Having doubled in size over the last two years, the “rock-solid” Arnold Ruess is now making waves in German intellectual property. As Sony Interactive Entertainment’s exclusive IP adviser for the country, it has been working hard to protect immensely popular trademarks such as PLAYSTATION and PS4. Other notable clients include Subaru, Nordsee and Christ Juweliere und Uhrmacher. Representing all of these brands, Peter Ruess
is unquestionably the anchor of the outfit. “He’s a dynamic, eloquent all-rounder who does things practically and straightforwardly. His trademark practice is very impressive.”
Baker McKenzie serves up a full suite of trademark services, from clearance searches to litigation, and utilises bespoke online software to maximise efficiency in portfolio management and cross-border trademark enforcement. Lately it has been blazing a trail with its work with non-traditional marks, supporting 3M and Aquatherm on complex colour mark issues. Rembert Niebel
plies his trade at the bleeding edge of the field. He is fazed by nothing and knows exactly what will cut the mustard in a critical case. His teammate Michael Fammler
is at his best stewarding worldwide portfolios; when the opportunity to monetise IP rights materialises, he pounces.
“BARDEHLE PAGENBERG is a very well-established IP firm, which has always had an important trademark practice. Even when under a lot of pressure, its formidable lawyers produce excellent work; their business acumen is invaluable.” The highly respected ensemble’s client roster speaks for itself: adidas, Apple, Coca-Cola, H&M and Nintendo are five big names that feature. With offices in Munich, Dusseldorf, Paris and Verona, BARDEHLE PAGENBERG is adept at securing continent-wide protection for trademarks, while the firm’s coverage now stretches into Southeast Asia thanks to a recent cooperation agreement with Yusarn Audrey in Singapore. Leading the practice, Claus M Eckhartt
garners praise from all corners. “He’s an extremely talented attorney who cares a great deal about his clients and is always a pleasure to work with. His opinions and recommendations take into account not only substantive legal issues but also clients’ markets and the practical reality that even big companies don’t have unlimited resources to spend on pursuing IP enforcement. You can always count on him for professional support.” Like Eckhartt, Henning Hartwig
and Alexander von Mühlendahl
straddle the contentious/non-contentious divide with verve. Hartwig is a razor-sharp IP practitioner who supplements a robust trademark practice with singular knowledge of design law. Having served as vice president of the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), Mühlendahl was responsible for drafting the 1995 Act on the Protection of Trademarks and Other Signs and therefore has a unique understanding of its provisions. When it comes to cliff-edge litigation, companies turn to Philipe Kutschke
. “He is a sound collaborator who makes sure he has a full understanding of his clients’ business models and their priorities – something that helps a lot. While some lawyers only look at things from one point of view, he considers them from every angle and then comes up with the best solution possible.”
The last 12 months have been busy ones for Beiten Burkhardt. It has expanded its Munich office with a number of new hires, won mandates from exciting advertising clients in Berlin and made significant inroads into the gaming sector in Frankfurt. With 30 years of experience the practice has been refined into a premium choice for clients looking for cradle-to-grave protection for their marks. Tilmann Luehrig
embodies the firm’s versatility. He has been providing prosecution support to Germany’s biggest vehicle marketplace online and also representing Ergobaby Europe in anti-counterfeiting cases against a manufacturer of imitation products. “He gives straight-to-the-point advice, providing answers and useful recommendations rather than just legal considerations. Really impressive, too, is his broad and instantly available knowledge of German law – you can phone him up and know he’ll be able to answer any questions you have.” The “energetic, enthusiastic and always well-prepared” litigator Christina Hackbarth
is another favourite. “She’s persuasive, exceptionally thorough and really gets to know her clients.” With a keen interest in overseeing the establishment and fruition of start-ups, Tanja Hogh Holub
has been advising the Chinese e-mobility company NextEV on trademark issues arising from its entry into the German market.
BEST Rechtsanwälte PartmbB
BEST Rechtsanwälte’s profound knowledge of the sector and hands-on customer service add up to an enviable package. The nimble IP boutique has attracted clients of all shapes and sizes – start-ups, fashion labels, automotive companies and pharmaceutical titans. Co-founder Michael Best
is an “extremely competent” lawyer who brings significant in-house knowledge to the table thanks to time spent at Hoechst AG. His astute teammate Udo Pfleghar
has a similar background; he served as head of the trademarks and domains team at Boehringer Ingelheim. Between them, they have a robust understanding of commercial culture and the pressures of running a business.
Bird & Bird LLP
Comprising five partners and 28 fee earners, the trademark team at Bird & Bird is one of the biggest in the country; it is nestled within the firm’s sprawling international network, the group has the resources and reach to effectively handle cross-border cases. Noteworthy entries on its scorecard include successfully handling a dispute for Deutscher Sparkassen- und Giroverband against Santander – in which the firm prevailed before the Federal Court of Justice – and one for Anson’s Herrenhaus against ASOS. Responsible for both, Uwe Lüken
is a dexterous, never-say-die litigator happy to burn the midnight oil for his clients. Richard Dissmann
is another “brilliant” enforcer. Outside the courtroom, he capitalises on close connections with customs officials to take the fight to the fakers through whirlwind seizures. The “extremely knowledgeable” Sebastian Fischoeder
has become a beacon for brand owners wanting to secure their non-traditional marks: “he steers clients safely through highly complex disputes.” “Responsive, practical, efficient and business minded”, Joseph Fesenmair
is a proficient portfolio manager. He works hand in hand with clients to come up with failsafe registration strategies.
The redoubtable BOEHMERT & BOEHMERT sits astride the summit of German intellectual property. “It’s a very well-organised firm that offers an extremely high level of service and is always responsive and reliable.” It files with finesse and manages the portfolios of household names masterfully, but is equally excellent in the courtroom, where it fights tooth and nail to protect clients’ rights. Indeed, all seven of its individuals in the WTR 1000
this year are veterans on either sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide. The inspiring Peter Gross
is adept at navigating companies from the establishment of their first trademark rights up to the signing of lucrative contracts. “Tremendous theoretical knowledge” combined with a pragmatic outlook is provided by his personable teammate Volker Schmitz-Fohrmann
. For assistance in complicated opposition proceedings before the EUIPO and the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA), Florian Schwab
is a cogent choice. Another nifty negotiator, Ludwig Kouker
is a dab hand at wrapping up out-of-court settlements and has ample antitrust knowledge, while Jan Bernd Nordemann
complements his trademark practice with a complete command of copyright law. “Anke Nordemann-Schiffel
is a sharp lawyer with an amazing understanding of German and EU trademark law, including the relevant procedural issues. He’s extremely capable in the coordination of multi-jurisdictional cases – one of the most experienced litigators out there.” Finally, anti-counterfeiting is a strong suit of the “quick-witted, convincing” Axel Nordemann
, who has masterminded scores of seizures in his time. “He takes a diligent, structured approach to things and always presents them in a succinct, compelling way.”
boesling IP has been turning heads in its representation of medium-sized enterprise Hummel Holding on invalidity proceedings against Disney before the EUIPO, and against Nike before the German courts and the European Court of Justice (ECJ) with regard to alleged infringement of its figurative chevron trademark. Banding together for this, Thies Bösling
and Inga George
are the beating heart of the practice. “Very professional and proactive, Thies provides clear and thorough feedback every step of the way. He’s incisive with third parties, too, which often leads to early settlements – meaning no time-consuming, costly proceedings.” George is known for her go-getter attitude; she is always looking to move a matter forward and tries every tool in her toolbox until the lock turns.
CMS Hasche Sigle
CMS Hasche Sigle marries impeccable technical knowledge with a modern, cosmopolitan outlook – a formula which has been winning it mandates left, right and centre. With its clients’ business goals firmly in mind, the team maps out robust portfolio management strategies, making the most of its comprehensive coverage of Eastern Europe. Gordian Hasselblatt
is an obvious candidate to call on. “He’s a very strong negotiator, someone who puts himself on a strong personal footing with his opponents while still fighting as hard as he can for his clients; you might see a soft glove but there will be an iron fist inside.”
Because it places a real premium on keeping its employees satisfied, COHAUSZ & FLORACK’s trademark team is uniquely stable and tight-knit. Its members cooperate closely on prosecution and portfolio management matters, routinely bouncing ideas off each other. A notable patron of their personalised service is LG Electronics – one of the top five trademark applicants worldwide. With a keen understanding of the impact that the globalisation of trade has had on brands, Rebekka Schiffer
assists the ceaselessly innovative company when it comes to filing and opposition matters, as well as working on EU-wide strategies.
Aware that providing legal support in a vacuum is worthless, Eisenführ Speiser frames its counsel in the context of its clients’ wider commercial concerns. It was the first IP firm in Germany to introduce a sophisticated, fully electronic file system and now provides customers with 24/7 remote access to documents. An impressive combination of trademark attorneys and attorneys at law also means that the support it offers is truly holistic. On the prosecution side, a recent highlight came when the firm assisted digital publishing house Axel Springer with its news portal Upday. The firm’s most famous courtroom triumph of late is that for Lindt & Sprüngli against Haribo; it took over the case, which concerned the chocolate manufacturer’s gold bear, at second instance and succeeded in having the first-instance judgment overturned, a result that was picked up by media outlets the world over. Leading the charge on this project, Rainer Böhm
is a silver-tongued litigator whose eloquent reasoning is absolutely first class.
FPS Fritze Wicke Seelig Partnerschaftsgesellschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB
If there is one firm that knows its way around the fashion industry, it is FPS. The cosmopolitan, outward-looking ensemble – helped in no small part by the number of its practitioners who are fluent in French – is active on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide, with the registration of abstract marks and the organisation of anti-counterfeiting seizures all in a day’s work. The most renowned of its members remains Carsten Albrecht
, who currently sits on the board of directors of the International Trademark Association (INTA). He uses his inter-personal skills to steer clients through tricky negotiations and achieve favourable settlements.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Businesses wanting a firm that they can rely on for “pragmatic, business-focused support” would be well advised to seek out Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. The commercial law titan has all the expertise and experience necessary to close lucrative rights transfers and knows when to pursue litigation and, more importantly, when to walk away. Recently it has been counselling EQT with regard to the trademark threads of the sale of BSN medical to SCA and representing Primark on infringement proceedings against adidas, Bogner and Birkenstock. Matthias Koch
is a distinguished all-rounder who is always in the thick of the action. He captains the IP practice and works closely with the “excellent” Andrea Lensing-Kramer
, a “very strong strategic negotiator” who has a complete understanding of the challenges posed by online distribution and social media. She obtained the first higher court decision in the world concerning the liability of e-commerce platform providers for trademark infringement.
“Gleiss Lutz is a fantastic full-service firm, with a strong client base in the automotive industry, among others, and real presence in transactional intellectual property. Working with it is a pleasure; things are solved effectively and efficiently.” Recently the firm put its vast commercial expertise to use supporting the US private equity investment company KKR with trademark issues arising from the acquisition of Bayer’s diabetes care business. It has also been flexing its muscles on the enforcement side, representing Blizzard Entertainment on a landmark case against Bossland before the Federal Court of Justice concerning the computer game World of Warcraft
. Teaming up for this issue, Andreas Wehlau
and Matthias Werner
are worldly wise litigators with a wealth of experience. Wehlau’s out-of-the-box thinking and sheer rigour makes him a fantastic problem solver, while Werner is a shrewd negotiator who never fails to see the wood for the trees. Another “excellent” member of the team, Stefan Völker
is “someone to be reckoned with – a great opponent”. Debuting in the WTR 1000
for 2018, Stefan Weidert
is completely at home in the online world; e-commerce issues are a particular strong suit of his.
With a bounty of market-leading expertise and a modern, unstuffy ethos, Grünecker is unquestionably one of the finest firms in Germany and a popular choice among both European luxury fashion brands and US tech giants. Interviewees acknowledge that “it stands out for sure – the portfolio to its name is incredible and its lawyers are hard but fair players who have all the experience in the world; they are extremely thoughtful in everything they do.” Similarly effusive, clients line up to praise the level, flexibility and cost-effectiveness of the Grünecker service and say they would recommend the firm without hesitation. With three gold-tier individuals in its ranks, it is easy to see why. Holger Gauss
is “a true rainmaker and a mastermind in coordinating international litigation; nothing is beyond him. He knows everyone – the list of contacts he has is remarkable – and the clear and efficient manner in which he communicates makes him a real pleasure to work with or against.” Nicolás Schmitz
is another redoubtable name. He recently secured two new sports clients, Slazenger and Tennis Point, and has been involved in extensive litigation for the Dutch designer Mooia. “Nicolas is absolutely brilliant – a ‘safe bank’ as regards material trademark law and procedural matters. He’s crystal clear in his reasoning and recommendations and understands what’s important to clients. His familiarity with the workings of the various courts in the country is worth its weight in gold too.” “Maximilian Kinkeldey
is an exceptionally knowledgeable lawyer who is highly respected in the field for his commercially minded service. He’s particularly popular with English and American clients.” Kinkeldey frequently shares his unique insights with university students. Rounding the team off, Anja Franke
is a versatile trademark practitioner with complementary expertise of unfair competition law issues. “Her ability to solve complex IP problems quickly and successfully is outstanding. She’s very reliable – her risk assessment in lawsuits is remarkable – and her success rate is strikingly high.”
Harmsen Utescher is a “well-respected IP boutique, among the best in Germany. You won’t find a weak practitioner there – every lawyer produces strong work – and it represents some of the biggest retail companies.” The pioneering firm has an embarrassment of riches in its ranks. Jan Peter Heidenreich
is a “skilful litigator” who pushes hard on behalf of his clients while remaining “friendly and professional with other lawyers in court”. Because of her cosmopolitanism, charisma and fresh thinking, brand owners repeatedly return to Karin Sandberg
. “She’s great at explaining the nuances of litigation in Germany to foreign parties.” A member of the trademark reform task force of the Association of European Trademark Owners, the “excellent” Till Lampel
is on the leading edge of legal developments. Christoph Schumann
has the creativity to surmount even the most forbidding obstacles: “He’s a really experienced professional with deep IP knowledge.” Finally, the wide-ranging skill set of Martin Kefferpütz
allows him to shepherd brand owners through every stage of a trademark’s lifecycle; you name the task, he will be equal to it.
Harte-Bavendamm Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB
Established in 2008, the vibrant Harte-Bavendamm has a reputation that belies the relatively short time it has been on the market. “It stands out from the crowd. The work is never delegated to less experienced associates; it’s always handled by the partners themselves, and their availability and reaction times are excellent.” Of the firm’s nine partners, an impressive five appear in the WTR 1000
for 2018, a testament to the abundance of talent here, with Henning Harte-Bavendamm
and Michael Goldmann
holding gold rankings. Harte-Bavendamm is “simply the best in the country – as a litigator and a commercial IP adviser. He’s the driving force at the firm and serves some seriously high-profile clients.” These include Procter & Gamble, Sony Music Entertainment and the football club St Pauli, the last of which he shares with Goldmann, whom peers label an “encyclopaedia” of trademark law. “Michael’s briefs are extremely thorough and he always gets great results. You can’t question the level of his knowledge.” Andrea Jaeger-Lenz
has been busy supporting Société des Produits Nestlé on opposition and invalidity proceedings before the EUIPO. “She provides first-class service, being responsive, reliable, professional and proactive – in every case she handles her dedication is apparent. Plus, she’s very easy to talk to, a truly nice, open-minded person.” Frederik Thiering
and Marion Jacob
are both said to “work at the highest level” and have “tremendous” IP knowledge. “When a client’s matter is placed in Thiering’s capable hands, they immediately start to feel as if they’re one step ahead of the other side.” Jacob is proficient at securing the registration of elaborate marks and the negotiation of contracts for the transfer of rights. Together the pair have been managing the extensive portfolio of European publishing house Gruner + Jahr.
Business law firm Hengeler Mueller strikes oil for clients time and again thanks to significant transactional IP expertise; its commercially aware trademark practitioners debate matters with their M&A and tax colleagues down the corridor before putting pen to paper. “Every lawyer at the firm is excellent; by sheer legal wattage, they are all extremely bright lightbulbs.” Having the strategic nous and interpersonal skills to get that crucial signature on the bottom line, Andrea Schlaffge
was the perfect chaperone for Lone Star on its acquisition of Xella International from PAI Partners and Goldman Sachs. Her quick-witted teammate Wolfgang Kellenter
is at his best representing brand owners in the luxury goods sector.
Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek
The “excellent” trademark pros at Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek win plaudits for their communicability and responsiveness. Nestling within a full-service offering across eight bases in Germany – not to mention two international camps in Belgium and Switzerland – the IP team has plentiful resources to utilise in complex cases or transactions. Thorsten Wieland
is the first choice for many companies. He has an expansive range of expertise, routinely handling contentious and non-contentious issues; and particular experience in the consumer goods sector. Long-forged ties with customs authorities make him a force to be reckoned with in the fight against fakes. “Knowledge, pragmatism and speed characterise his practice.” Christian Spintig
also knows how to relieve branding headaches and has complete command of case law concerning trademarks, as well as notable experience handling copyright and publishing issues.
Hogan Lovells International LLP
“When it comes to soft IP Hogan Lovells sets the benchmark. It has the strongest trademark portfolio in Germany and a lot of enforcement experience – it’s in the press all the time. The lawyers are extremely capable, professional and creative.” Having a network consisting of 49 offices, the firm coordinates cross-border matters with ease and seamlessly employs arguments and tactics that worked in one jurisdiction in another. Notwithstanding this advantage over many other firms, it places a premium on customer service too; team members maximise face time with their clients and routinely attend industry meetings. This formula seems to be working wonders; a staggering number of the world’s top 100 brands have come knocking on the Hogan Lovells door. Chief of the global IP practice, Andreas Bothe
is a “seasoned, talented litigator” with many loyal fans. “Brand owners appreciate not only his expertise but also his accessibility, responsiveness, down-to-earth attitude and cost-consciousness. His advice always comes tailored to the internal politics and preferences of each specific company; he puts in the hours to learn what the corporate mindset and IP history is like everywhere.” His teammate Mareike Hunfeld
is another “very capable IP litigator” whom respondents recommend for complex, high-stakes cases; non-traditional marks are bread and butter for her. “She’s bright, practical, hardworking, responsive and reliable.” Leopold von Gerlach
’s 20 years of courtroom conflict have hardened him into a formidable foe. He has a notable understanding of parallel import issues and pursues infringers relentlessly. The “very professional” Morten Petersenn
made headlines in 2013 when taking a dispute for Hard Rock Cafe all the way up to the Federal Court of Justice and walking away with a landmark decision; he recently put the cherry on top of this case, by securing an additional judgment from the Karlsruhe Regional Court ordering further damages to be payed to his client. Erhard Keller
is the man to turn to for transactional matters – his ingenious licensing contracts keep on giving.
JONAS Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH
The “very well-known” JONAS houses lawyers with a “high level of expertise” and who are “a pleasure” to work with. Over the last decade the firm has built up an international reputation for taking a creative but business conscious approach to the launching of new brands. Portfolio management and enforcement are all in a day’s work for protean professionals Martin Viefhues
and Nils Weber
, who form the nucleus of the practice. Viefheus is a “dynamic” lawyer with the ability to simplify complex legal arguments into bite-size chunks for the C-suite to tuck into. The tech-savvy Weber has notable experience in domain name arbitration proceedings.
Jones Day’s dexterity in handling parallel trademark matters across Europe, Asia and the United States helps it stand out from the crowd; it approaches melees with a coordinated game plan covering all the relevant jurisdictions and then executes this seamlessly; thanks to frictionless contact between the offices involved. Wendy’s International benefitted from this superb cross-border service recently; Marc Groebl
was the lawyer holding the reins in Germany. He leads the national trademark and designs practice with a steady hand. Rigour and commitment are hallmarks of his practice; nothing escapes his penetrating eye.
Since its establishment in 1979, KLAKA has been a constant fixture on the German IP landscape. It serves up a premium suite of services, ranging from clearance checks all the way up to exacting courtroom representation. Assisting Rolls-Royce on the enforcement of invaluable trademarks against worldwide clothes distributor RedBubble is a standout highlight of late. It was handled by the “fantastic” Ralf Hackbarth
, who is acknowledged by peers as “among the finest trademark strategists around” and earns notable praise for his professionalism. A second significant mandate saw the side assisting Deichmann on a string of infringement cases with Vans. This is just one of the cases which has thrust Carola Onken
into the WTR 1000
for 2018. “She keeps her cool in high-pressure situations and is rhetorically very impressive. Her performances are extremely memorable.” No stranger to the courtroom either, Stefan Abel
has been flexing his muscles for Longchamp on thorny battles at the Federal Court of Justice. Andreas Schulz
is a “collegial and solutions-oriented” lawyer who maps out portfolio management strategies with real care and creativity.
KUHNEN & WACKER has spent four decades refining its customer service into the premium offering it now is; its lawyers immerse themselves wholly in their clients’ markets – so that nothing lies outside their field of vision – and then provide swift, reliable, business-focused counsel. Whatever the issue, prosecution, licensing or enforcement, Christian Thomas
has the skill set and requisite experience to sort it out. He is as artful filing applications before the German Patent and Trademark Office as he is pleading in court.
Lichtenstein, Körner & Partners mbB
The 12-strong IP team at Lichtenstein, Körner & Partners is entrusted by a striking array of brand owners, ranging from small and medium-sized companies to industrial behemoths. The ingenuity, responsiveness and pragmatism of the set’s practitioners has ensured unwavering loyalty from clients, in some cases lasting decades. Considered an invaluable sounding board by many senior business executives, Kerstin Gründig-Schnelle
is a modern, outward-looking strategist who files with finesse.
Lorenz Seidler Gossel
Lorenz Seidler Gossel is famed for the commitment of its lawyers and rightly so; they eat, sleep and breathe their brands, working around the clock to secure valuable new rights and protect existing ones. Thanks to 50 years’ experience, the stellar cadre of contentious and non-contentious whizzes know exactly when to apply a light touch and when to go in aggressively. Christian Rassmann
has impressed scores of judges with his nifty courtroom footwork. Reinhard Ingerl
is a technically astute litigator who maintains a laser focus on his clients’ overall business objectives. Not chary of breaking with tradition, Siegfried Jackermeier
thinks outside the box to come up with left-field solutions and as a result frequently sets new precedents; he is an excellent guide for the road less travelled.
“Lubberger Lehment is one of the top IP firms in Germany – the very best when it comes to work in the perfume industry. Its writs and presentations are academically excellent. Businesses that want sophisticated support from technically gifted, dedicated and highly professional lawyers have a great option here.” While the team has brilliant individuals manning every oar, the two most renowned are name partners Andreas Lubberger
and Cornelis Lehment
. “Lubberger’s ability is beyond question. He knows everything there is to know about the cosmetics field – both legally and commercially. He has handled lots of landmark cases at the ECJ and is often the driving force behind discussion of its jurisprudence. He’s someone you can call up and pleasurably exchange thoughts on complex issues with.” Lehment is another dazzling litigator who knows the luxury goods sector like the back of his hand. Fazed by nothing, he extinguishes infringement flames swiftly and with alacrity. Martin Fiebig
“always keeps his clients’ interests front and centre” in everything he does and supplements a strong trademark practice with singular knowledge of copyright law – “he’s among the strongest piracy fighters in Germany”. In complex anti-counterfeiting matters, Benjamin Koch
shines; he has the contacts to organise seizures at lightning speed and is described as “outstanding” by one impressed interviewee, who also applauds his pragmatism and strategic eye.
Meissner Bolte Partnerschaft mbB
Since being founded in Bremen in 1908, Meissner Bolte has extended its operations into a further eight offices across Germany – not to mention one in the United Kingdom and one in Spain. The last of these is located in the purlieus of the EUIPO in Alicante – a strategic positioning that has proved hugely beneficial as the side is now one of the country’s top filers of EU trademarks. Andreas Ebert-Weidenfeller
is a portfolio management maven whose slick negotiation skills help him seal the deal on licensing contracts. Tobias Wuttke
brings the thunder on the contentious side; his assertive style is widely admired and central to his success.
Noerr has an “impressive set of dynamic, hardworking, mindful, utterly responsive lawyers” with experience on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide as well as the sangfroid to ride out choppy negotiation waves. It has six offices in Germany, plus a notable spread across Central and Eastern Europe and one as far afield as New York. The versatile Berlin camp handles portfolio management, litigation and digitisation matters with aplomb, while the commercially focused Munich ensemble shines on the transactional side. Based in the latter, Georg Jahn
and Valentina Niess
are fonts of business wisdom. The dedicated, enthusiastic and innovative Jahn always finds new ways for rights to be exploited. Niess is an active member of INTA’s Internet Committee and brings domain name prowess to the table. “She has excellent expertise and judgement, is highly responsive at all times and gives clear, sound advice.”
Preu Bohlig & Partner
In tune with the very latest online developments, Preu Bohlig & Partner is a favourite among start-ups and established tech outfits. The internet aficionados combine refined sector knowledge and hands-on customer service to satisfy even the most demanding clients’ requests. Unique expertise in the pharmaceutical sector is a further attribute that helps it stand out from the crowd. Based in Berlin, Thomas Beyer is a reliable contact.
Schultz – Süchting Rechtsanwälte
Schultz – Süchting is an “excellent boutique” comprising seven “strong, ethical lawyers” who ply their trade out of their headquarters in Hamburg. It has built up a variegated client roster that features world-renowned names in addition to ample entities from the Mittelstand; straightforward, resolutely pragmatic support with a laser focus on business objectives makes it a fine choice for brand owners across the board. The media maestro Dirk Bruhn
complements his ace trademark practice with impressive knowledge of unfair competition and copyright law.
Siebeke, Lange, Wilbert
Siebeke, Lange, Wilbert has been a stalwart of the German legal scene since 1951 and it shows in the sheer breadth of its experience; it has registered marks of extreme complexity and safeguarded rights under threat from all manner of infringers. Name partner Paul Lange
is kept on speed dial by many clients. He performs artfully in opposition and cancellation proceedings before the DPMA and has particular expertise when it comes to geographical indications. He works alongside luminary Monika Wenz
, a true doyenne of German intellectual property, who continues to light the way for rising stars.
SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte
SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte’s IP practice has come on leaps and bounds thanks to new signings Ulrich Hildebrandt and Sandra Sophia Redeker. The “energetic, exciting and ever-rising Hildebrandt is an outstanding and very responsive attorney with a deep knowledge of trademark law and fantastic rhetorical skills” who has been busy representing Deutsche Bahn with regard to its valuable travel planning portal Qixxit. Like him, Redeker is comfortable with every stage of a trademark’s journey and offers 360-degree support. “She’s dynamic, hardworking, professional, mindful and a great negotiator and strategist. Her to-the-point communication, analytical approach and well-grounded legal advice in regard to complex issues always impresses; because she takes the trouble to step into her clients’ shoes, she’s able to provide pragmatic and effective solutions.” They join the cultured Magnus Hirsch, a longstanding rock of the practice. For more than 20 years he has been enforcing his clients’ rights before courts all the way up to the Federal Court of Justice.
Squire Patton Boggs
With its flag flying from 46 offices in 21 countries, Squire Patton Boggs is a force to be reckoned with on the international stage. Over 100 IP specialists swell its ranks and the German contingent now numbers eight. Based in Frankfurt, its savvy trademark practitioners file and prosecute with élan, shrewdly weighing up options in the context of brand owners’ worldwide strategies. Reinhart Lange works shoulder to shoulder with his colleague Florian Traub in London to manage Deutsche Bank's extensive portfolio. Other notable patrons of his include leading dairy producer Zott SE and LSG Sky Chefs. The “skilled and vastly experienced” Lange has what it takes to effectively care for trademarks from birth to battle; crack performances before the Federal Court of Justice and the ECJ have earned him an enviable enforcement reputation.
Thanks to an impressive web of offices in Europe, Asia and the Middle East – plus representative camps in the United States – Taylor Wessing is wise to the legal and cultural nuances of countries the world over. Its cosmopolitan, forward-looking lawyers manage sprawling portfolios and international product launches with the steadiest of hands. Recently, the German cadre has been working with allies in the United Kingdom, France, Austria and the Benelux on extensive strategic support for American Airlines. The seamlessness of the firm’s cross-border counsel has also won it a legion of fans in the fashion and consumer products sectors. Captaining its international trademarks practice, Olaf Gillert
is the jewel in the practice’s crown; exhaustive legal knowledge and commercial nous enable him to exploit every right. “He’s prompt and responsive and always provides clear advice that reaps fantastic results.” Quick, transparent and prudent counsel can also be relied on from Thomas Raab
, who counts Hewlett Packard as a loyal fan. “His work is extremely thorough with all the various arguments presented clearly.” Ortrun Günzel
is an all-rounder who leverages what she has learnt on the enforcement side to craft watertight applications. Always at the leading edge of intellectual property, the “very skilled, responsive and effective” Wiebke Baars
has been showing off her geographical indication expertise with stellar support for the Scotch Whisky Association. “What’s so impressive is that she maintains a really broad practice while still being able to examine all issues with due thoroughness. You name it, she knows about it – computers, the online world, media, information technology, everything.”
After setting up shop in 2016, Unit4 IP has well and truly hit the ground running. It wins plaudits from clients and peers alike for its “extremely clear” advice, enterprising spirit and vitality and has already accrued an impressive client catalogue comprising start-ups, small to medium-sized enterprises and household names from the United States; cracking examples include EasyGroup, Intel, Gilead Sciences and Yum! Brands. They all receive a hands-on, uniquely personalised service from one of the team’s three trademark stars: Ursula Stelzenmüller
, Ekkehard Stolz
and Jan Weiser
. “Stelzenmüller is extremely knowledgeable, professional, experienced and sensitive to clients’ needs.” She maps out creative, effective filing strategies and excels in opposition and cancellation proceedings before the DPMA and EUIPO. Stolz stands out for his ability to “distinguish between the theoretical and real-world risks that proposed marks might throw up” and for the clarity of his advice. A commercially minded litigator, Weiser comes to the rescue when infringement trouble is brewing; he knows how to think on his feet and lets nothing run away from him.
Vossius & Partner
Delivering sophisticated, transparent and individually tailored counsel on budget and on time, the nimble-footed Vossius & Partner is an excellent choice. It remains strongest in its spiritual home of Munich, but of late has been the talk of the town in Dusseldorf where its 2015-established office has now successfully expanded to cover the full spectrum of IP matters. Christian Hufnagel
recently set up shop here; his significant courtroom experience, technical knowledge and rhetorical eloquence are enough to persuade even the frostiest judges. Leading the trademark practice, the “excellent and personable” Mathias Kleespies
is a redoubtable litigator who does not hesitate to take on David versus Goliath mandates. A highlight for him of late was his representation of Dogstyler on trademark infringement proceedings against Amazon.com; he successfully obtained a preliminary injunction prohibiting Amazon from displaying third-party products as a result in an internal search for a certain brand. Kleespies worked hand in hand on this with Paul Kretschmar
, who also shines on the enforcement side. GlaxoSmithKline rely on him for legal support concerning drug counterfeiting and parallel imports. While at his finest in the courtroom, he also uses the experience gained there to devise untouchable filing strategies.