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Thought Leaders

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Michael Ritscher is lauded as an “outstanding and tactical lawyer with a large client base” and is recognised for his work on market-leading cases.

Questions & Answers

Michael Ritscher is recognised as one of the most experienced and esteemed IP litigators and arbitrators in Switzerland and beyond. Michael Ritscher heads Meyerlustenberger Lachenal’s IP group. He has extensive practice in advising and representing clients from a broad variety of sectors, including life sciences, luxury goods and retail. Michael Ritscher is often at the forefront of precedent-setting cases. He is a reference for companies that regularly seek his support to handle their cross-border contentious affairs involving Swiss, EU and international law.

How is the generational shift changing legal practice at your firm? What do younger lawyers do differently?

Younger lawyers are more accustomed to working in teams which allows them to better tackle the challenges coming from ever increasing client expectations. It is my impression, however, that younger lawyers are less curious, curiosity being one of the most important features of a successful lawyer.

What has been your most interesting case to date, and why? 

All of the several hundred cases I have been involved in, be it as litigator, arbitrator or special judge in IP cases at the Zurich Court of Commerce have been interesting, in particular the landmark cases in patent, copyright and trademark law, and the cases where I was allowed to contribute my vast experience in dispute resolution in international settings. Outstanding, however, is a case where I successfully sued the British Government before the High Court because of non-compliance with EU copyright law regarding the repeal of section 52 of the UK Copyright Act, leading to industrial designs being protected by copyright for the full 70 years after the death of the author.

What effect has covid-19 had on the Swiss IP market and the type of work you have been receiving? 

With regard to work, this effect has so far been smaller than we would have expected. The economic situation might have sped up some ongoing settlement negotiations. The biggest effect on the Swiss IP market, however, was on the personal exchange within the Swiss IP community, which has stalled because the IP conferences were cancelled. Having to take these decisions was particularly hard for me, being the president of INGRES, the most active Swiss IP association.

How have you handled all steps of the litigation process and contentious proceedings in the covid-19 lockdown environment?  

Within MLL our work has not been significantly impacted because we had been working from outside the office before the lockdown already, and also the interaction with our clients worked well, thanks to cutting-edge infrastructure and flexibility. Notwithstanding a general extension of deadlines, the Swiss court infrastructure continued working almost as usual. With regards to international arbitration proceedings, however, we saw that hearings held via video did not only work well but reduced costs for the parties significantly, and might therefore be used more often in the future. 

What are the greatest challenges posed by IP litigations and arbitrations respectively? Do they differ significantly? 

The greatest challenge is the ever-increasing time and cost pressure, coming from the client, and the need for experienced judges/arbitrators who do understand not only the law but also the business needs of the parties.

How does Meyerlustenberger Lachenal distinguish itself from competition in the market? 

The IP team of MLL distinguishes itself from competition by the excellent team spirit, a high partner involvement, a client-focused approach, and an excellent cost/success ratio.

What advice would you give to practitioners hoping to one day be in your position?

Focus on an area of law one feels passionate about, thrive at becoming a leader in this field and work in an international setting.

How do you anticipate the Swiss legal market changing in the next five years? How might this affect your practice?

More global work, smaller panels, specialised in-house teams, increasing time and cost pressure. This will ask for even more specialisation and stronger international cooperation.  

Global Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Michael Ritscher is "a big name in the patents field", highly sought after for his expertise in cross-border litigation in Europe. 

Biography

Michael Ritscher is recognised as one of the most experienced and esteemed IP litigators and arbitrators in Switzerland and beyond. Michael Ritscher heads Meyerlustenberger Lachenal’s IP group. He has extensive practice in advising and representing clients from a broad variety of sectors, including life sciences, luxury goods and retail.

Michael Ritscher is often at the forefront of precedent-setting cases. He is a reference for companies that regularly seek his support to handle their cross-border contentious affairs involving Swiss, EU and international law.

Michael Ritscher appears as an opinion leader in his field in client and peer feedback ratings.

Patents 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Michael Ritscher is hailed as an “excellent and tactical lawyer with a large and impressive client base”. 

Biography

Michael Ritscher is recognised as one of the most experienced and esteemed IP litigators and arbitrators in Switzerland and beyond. Michael Ritscher heads Meyerlustenberger Lachenal’s IP group. He has extensive practice in advising and representing clients from a broad variety of sectors, including life sciences, luxury goods and retail.

Michael Ritscher is often at the forefront of precedent-setting cases. He is a reference for companies that regularly seek his support to handle their cross-border contentious affairs involving Swiss, EU and international law.

Michael Ritscher appears as an opinion leader in his field in client and peer feedback ratings.

Trademarks 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Michael Ritscher receives wide-ranging endorsements as an excellent IP litigator and arbitrator, and has extensive experience working with clients from a range of sectors including luxury goods, life sciences and retail.

Biography

Michael Ritscher is recognised as one of the most experienced and esteemed IP litigators and arbitrators in Switzerland and beyond. Michael Ritscher heads Meyerlustenberger Lachenal’s IP group. He has extensive practice in advising and representing clients from a broad variety of sectors, including life sciences, luxury goods and retail.

Michael Ritscher is often at the forefront of precedent-setting cases. He is a reference for companies which regularly seek his support to handle their cross-border contentious affairs involving Swiss, EU and international law.

Michael Ritscher appears as an opinion leader in his field in client and peer feedback ratings.

National Leader

Switzerland - Life Sciences 2021

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Michael Ritscher has a wealth of experience in the sector and is renowned for doing “great work with pharmaceutical clients”, both nationally and internationally. 

Biography

Michael Ritscher is recognised as one of the most experienced and esteemed IP litigators and arbitrators in Switzerland and beyond. Michael Ritscher heads Meyerlustenberger Lachenal’s IP group. He has extensive practice in advising and representing clients from a broad variety of sectors, including life sciences, luxury goods and retail.

Michael Ritscher is often at the forefront of precedent-setting cases. He is a reference for companies that regularly seek his support to handle their cross-border contentious affairs involving Swiss, EU and international law.

Michael Ritscher appears as an opinion leader in his field in client and peer feedback ratings.

Switzerland - Patents 2021

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Michael Ritscher is “among the best IP litigators” in the market and is applauded for being a “big name in patents in Switzerland”. 

Biography

Michael Ritscher is recognised as one of the most experienced and esteemed IP litigators and arbitrators in Switzerland and beyond. Michael Ritscher heads Meyerlustenberger Lachenal’s IP group. He has extensive practice in advising and representing clients from a broad variety of sectors, including life sciences, luxury goods and retail.

Michael Ritscher is often at the forefront of precedent-setting cases. He is a reference for companies that regularly seek his support to handle their cross-border contentious affairs involving Swiss, EU and international law.

Michael Ritscher appears as an opinion leader in his field in client and peer feedback ratings.

Switzerland - Trademarks 2021

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Michael Ritscher is “one of the best” names in the Swiss market and is highly visible in the trademarks arena. 

Biography

Michael Ritscher is recognised as one of the most experienced and esteemed IP litigators and arbitrators in Switzerland and beyond. Michael Ritscher heads Meyerlustenberger Lachenal’s IP group. He has extensive practice in advising and representing clients from a broad variety of sectors, including life sciences, luxury goods and retail.

Michael Ritscher is often at the forefront of precedent-setting cases. He is a reference for companies which regularly seek his support to handle their cross-border contentious affairs involving Swiss, EU and international law.

Michael Ritscher appears as an opinion leader in his field in client and peer feedback ratings.

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