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Bamberg, Berlin, Munich

Frank Steinbach, Partner

Partner Frank Steinbach presents Zimmermann & Partner's client-orientated approach and high quality services.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate Zimmermann & Partner from your competitors?

We at Zimmermann & Partner understand patents as a tool of doing business. Therefore, we have a strong focus on our client’s commercial interests. On the other hand, we also understand that patents are about technology and that digging deeper is the key to success here. Therefore, we are very selective in hiring highly skilled people and strongly believe in constant training and learning. At the same time, we maintain a relaxed and flexible work environment with a flat hierarchy to enable our people to tap their full creative potential.

A particular strength of Zimmermann & Partner is to build teams which bring together the resources that perfectly match the client’s needs.

Which practices in your member firm do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

We expect that Zimmermann & Partner’s litigation and opposition business will enjoy considerable growth within the next year. While being already very active in high-profile litigation in the telecommunications area, we constantly diversify our litigation and opposition practice. A clear driver for this growth is our continuously high success rate in litigation and opposition. In the end, it’s the success that matters and which attracts more and more clients to use Zimmermann & Partner for inter-partes proceedings.

What is the main change you have made in your firm that will benefit clients?

One of the main changes was to focus our organization on the paralegal work. Most of our daily exchange with inhouse patent departments is on the paralegal level, and even more so if we are actively involved in our client’s docketing. Due to our reorganization, our clients enjoy a stable relationship with a single point of contact whereas, at the attorney level, we only create work if an attorney’s knowledge is really required. Our clients benefit from this more efficient structure by lower costs and reduced administrative complexity.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients and the services you can provide them?

Technology is at the heart of Zimmermann & Partner’s services for clients. We have gathered an abundance of experience with numerous standard external administrative software programs such as Anaqua, Tymetrix etc., so as to directly interface with our client's in-house patent departments. Because of this know-how, we are frequently asked to assist, or even completely handle, the internal docketing process for our clients.

In addition, our internal IT structure allows us to provide very flexible and complex portfolio reporting services.

Our fully electronic docketing system allows us to seamlessly work in teams including people from different offices. Thus, we can always build the team which provides most added value for the client in a particular case.

Can you give us a practical example of how you helped a client add value to their business?

Zimmermann & Partner devised a patent portfolio strategy for an S&P 100 company entering a new business. Our holistic approach integrated competitor monitoring, prosecution, opposition work, litigation and monetization, supporting the client in expanding a small in-licensed portfolio to a patent portfolio which helps to secure market leadership for our client. One main factor in making the portfolio strategy work was our understanding of not only of the technology but also of the business models of our client and the competitors. Thus, Zimmermann & Partner was able to deliver patents that matter.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three year's time?

Stable relationships are very important for both clients and patent attorneys. Only after some time you fully understand a client’s business and what role patents play or can play in it. This is why we at Zimmermann & Partner are proud of our very low staff turnover which is a key ingredient in building long-lasting and stable relationships with clients.

We further see that clients are more and more asking Zimmermann & Partner for advice on strategic questions like the participation in political processes. This part of our practice will become more important in the future.

Three years from now, Zimmermann & Partner will have enjoyed further reasonable growth, offering our high quality work to even more clients.

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