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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

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.

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Trade marks and unfair competition

Within: Trade marks and unfair competition

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.

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