US IP firm Finnegan adds Baker McKenzie team to enter German market

Partner Dr Jochen Herr set to lead seven-strong Munich office after eight years building Baker Mac's German patent disputes practice

Washington DC-based IP boutique Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner has added a team from Baker McKenzie to launch in Munich, marking its entrance into the German market.  

Set to open next January, the office will be led by Dr Jochen Herr, who has joined from a role as a partner at Baker Mac having spent the last eight years building the US giant's German patent disputes practice in Munich. 

Juve reported that three Baker Mac associates have made the move with him.

One of the few lawyers in Germany to be admitted as a lawyer and as a German and European patent attorney, Herr brings more than 17 years of experience in patent litigation proceedings to his new firm. He has represented clients in fields including mechanics, electronics, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, chemistry and biotechnology.

“Jochen is the perfect person to play a key role in establishing and building our German practice, given his reputation and experience,” said Anand Sharma, Finnegan’s managing partner. “His reputation as a skilled litigator and his addition enables us to significantly expand our ability to provide clients with quality advice and patent litigation support in Germany and Europe more widely.”

Finnegan described the new office, which will be made up of seven legal professionals and is the firm’s second foray into Europe after London, as a ‘natural step’.

‘Munich sits as one of several key locations around the globe for patent litigation on a range of IP-related disputes in areas such as technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals – all areas where Finnegan, Jochen and the new team specifically have strength and experience,’ the firm said.

It added that the new Munich office will be focused on supporting not only major players in Germany and Europe for all their IP needs, but also Finnegan’s existing clients across the globe.

Herr said the move was “an exciting opportunity to establish a new offering in Germany for Finnegan, which is already one of the world’s largest and most renowned IP law firms.”

“With a new Munich-based team in place, we are well positioned to support clients in all technical areas regarding infringement proceedings at the trial and appellate level before German Courts, as well as proceedings and cancellation actions before the German PTO and the European Patent Office,” he said.

The launch brings the firm’s worldwide office count to 11, including five in the US and four in Asia in Seoul, Tokyo, Taipei and Shanghai.

Other law firms have looked to expand their IP practice recently in China, which in 2019 ended four decades of US dominance when it overtook the US as the global leader in IP applications filed through the World Intellectual Property Organisation.

UK top 20 firm Taylor Wessing announced in June it was expanding in China with the launch of specialist IP and trademark business Beijing Tailun IP Agency, while back in February K&L Gates launched a Chinese-focused trademark agency – K&L Gates IP Agency – which allows it to file and prosecute applications directly with China’s IP authority, the CNIPA. 

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