Germany

Germany remains an attractive jurisdiction for brand owners for filing and litigating thanks to the efficiency and effectiveness of the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) and the country’s regional and federal courts. The legal market for IP services is dominated by boutiques, which share the ethos and values of the ‘hidden champions’ spearheading the economy. A concerning development is a shortfall in talent at the associate level; senior practitioners note that whereas five years ago they would have received dozens of strong applications from promising candidates, they now receive only a couple. This results from many millennial law graduates opting for careers in the public sector or in-house because of the better work-life balance.

Firms

Arnold Ruess

“Arnold Ruess is a top-quality IP boutique, with eloquent and extremely competent lawyers who provide strong support for brand owners.” Sony Interactive Entertainment, Subaru and Nordsee have become loyal fans of the firm, thanks to its partners’ round-the-clock availability, pragmatism and laser focus on long-term business objectives. Peter Ruess is the nucleus of the practice. He has ample experience assisting clients on the full spectrum of trademark matters, from clearance checks through portfolio management to litigation; nothing is missing from his toolbox.

Baker McKenzie 

Some full-service firms might be paring down their IP departments, but not Baker McKenzie. This global titan cleverly utilises its expansive network for innovative cross-border brand management and offers state-of-the-art anti-counterfeiting support using its impressive MAPS software. Rembert Niebel and Michael Fammler are star performers in Frankfurt, kept on speed dial by Germany’s most valuable brand, SAP. Niebel excels at prosecution; his attention to detail is second to none. Fammler is a licensing maestro with the interpersonal skills to get signatures on the bottom line in no time at all.

BARDEHLE PAGENBERG Partnerschaft mbB 

Bardehle Pagenberg’s trademark attorneys and attorneys-at-law have been working shoulder to shoulder since the firm’s establishment in 1977 and it shows in the seamlessness of the service; filing is performed with an eye to the future and in light of lessons learned in hard-fought enforcement battles. The group is at its best assisting brand owners in the telecoms, software and electronics areas, but knows its way around the sports and automotive sectors too. Philipe Kutschke, for example, is entrusted by Adidas. “He’s a highly educated lawyer with great responsiveness and the ability to grasp complex issues instantly. The fact that he’s kind and personable makes him a genuine pleasure to work with too.” Henning Hartwig is called on whenever Nintendo has a knotty case on its hands. He complements his top-notch trademark practice with unique knowledge of design rights. Helming the practice, Claus M Eckhartt is another ace all-rounder: “He’s a brilliant IP lawyer who can always be relied on – his knowledge of the legislation and jurisprudence is something else.” He regularly exchanges insights with the one and only Alexander von Mühlendahl. Vice chair of the trademark committee of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property, von Mühlendahl is a “grand seigneur” of the domain – “really the best trademark lawyer in Europe”. With this quartet on board, Bardehle Pagenberg is an inarguable choice.

Beiten Burkhardt

The much-lauded full-service powerhouse Beiten Burkhardt operates a cracking trademark practice out of its Munich office. Its creative, pragmatic lawyers file with finesse and run circles around opposing counsel in the courtroom with their remarkable eloquence and powers of recall. Tanja Hogh Holub takes the lead on the prosecution side. She has an entrepreneurial spirt – which chimes perfectly with start-ups – and unique knowledge of emerging markets in Asia. For make-or-break infringement proceedings, Christina Hackbarth is the person to seek out. She has a particular focus on the media, music and entertainment spaces.

BEST Rechtsanwälte PartmbB

Having opened an Indian desk in October 2017, BEST Rechtsanwälte is a Frankfurt boutique with a global outlook and serious ambition. Hallmarks of its service are cost-effectiveness, a steady focus on commercial aims and panoramic thinking. Name partner Michael Best brings invaluable in-house experience to the table thanks to a spell as deputy head of the trademark department at Hoechst AG. He knows how to write a crystal-clear report that can be easily reviewable in the boardroom. His teammate Udo Pfleghar is also “highly specialised” in trademarks, designs and domain names. “He has excellent knowledge of foreign IP procedures and always offers efficient, practical and effective advice.” His time working as a senior examiner at the EUIPO continues to influence the way he drafts applications.

Bird & Bird LLP

Housing over 25 lawyers, the trademark team at Bird & Bird is one of the biggest in Germany. Further, each member is actively involved in one or two industry sectors groups – something that gives them the knowledge to identify and address the unique pressures of their clients’ markets at an early stage. The group has been advising Audi and Philip Morris International on the prosecution side and assisting Deutscher Sparkassen- und Giroverband on the Constitutional Court’s refusal to adjudicate on a complaint filed against a Supreme Court decision regarding a red colour mark. This contentious matter is being handled by the dynamic duo of Uwe Lüken and Sebastian Fischoeder. Lüken is a “very well-known name in IP litigation” who loves entering uncharted territory and enforcing non-traditional marks. Also based in Düsseldorf, the “extremely knowledgeable” Fischoeder is an “excellent lawyer” who effectively pursues highly complex lines of arguments. Richard Dissmann and Markus Körner provide further firepower on the contentious side. Dissmann has a history of representing world-renowned luxury goods companies in knotty infringement matters. “He’s really experienced and great to work with – his pragmatism and appreciation of commercial considerations make all the difference.” Körner is another “fantastic” practitioner whom even competitors are eager to recommend; he pairs top-notch trademark expertise with an in-depth understanding of advertising and media law. Joseph Fesenmair is an all-rounder as comfortable in the backroom as he is in the courtroom: “He’s responsive, business-oriented, practical and efficient.” Sports is his favourite sector of expertise.

BOEHMERT & BOEHMERT 

“BOEHMERT & BOEHMERT is unquestionably one of the top firms in Germany. It has a lot of experienced, thoughtful lawyers who work at an extremely high level.” Although the firm is most famous for its elite non-contentious practice, it has recently also been acquiring a notable amount of work on the litigation side. Mandates are coming from brand owners based around the world, with China being a particularly rich source of business. The Munich-based Peter Gross has been putting in the hours to make this happen; he understands Asian business culture as well as anyone and places a premium on personal contact. Volker Schmitz-Fohrmann and Florian Schwab work side by side with him. Schmitz-Fohrmann is a portfolio management maven who lives for big content-wide product launches and oversees the firm’s Paris office; Schwab is a regular in opposition and cancellation proceedings before the EUIPO. In Berlin, the “highly responsive” Axel Nordemann takes an “incredibly practical approach” to portfolio management. Also in Berlin, Renaissance man Jan Bernd Nordemann brings unique antitrust and copyright knowledge to the table, while Anke Nordemann-Schiffel is “bright, sharp and extremely capable in the coordination of multi-jurisdictional cases – she’s one of the most experienced litigators around, especially when it comes to the pharmaceutical industry.” Over in Bremen, Ludwig Kouker is an astute, personable, pragmatic negotiator with broad experience in sewing up licensing agreements and out-of-court settlements that work for both parties.

boesling IP Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB

Founded in late 2015, boesling IP continues to make waves with its fabulous trademark enforcement work. It offers the sort of wide-ranging expertise and global thinking that is associated with international firms, along with availability, pragmatism and cost consciousness. “Professional and responsive,” founding partner Thies Bösling “always shows proactivity and a solid knowledge of German and European trademark law and practice. He handles complex, delicate cases carefully, giving clients clear and thorough feedback every step of the way. The incisive way he deals with third parties is great too – his approach leads to early, favourable settlements instead of time-consuming, costly proceedings.” A recent highlight to his name is representing Hummel Holding against Nike before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in a case concerning the interpretation of the term ‘establishment’ that is expected to have long-term results for Europe-wide branding strategies. His running mate Inga George, meanwhile, has been busy putting together applications for the company’s figurative marks before the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA). She is a driven lawyer who drafts meticulously.

CMS Hasche Sigle

“CMS Hasche Sigle has a seriously experienced litigation team in Cologne. Its lawyers are constructive and professional in dealing with counterparties and always come up with impressive strategies.” With 74 offices worldwide, the firm has the wherewithal to effectively support brand owners on multi-jurisdictional battles and realise even their most exacting ambitions. The star of the show is “IP sovereign” Gordian Hasselblatt, a “remarkable all-rounder, who is outstanding in trademark and design law. As well as being a brilliant strategist, he’s a tough negotiator.”

Cohausz & Florack 

A “well-established player” on the market, COHAUSZ & FLORACK nonetheless operates a “modern and dynamic” trademark practice with a particular focus on luxury and consumer goods. The team has an especially good reputation for advising brands on how to keep all their trademarks legally in use even when some are temporarily being put on the back burner; creativity and uniquely tailored solutions characterise the service. Rebekka Schiffer is the go-to lawyer for LG Electronics, one of the top filers before the EUIPO. She puts together the South Korean giant’s applications with care, precision and an eagle eye on how they could be challenged.

Eisenführ Speiser

Global brand owners and Germany’s hidden champions alike continue to flock to Eisenführ Speiser for its cost-effective, commercially minded support. While the team has traditionally been far stronger on the prosecution side, it recently made headlines worldwide with its role in Lindt & Sprüngli v Haribo and is now committing ever more time and resources to enforcement. The “extremely experienced, clever” Julian Eberhardt and “knowledgeable, quick-thinking” Rainer Böhm are spearheading this change. Eberhardt has a wealth of courtroom experience under his belt, while the versatile Böhm tops up a hard-hitting trademark practice with extensive advertising, antitrust and copyright knowledge.

FPS Fritze Wicke Seelig Partnerschaftsgesellschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB

FPS continues to blaze a trail in the protection and enforcement of non-traditional marks. Its creative, pioneering members work hand in hand with clients to gather the staggering amount of evidence necessary to convince examiners and judges that – for example – a colour is uniquely bound up with a particular brand. There are few lawyers better equipped to take this on than the savvy, sophisticated Carsten Albrecht. He welcomes a challenge and is happy to put in the hours to make sure his client comes out with exactly the right result.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

The lawyers at Freshfields appreciate that in today’s world, brand owners cannot consider the options they have in one jurisdiction in isolation from those they have regionally and globally – and this understanding is winning them mandates from multinationals in sectors as diverse as fashion and automotives. Matthias Koch has Zalando’s trust; leading the firm’s digitisation initiative, he is au fait with the latest online developments and perfectly placed to manage the e-retailer’s trademark portfolio. The enterprising Andrea Lensing-Kramer is another client favourite who is alive to new technologies; the IP issues thrown up by social media are bread and butter for her. She has extensive experience advising on licensing arrangements and M&A transactions.

Gleiss Lutz

“Gleiss Lutz is a very well-established firm with a strong IP team and a huge client portfolio.” Blizzard Entertainment, Skechers and Netflix are all committed patrons. The service menu stretches from filing strategies to cross-border enforcement, with the team also adept at advising on interdisciplinary issues, such as marketing promotions and campaigns. The “highly renowned” Stefan Völker flies the firm’s flag in Stuttgart: “He’s a pleasure to deal with. He’s knowledgeable and experienced and always takes a clear-cut, business-oriented approach. Plus, he knows how to deal with counterparties in a cooperative, constructive way.” Matthias Werner and Andreas Wehlau stand out in Munich. Werner is a hard-hitting litigator with a complete command of unfair competition issues, while Wehlau has carved out a niche for himself advising on trademark disputes and transactions in the food, consumer products and computer game sectors. Deft negotiator Stefan Weidert plies his trade in Berlin; he has incredible business nous and a wealth of experience in outsourcings, carve-outs and procurement projects.

Grünecker

Thanks to “an impressive array of international brand owners” in its roster and “some of Germany’s top trademark practitioners in its ranks”, Grünecker boasts a “stellar” reputation. The “very visible” boutique excels on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide, with a particular focus on the fashion and luxury sector. In 2017 it handled 670 proceedings before the DPMA and the EUIPO and 355 enforcement matters, including 67 new court cases. A particular highlight is its representation of IBML – owner of the Lonsdale and Slazenger brands – in litigation against a European competitor at several German courts simultaneously. This is being handled by Nicolás Schmitz, a clear communicator who remains calm no matter the situation and knows how to reassure a client. His efficiency, availability and appreciation of corporate realities make him the “perfect business partner”. “IP mastermind” Holger Gauss is another “amazing client magnet”. “He’s a creative, hard-hitting strategist who thinks outside the box and delivers effective solutions. His prosecution and enforcement support – whether in Germany or the greater European Union – is always spot on.” The “excellent and seriously experienced” Maximilian Kinkeldey “pops up all the time in big cases” as well. He is a “fantastic trademark practitioner”. Also earning plaudits, Anja Franke is “to the point, pragmatic, commercially sound and tight from a legal point of view”. One peer notes: “It’s a real pleasure working with her – even when you’re on the other side.”

Harmsen Utescher

“Harmsen Utescher is a leading trademark firm with a broad array of talent: excellent partners as well as up-and-coming associates; the handover from the older generation to the younger one is being managed very well.” A recent highlight was the firm’s representation of Ferrero in EUIPO proceedings against BMB, which resulted in a declaration of invalidity for one of BMB’s Community designs, based on the earlier rights of a Ferrero trademark; BMB subsequently filed a follow-up action with the ECJ, which has never before seriously considered this significant priority issue. Overseeing this, Martin Kefferpütz is “attentive to the nuances in each and every case and the results he gets reflect that. He really is a great lawyer – the one to choose for big cases.” High-pressure, make-or-break projects are bread and butter for “superb” litigator Till Lampel; he is the go-to lawyer of Intersnack. Karin Sandberg, meanwhile, has been busy supporting Bell on geographical origin issues. Cosmetics whiz Jan Peter Heidenreich complements a wide-ranging trademark practice with impressive unfair competition and antitrust expertise. Finally, Christoph Schumann is another “highly experienced colleague with great knowledge” who impressively straddles the contentious/non-contentious divide.

Harte-Bavendamm Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB

The 2008-established Harte-Bavendamm runs a smashing IP practice out of Hamburg. “It only does soft intellectual property – and does it extremely successfully. It’s indisputably one of the biggest and best names on the market.” All eight partners previously worked at large international law firms, meaning that prospective clients can expect commercially solid advice, as well as the benefits commonly associated with boutiques: constant attention and cost-effectiveness. Marion Jacob and Frederik Thiering are two stand-out practitioners for portfolio management: “They are brilliant lawyers who work at the very highest level. Clients value their rock-solid knowledge and deep commitment. It’s a true pleasure collaborating with them.” The pair have been working shoulder to shoulder for a leading European publishing house. Andrea Jaeger-Lenz is another prosecution pro, who has been drafting EU trademark applications and assisting on opposition and invalidity proceedings. Michael Goldmann leads the charge on the litigation side. His illustrious curriculum vitae includes representing Levi Strauss before the Supreme Court on a landmark dispute relating to its famous ARCUATE trademark. All four of these ace practitioners regularly exchange insights and ideas with the figurehead of the practice, Henning Harte-Bavendamm, who serves as co-chair of the German Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property’s (GRUR) Committee on Trademark and Competition Law.

Hengeler Mueller

Hengeler Mueller is blazing a trail in transactional intellectual property. The firm has such highlights to its name as assisting Groupe PSA on the purchase of Opel and Vauxhall from General Motors and has been offering clients IP/IT-focused seminars on the key components of well-drafted licence agreements. Andrea Schlaffge and Wolfgang Kellenter represent the beating heart of the practice. Schlaffge is a licensing virtuoso with a particular focus on fashion brands. Kellenter has the business nous to get a contract sewn up in no time at all, but is equally adept in the courtroom.

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek

The “excellent trademark practitioners” at full-service powerhouse Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek provide constructive, businesss-oriented support on budget and on time. “Between them, they have an impressively broad range of experience handling contentious and non-contentious issues – and real expertise in the consumer goods and retail sectors.” Based in Stuttgart, Hamburg and Frankfurt respectively, Andreas Schabenberger, Christian Spintig and Thorsten Wieland are well placed to support brand owners across the country. Schabenberger is an incisive portfolio manager with valuable knowledge of copyright and publishing law; Spintig is adept at monetising all manner of intangible rights; and when the courtroom beckons, Wieland steps up – he is a hard-hitting litigator with an encyclopaedic knowledge of case law.

Hogan Lovells International LLP

Hogan Lovells is universally acknowledged to be “one of the top addresses” for trademark work in the country. “It has a broad international trademark prosecution and enforcement practice with extremely capable and creative practitioners and really is very active; there’s a constant flow of big mandates from multinational brand owners.” European IP group head Morten Petersenn, and Germany group head Andreas Bothe lead the charge. Petersenn has such striking highlights to his name as achieving a ground-breaking result for the Hard Rock Group before the Supreme Court in a case that considered important issues in the relationship between trademark enforcement and unfair competition claims. Bothe is the go-to choice of Merck & Co. “Clients really appreciate his accessibility, responsiveness, cost-consciousness, down-to-earth attitude and overall hands-on approach. His advice always comes customised, taking into account the specific company’s intricacies, internal politics and preferences. It’s also really important that his team hasn’t changed much over the years.” This pairing is ably supported by the likes of Mareike Hunfeld, Leopold von Gerlach and Erhard Keller. Hunfeld has carved out a niche for herself advising on colour and three-dimensional trademarks, while von Gerlach has an unparalleled understanding of parallel import issues. “Keller is an excellent litigator who knows how to keep clients happy.” He has extensive experience before the ECJ and formidable powers of recall.

JONAS Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH

Acclaimed IP boutique JONAS furnishes clients with rock-solid trademark counsel across the contentious/non-contentious divide. Its creative, practical and pragmatic lawyers always consider legal problems within their commercial context to ensure that their solutions are good not just for today, but also for tomorrow. Martin Viefhues and Nils Weber are the stars of the show. “Viefhues is seriously experienced at handling huge trademark portfolios as well as conducting complex litigation”. The “always pleasant to work with” Weber stands out for his adeptness at domain-name arbitration.

Jones Day

Jones Day’s ‘one firm worldwide’ guiding principle means that its German IP team is fully integrated into the global network and can always draw on colleagues abroad for difficult international product launches or cross-border cases. Department head Marc Groebl is an ace all-rounder. He is currently helping Wikimedia double its trademark portfolio across 100 jurisdictions worldwide and assisting the fast-growing WeWork. Other clients include Vitamix and Rockwell International. His place on the board of directors of the Munich Bar Association reflects his exalted standing in the legal community.

KLAKA Rechtsanwälte

KLAKA is renowned for its longstanding representation of household names BMW, Nestlé, UniCredit, Deichmann and Longchamp, but it is also impressively expanding its relationship with the German Football Association, which it won as a client a few years ago and is now both counselling on worldwide prosecution issues and assisting on a significant case before the Federal Patent Court. With over 25 years’ experience managing portfolios and impressive business nous, Andreas Schulz would make a fine ally for any brand owner. His stablemate Carola Onken steps up to the plate when geographical indication and designation of origin issues arise. For litigation, Stefan Abel and Ralf Hackbarth are the first names on the team sheet. “Abel is an excellent thinker and easy-going lawyer who is fluent in several languages and always delivers in terms of responsiveness and final work product.” The driven and determined Hackbarth is conducting enforcement proceedings on behalf of BMW against replica rim producers before the upper regional courts of Düsseldorf and Hamburg.

KLEINER Rechtsanwalte

The eight-strong trademark team at KLEINER serves up stellar support to an impressive range of domestic and international clients from three strategically placed offices in Düsseldorf, Mannheim and Stuttgart. Food and pharmaceuticals are choice sectors, but the firm also has a strong following among furniture brand owners. Dirk Pauli sits in the pilot’s seat: “For filing and prosecution in Germany and the rest of Europe, he is outstanding. He has deep substantive knowledge and always provides clear, extremely helpful advice and direction to clients. On top of that, he’s a wonderful person with excellent people skills.” The “responsive, practical and extremely thorough” Alexander Späth is another redoubtable choice. He ramparts a far-reaching trademark practice with unique design law expertise.

Kuhnen & Wacker Intellectual Property Law Firm PartG mbB 

Kuhnen & Wacker collaborates closely with clients on the full spectrum of trademark matters – from clearance checks through portfolio management all the way up to hot-blooded enforcement. Because it has a close network of friends internationally, it can provide effective support in over 150 countries. What is more, its offices are rigged up with state-of-the-art IT infrastructure, meaning that all operations are handled seamlessly. Christian Thomas’s technical sharpness and experience places him “among the best trademark prosecutors in Germany”.

Kurz Pfitzer Wolf & Partner Rechtsanwälte mbB 

The Stuttgart-headquartered Kurz Pfitzer Wolf & Partner crashes into the WTR 1000 on a wave of positive feedback. “The team does excellent work, helping clients secure trademark registrations across Europe and providing great insight on enforcement matters. Its work is thorough and accurate, and the invoices always match estimates.” The nucleus of the IP practice is Clemens Pfitzer, an “absolute star, who combines a very pleasant demeanour with fast, strategic thinking – the ideal sparring partner for discussions about international trademark issues. He has in-depth knowledge and knows how to explain even very complicated issues in a way that people without a legal background can easily understand. Due to his time in the Untied States, he also has native speaker-level English, which is a huge asset for foreign clients.”

Lichtenstein, Körner & Partners mbB

Lichtenstein, Körner & Partners’ 12 crack lawyers provide commercially airtight counsel on all aspects of a trademark’s lifecycle; the utmost care is taken in the drafting of every document. The client roster features names from all industries and areas of the globe, including a North American food giant and a UK-based publishing company. Kerstin Gründig-Schnelle is an ever-reliable choice. She has played a leading role in key IP organisations and publishes widely.

Lorenz Seidler Gossel

For more than 50 years Lorenz Seidler Gossel has been providing cradle-to-grave trademark support at an “extremely high” level. The team really pours its heart and soul into its work, handling every mandate with total commitment and a laser focus on clients’ long-term business objectives. For cliff-edge litigation, there are few better choices than Siegfried Jackermeier, who has “a complete mastery” of everything trademarks: “He’s always up to date on the latest case law. Although he’s unpretentious and down to earth in court, he always makes an enormous impact simply due to the intellectual brilliance of his pleadings.” Reinhard Ingerl and Christian Rassmann are also enforcement experts. “Ingerl is a litigator you absolutely want to have on your side, rather than the other one.” Rassmann’s complementary knowledge of copyright and competition law positions him perfectly for interdisciplinary matters.

Lubberger Lehment 

The “outstanding” Lubberger Lehment has “a dedicated and highly professional trademark litigation team that has handled a lot of very interesting – and indeed precedential – cases in the luxury goods sector before the Supreme Court and the ECJ.” Leading by example, Andreas Lubberger is “someone who everyone knows. He’s one of the best lawyers around – at the absolute forefront of IP enforcement in Germany. His expertise in the cosmetics and perfume sectors is unmatched. He’s developing the law by the day.” Fellow name partner Cornelis Lehment has also led multiple fundamentally important proceedings to the highest instance; parallel import issues are a forte. Martin Fiebig has “very deep” trademark knowledge too; completely at home in the online world, he loves combating the illegal use of marks on trading platforms, as well as organising border seizures offline. For prosecution, Benjamin Koch is a name for the address book. “He’s an outstanding lawyer – knowledgeable, commercially minded, pragmatic and strategically smart.”

Meissner Bolte Patentanwälte Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB 

Meissner Bolte recently set up shop in Dusseldorfbringing its office count to 12. The ever-ambitious IP boutique eats, sleeps and breathes innovation. Its lawyers toil round the clock to create a safe environment in which brands can grow from a business’s backroom to global recognition. The client roster features entities of all stripes, from a manufacturer of plant-based pharmaceutical products to a well-known musical instruments company. Andreas Ebert-Weidenfeller and Tobias Wuttke are the practice’s standout performers. Ebert-Weidenfeller straddles the contentious/non-contentious divide with all-encompassing trademark knowledge; Wuttke hits his stride in cross-border infringement proceedings.

Noerr LLP

Noerr delivers premium trademark support across Germany and Central and Eastern Europe with a resolutely personal touch. Its Alicante office focuses on international trademark portfolio management and proceedings before the EUIPO, while the teams in Munich and Berlin specialise in litigation and anti-counterfeiting. Valentina Niess has exceptionally strong ties with customs officials, allowing her to organise effective border seizures at the very last minute. Her running mates Georg Jahn and Janina Voogd are client favourites too. Jahn has the ability to simplify complex legal arguments into bite-size chunks that business consultants can easily digest. “Voogd is always professional and available and provides well-founded support that leads her clients to victory.” She has recently been busy representing Kanebo Cosmetics on infringement proceedings concerning the online and offline sale of grey-market goods.

Preu Bohlig & Partner

Preu Bohlig & Partner’s 27 IP mavens deliver airtight contentious and non-contentious trademark counsel from offices in Berlin, Düsseldorf, Hamburg and Munich, as well as an international base in Paris. Pharmaceuticals has long been the firm’s strongest sector – but it has expertise across the board. Alexander Harguth is the first port of call for many interested parties.

Schultz – Süchting Rechtsanwälte

Favoured by one of the world’s largest cosmetic manufacturing companies, a large Scandinavian fashion label and a host of Germany’s hidden champions, Schultz – Süchting has well and truly put itself on the IP map. Hallmarks of its winning service are cost effectiveness, clear communication and round-the-clock availability. Dirk Bruhn embodies these qualities to a tee; he is a customer-focused trademark whiz who publishes and lectures widely.

Siebeke Lange Wilbert

The 1951-established Siebeke Lange Wilbert has become “one of the leading IP firms in Dusseldorf” with its sophisticated, transparent and individually tailored counsel. Its lawyers develop brand strategies that will make as much sense in the future as they do on day one and work closely with customs authorities to prevent the importation of pirated goods. Luminary Monika Wenz has seen nearly everything there is to see in trademark law and watches over the practice with wisdom and composure. The “excellent” Paul Lange is “a respectful lawyer whose writs are really impressive. He strongly defends his clients’ position but does so in a fair way.” Geographical indications are a strong suit.

Simmons & Simmons LLP

Highlights such as providing exemplary brand management for The Polo/Lauren Company and representing Löwen Entertainment on a string of legal disputes against Eiba propel Simmons & Simmons into the WTR 1000. The firm’s IP team in Germany acts as a one-stop shop for all brand-related headaches and has special expertise in takedowns and other online enforcement actions on Amazon Marketplace and eBay. Peter Meyer is a reliable contact.

SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte

Since recruiting Ulrich Hildebrandt and Sandra Sophia Redeker, SKW Schwarz has progressed in leaps and bounds in intellectual property. “Those were great catches for the firm – its trademark team is developing nicely now and it’s clear how committed it is to the field.” Hildebrandt is “an exceptional lawyer who has what it takes to turn hopeless cases around. He’s one of the brightest minds in the business and someone with a very sophisticated practice.” Lauded in similarly effusive terms, the “outstanding” Redeker is “a no-nonsense trademark litigator, who has a strong strategic mind and provides truly brilliant advice; she never loses sight of the big picture. You don’t want to have her on the other side!” Hildebrandt and Redeker are the most visible members of the team – but the reservoir of talent runs deep. Magnus Hirsch is another “go-to lawyer” for trademark enforcement matters: “He’s super smart and responsive.” Dorothee Altenburg and Margaret Knitter both come recommended for their broad licensing and litigation practices. An “efficient and personable” practitioner, Altenburg uses her impressive interpersonal skills to get signatures on the bottom line with alacrity; Knitter has been handling complex litigation in China for Tom Storyteller and Tower10 Story regarding the title and trademark Tiger-Team.

Squire Patton Boggs

With 100 IP specialists in 47 offices, Squire Patton Boggs has the means to provide first-rate brand protection support in seven time zones. It has recently been managing the international portfolio of Zott SE, one of the leading dairy producers in Germany, which has a strong export business to Eastern Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. Working on this project, Reinhart Lange is highlighted by foreign associates for his “extensive experience developing trademark strategies for well-known brands”. As well as being a creative and meticulous drafter, he knows his way around the Supreme Court and the ECJ.

Taylor Wessing

Taylor Wessing’s razor-sharp, outward-looking practice matches shrewd portfolio management with crack enforcement, making it a sound one-stop shop for brand owners from far and wide. Leading the team, Olaf Gillert has the technical knowledge and strategic nous to get even the most complex marks registered with minimal fuss. Another prosecution pro, the “pragmatic” Wiebke Baars provides “detailed, thorough analysis” and is “a pleasure to work with”. For complex infringement proceedings, the names to remember are Thomas Raab – who is singled out for his “excellent presentation of arguments in court” – and Ortrun Günzel, a double-dyed litigator with a lock on trademark, design and unfair competition case law.

UNIT4 IP

UNIT4 IP has become a formidable player in German intellectual property. The trail-blazing boutique advises corporate companies from an array of industries – automotive, computing, pharmaceutical, fashion, retail and publishing – and is particularly popular among global players from the United States. Notable clients include Gilead Sciences, YUM! Brands, easyGroup and Intel. In a huge development for the practice, it also recently took over worldwide management of the portfolios of Porsche and Bugatti International. Jan Weiser, Ursula Stelzenmüller and Ekkehard Stolz are all rainmakers. Weiser builds impregnable portfolios brick by brick in close cooperation with business executives, then expertly fends off challenges from competitors in the courtroom. The “extremely impressive” Stelzenmüller “approaches disputes practically and achieves resolutions that make sense for her clients. She is always a real pleasure to work with.” Stolz is another “stellar lawyer” with “a wealth of experience” under his belt; when it comes to parallel imports issues, there are few in his class.

Vossius & Partner

Vossius & Partner’s recent representation of the Federal Association of the German Sporting Goods Industry in trademark cancellation proceedings against the International Olympic Committee is a testament to the level at which the firm is operating; the matter was of great importance, as it concerned the monopolisation of the names associated with the games and control of the merchandising business. “Head of one of the best IP departments in Germany,” Mathias Kleespies took care of this. “He’s a likeable and very strong lawyer who has excellent knowledge of IP legislation and really cares about his clients.” His colleague Paul Kretschmar is another “fantastic” litigator with a whopping workload. He leverages his strong ties with the customs authorities to swoop on counterfeiters with efficient, effective seizures.

Other recommended experts

Sascha Abrar at Löffel Abrar “understands exactly how to handle opposition and infringement proceedings in Germany” and loves untangling complex internet law issues. Fieldfisher’s Matthias Berger possesses “exemplary trademark knowledge” and a web of colleagues that he can call on across the world. Having worked for a nanotechnology startup, Rolf Claessen of Freischem & Partner understands the pressures that business executives face and brings an enterprising spirit to proceedings. A host of luxury goods companies count on CBH Rechtsanwälte’s Sebastian Eble for stellar portfolio management. Georg Fechner at Fechner Rechtsanwälte is an “excellent lawyer”, adept at ironing out the issues that arise in advertising campaigns. Founding partner of 24IP Law Group, Christian Fortmann is a licensing virtuoso with 20 years’ experience under his belt. Hanns-Juergen Grosse at D Young & Co is a fabulous communicator, who learnt how to write reports that will fly in the C-suite while working in-house at Infineon Technologies. Schiedermair’s Ulf Heil is a media maven who has unique distribution law knowledge and has litigated before all courts in Germany. “Nora Keßler at Klinkert Rechtsanwälte is an enthusiastic, pragmatic lawyer with great IP knowledge who becomes a true business partner for clients.” The “very experienced” Jan Krekel at Zirngibl Langwieser brings invaluable advertising and competition law expertise to the table. Krieger Mes & Graf v der Groeben’s Jens Michael Künzel “really knows his stuff. He’s incredibly sharp and his briefs are great. Even his opponents like working with him.” Tilmann Lührig of LEXTON has advised an array of start-ups, SMEs and international titans in his time. He has particular experience in opposition and cancellation proceedings before the DPMA. “Daniel Marschollek at Norton Rose Fulbright is an outstanding lawyer with remarkable technical knowledge.” Allen & Overy’s Jens Matthes has been busy providing branding support on e-cigarette issues to one of the world’s largest tobacco companies. Tobias Malte Müller at TALIENS is a domain-name expert popular with international clients for his fluency in four foreign languages: English, French, Italian and Spanish. Alexandra Parr of Betten & Resch is a “superb IP litigator” with a lock on the fashion, consumer products and tourism industries. “Thomas Schmitz at Hoyng Rokh Monegier is a fabulous lawyer with remarkable technical knowledge. He thinks outside the box and comes up with ideas that reap great rewards.” A founding member of Brehm & Von Moers, Ingeborg Schwarz knows how to monetise an IP portfolio effectively. Luther’s Geert Johann Seelig has been implementing a global trademark strategy for a renowned chemical company. LS-IP’s Oliver Spuhler is “a personable, prompt and consistently accurate lawyer – first rate”. Jens Steinberg of Greyhills Rechtsanwälte comes recommended for his adeptness across the contentious/non-contentious divide: “He’s a very skilled trademark lawyer who is always a pleasure to work with.” Michael Turi at Samson & Partner has been a European trademark attorney since the opening of the EUIPO in 1994. WürtenbergerKunze’s name partner Gert Würtenberger is a distinguished member of the IP community and the current president of GRUR. Mathias Zintler at KNPZ is a street-smart litigator who has saved the day for no shortage of clients in the life sciences and luxury goods industries.

Individuals

  • Andreas Bothe - Hogan Lovells International LLP
  • Holger Gauss - Grünecker
  • Michael Goldmann - Harte-Bavendamm Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB
  • Ralf Hackbarth - KLAKA Rechtsanwälte
  • Henning Harte-Bavendamm - Harte-Bavendamm Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB
  • Gordian N Hasselblatt - CMS Hasche Sigle
  • Maximilian Kinkeldey - Grünecker
  • Andreas Lubberger - Lubberger Lehment
  • Nicolás Schmitz - Grünecker
  • Stefan Völker - Gleiss Lutz
  • Leopold von Gerlach - Hogan Lovells International LLP
  • Carsten C Albrecht - FPS Fritze Wicke Seelig Partnerschaftsgesellschaft von Rechtsanwälten mbB
  • Wiebke Baars - Taylor Wessing
  • Richard Dissmann - Bird & Bird LLP
  • Claus M Eckhartt - BARDEHLE PAGENBERG Partnerschaft mbB 
  • Michael Fammler - Baker McKenzie
  • Olaf Gillert - Taylor Wessing
  • Marc FX Groebl - Jones Day
  • Kerstin Gründig-Schnelle - Lichtenstein, Körner & Partners mbB
  • Henning Hartwig - BARDEHLE PAGENBERG Partnerschaft mbB 
  • Ulrich Hildebrandt - SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte
  • Reinhard E Ingerl - Lorenz Seidler Gossel
  • Mathias Kleespies - Vossius & Partner 
  • Matthias Koch - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
  • Till E Lampel - Harmsen Utescher
  • Paul Lange - Siebeke Lange Wilbert
  • Cornelis Lehment - Lubberger Lehment
  • Andrea Lensing-Kramer - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
  • Tilmann Luehrig - LEXTON
  • Rembert Niebel - Baker McKenzie
  • Axel Nordemann - BOEHMERT & BOEHMERT 
  • Jan Bernd Nordemann - BOEHMERT & BOEHMERT 
  • Thomas Raab - Taylor Wessing
  • Sandra Sophia Redeker - SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte
  • Peter Ruess - Arnold Ruess 
  • Karin Sandberg - Harmsen Utescher
  • Volker Schmitz-Fohrmann - BOEHMERT & BOEHMERT 
  • Ursula Stelzenmüller - UNIT4 IP
  • Ekkehard Stolz - UNIT4 IP
  • Frederik Thiering - Harte-Bavendamm Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB
  • Christian Thomas - Kuhnen & Wacker Intellectual Property Law Firm PartG mbB
  • Martin Viefhues - JONAS Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH
  • Alexander von Mühlendahl - BARDEHLE PAGENBERG Partnerschaft mbB 
  • Andreas Wehlau - Gleiss Lutz
  • Thorsten Wieland - Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek
  • Stefan Abel - KLAKA Rechtsanwälte
  • Sascha Abrar - Löffel Abrar
  • Dorothee Altenburg - SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte
  • Matthias Berger - Fieldfisher LLP
  • Michael Best - BEST Rechtsanwälte PartmbB
  • Rainer Böhm - Eisenführ Speiser
  • Thies Bösling - boesling IP Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB
  • Dirk Bruhn - Schultz – Süchting Rechtsanwälte
  • Rolf Claessen - Freischem & Partner Patentanwaelte mbB
  • Julian Eberhardt - Eisenführ Speiser
  • Andreas Ebert-Weidenfeller - Meissner Bolte Patentanwälte Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB
  • Sebastian Eble - CBH Rechtsanwälte
  • Georg Fechner - Fechner Rechtsanwälte
  • Joseph Fesenmair - Bird & Bird LLP
  • Martin Fiebig - Lubberger Lehment
  • Sebastian Fischoeder - Bird & Bird LLP
  • Christian Fortmann - 24IP Law Group
  • Anja Franke - Grünecker
  • Inga George - boesling IP Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB
  • Peter Gross - BOEHMERT & BOEHMERT
  • Hanns-Juergen Grosse - D Young & Co LLP
  • Ortrun Günzel - Taylor Wessing
  • Christina Hackbarth - Beiten Burkhardt
  • Jan Peter Heidenreich - Harmsen Utescher
  • Ulf Heil - Schiedermair Rechtsanwälte
  • Magnus Hirsch - SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte
  • Tanja Hogh Holub - Beiten Burkhardt
  • Mareike Hunfeld - Hogan Lovells International LLP
  • Siegfried Jackermeier - Lorenz Seidler Gossel
  • Marion Jacob - Harte-Bavendamm Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB
  • Andrea Jaeger-Lenz - Harte-Bavendamm Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB
  • Georg A Jahn - Noerr LLP
  • Martin Kefferpütz - Harmsen Utescher
  • Wolfgang Kellenter - Hengeler Mueller
  • Erhard Keller - Hogan Lovells International LLP
  • Nora Keßler - Klinkert Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB
  • Margret Knitter - SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte
  • Benjamin Koch - Lubberger Lehment
  • Markus Körner - Bird & Bird LLP
  • Ludwig Kouker - BOEHMERT & BOEHMERT 
  • Jan F Krekel - Zirngibl Langwieser
  • Paul Kretschmar - Vossius & Partner 
  • Jens Michael Künzel - Krieger Mes & Graf v der Groeben 
  • Philipe Kutschke - BARDEHLE PAGENBERG Partnerschaft mbB 
  • Reinhart Lange - Squire Patton Boggs
  • Uwe Lüken - Bird & Bird LLP
  • Daniel Marschollek - Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Jens Matthes - Allen & Overy LLP
  • Tobias Malte Müller - Wirsing Hass Zoller
  • Valentina Niess - Noerr LLP
  • Anke Nordemann-Schiffel - BOEHMERT & BOEHMERT 
  • Carola Onken - KLAKA Rechtsanwälte
  • Alexandra Parr - Betten & Resch
  • Dirk Pauli - KLEINER Rechtsanwalte
  • Morten Petersenn - Hogan Lovells International LLP
  • Clemens Pfitzer - Kurz Pfitzer Wolf & Partner Rechtsanwälte mbB
  • Udo Pfleghar - BEST Rechtsanwälte PartmbB
  • Christian Rassmann - Lorenz Seidler Gossel
  • Andreas Schabenberger - Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek
  • Rebekka Schiffer - COHAUSZ & FLORACK 
  • Andrea Schlaffge - Hengeler Mueller
  • Thomas Schmitz - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
  • Andreas Schulz - KLAKA Rechtsanwälte
  • Christoph Schumann - Harmsen Utescher
  • Florian Schwab - BOEHMERT & BOEHMERT 
  • Ingeborg Schwarz - Brehm & Von Moers
  • Geert Johann Seelig - Luther Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft
  • Alexander Späth - KLEINER Rechtsanwalte
  • Christian Spintig - Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek
  • Oliver Spuhler - LS-IP
  • Jens H Steinberg - Greyhills Rechtsanwälte
  • Michael Turi - Samson & Partner
  • Janina Voogd - Noerr LLP
  • Nils Weber - JONAS Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH
  • Stefan Weidert - Gleiss Lutz
  • Jan Weiser - UNIT4 IP
  • Matthias Werner - Gleiss Lutz
  • Gert Würtenberger - WürtenbergerKunze
  • Tobias Wuttke - Meissner Bolte Patentanwälte Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB
  • Mathias Zintler - KNPZ Rechtsanwälte

Individuals: anti-counterfeiting

Luminaries

  • Monika Wenz - Siebeke Lange Wilbert