Hammonds is in talks with German firm Gulde Hengelhaupt Ziebig & Schneider about setting up a patent prosecution referral relationship following the departure of two partners from the UK firm’s Munich office.
Eversheds has hired Hammonds Munich office head Herbert Kunz, a patent prosecution partner, and partner Michael Schneider to launch a patent services and prosecution practice in Germany.
Hammonds, which is now left with just two associates in patent prosecution in Munich, is in talks with Gulde Hengelhaupt regarding a tie-up that could see the firm farm out all patent prosecution work to the German firm.
Eversheds has hoped to establish a dedicated patent services and prosecution practice group for some time.
Eversheds head of international Stephen Hopkins said: “It’s in response to real demand from our US, European and Far East clients and complements our international corporate, HR and litigation practices.”
The departures come after Hammonds announced two partner resignations at the beginning of this month (2 October 2009). Birmingham-based construction partner Rupert Cowen and Berlin-based real estate partner Martin Fleckenstein both left the firm in September at the end of the firm’s six-month lock-in period.
A Hammonds spokesman confirmed that Kunz and Schneider have resigned and that the firm is currently in talks with the pair to agree their exit terms.