Comment: This leading firm in trademarks and unfair competition is the only large international firm operating with a sizeable, broad personnel setup, thus pursuing its traditional strength in IP. The strong market visibility is due to a mix of a large formal trademarks practice and extensive litigation work, often in precedent proceedings with an international element, e.g. the name dispute for US corporate Merck (public knowledge) or the high-profile “Rescue Drops” case for Nelsons. The focus on this kind of litigation may be the reason why some competitors do not take as much notice of HL as they used to, at least in the German courts. The fact that Goebel is tied up with international management duties is also seen as a loss for the practice – even though he continues to advise some important clients. But competitors overlook how dynamically the team is developing its work: advice to Mars was widened markedly, while activity for clients involving legal infringements on the Internet is pronounced – a Hamburg IP lawyer recently appointed counsel is making a name for herself in this field.
Strengths: Formal trademark law, respected office in Alicante; frequently coordination of international litigation; IP advice focusing on particular sectors. Design law. ?Pharmaceuticals and healthcare, frequently related to ?distribution law.
Development potential: There are many senior associates in the large IP team, some of whom already take on much responsibility. This means that HL can compete with boutiques in terms of price, but there is a risk of a bottleneck. There may be partnership prospects in Munich, where the soft IP practice is only covered by Hamburg partner Karow and where there are many synergies to be tapped, e.g. with the life sciences practice.
Recommended: Andreas Bothe (“good trademark lawyer”, competitor), Dr. Erhard Keller (“highly respected, nice and quick”, competitor), Dr. Burkhart Goebel (Hamburg/Madrid), Susanne Karow, Dr. Leopold von Gerlach, Dr. Morten Petersenn (“tough fighter”, competitor), Thomas Salomon, Yvonne Draheim (“seeks cooperative solutions”, competitor), Dr. Nils Rauer (“good trademark litigator”, competitor).
Practice: All-round activity in trademarks with good international connections. Trademark work in all offices, though Hamburg is the clear center. In Munich, advice to the telecoms and IT sectors, also pharmaceuticals; transactional advice often provided in Frankfurt. In unfair competition, litigation and advice in the run-up to advertising campaigns. (Incl. Alicante: 10 partners, 4 counsel, 29 associates)
Clients: ?? Litigation for Car Freshner regarding “Wunderbaum” up to Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof); Discavo concerning platform liability; Hard Rock Café on settlement in extensive trademark proceedings; trademark and unfair competition litigation for Mars; Peek & Cloppenburg Hamburg in numerous proceedings against company of the same name; Novartis on unfair competition; Pro7Sat.1 Media in dispute with gift manufacturer; BAT on market launch of “Vype”; global portfolio management and trademark litigation for Deutsche Telekom; Gibson Brands concerning guitar imitations; Sanofi in numerous unfair competition proceedings; Dell on IP compliance; public knowledge: color trademark litigation for Santander against German Savings Bank Association, Merck & Co. in dispute with Merck KGaA.
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