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The Legal 500 Germany 2024


The advisory practice of Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner ranges from trademark registration to litigation. In close cooperation with the corporate law practice, the firm also often acts as IP counsel in transactions. David Kipping focuses on the areas of product piracy and counterfeiting, while Morton Douglas is often involved in portfolio advice and infringement proceedings. The two lead the practice group together with copyright and media lawyer Stephan Dittl and Norbert Hebeis (international filing strategies and registrations, community trademarks). Other core attorneys are Eva Kessler and Anne Bongers-Gehlert.

"Excellent support in court proceedings, but also in out-of-court matters."

"We consider one of the team's key strengths to be their ability to grasp issues quickly, which results in swift and comprehensive advice. Even the smallest amount of information on our part is enough to work out comprehensive trademark protection. At the same time, we are made aware of things that we had not yet considered. The trademark defense is also highly professional and effective."

Competition law

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner offers comprehensive expertise in competition law, from litigation to advice. The team is active in areas such as product counterfeiting, product piracy, licensing agreements and advertising law issues and also has know-how in trademark, design and copyright law as well as in transactional IP advice. The group's key contacts include Morton Douglas (pharmaceutical, medical and pharmacy sector) and David Kipping (advertising and unfair competition law) as well as soft IP lawyer Norbert Hebeis and copyright and media lawyer Stephan Dittl. Other core lawyers are Eva KesslerAnne Bongers-Gehlert and Lukas Kalkbrenner.

"Very to the point and strong client focus; understanding of the industry."

"The firm's IP practice is highly regarded. The experts are highly specialized in all areas of intellectual property and the firm is one of the leading law firms in Germany for all IP matters."

"High flexibility and pragmatism."

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UVE Handbook of Commercial Law Firms - FGvW is Top-50 law firm

The JUVE Handbook of Commercial Law Firms in Germany 2023/2024 was again published at the end of October. As in previous years, Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner has maintained its position among Germany's TOP-50 law firms.

Our recommended lawyers for Competition Law are Norbert Hebeis, Morton Douglas  (very experienced and efficient in trademark law"; "assertive litigation specialist, especially in the pharmaceutical sector"), Eva Kessler and David Kipping ("vehement fighter, committed design specialist with extensive litigation experience").

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The Legal 500 Germany 2023


The trademark practice of Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner was recently marked by growth: Eva Kessler (trademark, design and domain law) and Lukas Kalkbrenner (inter alia, official and infringement proceedings, licensing agreements) were appointed partners at the beginning of 2022, while food and utility model law expert Hildegard Schöllmann joined the team already at the end of 2021 from KWG Rechtsanwälte. Thus, the practice group, which is already popular with pharmaceutical groups and brand name companies, was further strengthened and supports clients both in the context of prosecution and with regard to contentious trademark cases. Norbert Hebeis (German and Community trademarks, international filing strategies), Morton Douglas (filing strategies, portfolio advice, infringement proceedings), David Kipping (intellectual property law, advertising law, licensing agreements) and Stephan Dittl (copyright and media law) jointly head the team. Other core attorneys are Anne Bongers-Gehlert and Wolfgang Schmid.

Competition Law

Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner advises on various competition law issues, both in an advisory capacity and in court, including the fight against product counterfeiting and piracy as well as the drafting of license agreements and advertising law issues. The team offers additional expertise in trademark, design and copyright law and also advises on IP aspects of M&A transactions. The main contacts include litigator Norbert HebeisMorton Douglas (including drug advertising and pharmaceutical law) and Of Counsel Wolfgang Schmid (including pharmaceutical and food law) in Freiburg; David Kipping in Cologne, who is experienced in licensing agreements, and Stephan Dittl in Frankfurt, whose practice areas also include copyright and trademark law, are further key contacts. At the turn of the year 2021/22, the team was strengthened with the addition of Hildegard Schöllmann from KWG Rechtsanwälte, who is experienced in trademark and product advertising law, and also added Lukas Kalkbrenner (TMT) and Eva Kessler, who is experienced in trademark and label law, among other areas, to the partnership. Anne Bongers-Gehlert is another core attorney. 

JUVE Wirtschaftskanzleien 2023/2023

JUVE Handbook of Commercial Law Firms 2022/2023 - FGvW is TOP-50 law firm

The JUVE Handbook of Commercial Law Firms in Germany 2022/2023 was published again in October: Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner has - as in previous years - maintained its position among the TOP-50 law firms in Germany.

We are also particularly highlighted in the fields of trademark and design law and competition law.

Norbert Hebeis ("collegial and respectful opponent in a demanding procedure", competitor), Morton Douglas, Eva Kessler ("all-round perfect advice in trademark law", client) are often recommended here.

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The Legal 500 Germany 2022


FGvW's Freiburg office, where Norbert Hebeis and Morton Douglas are based, works primarily for large pharmaceutical groups and well-known brand-name companies, which rely on the firm both for the development and implementation of filing strategies and for significant contentious proceedings. Thanks to the corporate specialists also based in Freiburg, the IP team there is also well-versed in transactional mandates. The Cologne office has a renowned soft IP lawyer in David Kipping, who also has proven product labeling expertise, including textiles, cosmetics, food and electronic goods. In the Frankfurt office, Stephan Dittl focuses on design, copyright and competition law. Of Counsel Wolfgang Schmid and Douglas in Freiburg are also experts in the pharmaceuticals, medical devices and pharmacy sectors. Anne Bongers-Gehlert, who works extensively in IP, was appointed local partner in January 2021. Practice leaders are Norbert Hebeis, Morton Douglas, David Kipping and Stephan Dittl, and another core lawyer is Eva Kessler.

Competition Law

FGvW has special expertise in advising pharmaceutical groups, medical device manufacturers and pharmacies, particularly at the Freiburg office with Morton DouglasNorbert Hebeis and Of Counsel Wolfgang SchmidDavid Kipping in Cologne provides comprehensive advice on product launches and advertising measures and has many years of experience in litigation. In Cologne, Stephan Dittl looks after the areas of competition, copyright and design law. Anne Bongers-Gehlert, who in addition to competition law also comprehensively covers various other areas of intellectual property law, became Local Partner at the Freiburg office in January 2021. Another core lawyer is Eva Kessler.

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JUVE Handbook of Business Law Firms 2021/2022

Comment: The firm advises a broad client base on all facets of IP in trademarks and unfair competition, but has established itself as a specialist at the interface with healthcare law. Here, the firm acts for various medical companies and pharmacies in litigation, often of a fundamental nature. For example, the firm is representing the North Rhine Chamber of Pharmacists in the UCA dispute against DocMorris all the way to the ECJ. The appointment of a Sal. partner, who also has a focus on UCA/Medicines Advertising Act, is accordingly consistent. In addition, the team is active as usual in portfolio management and trademark registration. With the addition of a team led by of counsel Ingeborg Schwarz, who came from Brehm & v. Moers, FGvW has also strengthened its trademark expertise at the Frankfurt office, which has so far made its mark with its experience in design law advice in the furniture sector, among others. Many brand manufacturers such as Wilkinson Sword and Dr. Martens continue to ask for the practice's extensive experience in portfolio management and the fight against product counterfeiting.

Strengths: Formal trademark law, serving the pharma, pharmacy & publishing industries.

Often recommended: Norbert Hebeis ("very competent, impresses with transparency and effectiveness", client), Morton Douglas ("assertive litigation specialist, especially in pharmaceuticals", client).

Team: 4 Eq. Partners, 2 Sal. Partners, 7 Associates, 3 Of Counsels

Main focus: Trademark law incl. portfolio management. In competition law, frequent references to the German Medicines Advertising Act (HWG), especially when advising major pharmaceutical clients and pharmacies. Other sectors: Consumer goods, food, energy and publishing (often also copyright).

Clients: manufacturer of surg. instruments in trademark dispute; Apothekerkammer Nordrhein in litigation against provider of online prescriptions with subsequent delivery of pharmaceuticals and in ECJ litigation against DocMorris; Aicas on portfolio management; Gloster Furniture on product imitations; Dr. Martens on product imitations and various IP proceedings against competitors. BBraun in trademark proceedings; German mail-order pharmacy 'Fliegende Pillen' in proceedings on medicine pick-up terminals; Erima in proceedings on position mark up to BGH; ongoing in IP: Alnatura, Wilkinson Sword.

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The Legal 500 Germany 2021

Competition law scores with its cross-location expertise, enabling advice to pharmaceutical companies, players in the medical and pharmacy sector and major brand manufacturers (Freiburg office led by Morton Douglas and Norbert Hebeis) as well as on product launches, advertising measures and product labeling law (Cologne office led by David Kipping), rounded off by advice on copyright and media law (Frankfurt office led by Stephan Dittl). Another core attorney is Eva Kessler.

The firm's cross-location setup is also a strength in trademark law. In Freiburg, for example, the practice leaders Norbert Hebeis and Morton Douglas focus on IP support for transactional clients on the one hand, and on advising pharmaceutical groups, medical device manufacturers, pharmacies and chambers of pharmacies as well as brand manufacturers on the other. In Cologne, David Kipping's team focuses on product launches, advertising measures, cross-border disputes and product labeling issues. Stephan Dittl in Frankfurt specializes in copyright, design and competition law. Another core attorney here is Eva Kessler.

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JUVE Handbook Business Law Firms 2020/2021

The practice of trademark and competition law shows its colors in complex and often fundamental processes in the health sector and alongside various pharmacies. For example, the team is active for a mail-order pharmacy in an UWG lawsuit against DocMorris concerning the operation of a drug collection terminal up to the Federal Supreme Court. The FGvW also demonstrates its procedural experience in other industries and represents a sports goods company in a dispute over a brand name. Although less conspicuous than litigation, the team is also active for a large and diversified client base in classic IP. Clients such as Alnatura, Gloster Furniture and Wilkinson Sword are relying on the team's expertise in portfolio management, strategic advice, enforcement and border seizures for many years.

Strengths: Formal trademark law, advice to the pharmaceutical, pharmacy and publishing industries.

Often recommended: Norbert Hebeis ("efficient, transparent, comprehensible, on schedule, resourceful", "highly competent, quickly recognizes individual needs, fair and transparent compensation", clients), Morton Douglas

Team: 4 equity partners, 1 salary partner, 6 associates, 1 Of Counsel

Focal points: Trademark law including portfolio management. In competition law, frequent references to HWG, especially in the support of large pharmaceutical clients and pharmacies. Further industries: Consumer goods, food, energy and publishing (often also in copyright law).

Clients: North Rhine Chamber of Pharmacists in litigation regarding advertising fees; German Environmental Protection Agency (BUND) in litigation regarding logo; Dr. Martens on product imitations and various infringement proceedings against competitors; Erima in proceedings regarding positional trademark; B. Braun Melsungen in trademark law; Gloster Furniture in worldwide trademark and design consulting and in imitation proceedings; ongoing in IP: Alnatura, Wilkinson Sword.

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The Legal 500 Germany 2020

The trademark law team was able to expand its range of advice by strengthening the Cologne and Frankfurt offices in the areas of product labeling law and design and copyright law. The heads of the practice group are Norbert Hebeis, Morton Douglas, David Kipping and Stephan Dittl.

In competition law Friedrich Graf von Westphalen offers, in addition to the specialization in the pharmaceutical sector and the trademark and competition law support of major trademark manufacturers, an experienced team around David Kipping (Cologne) in product labeling law and advice in copyright and media law, including forensics, at the Frankfurt office. Furthermore, Norbert Hebeis, Stephan Dittl and Morton Douglas, who is well known in the healthcare sector, are recommended.


WTR honors FGvW trademark practice

The trademark law team of Friedrich Graf von Westphalen & Partner has been included for the first time in the ranking of the 1000 leading experts in trademark law worldwide. The annual "WTR 1000 - The World's Leading Trademark Professionals" published by World Trademark Review magazine is one of the most important international awards in the field of intellectual property.

We are very pleased about this recognition, which is explained in more detail below: The team around trademark lawyers Norbert Hebeis and Morton Douglas In Freiburg, David Kipping in Cologne and Stephan Dittl in Frankfurt is described as the "first choice" for renowned companies such as Wilkinson Sword, Novartis AG and Dr Martens, which in itself speaks for the outstanding quality of advice and the high reputation abroad. FGvW has a strong presence in southern and western Germany with offices in Freiburg, Frankfurt and Cologne.

David Kipping is recommended by clients as a persistent litigator who knows exactly what it takes to be successful in court. He is very responsive, aligns his pragmatic advice with the economic goals of entrepreneurs and would often avoid costly litigation by reaching out-of-court settlements that are beneficial to the parties. Stephan Dittl is described as a reliable business partner for clients, his comprehensive strategic advice in trademark and copyright matters as well as his preparation for litigation are first class. Both are recommended - in addition to the firm as such - also as "individuals" and are ranked in volume 3.

1:1. This is how we work together. You decide upon a competent partner; he/she will then remain your point of contact. > more