JUVE German Commercial Law Firms 2011/2012

Trademarks and Design / Unfair Competition

Comment: This highly recommended traditional boutique for trademarks and unfair competition enjoyed a high utilization rate thanks to increasing work for existing clients. Klaka litigated on behalf of long-standing clients Nestlé and BMW, often in proceedings with international aspects, e.g. the dispute between BMW and US sports broadcaster ESPN surrounding a potential infringement of the trademark "X Games".

Strengths: Litigation.

Development potential: The trademarks and unfair competition lawyers have yet to benefit from the new Düsseldorf office in terms of new clients. Staff growth could offer potential.

Recommended: Dr. Michael Nieder, Dr. Andreas Schulz, Dr. Ralf Hackbarth ("vast expertise and understanding of actual problems, not only the legal ones", client), Dr. Wolfgang Straub, Dr. Wolfgang Götz ("excellent and cooperative", "respectable, competent, creative", competitors), Dr. Stefan Eck.

Practice: Trademark advice and litigation as well as an all-round registration and administration practice (esp. for fashion houses and banks). In unfair competition, litigation predominates, frequently on the interface with food law and drugs advertising law. Renowned patent litigation practice. (4 partners, 3 associates)

Clients: Litigation for BMW regarding "BMW X3 Games"; Advice on domain portfolio and litigation for KfW; litigation for EdW; litigation for Nestlé; litigation for Munich Brewers' Association; advice on unfair competition and litigation for Adelholzener; Deichmann; HVB.

Ranking Trademarks and Design: 3rd Band

Ranking Unfair Competition: 2nd Band

Leading names in trademarks
Dr. Ralf Hackbarth, 3rd of 15


Patent Litigation/Lawyers

Comment: This highly recommended firm in patents made a sensational move last year with the launch of a Düsseldorf office, and the small team around highly regarded Giebe appears to have completed the move successfully. "His moving to this pivotal location for courts has revived the local patents scene," a competitor commented. Klaka achieved cross-selling from trademarks and unfair competition to patents as well as establishing new contacts to companies. The successful start is underlined by the fact that the associate who moved with Giebe to Düsseldorf is now active primarily in patents. The turmoil surrounding the new office overshadowed the Munich office somewhat in terms of visibility – here, too, Klaka now boasts partners established in litigation. Giebe's move to Düsseldorf offers the well-regarded younger partners the chance to step out of his shadow and carve out stronger market positions.

Strengths: Litigation related to pharmaceuticals and mechanics.

Development potential: Despite a successful start, Klaka will need more time and manpower before it can rival Düsseldorf's established litigation firms.

Recommended: Olaf Giebe ("highly experienced in litigation and creative, pleasant counterpart", competitor), Dr. Michael Nieder, Dr. Wolfgang Götz ("excellent, helpful", competitor),Dr. Stefan Eck.

Practice: Strong focus on patent law, exclusively litigation and advice. Also trademarks and unfair competition. Distinct connections with corporates and German patent attorneys. (Core team: 4 partners, 1 associate)

Clients: Public knowledge: AVM against CIF concerning DSL standards; frequent litigation for Novartis and generics subsidiaries. Tyco regarding defense electronics; Sram concerning bicycle components (up to Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof)); Medien Patentverwaltung concerning encoding film copies; patent litigation for Winthrop; Wopf in design proceedings; ZF Sachs.

Ranking Patent Litigation: 2nd Band

Leading senior partners in patent litigation:
Olaf Giebe, 3rd of 11.


Food law

Comment: Respected for its litigation in food law, this firm serves mainly south German clients. As a renowned IP boutique, advice to clients in the food sector focuses on trademarks and unfair competition. Well-known partner Schulz represented Nestlé in litigation concerning baby food.

Strengths: Litigation, extensive experience in trademarks and unfair competition.

Recommended: Dr. Andreas Schulz.

Practice: Primarily litigation, esp. regarding labeling, on the interface between food and unfair competition law, also EU law. Less active in all-round food law. Clients: breweries, the beverage industry, milk products and animal feed. (2 partners)

Clients: Litigation for Nestlé and subsidiaries concerning baby food, animal feed, trademarks and unfair competition; all-round IP advice and litigation for NÖM, Adelholzener, a French champagne association, Association of Munich Breweries.

Ranking Food Law: 5th Band