Comment: CMS is holding its position among the leading firms in trademarks and unfair competition. The reasons for its unbroken visibility include its impressive breadth and a multitude of well-known partners at various offices. In unfair competition, the firm is a specialist when it comes to the interfaces with related practices, like media and pharmaceuticals. Examples include activity for Eyeo and Bayer CropScience. CMS is getting ever better at something that was hard to imagine a few years ago: managing its size. Today, the IP practice has an interdisciplinary and project-based setup and is focusing more on current issues like know-how protection, design law and digitalization. The firm frequently gains clients in these fields, among them companies from the auto, cosmetics and food sectors. The Hamburg office saw strong growth at associate level; the pharmaceuticals team here is very busy. Cologne lost two experienced counsel, incl. the well-known Alexander Späth to Kleiner. CMS compensated for the losses, in part with experienced associates.
Strengths: Litigation, registration practice. Particular expertise in the ?media, publishing, food and ?pharmaceuticals and healthcare sectors. Numerous well-known partners.
Development potential: The merger of British alliance member CMS Cameron McKenna with Olswang and Nabarro in May 2017 gave the London IP practice a major boost. With good cooperation, the strong connections here among notable corporates could lead to new clients for the German practice too.
Recommended: Dr. Klaus Ikas, Prof. Dr. Matthias Eck, Dr. Heidi Wrage-Molkenthin, Prof. Dr. Gordian Hasselblatt (“high-level expertise in trademarks and design law”, “IP generalist”, competitors), Prof. Dr. Winfried Bullinger, Dr. Alexander von Bossel (“highly respected advisor with a special understanding of the client’s concerns”, client), Dr. Jens Wagner, Dr. Torsten Sill (“very good IP lawyer”; “excellent quality in unfair competition”, competitors), Dr. Thomas Manderla, Ilse Rohr (“excellent trademark and unfair competition lawyer”, competitor), Dr. Heralt Hug (“dedicated IP lawyer”, competitor), Dr. Carsten Menebröcker (“vast litigation experience”, “pleasant manner”, “good litigation strategy, constructive and professional”, competitors), Dr. Heike Blank, Dr. Tim Reher (“professionally and tactically magnificent”, client).
Practice: Broad IP practice with a strong sector focus. Large trademark administration department, trademark litigation and advice, also transaction support. In unfair competition, litigation and advice in the run-up to advertising campaigns and product launches. (IP in total: 32 partners, 55 associates, 1 of counsel)
Clients: ?? Unfair competition litigation for Mercateo against software manufacturer; all-round unfair competition activity for Techem Energy; Boehringer on pharma advertising law/unfair competition and trademarks; Bayer CropScience on product piracy; Eyeo in various unfair competition proceedings concerning ad blockers; ongoing trademark and unfair competition activity for Porsche; ongoing unfair competition activity for Mars; unfair competition litigation for Melitta; Eli Lilly on parallel imports; all-round trademark activity for Goldeck Süßwaren, incl. litigation against Edeka; ongoing: Huawei, EWE, Europcar, Out of the blue.
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