Grünecker, Kinkeldey, Stockmair & Schwanhäusser was founded in 1924. Today, it is one of the largest IP law firms in Europe. The focus of Grünecker is the protection and defence of its clients’ IP rights, ranging from global corporations to mid-sized companies and start-ups. Grünecker has more than 90 patent attorneys and attorneys at law covering all technical areas, who oversee tens of thousands of patent and trademark applications and handle hundreds of litigation cases. The firm has around 400 staff in total. Ever since Grünecker was founded, it has constantly worked to build up a network of highly specialised colleagues and international law firms worldwide that allows Grünecker to represent the interests of its clients globally. On a European level, Grünecker benefits from the fact that two of its partners are also admitted as Spanish and French patent attorneys. In addition to offices in Munich, Cologne and Berlin, Grünecker has an office in Paris.
In the area of patent law, Grünecker is renowned for its expertise in all technical areas. The members of the patent team have in-depth academic as well as practical backgrounds. In addition, our patent attorneys have extensive experience in both German and European prosecution and litigation proceedings. In the area of patent prosecution, Grünecker drafts and files thousands of patent applications each year. Grünecker represents its clients before the European Patent Office (EPO), the German Patent and Trademark Office, the Federal Patent Court and up to the Federal Supreme Court. Technical specialties include electrical engineering, software, physics, biotechnology, chemistry, mechanical engineering, material sciences, nanotechnology and renewable energies. For any of these areas, Grünecker can offer its clients the technical expertise of its specialised attorneys. Moreover, it has the size and expertise to handle even extremely large patent portfolios.
In the area of trademark law, Grünecker handles large portfolios of highly renowned companies and advises on how to build up effective patent portfolios. Another focus of Grünecker is trademark, design, unfair competition and copyright litigation, which is handled by specialised teams of attorneys at law. Grünecker is highly active in enforcing “soft” IP rights in and out of court, including at trade fairs. The firm’s litigation team also handles border seizure proceedings for its clients and advises on respective strategies, thereby protecting its clients’ intellectual property from being infringed by imported counterfeits.
Germany is by far the most important forum for patent litigation in Europe. Grünecker’s patent litigation team consists of litigators and patent attorneys, both with exceptional knowledge in enforcing patents. The team handles infringement proceedings, which are handled by the civil courts, as well as parallel opposition/nullity proceedings, which are handled by the EPO, the German Patent and Trademark Office or the German Patent Court. Most of Grünecker’s infringement cases are argued at first instance before the district courts Dusseldorf, Mannheim and Munich, and at second instance before the respective appeal courts. Grünecker puts together its litigation team on a case-by-case basis, depending on the technical area involved and the needs of its clients. Grünecker’s patent litigation experts understand and control any technical specialty. One of Grünecker’s core beliefs is that it is only by a perfect understanding of the most complex technology, the economic background of a dispute and the resulting legal issues that perfect results are achieved. The formation of such specialised teams handling infringement matters makes Grünecker different from many other IP firms. Over the past 15 years, this strategy has turned out to be extremely successful for Grünecker’s clients and has led to a steady increase of its patent litigation practice, making it one of the leading firms in this area.
Grünecker’s IP practice achieves leading positions among independent rankings for its prosecution and litigation work.