BIRD & BIRD

Comment: B&B is a leading patents practice and is involved in a huge number of new proceedings spanning a range of sectors, incl. a rising number of pharmaceuticals proceedings, e.g. for Nektar and Heumann. On top of this, the firm brought its strong position in mobile communications disputes into play for Nokia. By moving young partner Wolters-Höhne from Düsseldorf to Hamburg, the patents team bolstered its weakest office. This was a promising strategic move, to establish a hard-hitting patents team at one of the German UPC local divisions. The successful integration of a patent attorney team from Uexküll last year laid the groundwork. Long before this, B&B had integrated patent attorneys consistently and early on in Munich, thus making itself independent from referrals from external patent attorney firms. B&B is a pioneer with its patent attorneys focusing on litigation, as other leading litigation practices (e.g. Hogan Lovells) are only taking this step on the eve of the UPC launch. B&B is even going one step further and actively offering prosecution work, as the Hamburg patent attorneys brought some major prosecution instructions with them, e.g. for an aircraft manufacturer. But the strong litigation work and approach of providing clients with an all-round service by in-house lawyers and patent attorneys are more strategically important. No other firm has pursued this path at such a high level.
Strengths: Litigation, esp. related to pharmaceuticals and telecoms, provided by mixed teams, strong European IP practice, many international industrial contacts.
European strategy: B&B has its own patent litigation teams in all the important UPC countries. Whether a pan-European team with 130 lawyers and patent attorneys will see internal battles for a share of the UPC or whether this is precisely the right move is a highly divisive question in the market.
Recommended: Christian Harmsen, Oliver Jüngst, Felix Rödiger, Dr. Matthias Meyer, Boris Kreye, Dr. Anna Wolters-Höhne; patent attorneys: Dr. Daniela Kinkeldey, (“always impressive work”, client), Dr. Michael Alt, (“our choice for important proceedings”, client on all).
Practice: In IP, more patents activity than ?trademarks and unfair competition. Strong litigation practice due to mixed teams. Sector expertise in healthcare, biotech, chemicals, electronics and telecoms. Advice concerning patent strategies and licenses and on the interface with ?antitrust. Frequent patent filing. (Core team: 11 equity partners, 5 counsel, 26 associates, 1 of counsel, incl. 15 patent attorneys)
Clients: ?? Nokia and NSN against Apple; Technicolor/Thomson against Samsung; Microsoft (all concerning mobile communications); Fisher & Paykel against ResMed regarding respiratory masks; Edwards Lifescience against Boston Scientific concerning cardiac valves; Nektar regarding blood coagulant; Nestlé against ECC concerning coffee capsules; Canon regarding printer technology; Rovi regarding EPG and smart TV; Acer against OneRed concerning DVD patents; Heumann Pharma against Novartis regarding rivastigmine; Honeywell regarding smart home; Life Technologies/Thermo Fisher against Roche; Nvidia against Polaris concerning graphic cards.
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