European companies and organizations looking to protect their ideas and innovations need clear guidance, creative strategies, and a law firm with global IP experience. Finnegan advises clients on the latest changes to intellectual property law and assists them with obtaining, enforcing, and leveraging both U.S. and European IP rights. With more than 375 lawyers focused solely on IP―plus an additional 600 professionals and support staff, including patent agents, legal assistants, dedicated docketing, research, litigation support, and information technology specialists―Finnegan has the capacity and depth of experience to hit the ground running with virtually any technology or legal issue.
Our commitment to a European patent practice
Finnegan established its European office in Brussels, Belgium in 1993. Our centralized European location allows us to work side-by-side with our clients. We are ready to answer clients’ questions in real-time, meet with them in person, and address all of their IP challenges. The lawyers and European patent attorneys in our office are multicultural and multilingual, and can represent clients in matters both in Europe and the United States. In addition to the professionals we have resident in Brussels, we have more than 20 lawyers in our U.S. offices who focus primarily on representing European companies on U.S. IP law issues.
The professionals in our Brussels office have active practices at both the European Patent Office (EPO) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), and they possess a keen understanding of the diversity of laws and practice among the European national systems. This knowledge of the European legal system and how it differs from that in the United States allows us to effectively counsel both European and U.S. clients on a full range of IP issues and to find cohesive solutions tailored to the needs of companies with global intellectual property interests.
Finnegan’s European patent practice is comprehensive, with a particular focus on:
- oppositions and appeals at the EPO and United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO)
- patent prosecution
- due diligence counseling related to mergers and acquisition
- pre-litigation strategy
- litigation support
Oppositions and appeals. Finnegan attorneys are experienced in all aspects of complex and high-value oppositions before the EPO and the UK IPO. We regularly defend clients’ patents, including against multiple opponents, while also helping clients establish freedom to operate by challenging patents in the EPO before both the Oppositions Division and the Board of Appeals. We represent clients in a variety of industry sectors and the broad technical expertise of our attorneys allows our opposition teams to draw on experience in nearly every technology. After years of assisting clients in opposition proceedings, Finnegan attorneys understand how to navigate the complex procedures established by the EPO and how to take best advantage of the rules to benefit each client’s unique situation.
Portfolio management—from opinions and applications to due diligence. Our professionals work together with clients to develop and implement global patent portfolio strategies. With our depth of knowledge and experience in prosecuting applications in all technical areas, our dedicated teams work closely with the client to create customized strategies integrated with the client’s business goals, internal procedures, product development, and technology.
Litigation. Finnegan’s extensive patent litigation experience combined with our knowledge of USPTO and EPO procedures provide us with an educated and unique perspective on how best to coordinate litigation strategies within a global context. Drawing on our experience in multi-jurisdictional coordination, we are not only able to maximize efficiencies, but also to intelligently use the optimal combination of procedures and approaches to obtain the best results for each individual client.
Providing educational opportunities throughout Europe
Finnegan routinely sponsors, hosts, and presents at conferences and seminars throughout Europe. Since 2010, we have hosted an annual webinar series focused on issues of particular relevance to European companies. In 2011, we introduced an annual seminar series also focused on timely, relevant issues of interest to European companies.
Our attorneys are actively involved in the Chartered Institute of Patent Attorneys (CIPA); Licensing Executives Society International (LESI) and LES Benelux; German Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (GRUR); Norwegian Industrial Property Association (NIPO); Association of Patent & Trademark Attorneys in Italian Industry (AICIPI); International Property Owners Association (IPO); Federation International des Conseils en Propriete; Association Internationale pour la Protection de la Propriete Intellectuelle (AIPPI); International Bar Association; International Chamber of Commerce, Intellectual Property Institute; and MARQUES Association of European Trademark Owners.