Germany

In the wake of Brexit, the German trademark community is already beginning to see European instructions come its way that traditionally would have been handled by UK firms. On the downside, however, competition in the prosecution space has intensified as legal technology evolves and business can more easily register trademarks online. While many practitioners are confident that the profession will adapt, they are also conscious that the market could become tighter as firms duke it out for the most strategic mandates. Filings of non-conventional trademarks are still relatively rare, although 3D trademarks and shape marks have lately featured in contentious actions in the confectionery industry, with Ritter Sport’s square-shaped chocolate bar and Lindt & Sprüngli’s golden bunny both involved in highly publicised cases. The recruitment struggle continues, meanwhile, with firms finding it harder than ever to attract the newly qualified talent they need – though the impact of the ongoing covid-19 pandemic on the careers market remains to be seen.

Firms

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy’s small-but-mighty German contingent has tackled a stack of high-profile mandates this year. While the focus is on the contentious side (where highlights have included a worldwide dispute on behalf of weight loss app Noom), the group has also been dispensing vital strategic counsel and handling licensing issues for brands in fields spanning from pharmaceuticals to real estate. Pulling out all the stops is IP head Jens Matthes, who built the practice from the ground up eight years ago and is the mastermind behind its streamlined, one-stop-shop approach. “He is a real IP specialist, but he also understands his clients’ brands, so is able to balance legal advice with practical, commercial solutions. Responsive and flexible on timings, his advice is precise and concise, and he excels at delivering fast and meaningful risk assessment and astute suggestions.”

Arnold Ruess

While more prominent on the patent side, Arnold Ruess is also home to a burgeoning trademark practice, which is highly prized by clients with issues at the intersection between the two. The outfit continues to act as Sony Interactive Entertainment’s sole IP adviser in Germany, coordinating international trademark protection and enforcement projects and assisting with IP-rich agreements. It has also sewn up licensing deals for Nokia and represented automotive company Zweirad-Center Stadler GmbH in litigation before various German courts, as well as the CJEU. Taking the lead on all of these briefs is founder Peter Ruess, whose knowledge of both trademark and unfair competition law knows no bounds. “Peter Ruess is a practical and dynamic professional and an outstanding player in his field. He and his team are extremely responsive and provide high-quality, business-minded advice.”

Baker McKenzie

Given the sheer extent of its global IP practice, it is no surprise that Baker McKenzie is a potent presence in Germany. Providing the full spectrum of services, the trademark group pairs international insight with local know-how and is at the vanguard when it comes to legal tech, having recently developed a cutting-edge global IP management tool. Clients which have taken advantage of this holistic offering over the last year include British American Tobacco and Fitbit on the prosecution and strategy side; Hasbro and Calvin Klein on the enforcement side; and German wholesale retailer METRO AG on the licensing side. Heading up the IP group is Rembert Niebel, who effortlessly traverses the contentious/non-contentious divide. He can regularly be found taking down counterfeiters, coordinating multinational trademark prosecution programmes and managing major rebranding projects with finesse. Standing alongside him is well-regarded elder statesman Michael Fammler: “Working with Michael, you always know you are in safe hands. He is dependable and always provides quality and pragmatic advice, with proactive recommendations.”

BARDEHLE PAGENBERG Partnerschaft mbB 

Long recognised as one of the elite firms in Germany for both contentious and non-contentious trademark matters, BARDEHLE PAGENBERG has continued to thrive over the last year. A highly strategic approach is the defining feature of its practice, which resonates with high-profile players such as Mondelez, L’Oreal, adidas and the Coca-Cola Company. Leading on the Coca-Cola work, which encompasses prosecution advice and representation in office actions, is IP head Claus M Eckhartt; clients hail him as “an experienced, calm and balanced practitioner whose advice is always well thought through and sensible”. He has lately been assisting GlaxoSmithKline alongside Pascal Böhner, a top strategist and litigator with “substantial experience and determination”. As comfortable on his feet in court as advising on multinational portfolios, Philipe Kutschke also receives acclaim: “On contentious matters, Philipe keeps a cool head. He is a highly competent attorney with a very personable manner, and his ‘can-do’ approach and pragmatic advice are highly appreciated.” Completing the line-up are fellow all-rounders Alexander von Mühlendahl and Henning Hartwig. In the opinion of one client, von Mühlendahl has “perhaps the most extensive trademark knowledge in Europe”; while Hartwig supplements his trademark practice with a deep understanding of design law, appearing regularly in multinational design infringement proceedings and editing the casebook Design Protection in Europe.

Beiten Burkhardt

As part of one of Germany’s premier commercial law firms, the IP division at Beiten Burkhardt keeps business goals at the heart of all instructions. A robust trademark function is complemented by useful copyright and advertising service lines, which proves invaluable for clients seeking wraparound solutions. Setting the tone are Tanja Hogh Holub and Christina Hackbarth. A diligent portfolio manager, Holub is equally adroit at enforcing rights; while the “energetic and enthusiastic” Hackbarth is regularly sought out by heavy-hitters in the media and entertainment, hotels and leisure and pharmaceutical sectors. In the words of one patron: “Christina is persuasive, exceptionally thorough and knows her clients inside out.”

BEST Rechtsanwälte PartmbB

Over the last two decades, Frankfurt-based boutique BEST Rechtsanwälte has cemented a sterling reputation for flawless portfolio management, but this is by no means the extent of its capabilities: its talented attorneys also regularly bring the heat for clients in court. Their commitment and dedication have won them the unswerving loyalty of a diverse clientele including pharmaceutical giants, cosmetics and fashion brands and automotive companies; they are also vital allies to myriad trusted law firm partners worldwide. True to his name, practice founder Michael Best is described by one overseas colleague as “one of the best around”. Having spent almost 30 years both in-house and in private practice, he has a bird’s-eye view of the legal and commercial sides of every question. Also bringing in-house insight is Udo Pfleghar, who was previously head of trademarks at pharmaceutical company Bohehringer Ingleheim, and now spends his time devising ironclad brand exploitation strategies.

Bird & Bird LLP

International juggernaut Bird & Bird has a 35-strong trademark group stationed in Germany, featuring specialists in areas such as IT, automotive, life sciences, and retail and consumer goods. With bandwidth of this scale, it has all industry ins and outs on lock for clients. In the automotive field, Joseph Fesenmair has been providing strategic advice to AUDI AG and representing it in disputes; many multi-jurisdictional trademark suits and finely honed registration and protection programmes bear his fingerprints. Another client in the automotive sphere is VOLKSWAGEN, which enjoys comprehensive support from Marion Jacob and Frederik Thiering, both of whom recently joined from Harte Bavendamm. Senior counsel Jacob is an international brand management maven who also appears regularly before the German and European trademark offices and courts, and drafts watertight licensing agreements. Trademark and unfair competition expert Thiering garners glowing feedback: “Frederik has a profound level of experience and an ability to quickly evaluate new facts and give strategic advice. He is very open towards new technical solutions and always willing to strike the right balance between dogmatic principles and an economic approach.” On the retail and consumer front, the likes of L’Oreal appreciate the well-rounded trademark and competition advice provided by Richard Dissmann, who orchestrates major cross-border litigations for numerous international corporations. Meanwhile, Procter & Gamble’s trademark portfolio and related disputes are deftly handled by Markus Körner, another skilled drafter of commercial contracts. According to one collaborator: “His advice is always spot-on, concise and easy to read. He has broad knowledge of the industry at hand, which helps him to develop the best strategy for the case.” Finally, the versatile Uwe Lüken also makes light work of domestic and multi-jurisdictional disputes and recently acted for Deutscher Sparkassen-und Giroverband against Santander in a headline-grabbing trademark matter in relation to the colour red.

Bock Legal

The nine-strong team of IP lawyers at bock legal tackles European trademark litigation head-on: this year it went out to bat for prestigious brands such as Ferrari and the Swatch Group in infringement cases, as well as undertaking anti-counterfeiting campaigns and border seizures for companies of a similar calibre. The group also provides value-additive monitoring and advisory services to players as varied as the European Central Bank and Gucci. The eponymous Andreas Bock has been litigating trademarks for the last 25 years across venues including the CJEU and has carved a special niche in the fashion industry. He handles cases “cost-effectively and successfully, even when facing significant pushback from the other side”. Jan Mueller-Broich is another polished litigator who is point person for the Swatch Group, having represented it in more than 100 trademark, design and unfair competition disputes. The reviews are golden: “Jan has extensive know-how and many years of practice in the trademark space. He is recognised for his outstanding efficiency and straightforward communication with his clients.”

BOEHMERT & BOEHMERT 

Despite the departure of a group of key partners, BOEHMERT & BOEHMERT remains a frontrunner on the German trademark scene. Providing a 360-degree, cross-industry, cross-border service, it ranks among the top trademark filers in both Germany and the European Union, and maintains a strong focus on the Chinese and US markets. First among equals is Peter Gross, who primarily spends his time developing trademark strategies and conducting infringement proceedings; he favours practical solutions over protracted court battles and has a unique appreciation of the issues surrounding ‘me-too’ products. Alongside him is a squad of esteemed professionals including portfolio managers par excellence Florian Schwab, Björn Bahlmann and Volker Schmitz-Fohrmann. As well as building productive filing strategies, Schwab has a nose for hunting down counterfeits. Armed with ancillary insight in areas such as competition and trade secrets, Bahlmann excels at restructuring international trademark portfolios and drafting IP-related commercial contracts. With many fans among German enterprises and multinationals alike, Schmitz-Fohrmann is a go-to guy not only for portfolio strategy, but also for litigation and anti-counterfeiting briefs. Industry peers call him “excellent in both theory and practice” and “very precise and well prepared”. Also offering wisdom is elder statesman Ludwig Kouker, who knows the ropes when negotiating out-of-court settlements and licensing agreements, particularly within the consumer goods industry.

Boesling IP 

Boesling IP’s remit within the trademark field is wide, encompassing everything from anti-counterfeiting campaigns and customs seizures to strategic brand management and licensing advice. However, its bread is buttered in the contentious realm, with companies as varied as Hummel and K Yairi Guitars Co enlisting its tenacious litigators this year. The eponymous Thies Bösling “is the person you want by your side when strategising, planning, protecting and enforcing your IP rights. Results oriented and proactive, he ensures a high level of service, especially in the dispute resolution field. He provides clear and consistent advice, and actively collaborates with clients to achieve suitable solutions without engaging in time-consuming or costly proceedings. His knowledge is remarkable and his strategies are consistently clear”. Inga George has a similar skillset and likewise garners acclaim: “Inga is an outstanding consultant, who is precise and knows how to handle issues from both a practical and a human point of view. She knows her field of business very well and uses her experience to find practical, workable solutions.”

CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP 

CMS enjoys a worldwide reputation for its IP work and the Frankfurt contingent is a vital cog in its well-oiled machine. The rainmakers here are Carsten Menebroecker and Gordian Hasselblatt. Menebrocker co-heads the global IP group and brings abundant experience from cross-border trademark and competition litigation and anti-counterfeiting campaigns; while Hasselblatt is a font of trademark knowledge who is considered a leading light in the industry: “Gordian Hasselblatt is an excellent mentor, a great author and a bright lawyer – not to mention a good person to work with. He’s definitely a legend.”

COHAUSZ & FLORACK 

A fixture on the Dusseldorf scene for more than 60 years, Boutique COHAUSZ & FLORACK draws judiciously on the talents of its diversely qualified legal professionals and technical specialists to find the answers to complex branding challenges for companies across the industry spectrum. The main draw from a trademark perspective is Rebekka Schiffer, a “reliable professional who always offers practical solutions and approaches”. Her holistic practice covers everything from global portfolio management to office actions before the national registries and EUIPO, and the implementation of online and offline brand enforcement programmes. WTR 1000 newcomer Ulrike Alice Ulrich is a trademark strategy and portfolio management maven who counts electronics giant Philips among her clients.

Dentons

With four German bases seamlessly integrated in an extensive office network across Europe and beyond, Dentons has all bases covered for brand owners; unusually for a full-service firm, a thriving Frankfurt-based prosecution practice is a distinguishing feature of its offering. Novartis, Michael Kors, Amazon and Polaroid are just a handful of the glittering household names which have recently benefited from its staunch representation in contentious scenarios; all enjoyed a masterclass from IP head Constantin Rehaag, “one of the best IP litigators in town”. “A gruesome opponent and excellent lawyer with an incredible wealth of knowledge, he is unpretentious and will sink his teeth into the details of each case. He takes a holistic approach and can easily comprehend complex issues and create tailor-made solutions. On top of that, Constantin is a great character and very easy to work with – always straightforward, precise, sharp and very competent.” At the helm on the non-contentious side is Stefan Dittmer, a licensing and technology specialist who this year has drafted scores of agreements for Daimler regarding the integration of digital services into its vehicles.

df-mp Dörries Frank-Molnia & Pohlman Patentanwälte Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB 

Patent work in the life sciences has long been a stronghold for df-mp, but it has lately been working to consolidate its trademark capabilities – a project that has been an unqualified success thanks to the hire of leading partners Ortrun Günzel and Angela Wenninger-Lenz. The pair cover everything from filings to infringement proceedings and each has an impressive client list, including Mylan for the former and Inter IKEA Systems for the latter. Though Günzel’s practice is comprehensive, she has special know-how when it comes to geographical indications and certification marks; while “trademark genius” Wenninger-Lenz proves popular with patrons: “Angela is super-responsive, extremely nice to work with and overall very warmly recommended for all trademark-related work.”

Dompatent von Kreisler Selting Werner

Established in 1947, Dompatent stands out for its “excellent advice and prompt, professional and friendly service”. With a hefty stack of trademark portfolios under its care, it also represents its longstanding clients in cancellation and nullity actions before the national registry and the EUIPO. Leading the line is Alexander Theis, who “focuses on the most efficient solutions for rights holders and builds coherent strategies for protecting a portfolio”. “He has a global approach, boasts broad knowledge and always responds promptly.” Thies is supported by a stellar team which includes Felix Hauck, a worthy contender in office actions whose knowledge extends beyond trademarks into copyright, competition and antitrust law.

Eisenführ Speiser

A firm with a 50-plus year pedigree, Eisenführ Speiser has traditionally strong roots in prosecution, but is steadily building a thriving litigation arm, while also undertaking decisive action in counterfeiting and border confiscation matters. Dental innovator BEGO and medtech start-up Capnomed are just some of the diverse names which flock to its doors, receiving vital assistance from renaissance man Rainer Böhm – a “gifted litigator”, “sharp strategic dealmaker” and “sound adviser in prosecution”. His fellow trademark heroes are Julian Eberhardt and Andreas Ebert-Weidenfeller. The “experienced and clever” Eberhardt is a dynamo on both the infringement and licensing fronts; while recent recruit Ebert-Weidenfeller has a broad practice, but especially excels at the management of worldwide portfolios.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

The Dusseldorf IP team plays a crucial role in Freshfields’ wider European brand protection practice. An agile, multi-disciplinary approach, together with the support and resources of a heavyweight commercial firm, ensures it can dextrously handle IP issues that stretch into neighbouring areas of corporate law, such as unfair competition and trade secrets. The linchpins in Dusseldorf are Andrea Lensing-Kramer and Matthias Koch. An authority on online distribution and social media-related issues, Lensing-Kramer obtained the first higher court decision worldwide on the liability of e-commerce platforms for trademark infringement. Myriad technology and consumer goods players receive sage IP and IT advice from Koch, who also co-leads Freshfields Digital, the firm’s digitisation initiative.

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner

Prominent brand owners from all sectors dial up Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner for high-quality legal representation and forward-thinking advice. From four offices across Southwest Germany, the group provides a cradle-to-grave service covering everything from trademark filings to disputes at the Federal Court of Justice and the CJEU. Leading the IP litigation team in Frankfurt is Stefan Dittl, a courtroom maestro who has media and copyright issues on lock. In Cologne, product labelling specialist David Kipping is the man to ask for: “Highly intelligent, eloquent and dedicated, David is always on the lookout for creative solutions.”

Gleiss Lutz

With a finger on the pulse of industries as diverse as food and drink, automotive, pharmaceuticals and fashion, the IP group at full-service outfit Gleiss Lutz is a prime pick for A-to-Z branding services. Non-traditional trademark matters – in particular, colour and colour combination marks – have become something of a specialist subject of late; as has the Internet of Things. Meanwhile, close collaboration with other divisions of the firm translates into joined-up counsel interlaced with commercial insights. Heading up the IP unit is Stefan Völker, a “highly renowned expert in trademark law with a clear-cut, business-oriented approach”. His talented team includes Andreas Wehlau, a fierce representative in international trademark disputes with a niche in the computer games sector; Stefan Weidert, an astute architect of worldwide prosecution strategies and proficient drafter of licensing agreements; and Matthias Werner, who has a flair for the fine print of licences and co-existence agreements, particularly in the software and technology sector.

Grünecker

With more than 6,600 national trademarks and some 6,100-plus European trademarks under its care, Grünecker counts among largest and most formidable trademark prosecution practices in Germany. Other strings in its bow include acting in precedential disputes at the EUIPO and the courts, and implementing productive anti-counterfeiting programmes. The “creative and practical” squad includes the likes of “excellent and highly experienced practitioner” Nicolás Schmitz, who has recently battled counterfeiters on behalf of Star Fruits, owners of the Pink Lady apple. Also busy on the contentious side is the “knowledgeable, practical and highly effective” Anja Franke: “She stays on top of things and remains proactive throughout the entire life of a case – you never have to ask questions about the strategies she is pursuing.” Praise also pours in for Holger Gauss: “His answers are straightforward and he can be both tactical and strategic; it is a rare quality to find both in a lawyer. Not only does he have exceptional knowledge of EU trademark law, he is a natural problem-solver, thinks creatively and is time-efficient and thorough. In addition, one of his greatest strengths is his ability to identify and connect with other excellent EU practitioners.” One client identifies Maximilian Kinkeldey as “the attorney I trust the most in any of the more than 150 countries in which I work” and another as “perhaps the most knowledgeable trademark lawyer in Germany”: “Though he understands all of the minute details, he excels at fitting them into the big picture. He is equally adept at prosecution and enforcement, but shines in solving complex matters.” Also on deck is “superb attorney and trusted adviser” Cornelia Schmitt, who is described as “highly responsive, smart and a tremendously important part of the Grünecker team”.

Harmsen Utescher

Established 125 years ago, Harmsen Urescher is among the most venerable boutiques in Germany. Home to “excellent strategists with both prosecution and litigation skills”, it recently burnished its contentious credentials through its representation of Citroën in major proceedings before the Higher Regional Court of Hamburg. Leading on this was Till Lampel, who has been litigating trademarks for almost three decades. He heads up a department that includes star names such as Karin Sandberg and Rainer Kaase. Sandberg receives consistent positive mentions in the market and has this year been teasing out the intricacies of a complex geographical indication matter in relation to Black Forest ham. Kaase is hailed as “one of the best IP lawyers in Germany”, with sector specialisms in pharmaceuticals, food and cosmetics. Also on hand is Christoph Schumann, an attorney-at-law of 30 years’ standing whose recent highlights include an Upper Regional Court of Hamburg case involving the longstanding MARCO POLO mark of teabag manufacturer Ostfriesische Tee Gesellschaft. Martin Kefferpütz, and Jan Peter Heidenreich have also lately been appearing in high-stakes trademark litigations for worldwide brands and are both additionally well versed in unfair competition law.

Harte-Bavendamm Rechtsanwälte PartG mbB

Despite some significant personnel losses, IP and IT boutique Harte-Bavdendamm continues to provide a reassuringly comprehensive service, taking in everything from portfolio management to complex litigation and IP-related M&A activity. One major client that benefits from this versatility is Nestlé, which is assisted by department co-head Andrea Jaeger-Lenz and colleague Arne Lambrecht, among others. Described by peers as “great to work with”, Jaeger-Lenz splits her time between advisory briefs and contentious work in diverse venues, including the CJEU. Lambrecht “is diligent and efficient, skilled in litigation and always responsive; and his advice is valuable and cost-effective”. His counsel comes underpinned by a rare understanding of medicine advertising. Another skilled litigator among the ranks is Michael Goldmann, a familiar face in forums all the way up to the CJEU. “Michael is incredibly good at litigating complex trademark cases,” enthuses one patron. “We rely on him for the big and legally more challenging work.” Overseeing the operation with a watchful eye is founder and seasoned trademark, copyright and unfair competition adviser Henning Harte-Bavendamm, who has a special talent for alternative dispute resolution.

Hengeler Mueller

While perhaps best known for its transactional nous, Hengeler Mueller undertakes the gamut of soft IP work, providing strategic advice and handling preliminary injunction proceedings for clients in sectors as diverse as hospitality and the life sciences. The key names in the Dusseldorf office are Wolfgang Kellenter and Andrea Schlaffge. Kellenter has chalked up 20 years in the game and adopts the same thoughtful, considered approach to infringement proceedings as he does to licensing negotiations. Schlaffge is also an all-rounder, with special insight in the fashion industry and employee invention issues.

Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek

The IP capabilities of full-service outfit Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek know no bounds: whatever the brief, on whatever side of the contentious/non-contentious divide, the group knows how exactly what it takes to get results. The bailiwick of “thorough litigator” Thorsten Wieland extends from anti-counterfeiting to medical product advertising. He is joined by Christian Spintig and Andreas Schabenberger, each of whom has spent some 25-plus years unpicking knotty trademark, design and copyright issues.

Hogan Lovells

Anyone with even a passing interest in the German trademark scene can attest to the fact that Hogan Lovells ranks among the crème de la crème. As technology evolves, so too does the firm, which has made it its mission to stay out in front of the latest advancements – whether influencer marketing, deepfakes, blockchain or 3D printing. Its client roster is unparalleled, featuring as it does a significant portion of the world’s top brands. In the words of one happy patron: “We use Hogan Lovells for more challenging matters that concern more serious infringements or are more legally complex. The team turns over every stone to find solutions to our problems.” One recent contentious highlight was its representation of Merck & Co in the blockbuster Merck v Merck case, which was handled in part by Andreas Bothe and Yvonne Draheim. Bothe heads up the German IP team and is a trusted guide at every step of the trademark journey; while Draheim is “great at considering all legal and commercial aspects which may be important to the case”. Another key mandate was a multi-forum suit for Santander at the Federal Court of Justice, the Federal Patent Court and the CJEU in relation to its red colour trademark, under the stewardship of Burkhart Goebel and Mareike Hunfeld. An adroit coordinator of multi-jurisdictional disputes who works across both Germany and Spain, Goebel is “an outstanding relationship manager – his constant engagement and mediation between all the parties is key to his success. He combines first-class legal advice with a pleasant personality”. Having long made non-traditional marks such as 3D and colour marks a focus of her practice, Hunfeld provided vital expert insight on the Santander brief. Other star litigators include Erhard Keller – an engineering specialist who also drafts high-rolling licence agreements with a sure hand – and Morten Petersenn. “Morten has deep knowledge of trademark law and a pragmatic, business-oriented approach. His expertise is phenomenal and he takes account of practical and commercial realities when giving legal advice. Additionally, he is incredibly responsive and has a warm personality that is conducive to longstanding relationships.” When it comes to IP-related commercial transactions and licensing and technology contracts in fields from IT to life sciences, Marion Fischer is a go-to; while anti-counterfeiting ace Fabian Pfuhl is a nightmare for black and grey market traders, thanks to the results he secures through civil and criminal actions and customs measures. Serving as global chair of the firm, Leopold von Gerlach also maintains his busy litigation practice and is a punchy advocate with diverse experience.

HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER 

With more than 100 dedicated IP practitioners stationed in offices across the continent, HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER is one of the most formidable forces of its kind in Europe. Its three German offices are crucial engines of its success and garner glowing reviews: “The team deserve five stars out of five – they provide clear answers and find solutions where others have failed, and always point out the risks and never shy away from difficult topics. They are down to earth, but highly skilled at the same time.” Titans such as GlaxoSmithKline and Samsung have engaged it lately for assistance across the contentious/non-contentious divide, which comes from star litigators Thomas Schmitz, Christina Tenbrock and Mathis Breuer, among others. “Thomas, Christina and Matthis all show dedication to clients, an ability to explain German trademark law simply and an excellent capacity to work as part of an international team on cross-border matters. I would recommend them to anyone looking for committed and responsive counsel – they are first class.” Lead partner Schmitz has cultivated industry specialisms in cosmetics, food and wine during his 20-plus year career; Tenbrock’s metiers include healthcare advertising law; and Breuer clocks up the wins in sectors from consumer goods to electronics.

JONAS Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH

A “highly intellectual firm which tackles tricky cases”, boutique JONAS continues to go from strength to strength, making light work of the management of even the most sweeping trademark portfolios. The group matches keen trademark acumen with expertise in ancillary disciplines such as advertising, competition and distribution law – a potent combination that yields commercially oriented solutions for clients. Trademark prosecution and enforcement pro Nils Weber knows everything there is to know about product labelling, particularly in the cosmetics, pharmaceutical and food industries. So too does Martin Viefhues, although his focus is primarily on the pharmaceutical sector. Karl Hamacher covers everything from portfolio management to IP-related transactions and has wider specialisms which include sport sponsoring and sport media law.

Jones Day

Jones Day’s profile in the German trademark space is growing by the day, with new mandates flying in on both the contentious and non-contentious fronts. Having long met the total branding needs of dynamic players such as software corporation SAP SE, it has lately added a string of new clients to its roster, including the likes of Voodoo SAS and Hetang Investment. Heading up the trademark and design group is Marc Groebl, an all-rounder who has won the loyalty of trademark-rich players such as LVMH and Procter & Gamble during his illustrious career. His right-hand man is Jakob Guhn, a regular attendee before the German courts and the CJEU. In today’s increasingly digital world, clients reap handsome dividends from his knowledge of robotics, AI and the commercial use of data.

KLAKA Rechtsanwälte

Big-name clients such as BMW have KLAKA Rechtsanwälte on speed dial, confident in the comprehensiveness of its offering and its personalised, dedicated approach. Food and drug law sage Andreas Schulz has spent 25 years manoeuvring both German and international companies out of tricky contentious scenarios; cut from a similar cloth, colleague Stefan Abel does likewise for many French clients, as well as major players in the luxury goods and sports sectors. Peers recognise him as an “excellent thinker and easy-going lawyer who is fluent in several languages”. Fellow polyglot Carola Onken speaks English, French and Spanish on top of her mother tongue – a poised performer before the General Court and the CJEU, she also drafts and reviews licensing agreements with an appraising eye. Also on board is Ralf Hackbarth, whose trademark counsel is embellished with internet and domain name law insights.

KLEINER Rechtsanwalte PartG mbB

Founded 30 years ago, and with a trio of offices in Dusseldorf, Mannheim and Stuttgart, KLEINER provides a well-rounded, reliable trademark service to a host of companies in the food, pharmaceutical and furniture sectors, among others. The seven-strong team has lately been managing the portfolios of the likes of Plexus Corportation and GoDaddy; while on the contentious front, it has been involved in infringement proceedings on behalf of EFADA Medical Industries. At the fore is Alexander Späth, who attracts rave reviews: “Alexander is a great IP professional indeed. He not only has in-depth knowledge of European trademarks and designs, but is also an astute and practical lawyer. He is proactive, client oriented and pays close attention to detail.”

Klinkert Rechtsanwälte PartGmbB

Although best known for its contentious chops, Klinkert can operate effortlessly across the trademark spectrum, providing on-point strategic advice and even shepherding the occasional IP-related transaction to close. Its practitioners have lately been on their feet in court on behalf of cosmetics company Sosnova GmbH, a well-known Italian clothing brand and a producer and distributor of fertiliser; while manufacturers of gold bars are benefiting from their anti-counterfeiting acumen. Heading up the trademark group is the “helpful, meticulous and precise” Nora Keßler, who is fluent in Italian and is thus a go-to for Italian companies with IP issues in Germany. “She has a thorough knowledge of IP law, is very pragmatic, fast and efficient in her approach, and always keeps the interests of her clients in mind.” Trademark, media and commercial law don Thomas Jochheim has an insider’s view on branding matters from a previous stint at Sky Television. In the words of one client: “Thomas is a very responsive and reliable partner for us, who exactly understands the needs and requirements of our business.”

KUHNEN & WACKER Intellectual Property Law Firm 

Established more than 40 years ago, KUHNEN & WACKER ticks every box on the trademark front. Filings, opposition proceedings, litigation and border seizures are all in a day’s work for the outfit, which continues to grow and took on several new staff members this year. “The team are outstanding and always provide timely and practical advice. They give clear cost estimates before beginning projects and always stick to them.” Leading the charge is Christian Thomas, a seasoned IP adviser and litigator who frequently appears before the German civil courts, the Federal German Patent Court and the CJEU, and understands the intricacies of obtaining IP protection for spare parts and accessories.

Kurz Pfitzer Wolf & Partner Rechtsanwälte mbB 

For the past decade, Kurz Pfitzer Wolf & Partner has put in resonant performances for patrons on all manner of trademark briefs. While it covers everything from trademark strategy to anti-counterfeiting efforts, the focus is on national, European and cross-border litigation; a vast network of overseas contacts means that its influence now extends to some 110-plus countries worldwide. The brains behind the operation are namesakes Clemens Pfitzer and Christopher A Wolf. The globally minded Pfitzer has been described as “a perfect sparring partner with an out-of-the-box mindset”; while litigator and licensing maven Wolf “has a very business-oriented, no-nonsense approach, putting the client’s interests first and legal steps second. He is a persistent and fair negotiator and a far-sighted strategist.”

LEXTON 

The client feedback for Lexton speaks for itself: “The IP team in general is creative, responsive and engaged, always delivering excellent work.” “Its partners are very experienced, work analytically at the highest level and always have clients’ economic interests in mind.” “Its professionals are honest, precise and business-minded. They are always clear when assessing and explaining potential risks, and always take a strategic approach to trademark protection”. IP head Tilmann Lührig is “a renowned expert in trademark and unfair competition matters, both litigious and non-litigious. He is very practical and will give you a candid assessment of the likelihood of success, offering clever solutions to enhance the odds. His in-depth knowledge of German and EU trademark law is outstanding and you know that when you call him, you will have an immediate, helpful answer that is invariably thoughtful and thorough.” His work this year has included advising mineral oil processing company Rosneft Deutschland GmbH on its trademark strategy; as well as acting for easyslides GmbH in an infringement dispute against EasyJet. He receives crucial support from Kathleen Wilkens, who receives special mention as “knowledgeable, exceptionally competent and capable of finding the missing piece of the puzzle”.

Lichtenstein & Körner PartmbB

A force to be reckoned with on both the litigation and portfolio management sides, Lichtenstein, Körner & Partners mbB continues to meet and exceed the expectations of a growing roster of domestic and international clients. One new instruction in the last 12 months came from Flint CPS Inks Holdings LLC, the second-largest manufacturer of printing ink worldwide, which has tasked the firm with managing its portfolio and dealing with a series of office actions. Handling this brief is “reliable, responsive and thoughtful” practice head Kerstin Gründig-Schnelle: “Kerstin is a top choice for trademark issues in Germany and the EU. Her advice is consistently clear, comprehensive and on point, and she proactively explores creative solutions.” Capable associate Alexander Hauch regularly plays a hand in contentious matters of all kinds, from oppositions to infringement proceedings. “Alexander is a true professional. He is extremely responsive and pleasant, and is always willing to accommodate short turnaround times. He provides cost-effective advice and practical solutions, and his communication is clear and to the point.”

Löffel Abrar

IP litigation is meat and drink to Löffel Abrar, but it is also adept at implementing anti-counterfeiting measures and frequently sends in the cavalry for domestic and international companies facing IP infringements at German trade fairs. Though a modestly sized boutique, it has cultivated numerous carefully selected connections around the world, ensuring that it has all the resources needed to tackle issues on a global scale. Giving the practice its name are founding partners Oliver Löffel and Sascha Abrar. Löffel is a consummate litigator who recently defended WOOG UG in relation to alleged trademark infringement arising from the resale of internet routers; while Abrar’s recent highlights include a case in the EU General Court in relation to the registrability of an EU sound mark.

Lorenz Seidler Gossel

Established over half a century ago, Lorenz Seidler Gossel is feared and admired alike for its unbeatable litigation strategies. A tireless and resilient approach, close client relationships and ample capacity for cross-border collaboration make the group to infringers what a gardener is to weeds. Fluent in English, French and Spanish as well as his native German, Reinhard Ingerl is an “experienced and detail-oriented” litigator with an encyclopaedic understanding of geographical indications. Fellow courtroom wizards include Siegfried Jackermeier, a seasoned trademark and unfair competition specialist held in high esteem by the market; and Christian Rassmann, a “focused adviser with sound knowledge and experience”.

Lubberger Lehment 

Lubberger Lehment is a firm with a “sound reputation”, particularly when it comes to matters at the intersection of trademark and antitrust law; it also has an affinity for the unique dynamics of the perfume industry. When infringement is afoot, the group devises creative, efficient and enduring solutions for clients, infused with additional insight on everything from design law to selective distribution systems, IP-related transactions and data protection law. The twin figureheads are Andreas Lubberger and Cornelis Lehment, both of whom are redoubtable trademark and unfair competition litigators. Lubberger’s counsel on the selective distribution of luxury goods and brand management strategy is particularly highly prized; while Lehment is an authority on parallel imports and the imitation of high-end cosmetics. Rounding out the team are Benjamin Koch – who also advises on IP-related M&A, carve-outs and joint ventures as part of his vibrant practice – and Martin Fiebig, who relishes the challenge of taking down infringers at the highest level and combating online counterfeiting.

Luther

Whether assisting on cross-border trademark disputes, designing business-focused brand protection strategies or directing IP-related acquisitions and restructurings, Luther keeps its loyal client base satisfied. “Its advice is always legally well founded, but the team also looks beyond the mere legal questions and analyses situations from a commercial and strategic point of view.” Recent highlights include representing Imperial Tobacco on a host of trademark and unfair competition matters; counselling Harley Davidson on its distribution network; and providing ongoing support to Daniel Wellington. Jointly heading the trademark group are Geert Johann Seelig and Detlef Maeder. “Geert has extensive expertise in the field of trademark law,” reports one client. “He’s always available and he accepts our inquiries immediately and processes them promptly.” His wide remit spans from internationally oriented trademark application proceedings to IP and unfair competition litigation and anti-counterfeiting projects. Whether undertaking prosecution, litigation or licensing, Maeder approaches his work with a commercial mindset: “Detlef is the perfect choice for companies which are entrepreneurial and business driven. His track record is spotless.”

Mayer Brown

The Frankfurt base of international juggernaut Mayer Brown offers a 360-degree trademark service. It leaves no stone unturned in assessing, building and managing trademark portfolios; cuts to the chase in IP litigation; and can provide answers to all manner of advertising questions. The likes of Discover Financial Services and Goya Foods Inc engage it for shrewd portfolio management; on the contentious front, it has lately done battle for Dental-Union GmbH; and transaction-wise, it has been undertaking extensive licensing work for Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International, a company to which certification marks are undoubtedly crucial. Setting the standard is department head Ulrich Worm, who has recently been masterminding an enforcement project on behalf of fitness company Nautilus Inc. As well as acting in cross-border IP litigation, Worm is a sage adviser on IT and technology-related matters, including cloud services, data and software licensing agreements, and e-commerce. He is joined by fellow IP litigator Konstantin von Werder, who also acts in opposition proceedings before the German trademark office and EUIPO, deftly drafts licensing agreements and has in-depth advertising and marketing knowledge.

Meissner Bolte Patentanwälte Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB 

With nine offices across Germany and a tenth in the UK, Meissner Bolte has enviable reach across the European market. Over the course of more than a century, the firm has earned itself a stellar reputation, but has never rested on its laurels, continuing to refine and develop its offering in new and exciting ways. Based in Munich and Dusseldorf, Oliver Nilgen comes armed with know-how on trademarks, designs and drug advertising law, and has been busy fighting Gibson on behalf of Warwick GmbH & Co Music Equipment KG in a 3D trademark spat. Tobias Wuttke heads up the legal department and also splits his time between Munich and Dusseldorf. Recent highlights include representing Occhio GmbH in preliminary injunction proceedings against Amazon.

Noerr LLP

As one of Germany’s eminent commercial law firms, Noerr casts its net wide and has made IP a central plank of its full-service offering. Trademark work is strategically allocated between its European offices; the Munich and Berlin teams are primarily tasked with IP litigation, anti-counterfeiting and border measures, portfolio strategy, and IP-related licensing and transactions. In Munich, Christoph Rieken provides future-proofed counsel on trademark and competition law and helps to fend off counterfeiters for his domestic and international clientele. He has made the consumer goods industry his own and is also well connected in the textiles field. At his side is Valentina Nieß, who handles trademark, design and unfair competition litigation with dexterity, while additionally tackling counterfeits and implementing border protection measures. Also on board is the august Georg Jahn, an IP and licensing doyen who has called Noerr his home since 1983.

Nordemann

Nordemann was formed when 12 star attorneys jumped ship from Boehmert & Boehmert earlier this year in a move that remains the talk of the industry. They brought with them an impressive caseload from their previous firm and the new outfit has already attracted a slew of high-profile new mandates; with the likes of Airbnb, Coty Inc and Novartis on its roster, it has quickly established itself as a true contender in the German trademark space. “The attorneys are incredibly knowledgeable about all aspects of trademark law, are business savvy and are able to clearly and succinctly explain highly technical or legally complicated matters. They are zealous advocates, excellent value and a joy to work with.” Partly responsible for this feedback is the “incredibly knowledgeable, patient and creative” Anke Nordemann-Schiffel, who has a wealth of experience in cross-border disputes and is a font of strategic advice for both start-ups and established companies. At her side is Axel Nordemann, a trademark and copyright maven who thrives on a diet of global portfolio management, German trademark office and EUIPO proceedings, and national and European litigation. Also knowledgeable across trademarks and copyright, as well as antitrust law, is Jan Bernd Nordemann, a precision drafter of agreements and contracts. Completing the line-up is “standout superstar” Stanislaus Jaworski, whose “clear communication skills and professional attitude” prove invaluable on mandates ranging from trademark, copyright, unfair competition and trade secret litigation to uncompromising anti-counterfeiting campaigns.

Norton Rose Fulbright

The “dynamic” Norton Rose Fulbright has all trademark needs covered for its A-list clientele: Energizer engages it for meticulous prosecution; Abercrombie & Fitch puts its wise brand protection counsel to judicious use; and Converse recently enlisted it for representation in a dispute before the Federal Court of Justice. It also attracts a steady stream of transactional work, which the IP practitioners undertake in close collaboration with their colleagues in the M&A division. Heading up the Frankfurt office is Daniel Marschollek, who relishes the cut and thrust of complex trademark, design, copyright and unfair competition litigation, and has a percipient take on the IP aspects of cartel law. Brand protector par excellence Manuel Merling gained valuable in-house insight from a secondment at NIKE three years ago. “Manuel has wide knowledge, business sense and a sharp mind. Quick and flexible, he is a hard worker and understands the evolution of technology in enforcement, as well as the challenges of global distribution. He brings a strategic approach, is always resourceful and knows how to find experts that can help further.”

Preu Bohlig & Partner

“With Preu Bohlig, you get precise and comprehensive answers and legal advice on a tight timeline. The upcoming steps in infringement procedures are always well thought through, and their recommendations are to the point. It is always clear what options you have, including the risk/cost analysis.” While best known for its contentious chops, the boutique also adroitly handles trademark strategy and licensing issues at a national, European and international level. Fronting the operation is Astrid Gérard, a hotshot German and European trademark litigator who also turns her hand to portfolio management, agreement drafting and office actions both at home and in Brussels.

Prinz & Partner mbB 

Prinz & Partner’s history on the German trademark scene stretches back to 1928. Today, it stands out for its proficiency in litigation, though it also tends to an enviable collection of portfolios for players such as Rolex and Volvo. Head honcho Adrian Kleinheyer matches international portfolio management skill with contentious nous, and has been charged with all of Orange’s trademark matters both in and out of court. Equally versatile, Werner Sulzbach “is able to think very quickly and to envisage potential obstacles one might face in the process of getting trademarks. He is patient, cost-conscious and approachable whenever we have questions. The level of service is extremely high and Werner is extremely competent in both dimensions: knowledge and customer service”.

Simmons & Simmons LLP

The German contingent of Simmons & Simmons is a central cog in the firm’s international brands group, which comprises more than 50 lawyers stationed across Europe, Asia and Africa. Its practitioners work hand in glove to dispatch cross-border matters and devise worldwide brand strategies; this year the German team has furnished Imperial Brands with comprehensive trademark, competition and regulatory advice, and represented Polo Ralph Lauren in preliminary injunction proceedings. Taking charge on the latter mandate is Michael Knospe, who also handles the fashion company’s trademark portfolio. Colleagues hail him as “an experienced practitioner across a number of key sectors, including telecommunications and life sciences”, with a knack for protecting the “look and feel” of goods and services. Co-heading the trademark group with Knospe is consummate litigator Daniel Kendziur: “Daniel is really responsive and attentive to detail. He takes care of a lot of administration around the case, which saves time for clients.”

SKW Schwarz Rechtsanwälte

For start-ups, domestic enterprises and multinationals alike, SKW Schwarz is a destination of choice for legally sound, commercially minded trademark support. International filing strategies, portfolio management, cross-border enforcement and anti-counterfeiting measures all fall within its remit; the firm has also been expanding its use of cutting-edge legal technology across the board through the establishment of SKW Schwarz @ Tech GmbH. Heading up the trademark group is Margret Knitter, who has done much to increase its visibility in the branded content and influencer marketing space, and brings a wealth of product labelling knowledge to the table. “Margret is quick, pragmatic and provides excellent analysis,” enthuses one client. “She is also extremely responsive, an effective communicator, a great strategist and a tenacious litigator and negotiator. We attribute much of our success to her talents and tenacity.” Magnus Hirsch is another crack litigator of more than two decades’ standing and a fierce opponent of counterfeiters, parallel importers and cybersquatters. Erudite strategist Dorothee Altenburg is regularly found walking the corridors of the German and European trademark offices, but also litigates and drafts licence and co-existence agreements with a steady hand. This combination of brand strategy and litigation experience is shared by Ulrich Hildebrandt, who is described by one peer as a “genius”. This year he has been working on a major mandate for Merck KGaA alongside fellow dynamos Sascha Pres and Sandra Sophia Redeker. Pres’s advice is especially valued by companies in the retail, fast-moving consumer goods and automotive sectors, and by clients embroiled in cross-border litigation; while Redeker is a trademarks and designs all-rounder with an “encyclopaedic knowledge of trademark law”.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs has more than 100 IP specialists on deck around the globe, a substantial proportion of whom are based in its Frankfurt office. The German contingent links up closely with its UK, US and Chinese counterparts to address cross-border issues as if the borders simply weren’t there. Key clients include Deutsche Bank AG, whose portfolio of more than 2,500 trademarks is managed by Frankfurt partner Reinhart Lange in collaboration with colleagues in London and Hong Kong. As well as managing portfolios, Lange regularly litigates on trademark and unfair competition issues before all major courts – according to one industry contact, he “has a wealth of knowledge, is incredibly experienced and has great ideas”. Iliana Haleen is “deeply familiar with trademark law around the world”. As well as serving as the guardian of several global portfolios (including one belonging to a US consumer goods company comprising 1,800 marks registered in 180 countries), she also implements effective anti-counterfeiting measures in cooperation with customs officials.

Taylor Wessing

Taylor Wessing has long enjoyed a place in the upper echelons of the German trademark market, thanks to its inclusive offering and appreciation of the vagaries of diverse industries (fashion is a particular stronghold). A solid network of European offices and strong alliances with other firms worldwide means that nothing is beyond its legal, technical or geographical capabilities – a formula which chimes in particular with US companies such as American Airlines and businesses seeking a springboard into the Chinese market. Leading the charge here is Thomas Pattloch, a technology transfer specialist who is now the go-to-guy in Munich for all things China. As well as offering strategic advice, he drafts impeccable software and technology licensing agreements and astutely brokers IP-rich transactions. Heading up the German IP and IT group is Thomas Raab, who develops lucrative branding strategies and handles high-stakes infringement proceedings for players such as AstraZeneca, which entrusts him with some of its important trademark matters. Captaining the German and international trademarks, advertising and design groups is Olaf Gillert, whose varied diet of litigation, portfolio management and licensing briefs keeps him sharp and ready for anything. Litigator and counsellor Marcus Hartmann makes regular appearances before the courts and the EUIPO, and is also ideally placed to answer IP questions arising from acquisitions. “Marcus provides his services in a professional, pragmatic and calm way. His advice is clear, straight to the point and timely.” Like Hartmann, Wiebke Baars is comfortable both in court and at the negotiating table – she is “hardworking, dedicated to the client and a master of detail”. Completing the line-up is Sebastian Fischoeder, who made the transition from Bird & Bird in September 2019. He is a litigator and counsellor with unique insight on non-conventional trademarks such as colour marks, shape marks and slogans.

Uexküll & Stolberg 

Uexküll & Stolberg may be a new entrant in the WTR 1000, but it is far from new to the IP world, having provided a robust trademark service for over 60 years. From offices in Hamburg and Munich, its 18-strong IP team concentrates its efforts on prosecution and filing strategy, administrative proceedings and anti-counterfeiting measures. Its loyal client base includes Canadian outdoor clothing brand Roots Corporation, which has received fulsome support from the firm for the best part of four decades. Today its needs are tended to by Alexander Thünken, a familiar face before the German and European trademark offices and the courts. “It is a pleasure to work with Alexander,” reports one client. “You feel that he is on your side and he always gives an honest and considered opinion. He is professional in opposition proceedings, always responds very quickly and is reliable in keeping an eye on deadlines.” Steering the trademarks and designs group is Frank Dettmann: “He is a very experienced IP practitioner who perfectly combines legal and commercial interests. His advice is always valuable when creating, maintaining and defending trademark rights.”

UNIT4 IP

Though a relatively young boutique, UNIT4 IP has already made its mark on the German trademark scene, with myriad large trademark portfolios under its care at a national, European and worldwide level. Its patrons range from start-ups to SMEs and global corporations, with US multinationals a key focus. In addition to its trademark strategy work, the group has a crack litigation squad which has recently put in appearances before the Federal Court of Justice, the General Court and the CJEU. Its courtroom sharp-shooters include Ekkehard Stolz, who blends trademark know-how with expertise in copyright, designs and unfair competition. Fellow litigator Jan Weiser also provides valuable assistance on the non-contentious side, including handling Bugatti International SA’s trademark portfolio. For thoughtful filing strategies, effective representation in administrative proceedings and vigorous anti-counterfeiting campaigns, Ursula Stelzenmüller is the one to call.

Vossius & Partner Patentanwälte Rechtsanwälte mbB 

The trademark team at boutique Vossius & Partner is “extremely knowledgeable, responsive and thinks outside the box”. It operates with proficiency throughout the trademark lifecycle and has lately been expanding its remit by ramping up its IT and data protection capabilities. Clients include IP-rich players such as General Mills – the owner of iconic food brands such as Green Giant, Betty Crocker and Haagen-Dazs – which looks to it for EU design law. Leading on the mandate is Mathias Kleespies, a trademark all-rounder who garners acclaim for his “professional, quick and efficient advice”. “He is approachable, friendly and always gets things done.” The versatile Simone Schäfer is likewise popular with patrons: “Simone is a competent and experienced professional whose success comes down to her thorough legal knowledge and pragmatic approach. Her advice is always highly comprehensive, which saves a lot of time and makes decision-making easy. She has a passion for what she is doing and understands the needs of the client.” Another practitioner who nimbly traverses the contentious/non-contentious divide is the “responsive, service-minded and accurate” Paul Kretschmar; he is also a prolific writer of publications and commentaries within the IP field.

Weickmann & Weickmann

Established in 1882, Weickmann & Weickmann has an illustrious pedigree. Over the years it has seen and done it all in the trademarks space: building and managing extensive trademark portfolios; defending and enforcing clients’ rights in court; monitoring trademark and domain name infringements online; and taking down counterfeiters through customs seizures and criminal proceedings. The rainmaker here is Udo Herberth, who has spent time in the US both professionally and academically and has carved a niche in the sports sector.

Other recommended experts

FPS Fritze Wicke Seelig’s Carsten Albrecht is a veritable Swiss Army knife of a practitioner: resolute in protecting and enforcing trademarks, he is also a smooth negotiator of licensing and settlement agreements and IP-related transactions. At Fieldfisher, Matthias Berger dispenses strategic advice to a varied clientele drawn from Europe, the United States and Canada – international colleagues call him “one of the most commercially focused and responsive lawyers out there”. At Schultz – Süchting, Dirk Bruhn marries trademark and unfair competition acumen with knowledge of data protection and pharmaceutical law to superb effect. UK outfit Mewburn Ellis has trademarks maven Dydra Donath stationed its Munich office – she handles everything from portfolio management to litigation and agreement drafting, and regularly works with clients from as far afield as the United States, Japan, Korea and China. At the eponymous Fechner Rechtsanwälte, Georg Fechner is an IP and media sage whose airtight trademark protection strategies and on-point counsel are appreciated by leading advertising companies and publishers. Gowling WLG’s Manuela Finger is a poised IP litigator and “thorough and clear adviser” with an intuitive grasp of online issues and especially social media-related matters. Based at Kroher-Strobel, Ariane Hettenkofer is a portfolio manager par excellence with a flair for settling disputes both in and out of court at a national and international level. Clients value her eye for strategic commercial planning and her reliable network of contacts worldwide. Also at Kroher-Strobel is the eponymous Jürgen Kroher, who founded the firm in 1995 and has since been bringing the heat in trademark litigation, designing licensing programmes and communicating strategic advice in a clear and user-friendly way. Zirngibl Langwieser’s Jan Krekel specialises in trademarks, advertising, competition law and distribution rights, and advises on both the maintenance and exploitation of intangible assets. At Krieger Mes & Graf v der Groeben, Jens Michael Künzel combines his thriving patent practice with a healthy volume of trademark and designs work, particularly in the licensing space. Players in the automotive, cosmetics, food and beverage, fashion and luxury, media and sports fields all benefit from the advice and representation of TALIENS’s Tobias Malte Müller, who regularly appears in infringement and anti-counterfeiting proceedings before the German courts and is a domain name panellist at WIPO. Markus Müller, name partner at Müller Fottner Steinecke, is a staunch representative in opposition proceedings and infringement disputes, and also manages portfolios and drives anti-counterfeiting efforts with a deft touch. Alexandra Parr at Betten & Resch has won many fans in the fashion, consumer products, and tourism industries – having previously worked in New York, she has a vast network of global contacts and an international outlook, which informs her management of several worldwide trademark portfolios. Dirk Pauli, newly based at INSQUARE, continues his high-profile work for international clients of all sizes, enforcing their trademarks worldwide and expertly drafting related contracts of all kinds. “He is highly responsive and reliable and provides unusually thorough and well-reasoned advice.” At HOFFMANN EITLE, Michaela Ring is an astute litigator and strategist who currently protects the brands of cosmetics group DeMert Brands LLC, among many others. At Greyhills Rechtsanwälte, Jens Steinberg is a trusted partner to domestic and international brand owners; one overseas colleague hails him as “a true specialist who can be trusted with any case”. Michael Turi of Samson & Partner has spent almost four decades in the trademark world and has rare technical proficiency in areas such as biophysics and semiconductors. Tilman Vossius, namesake of Barkhoff Reimann Vossius, manages the portfolios of a wealth of brand owners with a hawkish eye and has laid robust online foundations for a well-known European auction house. At Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, Dominik Weiss is a trademark and unfair competition litigator who also plays a role in IP-related transactions and has significant IT, e-commerce and data privacy know-how. Gert Würtenberger of the eponymous Würtenberger Rechtsanwälte is a venerable practitioner with decades in the game; he is a familiar face at the national courts and the EU General Court, knows all the ins and outs of trademark registration and IP-related transactions, and has written a leading German commentary on European plant variety protection. KNPZ Rechtsanwälte is home to the “extremely thorough” Mathias Zintler, whose trademark litigation expertise comes underpinned by an ancillary understanding of advertising rights, product launches and marketing campaigns. Fluency in German, English, French and Italian makes for flawless communication with clients and overseas connections.

Individuals

Individuals: anti-counterfeiting