Team

The Team behind the IPDR Forum

The IPDR Forum was founded by the team of Dr. Axel Walz, Prof. Dr. Peter Picht, Dan Bauer, Raffael Probst, Claudia Feller, Dr. Matthias Zigann, Dr. Georg Werner, Dr. Stephan Gruber, Johannes Heselberger, Dr. Gisbert Hohagen and Marco Stief.

Every time Dr. Axel Walz and Dan Bauer met, they always came back to discussing the need of an IPDR Forum. With Raffael Probst an ADR specialist joined and the group decided to create a permanent forum where experts and practioners from both worlds -Intellectual Property and Alternative Dispute Resolution- could share their ideas and experiences. The idea soon got traction and in September 2015 the Munich IP Dispute Resolution Forum was founded.

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Executive Board (Chair)

IPDR Forum
Dr. Axel Walz

Axel Walz is a Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition in Munich. His research focuses on European and international economic and competition law, legal issues of innovation and digitalization, procedural law and alternative dispute resolution. Axel has a particular interest in policy making issues relating to new technologies and their societal impacts.
Prior to his academic career, Axel has gathered extensive experience in private practice. After having worked in the EU & Competition department of the law firm SJ Berwin for three years in Munich and London and one year in the IP department of Gleiss Lutz in Stuttgart, Axel held a position as legal counsel and group leader in the legal department of BMW AG from 2009 until 2011, before rejoining SJ Berwin where he was appointed to partnership in 2014. In private practice, Axel’s work focused in particular on dispute resolution matters (litigation as well as arbitration) in the field of competition, IP and regulatory law as well as on drafting and negotiating contracts and agreements relative to distribution, licensing and merchandising, R&D, contract manufacturing, service, co-existence as well as technology transfer.


Executive Board (Deputy)

Prof. Dr. Peter Picht, LL.M.

Prof. Dr. Peter Picht, LL.M (Yale)
Prof. Picht studied law in Munich, did his PhD at Munich University/the Max Planck Institute, and holds a LL.M. degree from Yale Law School. He has been working, i.a., in the EU Commission’s DG for Competition, as a Senior Research Fellow with the Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, and with the law firm Allen&Overy. Prof. Picht now holds a chair for Commercial Law at the University of Zurich and is head of the University’s Centre for Intellectual Property and Competition Law (CIPCO). He remains, however, affiliated to the Max Planck Institute as a Research Fellow. Prof. Picht’s academic teaching and writing, as well as his counseling activity, focus on intellectual property law, competition law, international private and procedural law.


Executive Board (Finance, Project and Strategy Development)

Dan Bauer

Dan Bauer is entrepreneur and consultant on business development and strategies for start-ups as well as established companies. He is executive manager of  Rockspotter GmbH – his most exciting project right now. Alongside his numerous business projects he teaches business administration at the University of Rosenheim of Applied Sciences and other business schools. Further Dan was Head of Business Immigration for Weiler Law Firm.


Executive Board (Administration, Public Relations)

Raffael Probst

Raffael Probst works for the Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture in Berlin. Previously, he acted as managing director of the Munich Center for Dispute Resolution (MuCDR), where he coached the first winning team from Germany at the ICC Mediation Competition in Paris. As a trained mediator, Raffael teaches Negotiation Preparation at the LMU Munich. He also served as expert assessor at the CDCR in Vienna and was awarded for an entrepreneurial project by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. His legal education includes stays in Munich, Athens and New York.


Executive Board (Mangement)

Claudia Feller, LL.M.

Claudia Feller is an attorney at law. Before then she worked as Research Associate at an interational law firm and as Academic Associate at the Chair for Business Law and Intellectual Property at the Technical University of Munich.She completed her legal clerkship at the Higher Regional Court of Munich and the German Embassy in Madrid. Claudia holds a master´s degree in European and International Business Law (LL.M.eur.) from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University and a master´s degree in Intellectual Property Law and Policy (LL.M.) from the University of Washington, Seattle.



Chairman of the Advisory Board

Dr. Matthias Zigann

Dr. Matthias Zigann is Presiding Judge at the Regional Court Munich I. He has been the head of the 7th (patent) division since December 2012.  After a three-year fellowship at the Max-Planck-Institute for Innovation and Competition in Munich he served as a public prosecutor in Landshut for four years and as a regular member of the 7th division of the Munich Regional Court I for six years. Prior to his appointment as presiding judge he was seconded to serve as a research associate with the Xth civil (patent) division of the German Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe for three years.  He is co-author of Haedicke/Timmann, Handbuch des Patentrechts, 1st ed. 2012, and Cepl/Voß, Prozesskommentar zum Gewerblichen Rechtsschutz, 2nd ed. 2018. Dr. Zigann is a frequent speaker at national and international conferences.



      Members of the Advisory Board

      Dr. Georg Werner

      Dr. Georg Werner is a judge and currently works as a research associate with the Xth (patent) division of the German Federal Court of Justice. Until October 2015 he has been a member of one of the two patent divisions at the District Court in Munich. He studied at the Technical University in Dresden, with intellectual property law being in the centre of his studies. Afterwards, he spent his traineeship in Bayreuth and worked as an academic assistant at the University of Bayreuth (chair of Prof. Dr. Ansgar Ohly, LL.M. specialized in intellectual property law). In 2007, he obtained a doctorate. His thesis dealt with issues of patentability of human biotechnological inventions (human antibodies and genes). For about one and a half year he has worked for the IP department with an international law firm in Stuttgart before he was appointed as a judge in 2008. Georg Werner has been a lecturer in intellectual property law at the University of Bayreuth since 2008. He is co-author of Cepl/Voß, Prozesskommentar zum Gewerblichen Rechtsschutz, 1st ed. 2015.


      Dr. Stephan Gruber

      Stephan Gruber is attorney at law and partner at law firm Preu Bohlig & Partner.
      He specializes on Trademark Law and Competition Law both in litigation and counselling and conducts patent infringement and nullity cases in all technical fields. Stephan Gruber publishes regularly in trade publications. He is publisher and co-author of a textbook on European and International Patent Law which has appeared in 7th edition now and comments on the Law on Business Labels in the Commentary on Trademark Law “v. Schulz”. In addition, Stephan Gruber is committed to teaching future patent attorneys and gives lectures on national and international Trademark Law.


      Munich IP Dispute Resolution Forum
      Johannes Heselberger, Dipl.-Phys.

      Johannes Heselberger is Attorney-at-Law as well as European Patent Attorney and Co-Managing Partner at law firm Bardehle Pagenberg. He focuses on patent infringement and validity litigation, including opposition and appeal proceedings before the German Patent and Trademark Office and the European Patent Office as well as national revocation proceedings before the German Federal Patent Court and the German Federal Supreme Court. His technical fields of expertise are medical devices, telecommunications and the automotive industry.
      Johannes Heselberger has successfully conducted important patent infringement proceedings, often across national borders, for client companies of various sizes that are world leaders in their technology.


      Munich IP Dispute Resolution Forum
      Dr. Gisbert Hohagen

      Dr. Gisbert Hohagen is an attorney-at-law and partner at the law firm Taylor Wessing. He specialises in national and cross-border patent litigation, particularly in the technical fields of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, chemistry and mechanical engineering, and advises national and international companies on patent strategies, infringement analyses, licensing as well as R&D agreements and employees’ inventions. In view of the upcoming Unified Patent Court system, Gisbert Hohagen also advises clients on legal enforcement issues and applicable IP-strategies and is invited as speaker on this topic at national and international seminars and conferences. Gisbert Hohagen studied law in Munich and at the Université Panthéon-Assas in Paris where he earned the Diplôme de Licence en Droit. Between 1998 and 2003 Gisbert Hohagen worked as a research fellow and head of department at the Max Planck Institute for Intellectual Property, Competition and Tax Law in Munich.


      David Perkins

      David Perkins is an English solicitor and former partner at Clifford -Turner/ Clifford Chance (1972-2003) where he established and headed its Intellectual Property litigation practise in London, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Milan, Paris and Hong Kong. He then served as a partner with the London offices of Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy (2003-2009) and Arnold & Porter (2010-2013).
      He currently serves on the Arbitration and Mediation Panels of WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organisation); JAMS International; AAA/ICDR (American Arbitration Association/ International Center for Dispute Resolution); SIAC/SIMC (Singapore International Arbitration and Mediation Centres); HKIAC ( Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre); KLRAC ( Kuala Lumpur Regional Arbitration Centre); SCIA (Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration); PIAC ( Pacific International Arbitration Centre); and NAF (National Arbitration Forum). He has also chaired an ICC Dispute Resolution Board and served as arbitrator for IFTA (Independent Film & Television Alliance). He is a Member of the CIArb (Chartered Institute of Arbitrators).

      He was a member of the UK Government’s former Intellectual Property Advisory Committee (IPAC); a Council Member of The Intellectual Property Institute (IPI), formerly The Common Law Institute of Intellectual Property (CLIP); a Founding Member of The Intellectual Property Lawyers Organisation (TIPLO); and is currently an Executive Committee Member of UNION-IP and a member of the European Patent Lawyers Association (EPLAW). He has served as an instructor for the annual WIPO Arbitration Workshop since 2002.


      Marco Stief

      Marco Stief is a partner in the Munich office of Maiwald. His expertise covers all aspects of intellectual property law, with a focus on industrial property rights, in particular technical property rights and advising on contractual matters with an IP/IT background. Marco has extensive experience in international and national patent infringement litigation, in border seizure proceedings and disputes arising from technology agreements. In addition, he advises companies with regard to design law, unfair competition law, employee inventions law and unauthorized disclosures of confidential company data. He regularly advises companies on complex national and international IP transactions and a wide range of technology contracts. Prior to joining Maiwald, Marco Stief was an attorney-at-law at Clifford Chance (Düsseldorf office) and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (Düsseldorf, London, Munich offices) and Director Legal for the Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA (Bad Homburg). Marco teaches industrial property law at the University of Dresden and Contract Law at the University of Marburg. He is the author of numerous expert papers as well as being co-author of the „Handbuch des Patentrechts“ (Handbook of Patent Law), published in both German and English and co-author and editor of the „Vertragshandbuch Pharma und Life Sciences“ (Handbook of Pharmaceutical Contracts), as well as the European handbook „Supplementary Protection Certificates“.


      Dr. Tilman Niedermaier, LL.M.

      Dr. Tilman Niedermaier is a partner in the dispute resolution department of CMS Hasche Sigle in Munich. His practice focuses on complex trans-border disputes. He regularly advises and represents clients on matters related to distribution and procurement issues, acquisitions, joint ventures and large-scale projects. As counsel and arbitrator, Dr. Niedermaier has acted under various institutional and ad hoc arbitration rules.

      Dr. Niedermaier studied at the Universities of Munich and Geneva. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Chicago and a doctoral degree from the University of Göttingen. Dr. Niedermaier regularly publishes in the field of international arbitration and is a frequent speaker at conferences. He is lecturer for international procedural law and arbitration law at the University of Halle-Wittenberg.