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Bird & Bird

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Christian Harmsen

Bird & Bird LLP

Work Department

Intellectual Property Group


Christian is a senior partner based in our Dusseldorf office; he is co-Head of Bird & Bird's International Intellectual Property Group and Head of the Intellectual Property Group in Germany. Christian has a focus on national and multi-jurisdictional patent litigation and strategy in all technical areas. Throughout his career, Christian has led and coordinated a number of multi-national proceedings for global clients. But he also successfully represents mid-cap companies. For many years, legal publications have noted Christian as one of the leading patent lawyers in Germany and Europe.


Having started his professional career in 1997, Christian made it partner in the office of Wessing in 1997. Christian has been partner in the Dusseldorf office of Bird & Bird since 2002 and is a founding member of Bird & Bird in Germany. Christian is Deputy Chairman of the German Intellectual Property and Copyright Association's (GRUR) section West and sits on the GRUR committee on patent and utility model law. Further, he is columnist in the newspaper Handelsblatt.


German, English.


Christian is member of the GRUR, the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI), the European Patent Lawyer Association (EPLAW) and the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA).


University of Hamburg 1989-1993. Trainee at Higher Regional Court of Hamburg 1995-1997, admitted to bar 1997.

Germany: Intellectual property

Patent litigation

Within: Leading individuals

Christian Harmsen - Bird & Bird

Within: Patent litigation

Operating across four offices in Germany – Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Munich and Hamburg – Bird & Bird’s team, which consists of both patent attorneys and attorneys at law, is considered one of the most established players on the German market. It has particular expertise in the areas of technology and communication, life sciences, automotive and retail, but has a generally broad practice. A unique selling point is the firm’s experience in matters requiring both patent and antitrust law knowledge, making it well placed for advice on disputes surrounding standard-essential patents. The overall structure of the firm allows for the handling of large international matters. Oliver Jan Jüngst regularly represents Broadcom in infringement and nullity proceedings, while Boris Kreye is acting for Canon in a series of patent infringement proceedings regarding toner cartridges. Practice head Christian Harmsen is advising Nektar Therapeutics Group in actions for vindication against Bayer. Other clients include Edwards Lifesciences, Nestlé and TivO. The practice was strengthened by the promotions of Tung-Gia Du and Tobias Wilcke to counsel in May 2018; Matthias Meyer, Felix Rödiger and Anna Wolters-Höhne are also recommended.

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Trade marks and unfair competition

Within: Trade marks and unfair competition

Bird & Bird provides advice at ‘the highest technical level’ on the full spectrum of trade mark and competition law and is noted for its ‘ability to adapt to clients’ needs’. The firm has expanded its trade mark and design portfolio management practice, also at an international level, which simultaneously has meant a growth in advice on international projects. The sizeable team includes the renowned Richard Dissmann, who recently represented a multinational retail company in a competition law and design law dispute concerning shoe models. Joseph Fesenmair, who alongside counsel Roman Brtka and senior counsel Franz Gernhardt is recognised for his ‘excellent expertise’, handled several matters for Audi, including representing the client in multiple proceedings at Higher Regional Courts in the defence of trade mark, domain and design rights, and acting in several proceedings against Deutsche Umwelthilfe (German environmental relief) regarding the requirements of the German energy labelling ordinance for cars. High-profile clients include Fendi, Deutsche Telekom and Phillip Morris. Key figures in the team, which is led by patent law expert Christian Harmsen, also include Markus Körner, Uwe Lüken and Niels Lutzhöft; the practice is very visible in the market at partner level, but is also strong at counsel and senior counsel level with Sebastian Fischoeder, Mascha Grundmann and Thomas Urband. Jana Bogatz joined D Young & Co LLP as partner in October 2018.

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