Comment: This recommended antitrust practice stands out for its specialist knowledge at the interface of antitrust and patent law. Witting was one of the first to recognize how significant this area was. He represented Huawei in the groundbreaking ECJ ruling on standard-essential patents in 2015. The practice is still engaged in this case, in part because there are ongoing arguments about how the ruling should be interpreted. Other key practice areas are advice to automotive companies, where Brussels partner Federle is well known, and distribution antitrust. The team's work on the prominent Adidas pilot proceedings over selective distribution is paying off here: it advised an automotive company on reorganizing its European distribution system. It succeeded in bringing several offices, practices and specialties into one case, incl. specialists for ?distribution and IP. In general it is noteworthy that the antitrust lawyers are closely involved in the firm’s sector-specific advice.
Strengths: Strong expertise at the interface with ?patents and ?trademarks and unfair competition.
Development potential: The trend toward disputes over antitrust damages plays to the strengths of this litigation-oriented practice, but other firms have a higher profile here. One reason could be that the lower levels of the practice have not expanded significantly, so the firm is not sending out signals that it has the necessary capacity.
Recommended: Dr. Jörg Witting (“an expert in antitrust damages claims”, competitor), Anne Federle (“pleasant and competent”, competitor).
Practice: Focus on antitrust aspects of trademarks and patents, incl. abuse, licenses and distribution. Also merger controls, cartel cases and civil proceedings, state aid. Compliance. (2 partners, 2 counsel, 1 associate)
Clients: ?? Nokia on FRAND aspects of patent dispute with Apple; Mastercard, incl. defense against damages claims regarding interchange fees (with Jones Day); Bayerische Rundfunk as a third party in Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht) proceedings; Adidas as third party in proceedings over Asics distribution system; Technogel on structuring and selective distribution.
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