Although the Netherlands is relatively small, its efficient court system and geographical position as a gateway to Europe make it a key forum in which to prosecute and enforce patents. The great weight attached to decisions of the Dutch courts in other jurisdictions reflects the importance of this marketplace. An accelerated patent regime enables parties to bring cases within eight to 10 months, with all trial dates set out at the beginning of proceedings – an attractive proposition for clients seeking clarity and speed. The willingness of judges to implement cross-border injunctions against Dutch defendants has also increased its appeal. This expedient system, combined with the abundance of talented litigators in the country, has resulted in many suits being filed here. Patent owners seeking to prosecute in the Netherlands will find no shortage of highly specialised patent attorneys. While most patent attorneys operate entirely separately from legal practices, a handful of firms – notably Hoyng Monegier – offer prosecution and litigation expertise under one roof.
Medical devices, biotechnology and electronics are John Allen of NautaDutilh’s main areas of expertise. His wide-ranging practice means that “he always brings a wealth of experience and understanding to complex cases”. Willem Hoorneman heads the IP team at CMS Derks Star Busmann. He is the author of the patent chapter of the leading text on software protection in the Netherlands, and is a talented litigator. At Vondst, Otto Swens is complimented for his steadfast representation of generic pharmaceutical companies in litigation. He also deals with related issues, such as supplementary protection certificates and parallel imports.