France

The incoming Unified Patent Court (UPC), to be headquartered in Paris, presents both opportunities and challenges for the blend of native and international firms on the French market. Though some practitioners report a relative cooling of contentious activity, the life sciences sector is generating new instructions in the form of supplementary protection certificate (SPC) and second medical use cases. On the electronics side, disputes over fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing continue to be a talking point. Technology-rich start-ups and R&D ventures are creating ample work for agencies, some of which are expanding their scope of operations to take on more due diligence and IP-led M&A work.

Firms: prosecution

Highly recommended
98
Cabinet Beau de Loménie
Cabinet Plasseraud
Recommended
H
Casalonga
Germain & Maureau
LAVOIX
Novagraaf
REGIMBEAU

Firms: transactions

H
Allen & Overy LLP
August & Debouzy
Bird & Bird AARPI
De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés
Dentons
Gide Loyrette Nouel AARPI
Jones Day
LAVOIX

Firms: litigation

1
Allen & Overy LLP
August & Debouzy
Véron & Associés
2
Bird & Bird AARPI
Cousin & Associés
Duclos, Thorne, Mollet-Vieville & Associés
Gide Loyrette Nouel AARPI
Hogan Lovells International LLP
Jones Day
3
Cabinet Armengaud & Guerlain
Casalonga
De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés
Dentons
LAVOIX
Reed Smith LLP
Allen & Overy LLP
Creative, innovative and incredibly thorough, Allen & Overy’s Paris contingent stands out from the crowd. With a corps of regulatory experts at its side, the litigation team is acutely aware of the ins and outs of complex multi-jurisdictional cases and is a prime pick for life sciences conflicts in particular. It crafted ground-breaking legal arguments to obtain the full dismissal of a preliminary injunction action brought against Merck Sharp & Dohme in one of the first disputes in France involving antibodies. Leading high-technology players Samsung Electronics and Sisvel also seek out the set’s pervasive expertise. “One of the best in the country”, Laëtitia Bénard heads the IP and litigation department: “She is incredibly capable, knows her cases extremely well, anticipates questions before they arise and has a complete grasp of all aspects of IP litigation issues in France.” Joining forces with Bénard on a host of high-profile matters is the multifaceted David Por, “a very promising practitioner who has all the keys to continue expanding his business”. Pierre Lenoir’s seldom-matched litigation and transactional experience and intimate knowledge of the pharmaceutical sector are invaluable assets.
August & Debouzy
The IP team at general law firm August & Debouzy combines an enviable depth of courtroom expertise with the technical prowess of in-house engineers to provide “absolutely the best” contentious patent services in France. Its efforts are most visible in the pharmaceutical sector, though its “highly talented and skilled professionals” also have the tools to cut through tricky telecommunications, electronics and mechanics conflicts with ease. The “extremely sharp” François Pochart’s ability to “swiftly understand and communicate technically complex issues” is highly reassuring for A-list clients: he is a staunch ally of global pharmaceutical player Teva – which he recently represented in infringement disputes against Warner Lambert and Pfizer – and regularly assists medical device company Medtronic in various clashes. Standing shoulder to shoulder with him for Medtronic, Grégoire Desrousseaux “shows a deep comprehension of the difficult aspects of disputes, is impressively responsive and always provides useful feedback to questions asked”. The dual-qualified litigator par excellence is also regularly called to arms by telecommunications giant Orange in infringement battles.
Bird & Bird AARPI
Patrons of leading international player Bird & Bird can count on its “excellent, energetic, forward-looking and highly skilled” IP experts to ensure that their patentable rights realise their maximum potential. The firm’s international footprint is a boon for those seeking pan-European advice and, with two patent attorneys also under the same roof, it serves as a convincing one-stop solution for rights holders. Yves Bizollon’s stellar track record in complex litigation speaks for itself: he added to it recently by quashing a preliminary injunction request that would have significantly dented food and beverage giant Nestlé’s French operations, and by advising Nespresso in a patent infringement case that has recently been extended into Germany and the United States. Also a go-to for high-stakes multi-jurisdictional litigation and multi-layered transactions, Anne-Charlotte Le Bihan “is a hugely talented individual who fiercely defends her clients and is of significant renown on the market”. She leads the team coordinating international action against infringers of one of Canon’s ink cartridge patents and recently assisted Bpifrance with a complex deal relating to the creation of a new centre for the development and manufacture of gene and cell therapies.
Cabinet Armengaud & Guerlain
Boutique Cabinet Armengaud & Guerlain continues to earn acclaim for its high-quality yet cost-effective approach to patent litigation. The set is built upon the cornerstone of lasting, collaborative relationships with native rights holders, while its international network and ability to offer routine services in English, Spanish and German make it an attractive proposition for foreign clients, too. Stéphane Guerlain is a useful name for the contact book.
Cabinet Beau de Loménie
Cabinet Beau de Loménie “has such a broad array of professionals and so much experience; it is a formidable presence”. The technically astute group provides an end-to-end service, nurturing patents from inception and then defending them to the hilt throughout the lifecycle. Four French offices are supported by outposts in England and Germany, making it a fine choice for rights holders with interests or ambitions further afield. Clients enjoy working with chemistry expert Philippe Hubert, thanks to his “clear advice and experienced outlook”. Didier Intes’ “seriousness in tricky court cases” wins praise from peers; he heads the firm’s mechanics department. Mechanics is also Pierre Balesta’s metier; the “extremely impressive” Lille office manager makes his debut in this year’s IAM Patent 1000.
Cabinet Plasseraud
Home to an army of astute attorneys, Cabinet Plasseraud has the necessary technical expertise to cover almost all industry sectors with poise. The outfit’s skilfully drafted applications are matched in quality by its performances in oppositions and appeal proceedings; and with offices in Prague and Shanghai adding to its French bases, it has a growing profile on the international market. Didier Boulinguiez is a first port of call for interested parties.
Casalonga
Crack litigators and top-notch attorneys join forces at Casalonga to provide clients with all-embracing patent protection. With the ability to field dedicated teams to tackle European patent disputes across any discipline, the set is a favourite of rights holders of all stripes, from individual entrepreneurs to major multinationals. Arnaud Casalonga is the group’s contentious star: his 30 years at the coalface prove an invaluable resource for colleagues and clients. Chemistry, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology briefs are meat and drink to Gerard Dossmann, whose advocacy in oppositions and appeals is consistently commended. Expert engineer Francis Zapalowicz’s prosecution prowess is elevated by ample industry experience in software R&D.
Cousin & Associés
Patent litigation is at the core of Cousin & Associés’ operations; the boutique provides hard-hitting support using methods tailored to the specific needs of each client. The ability to assist in French, English and German puts the firm a step ahead on international mandates; it recently made light work of multiple infringement actions on behalf of German swimming pool manufacturer Capena. A giant of the French market and a font of knowledge on international intellectual property, Pierre Cousin is also a prolific author and speaker, and teaches at the French Centre d’études Internationales de la Propriété Industrielle. A decisive player in tricky disputes, Sandrine Bouvier-Ravon ticks all the right boxes for European patent owners seeking sharp counsel on continental conflicts.
De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés
Full-service set-up De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés taps into a deep talent pool across multiple areas of expertise to deliver a superior patent service. Challenging disputes and complex transactions are all in a day’s work for its experts, who can call in back-up on international briefs from a comprehensive selection of trusted foreign partners. IT and software ace Julien Horn is a staunch ally of innovators across the contentious/non-contentious divide. Horn and Frank Valentin both regularly pen articles on a range of IP issues; entertainment and pharmaceuticals are the bailiwicks of shrewd courtroom operator Valentin.
Dentons
Drawing judiciously on the firm’s impressive strength in ancillary practice areas, the patent squad at major international player Dentons makes light work of contentious patent instructions while also proving a valuable partner in IP-driven deal negotiations. Demonstrating its capacity to tackle conflicts across a range of industries, it recently advised the National Centre of Scientific Research in a licensing dispute against Pierre Fabre Medicament and assisted laminate flooring company Valinge with a delicate infringement case. Taking the lead on the former matter, internationally focused all-rounder Isabelle Leroux splits her time between Dubai and Paris and is a forceful defender of clients’ rights. A telecommunications, media and entertainment buff with a nuanced grasp of FRAND issues, David Masson is “definitely one to look out for”.
Duclos, Thorne, Mollet-Vieville & Associés
The IP specialists at independent set-up Duclos, Thorne, Mollet-Vieville & Associés weave together commercial insight, legal wisdom and technical knowledge to distil maximum value for rights holders. Five working languages make the set a premier destination for multi-jurisdictional mandates. Gold-tier stalwart Thierry Mollet-Viéville continues to run the rule over complex pharmaceutical disputes at the highest level. “Strong litigator” Thomas Cuche’s “client-friendly approach and extremely good advice” make cooperating with him a delight.
Germain & Maureau
“Highly professional” boutique Germain & Maureau makes its maiden appearance in the IAM Patent 1000 this year. In action since 1849, the outfit guides rights holders through the full spectrum of prosecution processes from five French offices and outposts in Alicante, Munich and Geneva. Polyglot Paris office patent chief Frédéric Gaillarde is a “go-to guy for biotechnology”.
Gide Loyrette Nouel AARPI
Intellectual property has long been a central pillar of Gide Loyrette Nouel’s extensive offering and peers affirm that the Paris-based international law firm’s patent practice is “certainly high quality”. Fourteen offices across four continents give its clients instant access to major markets worldwide and provide the perfect platform from which to handle international enforcement campaigns. “Highly effective” litigator Grégoire Triet is a “great pleasure to work with”. First among equals, he blazes a trail in the life sciences and telecommunications, media and technology sectors. Arnaud Michel has seldom-matched experience across the gamut of intellectual property; he knows European law like the back of his hand. Biotechnology disputes are fertile ground for Emmanuel Larere, while IAM Patent 1000 newcomer Raphaelle Dequire-Portier is also a dab hand in the life sciences: “She is an excellent litigator and she really knows the intricate details of her cases.”
Hogan Lovells International LLP
With extensive worldwide coverage and slick cooperation between its almost 400-strong cohort of international IP fee earners, Hogan Lovells flourishes on cross-border mandates. Its global outlook is epitomised by the efforts of its French patent operation, which covers a multitude of industry sectors, but has enjoyed particular success bringing pharmaceutical conflicts to a favourable close. It was heavily involved in a crucial case for Eli Lilly relating to its blockbuster ALIMTA drug – the first case to have a single EU court decide the fate of multiple foreign patents. The “excellent” Stanislas Roux-Vaillard leads the patent litigation charge in Paris: “He is an extremely bright individual and committed to his clients.” Alongside his stellar work on the Eli Lilly case, the multifaceted Roux-Vaillard can count representation of telecommunications giant HTC and leading automotive supplier Lear Corporation among his recent highlights. Continued consolidation between HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER’s continental offices has helped to cement its status as a preferred choice for international patent litigation. Its Paris-based patent experts are confident coordinators of complex instructions and have an enviable breadth and depth of sectoral experience. “Clearly excellent and highly respected” firm co-founder Denis Monégier du Sorbier is “one of the best” litigators around. The “knowledgeable and practical” Benoît Strowel – qualified to act in Belgium, and England and Wales, as well as France – “is very personable and able to target what is needed from a business perspective. He handles tense situations well and makes everyone feel more confident”.
Jones Day
IP team expansion was the prevailing narrative in 2016 for general law firm Jones Day, which bolstered its Paris patent squad with the arrival of several contentious specialists. Eight offices in six European jurisdictions make the set ideally placed to handle cross-border conflicts and will ensure it can hit the ground running under the incoming UPC system. Work for Merck & Co in the French leg of a global dispute relating to its multibillion-dollar Solvadi product underlines the team’s worldwide consistency. Head of the Paris IP practice Emmanuel Baud “has a strong business sense, thinks creatively and has an excellent mix of IP knowledge and litigation experience”. Former Véron & Associés man Thomas Bouvet is a star addition to the group; the “impressive, modern-style” litigator is a top-drawer operator across the life sciences and electronics industries.
LAVOIX
Boutique LAVOIX is a powerful ally throughout all critical stages of the patent lifecycle – a versatility borne out by its inclusion in all three tables in this year’s IAM Patent 1000. Sharp legal minds and top-class technical experts work hand in glove in the firm’s eight domestic offices and two international outposts in Munich and Milan. Seasoned hand Gérard Myon is a mechanics and electronics ace; he is also treasurer general of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property. Firm chair Philippe Blot is a safe bet for opposition and appeal proceedings; as is pharmaceuticals maestro Stéphanie Michiels, who brings ample in-house experience to the set. The Paris contingent of UK-based IP heavyweight Marks & Clerk boasts a “great core of patent lawyers. It is a tightly run ship and they are so efficient in how they manage things”. It has filed a prodigious number of European patent applications since its inauguration 12 years ago, while a combination of technical prowess and commercial conviction makes it a capital choice for IP transactions and licensing. One of three co-managing partners, Christian Nguyen-Van-Yen is an “outstanding” practitioner whose work in developing patent scoring methodologies shows that he knows what it takes to build bulletproof portfolios.
Novagraaf
Novagraaf’s 35 patent professionals partner closely with clients every step of the way to ensure that impregnable protection is secured for innovations and maximum value can be extracted from those rights. Whether representing lone inventors, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or major multinationals, the pan-continental consultancy – which has 16 offices across Europe – can safely navigate the IP landscape. Christophe Saint-Marc-Etienne is a key contact for the ISO 9001-certified French operation.
Reed Smith LLP
Reed Smith’s IP offering is distinguished by its expansive reach; some 26 offices worldwide provide it with keen local insights in a global market and collaborative opportunities unavailable to many others. While possessing the strength in depth to advise on a broad range of patent matters, the firm comes into its own on contentious briefs. Heading the European IP group, Marina Cousté regularly masterminds internationally significant disputes and has abundant experience as a mediator at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva. Though the life sciences are home turf for pharmacology PhD Francois Jonqueres, he also packs a punch in electronics conflicts.
REGIMBEAU
Stacked full of patent attorneys operating “at the highest level”, the venerable REGIMBEAU is an elite player on the French prosecution market. Exuding quality throughout, the firm is ISO 9001 certified and conversant with all crucial European patent system developments. “Serious and highly experienced in assisting clients in court”, Francis Ahner is a resolute defender of major pharmaceutical players in contentious proceedings. Frédérique Faivre Petit stands out for his “excellence in European patent prosecution and opposition proceedings”, as well as for his life sciences acumen. A potent force on the contentious landscape, boutique Santarelli also dispenses astute counsel on the full spectrum of prosecution briefs; clients equally sound it out for strategic advice and support on licensing issues. It enjoyed considerable growth during 2016, extending its domestic reach with a new office in the start-up hub of Nantes. Dual-qualified managing partner Luc Santarelli makes demanding engineering and telecommunications briefs look easy and knows what it takes to get the right results in infringement proceedings. On the life sciences side, the set has developed niche expertise in SPCs, thanks in large part to the “very competent and accurate” Thierry Caen.
Véron & Associés
Specialist outfit Véron & Associés is “the number one law firm for patent litigation” and its track record in international disputes is exemplary. Entirely devoted to the defence of clients’ patentable rights, the set is brimming with “real quality litigators over a range of technologies”. It is currently representing Yamaha in infringement proceedings against Piaggio in a case featuring parallel proceedings in Italy and Germany, and recently advised Lilly France in a hard-fought clash against Sanofi. “A great pleasure to work with”, Sabine Agé is a “redoubtable opponent with a bright future”; she has taken the lead on significant telecommunications battles centring on FRAND use terms and is also a dab hand on life sciences briefs. Peers vouch for Isabelle Romet as “the most educated lawyer when it comes to pharmaceuticals and SPCs”; while the squad still benefits from the peerless experience of Pierre Véron. A thought leader in the patent litigation field, Véron has been intimately involved in crafting the framework of the incoming unified patent system.

Luminaries

Pierre Lenoir - Allen & Overy LLP
Pierre Véron - Véron & Associés

Individuals: transactions

Emmanuel Baud - Jones Day
Grégoire Desrousseaux - August & Debouzy
Antoine Gautier-Sauvagnac - Foucaud Tchekhoff Pochet et Associés
Emmanuel Gougé - Pinsent Masons
Julien Horn - De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés
Anne-Charlotte Le Bihan - Bird & Bird AARPI
Bertrand Liard - White & Case
Arnaud Michel - Gide Loyrette Nouel AARPI
Christian Nguyen-Van-Yen - Marks & Clerk France
François Pochart - August & Debouzy
Marianne Schaffner - Dechert LLP
Jean-Christophe Tristant - DLA Piper France LLP

Individuals: prosecution

Francis Ahner - REGIMBEAU
Pierre Balesta - Cabinet Beau de Loménie
Philippe Blot - LAVOIX
Thierry Caen - Santarelli
Anne Desaix - Ernest Gutmann – Yves Plasseraud SA
Gerard Dossmann - Casalonga
Frédérique Faivre Petit - REGIMBEAU
Frédéric Gaillarde - Germain & Maureau
Philippe Hubert - Cabinet Beau de Loménie
Didier Intes - Cabinet Beau de Loménie
Stéphanie Michiels - LAVOIX
Gérard Myon - LAVOIX
Fabienne Orsini - Coralis Harle Phelip
Luc Santarelli - Santarelli
François Tanty - Nony & Partners
Francis Zapalowicz - Casalonga

Individuals: litigation

Sabine Agé - Véron & Associés
Laëtitia Bénard - Allen & Overy LLP
Pierre Cousin - Cousin & Associés
Grégoire Desrousseaux - August & Debouzy
Thierry Mollet-Viéville - Duclos, Thorne, Mollet-Vieville & Associés
Denis Monégier du Sorbier - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
François Pochart - August & Debouzy
Isabelle Romet - Véron & Associés
Denis Schertenleib - Cabinet Schertenleib
Grégoire Triet - Gide Loyrette Nouel AARPI
Yves Bizollon - Bird & Bird AARPI
Thomas Bouvet - Jones Day
Arnaud Casalonga - Casalonga
Marina Cousté - Reed Smith LLP
Anne-Charlotte Le Bihan - Bird & Bird AARPI
Arnaud Michel - Gide Loyrette Nouel AARPI
David Por - Allen & Overy LLP
Stanislas Roux-Vaillard - Hogan Lovells International LLP
Benoît Strowel - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
Jean-Christophe Tristant - DLA Piper France LLP
Cyrille Amar - Amar Goussu Staub
Emmanuel Baud - Jones Day
Sandrine Bouvier-Ravon - Cousin & Associés
Alain Clery - CLÉRY DEVERNAY
Thomas Cuche - Duclos, Thorne, Mollet-Vieville & Associés
Emmanuel de Marcellus - Cabinet de Marcellus & Disser
Pauline Debre - Linklaters LLP
Raphaelle Dequire-Portier - Gide Loyrette Nouel AARPI
Julien Fréneaux - BARDEHLE PAGENBERG Partnerschaft mbB
Antoine Gautier-Sauvagnac - Foucaud Tchekhoff Pochet et Associés
Florent Guilbot - Guilbot Avocat
Jean-François Guillot - Guillot de Haas
Julien Horn - De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés
Francois Jonqueres - Reed Smith LLP
Emmanuel Larere - Gide Loyrette Nouel AARPI
Isabelle Leroux - Dentons
David Masson - Dentons
Stefan Naumann - Hughes Hubbard & Reed
Jean-Yves Plaçais - Cabinet Netter
Luc Santarelli - Santarelli
Marianne Schaffner - Dechert LLP
Frank Valentin - De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés
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Issue 84