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17 May 2024TrademarksSarah Speight

Exclusive: WIPR Insights launches inaugural Germany TM Rankings

The rankings highlight the firms and individuals at the top of their game for trademark matters in Germany | Results show that the boutique law firm is ‘alive and kicking’ in this market.

WIPR Insights has launched its first-ever Germany Trademark Rankings, adding to the roster of similar rankings for China, the UK and the US.

The rankings, released this week (May 15) highlight the ‘stand-out’ law firms and lawyers advising national and international brands on their most important contentious and non-contentious matters in Germany, at the EU level and beyond.

More than 50 law firms and almost 80 individuals are ranked across four categories: Outstanding, Highly Recommended, Recommended, and Notable.

As with all of the other rankings, commentary provides an overview of law firms and their relevant teams, and publishable key matters and clients.

Baron Armah-Kwantreng, rankings editor at WIPR Insights, said of the Germany Trademark Rankings: “I would like to thank all of the lawyers and marketing teams and clients for their support during the research period. It was a pleasure to speak to everyone involved.”

The results highlight the wealth and breadth of legal talent in Europe’s largest economy, who manage and defend national and global brands’ most valuable assets.

“Clearly one size does not fit all when it comes to the firms that clients trust with their most important trademarks matters,” Armah-Kwantreng said.

Boutique firms ‘alive and kicking’

Germany is revealed as fertile terrain for the IP boutique. Indeed, one observation made by Armah-Kwantreng is that “the IP boutique is alive and kicking in Germany”.

He added that global law firm “behemoths” such as Hogan Lovells, Baker McKenzie and Dentons nestle alongside national full-service firms like Gleiss Lutz and boutiques including Lubberger Lehment in the rankings.

“While global firms and full-service national firms are of course present in these rankings, small teams of IP specialists are still created anew and continue to thrive in advising key clients on key matters,” he said.

Among a number of recently formed boutiques, family firm Nordemann in Berlin and Potsdam, and Taliens in Munich, suggest that trademarks lawyers in Germany have a viable alternative career path.

‘Invaluable’ feedback

Research for all of WIPR Insights’ rankings involves interviewing partners and clients, reviewing submission documents and conducting independent research.

Feedback from clients as well as peers, which Armah-Kwantreng deems “invaluable” to the rankings, is part of the 360-degree approach taken by WIPR Insights.

For example, a former lawyer from Hogan Lovells, ranked Outstanding, said: “I started as a trainee at the top, at Hogan Lovells. They had five or six rooms filled with details on 30,000 trademarks cases, an enormous resource! In trademarks we have to admit [that the firm is] ahead.”

Similarly, for Lubberger Lehment, also ranked Outstanding, peers report positive experiences with the firm with one referral lawyer saying it “is a contrast to the ultra aggressive firms”.

“They are good lawyers, who know how to get to practical solutions in [difficult] situations. But, they can be fully aggressive if needed, and they know how to communicate with the client.”

Feedback from existing and prospective clients also provides extra layers to the rankings.

For instance, one client of German law firm Boehmert & Boehmert, a Highly Recommended firm, said: “[It offers] a global network with the benefit of a single-access for us.” And an international pharma company added that it is the firm they “would use in a conflict”.

And peers of Vossius, ranked in the Notable category, are impressed by the growth of the firm. “About 10 to 15 years ago we were bigger than them, but they are bigger than us now,” said a peer. “So they must be doing something right.”

Read more in the full Germany Trademark Rankings 2024.

Upcoming WIPR Insights rankings for 2024 are WIPR Leaders, China Patent Rankings, China Trademark Rankings, Global Trade Secrets and more.

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15 March 2024   Results are out for WIPR Insights’ first-ever rankings of UK firms and individuals at the top of their game for trademark matters | 140 firms and individuals feature, in which boutique IP specialists rub shoulders with traditional full-service firms | "Greater flux" in future rankings expected.