDAQ: EARS) issued and priced its public offering of 10,000,000 common shares and 10,000,000 warrants, each warrant entitling its holder to purchase 0.70 of a common share.  The common shares and warrants are being sold in units comprised of one common share and one warrant at the public offering price of USD 1.00 per unit. The warrants will be immediately exercisable at a price of USD 1.20 per common share and are exercisable for five years. In connection with the offering, the Company has granted the underwriter a 30-day option to purchase up to 1,500,000 additional common shares and/or 1,500,000 additional warrants at the public offering price less underwriting discounts. The offering is expected to close on or about February 21, 2017, subject to customary closing conditions. Roth Capital Partners is acting as sole book-running manager in the offering. Maxim Group LLC is acting as a financial advisor in the offering.
  • 16 February 2017: Credit Suisse successfully launched its new subsidiary Credit Suisse (Switzerland)

    Credit Suisse (Switzerland) Ltd. was incorporated with the purpose to be organized as a Swiss bank. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Credit Suisse AG. The transfer of assets and liabilities according to Swiss merger law became effective on 20 November 2016. The transfer was aimed to evolve the legal entity structure of the Credit Suisse Group to meet regulatory requirements for systematically important banks.
  • 14 February 2017: BASF acquires Rolic Group

    BASF acquires Rolic, a Swiss based group offering innovative and forward-thinking solutions, particularly in the display and security industries as well as the optical film business.
  • 15 February 2017: gategroup CHF 300 mio. bond issuance

    gategroup successfully raised CHF 300 million through the issuance of a fixed rate 5-year senior bond with a final maturity on February 28, 2022. The bond with a coupon of 3% p.a. has been issued by gategroup Finance (Luxembourg) S.A. and is guaranteed by its parent company gategroup Holding AG. gategroup will apply for the listing of the new bond on the SIX Swiss Exchange.
  • 17 February 2017: RWS acquires LUZ, Inc.

    RWS Holdings plc, a world leading provider of intellectual property support services (patent translations, international patent filing solutions and searches), commercial translations and linguistic validation, has completed the acquisition of 100% of LUZ, Inc., a market leading Life Sciences language services provider based in San Francisco, for a cash consideration of USD82.5m.
  • 17 February 2017: Cembra Money Bank acquires invoice financing provider SWISSBILLING SA

    Cembra Money Bank has reached an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares of SWISSBILLING. The transaction is expected to close within the first quarter of 2017. The transaction consideration was below CHF 10 million and is expected to have a negative impact of 0.1% on the Group’s CET1 ratio as at closing.
  • 7 February 2017: TPF closes private offering and bank financing

    Transports publics fribourgeois Trafic (TPF TRAFIC) SA closed the financing of its maintenance and exploitation centre in the canton of Fribourg. The financing was partly made through a CHF 40 mio. private placement, a CHF 32 mio. secured bank loan and a CHF 55 mio. unsecured bank loan.
  • 3 February 2017: Migros acquires Tipesca

    The Migros Group, through Mérat & Cie. SA, has acquired Tipesca SA, a company incorporated in the canton of Tessin. Tipesca offers a wide range of fish products.
  • 24 January 2017: Sharp Corporation and Skytec Group Limited enter into strategic business alliance

    Japan-based Sharp Corporation, part of Taiwan’s Foxconn Group, enters into a strategic business alliance with Skytec Group Limited (“Skytec”) regarding the manufacture and sale of Sharp branded products and services in Europe. For that purpose, Sharp acquires a majority stake of 56.7% in the newly incorporated joint venture Skytec UMC Ltd.
  • 25 January 2017: Zug Estates CHF 100 mio. Bond

    Zug Estates Holding AG (SIX: ZUGN) has successfully issued its first CHF 100 mio. fixed-interest bond with a 0.7% coupon and a 5-year maturity.

Press Releases in Switzerland

The latest news direct from law firms. If you would like to submit press releases for your firm, send an email request to