Today EIP Partner Florian Schmidt-Bogatzky has been recognised for his expertise in intellectual property with a ranking in Best Lawyers in Germany 2021.
Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review with a methodology designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.
Best Lawyers employs a sophisticated, conscientious, rational, and transparent survey process designed to elicit meaningful and substantive evaluations of the quality of legal services.
Full rankings can be found at: https://www.bestlawyers.com/current-edition/Germany
Several partners from EIP have been recommended in the recently published Who's Who Legal Patents 2020.
Jerome Spaargaren and Darren Smyth are both recommended in the Patent Agents and Attorneys category, while Gary Moss is recommended in the Patents category where he is described as a seasoned expert held in awe by peers, one of whom comments, "He's one of the best practitioners, even when he's an adversary!"
WWL: Patents is an in-depth guide to the international patents legal market, and recognises the foremost patents lawyers around the world who stand out for their excellence when it comes to both contentious and transactional matters, with expertise covering a wide range of industry sectors.
We also identify prominent patent agents and attorneys for their strong expertise preparing, filing and prosecuting patent applications.
The 2020 edition of IAM Patent 1000 has been published, with retained rankings for the firm and excellent client and market feedback.
Eleven partners from EIP’s UK and German offices have been recognised among the world’s leading patent practitioners.
Editorial for the firm’s UK’s practice recognises how it “blends litigation and patent prosecution in a seamless team” and one client commented that “The lawyers really put their heart into the case and there is never even a single moment’s doubt that they have their clients’ interests first and foremost in mind.”
The firm’s UK patent litigation team retained its silver ranking with it noted that its reputation in the field of SEPs is difficult to beat. In addition to the firm’s recognition several partners received positive commentary. Robert Lundie Smith is referred to as a dab hand at overseeing parallel proceedings in multiple jurisdictions while Kathleen Fox Murphy is described as a talented litigator and SEP specialist. Gary Moss is described as a “very switched-on patent litigator with a wide commercial perspective and strong legal knowledge”; while it is noted that Matthew Jones does not limit his contentious prowess to his field of study, having been involved just this year in a major electronics matter.
The firm’s UK patent prosecution team is listed as recommended with specific mentions for Laurence Brown; Jerome Spaargaren who brings personal skill and insight as an inventor to the table for clients; Matt Lawman noted as “very knowledgeable, timely and has great attention to detail”; while Heather McCann is described as a “consistent and high-quality” practitioner who has “excellent technical knowledge” something IAM notes Darren Smyth also boasts in spades.
EIP’s German patent infringement team is ranked in the bronze category and editorial recognises the firm’s star in Germany is firmly in the ascendant, thanks to polished performances in multinational patent litigation, particularly in the field of electronics. Christof Höhne is celebrated for his “collaborative approach and ability to always provide creative, on-point advice”; while Florian Schmidt-Bogatzky is described as a “responsive, thorough and dedicated” practitioners who “is driven to get the right result and has a great grasp of all details”.
IAM Patent 1000 has been compiled following an extensive research process which included in the region of 1,800 interviews with numerous attorneys at law, patent attorneys and in-house counsel to gather market intelligence on the leading players in the field.
The 2020 edition of IP Stars has highlighted seven EIP partners as outstanding practitioners.
Heather McCann, Darren Smyth, Gary Moss, Jerome Spaargaren, Kathleen Fox Murphy, and Andrew Sharples have retained their rankings as “Patent Stars”, while Paula Flutter is named as both a “Patent Star” and “Trademark Star”.
Individuals are recognised by IP Stars following extensive research, including information submitted by firms, market feedback and publicly available information.
The COVID-19 outbreak is impacting people around the globe.The UK government has, like many other governments, been forced to take drastic action to curtail individuals’ movements to enforce social distancing. Whilst the government has more important priorities, it has decided that it is important to maintain access to justice through this crisis. However, maintaining the traditional approach to justice and the courts is simply not possible. This has had different consequences in different parts of the justice system.At the time of writing, no new jury trials are starting in England and Wales. For those working in large commercial litigation, the traditional trial consisting of the judge, the court staff, parties’ solicitors and counsel, witnesses, experts, and interested parties congregating in a single court room for several weeks is no longer possible.
From impossible to inevitable
With the traditional way of operating no longer possible the courts and lawyers have moved fast to adapt to new ways of providing justice. Fortunately, in the UK most people now have a computer connected to the internet with a microphone and camera. This has enabled the courts to move to video hearings at breakneck speed.
The government and courts have taken several steps to enable the use of video hearings in the courts to enable access to justice as well as to allow the public to watch proceedings, including:
The Coronavirus Act 2020 provides for the use of video links in criminal trials and certain magistrates hearings and for the recording of proceedings before the courts and the broadcasting of those to the general public.
The Civil Procedure Rules have also been updated with rules for video hearings in Practice Direction 51Y, which will remain in place during the crisis. These rules are there to ensure that there is continued public access to justice. They enable this by mandating that third parties must be given access to the hearings, where possible through access to the video conferencing software used for the hearing by the parties or, if that is not possible, through a recording of the proceedings;
The Judiciary of England and Wales have released a protocol on remote hearings in civil litigation. It emphasises the flexible nature of the courts and that the courts will consider any appropriate communication method and format, although the decision of whether to proceed with a hearing and in what format is a question for the judge. It states that video hearings will require the cooperation of the parties with the court listing office, court officers and the judge.
These steps have enabled video hearings to happen and be broadcast to the public. The most high-profile of these video hearings in the UK have been those at the Supreme Court, watchable by the general public on the court’s website, using rules on video hearings put in place only days before. Similar video hearings have also taken place before other courts, including the Court of Appeal and High Court.
This wholesale move of most hearings to videoconferencing by the court is unprecedented, and the scale of this change can be seen by comparing this to an experimental exercise undertaken by HMCTS in 2018 which involved only eight specially chosen tax appeals being determined by video conference.
The opportunity after the crisis
What will happen after the crisis, and in particular the view the Courts will take towards video hearings then, is unknown. However, these changes during the pandemic will give the judiciary and lawyers much greater experience in managing video hearings and awareness of when they are and are not feasible and appropriate. Those that watched the hearings before the Supreme Court on livestream will have noticed that they were able to proceed despite some minor technical difficulties, and the occasional tendency for some participants accidentally to talk over one another.
It seems likely that hearings will mostly revert to the traditional format after the crisis, albeit with greater use of video conferencing. The belief that witness testimony, cross examination and oral advocacy are best done in person runs deep in the English Court system. In addition, whilst videoconferencing technology has come on leaps and bounds, it does still occasionally go wrong. The low-tech solution of paper files and people in a room remains exceptionally robust. However, there are potentially situations where the court will be more likely to allow video hearings. For example, where it is difficult or expensive for witnesses to attend court as the witnesses are located abroad, or where a witness has mobility problems.
The change to the law to allow the proceedings of any court to be broadcast is likely to be one that is not reversed. There is public interest in certain proceedings, as demonstrated by the recent Supreme Court proceedings relating to Brexit and the Prorogation of Parliament, although broadcasting will probably only be relevant to a small number of proceedings such as high profile criminal or constitutional cases. Most barristers can probably therefore rest easy without the need to get themselves ready for TV.