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Alexander Tsoutsanis

Legal Director
Smart and creative - knows how to push a case forward to get the best result.
IAM Patent 1000

With a track-record of 15+ years, Alexander Tsoutsanis helps you succeed in all legal areas of creating, marketing, protecting and monetizing ideas and products.

Alexander quickly gets to grips with new technologies and runs a versatile practice, focusing on three areas: the intersection of law & technology (patents, plant variety rights, trade secrets), marketing and design (trademarks, designs, copyright, advertising) and law & internet (digital copyright, ISPs, cybersecurity, ecommerce).

In addition to the Dutch courts, Alexander also acts before the European Court of Justice, the General Court, the Benelux Court of Justice, the European Patent Office and EUIPO.

Alexander often contributes to public policy debate in his field: he was awarded a PhD by Leiden University in 2005 and has published various books and 50 other publications with major publishers such as Oxford University Press, Sdu and Kluwer. Alexander has also written for leading Dutch national newspapers such as NRC and FD. His works are referenced in 30+ Dutch Supreme Court opinions and are also cited by the European Court of Justice and the UK High Court. Alexander has also acted as an expert for the European Commission, the European Patent Office and the IP Observatory of the EUIPO.

Alexander is a trusted advisor and seasoned litigator. He has been with DLA Piper for over a decade and is recommended by clients for being “smart and creative” (IAM Patent 1000), “a trusted pair of hands when it comes to IP litigation, mixing action with reflection.” (Legal 500) and “fearless in unexplored legal areas” (WTR 1000).

Professional QualificationsAdvocaat admitted with the Nederlandse Orde van Advocaten


Alexander has deep experience on a wide range of contentious and non-contentious matters, in particular in the fields of technology, branding and design, internet law and life sciences.


  • Successfully representing a manufacturer of water vapour fires in more than five court cases, both first instance and appeal, involving cross-border injunctions for the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, France and Ireland, while also obtaining two seizures and coordinate parallel litigation in Germany.
  • Representing a market leader in bike security technology in infringement proceedings, coordinating parallel patent litigation in Germany and successfully upholding the validity of a patent in opposition proceedings before the EPO.
  • Representing and coordinating various patent enforcement actions for a market leader in e-bikes in multiples countries.


20+ years of hands-on experience as a cyberlawyer in all things digital, including:
  • dealing with a range of cyberattacks, cybercrime and online threats from e.g. animal rights activists, cybersquatters, hackers, hooligans, ‘bulletproof’ hosts and platforms facilitating on-line piracy.
  • obtaining a landmark decision on Google Adwords before the European Court of Justice.
  • acting for TomTom against jailbreaking sat nav devices and pirating maps.
  • cracking down on Europe’s biggest online platform for illegal streaming of football matches, securing victory both in first instance and appeal.
  • acting for FIFA in connection with illegal streaming of the FIFA World Cup against bad hosts, securing various court orders against multiple ISPs.
  • advising on the Ashley Madison data breach.
  • acting for Vodafone in relation to a disclosure request involving consumer fraud.
  • obtaining a landmark decision for Premier League against notorious bad host Ecatel.

Branding and design

  • Acting before the European Court of Justice in relation to bad faith filings and lack of intent-to-use.
  • Successfully representing an upcoming fashion label against The Sting upholding an injunction for copyright infringement in appeal.
  • Successfully representing an award winning furniture manufacturer against claims of copying minimalist design.
  • Handling cancellation-, opposition- and appeal proceedings before EUIPO for numerous (international) clients, including appeals before the General Court and the Court of Justice.

Life sciences and plant variety rights

  • Representing various clients in relation to infirngements of their plant variety rights, in e.g. both the ornamentals and vegetables sectors.
  • Successfully conducting and coordinating a dawn raid involving plant variety infringements.
  • Advising a medical device manufacturer on advertising of Continuous Glucose Monitoring.
  • Acting as an expert for the European Commission evaluating Horizon 2020 proposals on eHealth.
  • English
  • Dutch
  • German
  • Greek
  • French
  • Leiden University, PhD, 2005
  • Max-Planck-Institute for IP Law, Munich, Research Fellowship, 2004

  • Leiden University, LL.M., 2000

    UC Hastings, Visiting Assistant Professor, 2009

Awards and Recognitions

  • Recommended by IAM Patent 1000 in the past 8 years: “He is super-bright and generous with his time and knowledge, and evaluates all potential solutions in coming up with a plan. In-house lawyers can move forward without delay thanks to his quick replies” (2021). Also ranked in 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2014: “engine of success in complex litigation’’; “Alex brings a focused approach to cases and devises grounded legal strategies that are well adapted to clients’ business needs. He alleviates the burden of litigation.” | "prolific litigator" | "smart and creative - knows how to push a case forward to get the best result.” | “sharp and clear in his analyses, consistent in his policy and strong in his line of defense.”
  • Ranked in Legal 500 EMEA: ‘‘a trusted pair of hands when it comes to IP litigation, mixing action with reflection. He is tenacious in preparation, while also keeping in mind strategic aspects.’’; ‘‘very persistent lawyers who will leave no stone unturned for their client. They will not rest until they get to the bottom of a matter.’’ (2020)
  • Ranked in WTR 1000 2020: ‘‘smooth-talking, confident practitioner who knows how to get results.’’
  • Legal 500 – Patents 2022: “Alexander is a gentleman, a pleasure to work with, and proactive to get a result. (..) Alexander Tsoutsanis has been an excellent partner to our IP rights enforcement program and process. He is quick thinking, provides innovative ways of dealing with specific issues, has a great understanding of the law, and provides us with great support.”
  • Legal 500 – Trademarks and Copyright 2022: „Alexander Tsoutsanis has provided us with exceptional support related to trademark matters, helping us to outline a chain of management of brands and preventing the establishment of generics. An excellent help to us.”

Insight Overview

Alexander has published various books and 50 other publications, with major publishers such as Oxford University Press, Kluwer, Sdu, Kluwer Law International. A selection of his publications is available at SSRN. Alexander has also written for leading Dutch national newspapers such as NRC and FD.



  • Concise European Trade Mark law (V. von Bomhard, A. von Muhlendahl, eds.) Kluwer, 1st edition 2018, p. 154-184, 623-631, 639-643, 652-653
  • Concise European Trade Mark and Design law (Ch. Gielen/V. von Bomhard, eds.), Kluwer, 2nd edition 2017, p. 113-140, 156-157, 557-564, 570-574, 582-583, 629-634, 652-658, 789,-793, 798-800
  • Trademark registrations in bad faith, Oxford University Press 2010, p. 364
  • Tekst en Commentaar Intellectuele Eigendom (D.J.G Visser / P.G.F.A Geerts, eds.), Kluwer, 2nd edition 2005, 3rd edition 2009, 4th edition 2013, 5th edition 2016, 6th edition 2019


  • How will I know: bewijs beschermen, vergaren en inzien in IE zaken – de richtlijn, een proefschrift, het wetsvoorstel en een middenweg, BIE 2021/6, p. 309-318. Publication: book-review & article. Content: seizure and access of evidence in IP-cases, with analysis of IP Enforcement Directive, CJEU case-law and legal practice in Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France and UK.
  • Back to the future: from Brexit to IP 4.0—reshaping Paris, Berne and TRIPS for the 21st century, Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice, October 2021
  • Bella Ciao – Cofemel and beyond: auteursrechtelijke bescherming van productvormgeving, Intellectuele Eigendom en Reclamerecht 2021/1, p. 22-30
  • Desire 20.20 – van minder naar meer evenwicht in octrooidebat (Desire 20.20 – from less to more balance in patent debate), NJB Blog 9 January 2020
  • Tous les mêmes – Vredo, octrooien, equivalentie en verleningsdossier (Tous les mêmes – Vredo, patents, equivalence and prosecution file), NJB Blog, 15 November 2019
  • Means against the machine: Nieuwheidschadelijkheid van productconclusies van het type ‘means plus function’ en duidelijkheid van hulpverzoeken (Means against the machine: novelty destroying aspects of product claims of the type ‘means plus function’ and clarity of auxiliary requests), Berichten Industriële Eigendom 2019/5, p. 222-224
  • Mo' money: Proceskostenveroordeling en toegang tot de rechter in IE-zaken - boekbespreking, Berichten Industriële Eigendom 2018/2, p. 104-107
  • Zo Zuidas: 'Advolympics' miskent advocatuur, NJB Blog, open-ed letter to blog of largest law journal in the Netherlands on the role of the legal profession, the rule of law and protection of fundamental rights, 29 August 2017
  • Interview with mr. P.G.J. de Heij (with mr. D.F. de Lange), Berichten Industriële Eigendom 2017/2, p. 42-50
  • De ‘Protective Letter’ niet langer ‘protected’. Het recht op afschrift van de grijsmakingsbrief in IE-Zaken en daarbuiten (The Protective Letter No Longer Protected. The Right to Obtain a Copy of a Protective Letter in IP-cases and Beyond), Berichten Industriële Eigendom 2017/1, p. 16-19
  • Alex also often writes about how to get to grips with legal challenges in all things digital. He has written on e.g. cybersquatting (2001), identity fraud (2012), about privacy and piracy in cyberspace (2013) and why copyright and linking can tango (2014).


Alexander often speaks about recent developments in his field. Speaking engagements include speaking at Alicante (EUIPO), Beijing (EPO), Boston (INTA), Fordham, Riga (AIPPI) and Stanford.


  • Trademark registrations in bad faith, speaker at conference AIPPI Belgium, 25 November 2021.
  • The impact of Brexit on Intellectual Property Law, panellist annual CIER Lecture of Sir Robin Jacob, University Utrecht, 23 June 2021
  • Sky, Koton and beyond: getting to grips with intent-to-use and over-broad specifications in EU trademarks, 28th Fordham IP Conference, Fordham University – New York, 8 April 2021
  • Trademark registrations in bad faith, Benelux Merken- en Modellenvereniging, webinar bij Benelux Bureau van de Intellectuele Eigendom, 27 November 2020. Sky, Koton and beyond: getting to grips with intent-to-use and over-broad specifications in EU trademarks
  • Good, bad & beyond: merkdepots te kwader trouw, AIPPI, 30 October 2020 (slides and video), key note speaker, panel leader and organizer
  • "Practical aspects surrounding trade secrets", speaker at PAO post graduate seminar, Leiden University, University of Amsterdam and Dutch Supreme Court in celebration of 100 year anniversary of the landmark decision Lindenbaum/Cohen, January 2019
  • "Kwade trouw" ("Bad faith"), key note speaker and panelist at seminar on the EU Trade Mark Package organized by the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property, The Hague, 13 December 2018
  • "Trade secrets", keynote speaker and chair for panel at AIPPI congress Netherlands, Figi Theatre Zeist, 14 March 2018

Media Mentions

  • The impact of 3D printing, interview by BNR Nieuws Radio on the impact of 3D printing, 28 October 2015.
  • Ontwikkeling innovatierecht blijft achter bij ambities, Het Financieele Dagblad, 21 June 2014. Subject: criticizing the role of intellectual property law in fostering innovation
  • Jurist is zelden betrokken, NRC, 17 June 2014. Subject: reforming legal education
  • "Vaagheid Endura-tapes is irrelevant," NRC, 10 August 2013. Subject: threshold requirements for copyrighted works, criticizing Court of Appeal decision
  • "Patentoorlog smart phones verstikt vernieuwing in ICT," Dagblad De Telegraaf 2 August 2011. Subject: patent litigation re. smart phones


  • Senior Researcher / Lecturer, Institute for Information Law (IViR), University of Amsterdam, 2012-2017
  • UC Hastings, San Francisco, Visiting Assistant Professor, 2009
  • Leiden University, Assistant Professor, 2005-2012
  • Leiden University, PhD, 2002-2005

Memberships And Affiliations

  • Editorial board member of Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice (JIPLP), Oxford University Press
  • Editorial board member of Berichten Industriële Eigendom (BIE), a technology law journal in the Netherlands with a focus on patent litigation and industrial property
  • Member of European Patent Lawyers Association (EPLAW)
  • Member of GRUR