France

France is increasingly seen as an attractive venue for pharmaceutical multinationals to assert their patent rights: many have interpreted a significant victory for Eli Lilly against generics producer Fresenius Kabi at the Paris Court of First Instance in 2020 as a sign that the tide has turned in originators’ favour. It’s not all good news, however: some commentators suggest that the country may become a hotspot for SPC nullity actions following Merck’s recent defeat in a long-running SPC dispute. Reforms to the prosecution process introduced in 2019 via President Macron’s Action Plan for Business Growth and Transformation continue to bed down; while the IP community awaits clarification on the fate of the UPC, especially with regard to the division that was previously destined to be in London.

Firms: litigation

  • Allen & Overy LLP
  • August Debouzy
  • Bird & Bird LLP
  • HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER 
  • BARDEHLE PAGENBERG Partnerschaft mbB 
  • Gide Loyette Nouel
  • Hogan Lovells
  • Jones Day
  • Pinsent Masons
  • abello IP
  • Amar Goussu Staub
  • Armengaud Guerlain
  • CASALONGA
  • Cousin & Associés
  • De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés
  • Dentons
  • Duclos, Thorne, Mollet-Viéville & Associés
  • Gowling WLG
  • LAVOIX
  • Reed Smith LLP
  • Simmons & Simmons LLP

Firms: prosecution

  • Highly recommended
  • Cabinet Beau de Loménie
  • Plasseraud IP
  • Santarelli 
  • Recommended
  • abello IP
  • August Debouzy
  • Bandpay & Greuter
  • CASALONGA
  • Germain & Maureau
  • GEVERS
  • IPSide
  • LAVOIX
  • Marks & Clerk
  • NONY 
  • REGIMBEAU

Firms: transactions

  • Allen & Overy LLP
  • August Debouzy
  • Bird & Bird LLP
  • De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés
  • Dentons
  • Gide Loyette Nouel
  • Gowling WLG
  • Jones Day
  • Marks & Clerk
  • Pinsent Masons
  • Simmons & Simmons LLP
  • TALIENS

abello IP

Having blazed a trail on the French legal landscape by integrating the talents of patent attorneys and lawyers almost 20 years ago, Abello IP has long since perfected the art of A-to-Z patent protection. While telecommunications and mechanics are traditional fortes, the group has lately been bolstering its pharmaceutical practice, as evidenced by its recent defence of GSK subsidiary ViiV Healthcare in relation to its HIV therapy products. On the telecommunications side, FRAND negotiations and SEP litigation are an inevitable focus, with French mobile giant SFR one notable recent client. Dual-qualified Michel Abello began his legal career after a 12-year stint as a patent attorney and thus has “a valuable combination of great technical and judicial expertise”. He is joined in the rankings by patents head and physics PhD Jean-Baptiste Thibaud, who brings insight gained from his time in-house at Alcatel-Lucent to his thriving telecommunications practice.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy’s French IP team serves an impressive roster of multinational clients across the life sciences and high-technology sectors, and has featured in a diverse range of pan-European disputes over the last year. Preliminary injunction matters are something of a specialty: the group played a role in 75% of such actions between 2018 and 2019. In the pharmaceutical space, it continues to represent Merck Sharpe & Dohme in a series of actions against generics companies under the watchful guidance of IP head and life sciences co-head Laëtitia Bénard. She has appeared in myriad game-changing multi-jurisdictional patent suits and thrives at the crossroads of intellectual property and pharmaceutical regulatory law. For high-technology disputes, the person to call is David Por: he recently defended Archos against patent infringement actions brought by Philips in one of the first cases in which the precedent set by the CJEU in Huawei v ZTE was applied by the courts.

Allen & Overy LLP

Allen & Overy’s French IP team serves an impressive roster of multinational clients across the life sciences and high-technology sectors, and has featured in a diverse range of pan-European disputes over the last year. Preliminary injunction matters are something of a specialty: the group played a role in 75% of such actions between 2018 and 2019. In the pharmaceutical space, it continues to represent Merck Sharpe & Dohme in a series of actions against generics companies under the watchful guidance of IP head and life sciences co-head Laëtitia Bénard. She has appeared in myriad game-changing multi-jurisdictional patent suits and thrives at the crossroads of intellectual property and pharmaceutical regulatory law. For high-technology disputes, the person to call is David Por: he recently defended Archos against patent infringement actions brought by Philips in one of the first cases in which the precedent set by the CJEU in Huawei v ZTE was applied by the courts.

Amar Goussu Staub

While best known for its facility for FRAND-related disputes in the telecommunications sphere, Amar Goussu Staub’s remit is reassuringly broad, encompassing patent litigation and advisory work in almost every sector. Leading the charge is FRAND licensing ace Cyrille Amar, who co-founded the firm in 2017 and operates with poise on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide. His varied practice extends beyond patent law to include distribution and IT services disputes, unfair competition actions and international arbitration. Fellow all-rounder Jean-François Guillot can tease out the knots of complex IP disputes of all kinds, including infringement and interim injunction proceedings, as well as employee invention matters. He is equally persuasive at the deal table, brokering lucrative licence and technology transfer agreements and shepherding IP-rich M&A transactions to successful close.

Armengaud Guerlain

Armengaud Guerlain has been a fixture of the French patent market for more than 25 years and prides itself on a collaborative approach that prioritises optimal results and cost-effectiveness over the accumulation of fees. An extensive network of foreign associates makes the coordination of cross-border litigation a breeze, not just across Europe, but also in the United States and Asia; as one recent example, it has been defending WIKO against a series of patent infringement actions initiated by Philips in France, the Netherlands and Germany. Leading on this case is Catherine Mateu, who has also gone out to bat for pharmaceutical company Estar Medical and milk packaging innovator Novapet. Whether dispensing strategic advice, litigating or negotiating contracts, the versatile practitioner is cosmopolitan in outlook; fluent in French, English and Spanish, she also shares her knowledge by speaking at conferences and teaching law to students at the University of San Francisco. At her side is founder and IP veteran Stéphane Guerlain, who continues to keep busy for Telecom Design in an employee invention dispute that has been playing out for over a decade.

August Debouzy

Home to one of the foremost patent litigation divisions in France, August Debouzy has also cultivated a small but perfectly formed prosecution offering. Heavyweight players which have recently benefited from its robust representation in high-stakes proceedings include Teva, in a complex cross-border patent infringement matter against Novartis; agricultural machinery manufacturer Pellenc, in parallel infringement and nullity proceedings; and L’Oréal and Fapagau, in a packaging-related patent and trade secret dispute. The star names are litigators Grégoire Desrousseaux and François Pochart – both dual-qualified European patent attorneys and lawyers with a bird’s-eye view of each instruction. “Grégoire is by far one of the best lawyers we have ever encountered across a period of several decades,” reports one source. “He has excellent pleading skills and a high level of IP expertise, which is highly recognised beyond his own company. He combines incredible knowledge of clients’ businesses with a practical approach and an in-depth understanding of not only the French legal environment, but also the European patent system. His technical background and his unique ability to interact efficiently with the different national teams in cross-border cases complete an outstanding professional profile.” Pochart is likewise hailed by one patron as “the smartest and best IP practitioner I have worked with”: “François can envisage and manifest the best business outcome for the client, and has a Zen-like ability to ditch weaker arguments in favour of those strongest and most likely to succeed. His scientific background, knowledge of European patent procedure and familiarity with French law make him an excellent advocate in oppositions and appeals, and in the courts. He is quick on his feet, experienced in the pharmaceutical area and, most importantly, rigorous and infectiously enthusiastic.”

Bandpay & Greuter

A glittering client roster and pristine track record before the EPO earn Bandpay & Greuter its debut appearance in the IAM Patent 1000 this year. The likes of Toshiba Tec and Total call on the firm for astute portfolio management; while on the contentious front it has been masterminding oppositions for Japan Tobacco International and providing technical assistance to law firms in a range of patent infringement disputes. It is particularly dedicated to meeting the diverse needs of overseas clients: Japanese companies are served by a dedicated team of Japanese natives; Chinese clients can call on Greater China manager Anchi Tsai; and the group is also home to professionals from Greece, Iran and Mexico. Thanks to a PhD at the interface of physics and biology, Renaud Fulconis takes to any technical subject matter like a fish to water: “He makes sense of the blurriest of situations, is very experienced and provides sharp, practical advice every time. His strong technical background means he can easily understand varied and complex technologies; and he can handle complex cases while maintaining an intelligible customer interface.” On hand to assist with patent prosecution across Europe, the United States and Asia is co-founder Aujain Eghbali, who gained valuable experience through training at the University of Tokyo and a research placement at Toshiba in Yokohama. He is a familiar face at the EPO, especially on behalf of medical devices companies, and receives warm plaudits from patrons: “Aujain can handle the most complex inventions, especially those requiring excellent skills in applied mathematics. He is adaptable, shows rare technical understanding and delivers efficient work.”

BARDEHLE PAGENBERG Partnerschaft mbB 

Although best known for its dominance of the German patent space, Bardehle Pagenberg is also an imposing presence in Paris, where it operates with precision and care on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide; matters involving NPEs are a specialty. First among equals is Julien Fréneaux, who impresses for his SEP-related work in the telecommunications field. He regularly handles cases with a cross-border element, coordinating parallel infringement proceedings in multiple countries, and has a flair for the fine print of technology transfer agreements and other IP-related contracts. Also intimately familiar with the dynamics of the telecommunications space is Dominique Dupuis-Latour, whose talents stretch from filing and prosecution to infringement and nullity proceedings and licensing mandates. Dual-qualified as a patent attorney and attorney at law, he leaves no stone unturned in French discovery proceedings.

Bird & Bird LLP

Bird & Bird is a colossus of the global IP world and the Paris contingent is no exception, combining local knowledge with the vast resources of the firm’s sprawling network to superb effect. Its 19 IP practitioners regularly feature in some of the highest-profile patent suits in Europe: this year alone, they acted in an infringement dispute and conducted seizures on behalf of Edwards Lifesciences; defended Broadcom in a complex multi-jurisdictional battle against an NPE; and hammered out a favourable result in a preliminary injunction matter on behalf of Amgen. Taking the lead on the latter, Yves Bizollon enjoys the respect of peers as “a smart and formidable opponent”; many headline-grabbing IP decisions in recent years bear his fingerprints. Leadership also comes from Anne-Charlotte Le Bihan, who has been handling the Edwards Lifesciences and Broadcom briefs; she brings a shrewd, commercially minded approach to the coordination of complex cross-border litigation and deal negotiation in the pharmaceutical, telecommunications and electronics sectors.

Cabinet Beau de Loménie

“Perhaps the foremost French firm that appears before the EPO”, according to competitors, prosecution shop Cabinet Beau de Loménie remains at the very top of its game. Four offices across France, complemented by additional bases in Germany and the United Kingdom, and close alliances with affiliated contacts across the continent ensure it can deliver a truly pan-continental service. Heading up the mechanics arm is Didier Intes, who devises prosecution strategies, supports litigation, drafts contracts and conducts patent portfolio due diligence with a hawkish eye. He has previous industry experience in the fluid mechanics field, which resonates with players in the area to this day. On the engineering side is Pierre Balesta, who holds a range of technical and legal qualifications and specialises in contentious matters and due diligence. Technical polymath Philippe Hubert heads up the chemistry, pharmacy, biology and new plant varieties group, and has provided futureproofed advice on patent strategy for almost 40 years; while on the electronics front, computer scientist François Delumeau speaks the language of inventors after a decade working on the development of onboard computing systems in telecommunications products.

CASALONGA

For a holistic, solutions-oriented service at every stage of the patent lifecycle, CASALONGA has it covered. Home to both patent attorneys and attorneys at law, the group provides commercially on-point advice that takes in the big picture from both a technical and legal standpoint – a formula that chimes with innovators of all stripes. Contentious firepower is supplied in abundance by Arnaud Casalonga, who has spent more than 25 years battling it out in cross-border patent disputes. While no industry is off limits, he has lately been carving a niche in the SPC space and maintains a thriving unfair competition practice to boot. Patent attorney Gérard Dossmann is also active on the contentious side, coordinating pan-European litigation campaigns and advocating in EPO opposition proceedings. Chemistry, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology all fall within his wheelhouse. For meticulous, forward-focused prosecution, look no further than Francis Zapalowicz, an electronics specialist who previously helped to design automatic control systems for aircraft; today, he advises on sweeping patent filing programmes, appears in opposition and appeal proceedings, and dispenses infringement advice.

Cousin & Associés

“A high-quality firm with longstanding IP experience and a deep understanding of litigation”, Cousin & Associés remains a potent contentious force despite its founder’s departure in 2019, and has also been building up its advisory practice of late. Leading the line are the redoubtable Myriam Moatty, Jean-Martin Chevalier and Sandrine Bouvier-Ravon. Moatty has spent 30 years at the IP coalface and is currently a protagonist in several must-win pharmaceutical and chemical patent suits; Chevalier’s recent wins include the successful filing of a nullification action on behalf of cancer and immunology leader Celgene International; and Bouvier-Ravon is orchestrating an ongoing patent infringement dispute for coffee machine manufacturer Facotec which comes interwoven with trademark, unfair competition and parasitism threads. All three are enthusiastic contributors to the IP discussion, writing regularly for publications and journals, and speaking at national and international conferences.

De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés

“Well known and highly regarded”, De Gaulle Fleurance is “sharp, straight to the point and pleasant to work with. It excels at coordinating large teams in parallel litigations in different countries and its technical skills are outstanding. Its advice is comprehensive, reliable and accurate, which breeds confidence in clients”. At the vanguard is software expert Julien Horn, who “stands out for his patent litigation skills and strategic thinking; he always manages to reach a suitable solution”. On top of his contentious workload, he gets myriad IP- and IT-related deals across the line with minimum hassle. Litigation and transactions likewise fall within the bailiwick of Francine Le Péchon-Joubert, who is hailed as “reactive, proactive, creative and sympathetic”: “She has a thorough knowledge of French law and exceptional language skills, and offers an uncomplicated service which puts her head and shoulders above many of her peers.” Giving the group its name is Louis de Gaulle, another versatile practitioner who practises with agility across the contentious/non-contentious divide. A worthy adversary in court, he earns particularly warm acclaim for his strategic case management, with patrons praising his “responsiveness and commerciality”.

Dentons

As part of one of the largest law firms on the planet and one of the elite global IP players, Dentons’ Paris contingent has limitless horizons, and close collaboration with its counterparts worldwide is a hallmark of its service. To illustrate, recent representation of tissue manufacturer ICT saw the French practitioners team up with colleagues in Germany and Spain to sew up parallel litigations without a hitch. Running point on this matter was David Masson, who is “attentive and provides valuable and pragmatic advice” whatever the technology – although telecommunications is a forte. Isabelle Leroux, whose practice is similarly diverse, coordinates IP litigation across Europe and the Middle East with a deft touch; she recently represented the National Centre for Scientific Research in a sprawling preliminary injunction matter and in a co-ownership dispute.

Duclos, Thorne, Mollet-Viéville & Associés

“A high-quality firm” whose experts “have strong knowledge of IP matters and put a clear focus on client needs”, Duclos, Thorne, Mollet-Viéville & Associés has carved itself an enviable reputation over the last 50 years. Whether bringing the heat in litigation or providing cool-headed strategic advice, the group proves itself a vital ally to its loyal clientele time and time again. Name partner Thierry Mollet-Viéville is an elder statesman of the Paris IP scene who has seen and done it all since he began protecting intangible assets in 1968. Colleague Thomas Cuche shares Mollet-Viéville’s interest in the pharmaceutical sector and knows all the angles to play to arrive at win-win solutions in court and at the negotiating table.

Germain & Maureau

Venerable prosecution shop Germain & Maureau has been honing its craft for more than 170 years and today has some 30,000 patents, in fields from electronics to pharmaceuticals, under its stewardship. One of the top 10 French PCT filers, it also has a percipient take on portfolio management and defends patents to the hilt in opposition and appeal proceedings at a national and European level. Nicolas Delorme is an astute builder and manager of portfolios with an international perspective, having previously worked in London; while Stéphane Agasse brings invaluable in-house insight from a stint in the patent department of a major agrichemical company. Philippe Verriest also has in-house experience from his time at a software publishing company, which he draws on judiciously in processing electronics, IT and AI patents. “Philippe quickly understands complex technological subjects, is open to working adaptively in the best interests of his clients and knows how to explain the framework of his profession simply in order to facilitate collaboration.”

GEVERS

Another storied outfit with roots dating back to the 19th century, GEVERS remains resolutely forward-looking, as most recently reflected by its merger with ORES. From bases in Paris and industrial hub Toulouse, and a wider network of European offices and foreign alliances, it offers total prosecution support to legions of happy clients. “Thanks to the valuable advice provided by GEVERS & ORES, we have developed a successful IP strategy and our technological innovations are protected,” reports one. Sonia Dias and Laurent Barbe co-head the patent group. Dias’s wraparound prosecution practice is informed by her knowledge of agricultural sciences, inorganic chemistry and material science; while Barbe is a mechanics expert who has spent more than 15 years devising bespoke strategic solutions for corporations and SMEs. On the life sciences side, the firm is equipped with Claire Bernstein, who brings experience from her time working inhouse at a biotechnology start-up and for six years at L’Oreal, is an expert on SPCs, and is a skilled EPO advocate and conductor of patentability audits Another key name is Jean-Christophe Rolland, who invests considerable time and attention in forging close relationships with patrons as he crafts tailored, cost-effective patenting strategies, manages portfolios and assists with IP-related agreements.

Gide Loyette Nouel

Gide Loyette Nouel is “among the best firms in Paris” for patent litigation: “All of the partners are impressive and are very focused and involved in their cases, offering innovative solutions and providing in-depth advice on both the technical and legal sides.” Handling both contentious and transactional issues with finesse, the full-service firm enjoys a place among the upper echelons of the market, thanks to the sterling efforts of its all-star team. Leading lights include Grégoire Triet and Raphaëlle Dequiré-Portier, both of whom have a rare facility for SPC-related disputes. Also on deck are life sciences sage Emmanuel Larere and the influential and internationally minded Arnaud Michel, who previously headed the firm’s Brussels office.

Gowling WLG

Gowling WLG’s modest-but-mighty IP division is fast cementing its foothold in Paris, as evidenced by the flood of new mandates that have poured in over the last 12 months, in fields from animal health and biotechnology to consumer goods. Its practitioners boast an encyclopaedic understanding of French litigation procedure; while seamless support from London, Munich and further afield ensures it can make light work of even the most expansive litigation. Leading from the front is Céline Bey, whose assured performances both in court and at the negotiating table frequently move the needle for clients.

Hogan Lovells

The IP team at Hogan Lovells offers the best of both worlds: the bespoke, attentive service of a boutique, underpinned by the reach and efficiencies of a full-service juggernaut. Structured by sector specialism, it has every industry on lock, although pharmaceuticals is a particular stronghold – in recent months it has been busy defending Eli Lilly against attacks from generics and representing Icos Corporation in cross-border infringement and validity litigation relating to its Cialis drug. Both matters were spearheaded by Stanislas Roux-Vaillard, who captains the Paris patent litigation and trade secrets group. He tailors his approach according to clients’ commercial needs, devising devastatingly effective multi-jurisdictional strategies and exploiting evidence-gathering tools such as saisie-contrefaçon to the fullest.

HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER 

Thanks to a recent merger with Véron & Associés, the patent litigation offering at HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER is stronger than ever, with 22 dedicated practitioners – seven of whom are partners – duking it out in some of the highest-stakes battles on the European market. “The whole team is highly knowledgeable of French patent law and applies this knowledge effectively and creatively. Complex technical issues are no problem and the group is very persuasive in court hearings.” One recent highlight was its staunch defence of Lenovo against IP licensor IPComm, coordinated by Sabine Agé and Amandine Métier. SEP disputes in the electronics and communications field are the specialty of Agé, who “instils trust in clients by providing solid advice every time. She is a stellar patent litigator – perhaps the best in France”. Métier also relishes the cut and thrust of cross-border SEP and FRAND licensing disputes, as well as SPC-related actions in the pharmaceutical field. Another reliable ally to pharmaceutical companies is Benoît Strowel, a “daring and innovative litigator who often finds completely new ways of handling traditional issues before the French courts”. He has a cosmopolitan outlook as a member of both the Paris and Brussels bars and a qualified solicitor in England and Wales. In addition to his life sciences work, he has recently been acting for materials technology company Umicore alongside fellow litigator Florence Jacquand. Jacquand has a broad compass, handling not only patent litigation, but also disputes in tangential areas such as unfair competition, trade secrets and employee invention law. Bridging the gap between the life sciences and mechanics sides is Caroline Levesque, who is as comfortable dealing with plant breeders rights issues as she is handling computer science cases, and is also a deft handler of customs measures both at home and abroad. The practice of name partner Denis Monégier du Sorbier is equally diverse; he draws on a wealth of procedural know-how to carry the day in infringement, invalidity and preliminary injunction proceedings at both a national and pan-European scale.

IPSide

The seasoned multi-disciplinary team at IPSide has the technical and legal chops to dispatch any patent issue going on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide. With a diverse client base ranging from dynamic start-ups to industry leaders from the United States and China, it stands out in particular for its shrewd evaluation of patent essentiality within the telecommunications and electronics fields. Its technically proficient practitioners – many of whom hold PhDs – also have an affinity for the intricacies of cutting-edge advancements such as 5G technology. One such professional is Samuel Deschamps – combining expertise in telecommunications, computer science and physics, he is a committed and meticulous advocate in administrative proceedings before the EPO.

Jones Day

Commercial outfit Jones Day enjoys elevated standing among its peers in the French IP community, who highlight its prowess in patent litigation and A-list client base. Almost telepathic communication between the members of its global IP team and with their colleagues in other departments translates into joined-up counsel which addresses all ancillary threads of a brief. The fulcrum of the practice is Thomas Bouvet, “a consummate professional in patent litigation with unmatched expertise in the area of plant patents”, who knows how to get favourable outcomes both in court and in deal negotiations. Overseeing the IP team is Emmanuel Baud, another skilled drafter of IP and IT-related agreements who additionally litigates across the IP spectrum while also handling related issues in areas such as software, trade secrets and competition law.

LAVOIX

With boots on the ground in four countries across Europe, LAVOIX has all the resources needed to wrap up pan-continental patent issues swiftly and effectively. Traditionally a patent attorney firm, it has lately integrated a contingent of attorneys at law into its offering to provide a full-bore service that meets and exceeds all expectations of its discerning clientele. Engineers Gérard Myon and Bertrand Domenego are both intimately familiar with the inner workings of the EPO – Myon is a former patent examiner – and regularly appear in oral proceedings before its opposition and appeal boards. Myon also manages LAVOIX’s Lyon office, while Domenego helps to nurture the IP practitioners of tomorrow at the Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies (CEIPI). Stéphanie Michiels is likewise a regular at the EPO and has a glittering CV: she has technical acumen from her training as a chemical engineer, in-house experience from a previous role at a multinational pharmaceutical company, and qualifications as not only a French and European patent attorney, but also a UK chartered patent attorney. At the helm is CEO Philippe Blot, a favourite of major players in the telecommunications field. He was among the first European attorneys to be accredited as a patent attorney litigator and has changed the game in numerous infringement suits and seizure procedures.

Marks & Clerk

Based in Arcueil on the outskirts of Paris, Marks & Clerk’s French contingent began life as an independent firm founded by the former heads of a major electronics group. Their commercial nous is reflected in an approach which takes in all the finer details while never losing sight of the bigger picture. Co-managing the group is Enrico Priori, who holds a PhD in laser physics and trained in electronics and engineering both in France and in his native Italy. “Enrico works efficiently in any situation and has a straightforward style whereby he is able to streamline the work without compromising good results, which puts him among the best patent attorneys based in France.” Alongside him is UK-qualified patent attorney Mark Bell, who has done just about everything there is to do in his profession – as well as having worked in private practice in both London and Munich, he spent time in-house as a senior IP strategist at IBM. Recent work highlights include advising medical devices company Cardiawave on software licensing issues.

NONY 

Founded in 1964 and now operating out of six offices throughout France, Nony & Partners provides robust support on everything from portfolio evaluation and filing to assistance with litigation. Meanwhile, a wide network of foreign associates ensures that the crown-jewel assets of its international client base enjoy watertight protection in all corners of the globe. “The group shows excellent understanding of the science at hand, provides efficient and precise advice to tight deadlines, and files applications that avoid opposition or obstruction.” Overseeing this well-oiled machine is mechanics and electronics expert François Tanty, who has spent more than 30 years prosecuting and defending patents for national and international players. He heads up the Paris office alongside managing partners Pascale Le Coupanec, Jérôme Sartorius and Claude Jupin. Chemistry head Le Coupanec has an insider’s perspective from stints at a range of French chemical and pharmaceutical companies; while mechanics and process engineering maven Sartotius is a valued adviser to innovators in the automotive, packaging and medical equipment fields. Jupin leads the biology group and previously worked in the patent departments at the Pasteur Insitute as well as for a leading French gene sequencing company. On the biotechnology side, Hervé Gicquiaux recently returned to the firm after five years in the IP department of a leading vaccine developer. In Grenoble, the main man is Olivier Dagès, a mechanics, electronics and computer science boffin who has been prosecuting patents and appearing in oppositions for over 25 years.

Pinsent Masons

“Pinsent Masons is competent, reactive and a pleasure to work with, providing intelligent, precise and in-depth advice, and collaborating with the client to achieve the best results. Its attention to detail and client care are first class, and the whole team is quick to understand the technical details of a case.” With a network of offices across the globe, the group is ideally placed to coordinate cross-border battles and shapes its strategies through the judicious use of bespoke AI tools. The Paris contingent was recently boosted by the arrival of Jules Fabre, a former senior counsel in the IP and regulatory team at Teva Pharmaceuticals. He has extensive experience of cross-border SPC litigation and comes highly recommended by clients: “Committed, approachable and hands-on, Jules provides prompt and detailed instructions every step of the way. He is highly knowledgeable, has a great head for litigation strategy and brings creative ideas to the table. His deep understanding of French patent litigation puts the Paris team in a great position to represent pharmaceutical clients on both a domestic and European level.” It does so under the watchful eye of department head Emmanuel Gougé, who is qualified in England and Wales as well as France, and was recently appointed director of the university diploma on patent litigation at CEIPI.

Plasseraud IP

As the country’s largest patent prosecution shop, Plasseraud IP has myriad household names from the automotive, pharmaceutical, consumer goods and telecommunications industries on its roster. Continued ambitions of expansion were most recently realised through the acquisition of long-established French patent attorney outfit EGYP, and as such the group is now home to an impressive team of 117 multilingual professionals. For innovators in the life sciences, Nadine Rocaboy, Cyra Nargolwalla, and Ina Schreiber are the star attractions. Qualified both in Europe and in the United States, Rocaboy is “proactive and closely involved in all of her work, and communicates with fluidity and simplicity”. Captain of the life sciences group Nargolwalla likewise earns glowing reports: “Intelligent, knowledgeable and well organised, Cyra has proven herself to be a diligent and passionate advocate at the EPO. She is business minded and solutions oriented, and prepared for every eventuality.” The feedback on chemistry and life sciences group co-head Schreiber is similarly effusive: “With Ina involved, the task of obtaining European patent protection is always easier. She is proficient, knowledgeable and reliable, and always keeps on top of IP trends and case law, adjusting her advice accordingly.” Continuing to manage the EGYP side of the firm is the life sciences-focused Anne Desaix, who has “abundant expertise in the IP domain and a valuable and specific understanding of the challenges and complexities of the biotechnology field”. “She has a smart way of addressing questions and the ability to take patents to grant across a wide range of territories.” The mechanics and electronics group is co-headed by Bertrand Loisel and Eric Burbaud, both hailed as “among the best patent practitioners in their field”. PhD Loisel is an IT, computer science and electrical engineering wizard who previously worked as a researcher at the French Atomic Energy Commission; while Burbaud splits his time between Paris and Prague and recently shaped the patent strategy of French unicorn and connected watch leader Withings. When software protection conundrums arise in fields ranging from telecommunications to bioinformatics, Albert Hassine is the one to call: “Albert explains European law in a nuanced manner, makes himself available quickly and proactively, and makes time for face-to-face discussions. His track record is excellent and he knows his clients’ businesses inside out.”

Reed Smith LLP

The formidable worldwide IP team at Reed Smith is neatly dovetailed within the firm’s wider commercial offering, providing 360-degree counsel in contentious and transactional scenarios that keeps clients’ commercial goals front and centre. The French contingent received a shot in the arm in 2019 with the arrival of department head Marianne Schaffner; in 2020, further firepower was added when dual-qualified patent attorney and attorney at law Thierry Lautier made the move from August Debouzy. The “sharp, tenacious and talented” Schaffner is as confident directing SEP and FRAND disputes in the telecommunications field as she is assisting across the pharmaceutical product lifecycle; she “is particularly attentive to clients’ needs and is a pleasure to work with”. Lautier similarly switches effortlessly between multiple sectors and technologies; while cross-border patent litigation is his metier, he also adroitly handles prosecution briefs and is sought after for his trade secrets expertise.

REGIMBEAU

Showcasing “extensive knowledge of French and European patent procedure”, REGIMBEAU is a go-to for all manner of prosecution instructions in all key sectors. Its 50-strong team of patent attorneys – which includes a number of PhDs – is divided into a life sciences and chemistry arm and an IT and mechanical engineering arm to better meet the needs of its varied clientele. A commitment to strategic innovation is also a hallmark, as evidenced by its development of SIM’UP – an online scenario simulation tool which compares the post-grant costs of European patents. Managing partner Frédérique Faivre Petit previously served as head of European patent litigation at a major pharmaceutical group and leverages her fine-grained understanding of various European legal systems when advising on contentious matters and appearing in opposition and appeal proceedings. IAM Patent 1000 debutante Emmanuelle Levy marries insight on US patent law with technical expertise in chemistry – a blend that proves particularly appealing to cosmetics, food products and pharmaceuticals players.

Santarelli 

Rave reviews come thick and fast for eminent prosecution shop Santarelli: “As its services cover a large variety of technical areas, it is easy to find a suitable attorney who understands the case and its substantive points at a deep level. The practitioners are friendly and easy to communicate and cooperate with, and provide timely responses to tight deadlines.” Its seven partners receive fulsome support from a supremely capable administrative department; while dynamic online software gives clients round-the-clock access to their patent portfolios. In the driving seat is telecommunications ace Luc Santarelli: “A reliable attorney who can always be relied upon when challenges arise, Luc offers outstanding advice at a reasonable cost. Diligent and responsive, he has rich experience not only in case handling, but also in industry, which makes him quickly understand key points and invent a clear strategy.” Heading up the life sciences division is pharmacy PhD Thierry Caen, who has made the field of SPCs his own. “Thierry is an excellent patent attorney with longstanding experience in the pharmaceutical space. He is very easy to work with, good at explaining complex topics and a highly appreciated partner in contentious matters. His knowledge of EPO practice is also appreciated.” Technical renaissance man François Lepelletier-Beaufond is well versed in disciplines including aeronautics, electronics, and optics; his former role as an energy management consultant within a government agency gives him a unique perspective in private practice. Making their debut in the IAM Patent 1000 this year are computer science PhD Ghislain de Trémiolles and trained engineer Hélène Stankoff; both tenaciously advance clients’ interests before the EPO and provide sage advice on portfolio management.

Simmons & Simmons LLP

Simmons & Simmons’ Paris patent group is a central cog in a slick international IP machine comprising some 90-plus lawyers stationed across Europe and Asia. Adept at resolving disputes of every flavour and getting IP-rich deals inked, the set is hailed as “trustworthy and committed to providing strategic legal advice in an accessible way”. It has lately represented Merck KGaA in a patent validity action relating to its Levothyrox drug; defended United Orthopedic Corporation in a patent infringement suit; and done battle for telecommunications monitor Sigos in a case before the Paris Court of Appeal. The first name on the team sheet is the “highly committed, responsive and flexible” Marina Cousté; the litigator provides “best-in-class support at every level” in complex IP disputes and is also a seasoned mediator and arbitrator. Another worthy advocate, François Jonquères draws on the technical insight gained from a PhD in pharmacy to devise clever tactics in cross-border disputes and advise on licensing and transactional matters.

TALIENS

Negotiating, drafting and closing deals is all in a day’s work for transactional powerhouse Taliens; the firm also turns up the dial in patent litigation and provides astute counsel on pan-European patent enforcement programmes. Close collaboration between its Paris and Munich bases ensure optimal outcomes on cross-border mandates, whatever the subject matter. Co-founder Jean-Frédéric Gaultier is fluent in technologies in sectors as diverse as telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, medical devices and mechanics; the accomplished litigator also handles unfair competition and media disputes with a deft touch.

Other recommended experts

Based at Cabinet de Marcellus & Disser, the eponymous Emmanuel de Marcellus frequently makes the difference in must-win IP disputes and leaves no stone unturned when conducting patent portfolio audits within the context of corporate collaborations, especially in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical fields. He has a valuable international perspective, having previously spent time at Linklaters in the United Kingdom. Polished litigator Pauline Debré heads Linklaters’ patent group in Paris and is a favourite of pharmaceuticals and telecommunications heavyweights: she recently represented Intel Corporation in an SEP and FRAND-related infringement spat with Intellectual Ventures and Orange. At FTPA Avocats, Antoine Gautier-Sauvagnac adroitly coordinates multi-jurisdictional infringement campaigns and is a trusted guide to companies from the United States and the United Kingdom; his diverse practice also encompasses all manner of business law issues in the media and retail sectors. Newly appointed to lead the French IP group at Dentons, Loïc Lemercier has already hit the ground running on behalf of some major pharmaceutical players; he focuses on litigation and transactions, with niche know-how in areas such as SPCs and trade secrets. Bertrand Liard carries out complex cross-border mandates for a long sector-diverse list of household name clients, and combines his IP work with a rich data privacy practice. He is Paris IP head at White & Case. Dual qualified in both France and California, the cosmopolitan Stefan Naumann matches patent litigation work with a thriving media practice; he can be found at Hughes, Hubbard & Reed. Denis Schertenleib of the eponymous Schertenleib Avocats holds impeccable credentials, as a solicitor of England and Wales and a molecular biology PhD: “Denis is innovative, creative, pragmatic and commercially focused, with the ability to break down complex arguments and communicate them effectively in court. He has a strategic mindset and quickly grasps the technical details of a case as well as the underpinning legal complexities.” Consummate litigator Dariusz Szleper has been racking up the wins in IP disputes for over 35 years, and since 2013 has run his practice out of his own firm, Szleper Henry Avocats. Patents, trademarks, designs and unfair competition all fall within his remit; he is also noted for his facility for temporary injunction proceedings. Newly based at DLA Piper, Frank Valentin litigates across the IP spectrum and has won many fans for his robust representation of IT and life sciences players.

Individuals: litigation

  • Sabine Agé - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
  • Laëtitia Bénard - Allen & Overy LLP
  • Yves Bizollon - Bird & Bird LLP
  • Thomas Bouvet - Jones Day
  • Grégoire Desrousseaux - August Debouzy
  • Anne-Charlotte Le Bihan - Bird & Bird LLP
  • Denis Monégier du Sorbier - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
  • François Pochart - August Debouzy
  • David Por - Allen & Overy LLP
  • Stanislas Roux-Vaillard - Hogan Lovells
  • Denis Schertenleib - Schertenleib Avocats
  • Grégoire Triet - Gide Loyette Nouel
  • Michel Abello - abello IP
  • Céline Bey - Gowling WLG
  • Sandrine Bouvier-Ravon - Cousin & Associés
  • Marina Cousté - Simmons & Simmons LLP
  • Thomas Cuche - Duclos, Thorne, Mollet-Viéville & Associés
  • Pauline Debré - Linklaters LLP
  • Julien Fréneaux - BARDEHLE PAGENBERG SAS SPE 
  • Emmanuel Gougé - Pinsent Masons
  • Julien Horn - De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés
  • François Jonquères - Simmons & Simmons LLP
  • David Masson - Dentons
  • Catherine Mateu - Armengaud Guerlain
  • Luc Santarelli - Santarelli
  • Marianne Schaffner - Reed Smith LLP
  • Benoît Strowel - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
  • Cyrille Amar - Amar Goussu Staub
  • Emmanuel Baud - Jones Day
  • Philippe Blot - LAVOIX
  • Arnaud Casalonga - CASALONGA
  • Jean-Martin Chevalier - Cousin & Associés
  • Emmanuel de Marcellus - Cabinet de Marcellus & Disser
  • Raphaëlle Dequiré-Portier - Gide Loyette Nouel
  • Dominique Dupuis-Latour - BARDEHLE PAGENBERG SAS SPE 
  • Jules Fabre - Pinsent Masons
  • Jean-Frédéric Gaultier - TALIENS
  • Antoine Gautier-Sauvagnac - FTPA Avocats
  • Stéphane Guerlain - Armengaud Guerlain
  • Jean-François Guillot - Amar Goussu Staub
  • Florence Jacquand - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
  • Emmanuel Larere - Gide Loyette Nouel
  • Thierry Lautier - Reed Smith LLP
  • Francine Le Péchon-Joubert - De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés
  • Loic Lemercier - Dentons
  • Isabelle Leroux - Dentons
  • Caroline Levesque - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
  • Amandine Métier - HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
  • Myriam Moatty - Cousin & Associés
  • Stefan Naumann - Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP
  • Dariusz Szleper - SZLEPER | HENRY Avocats AARPI
  • Frank Valentin - DLA Piper

Individuals: prosecution

  • Stephane Agasse - Germain & Maureau
  • Pierre Balesta - Cabinet Beau de Loménie
  • Laurent Barbe - GEVERS
  • Mark Bell - Marks & Clerk
  • Claire Bernstein - GEVERS
  • Philippe Blot - LAVOIX
  • Eric Burbaud - Plasseraud IP
  • Thierry Caen - Santarelli
  • Olivier Dagès Dages - NONY 
  • Ghislain de Trémiolles - Santarelli
  • Nicolas Delorme - Germain & Maureau
  • François Delumeau - Cabinet Beau de Loménie
  • Anne Desaix - Plasseraud IP
  • Samuel Deschamps - IPSide
  • Sonia Dias - GEVERS
  • Bertrand Domenego - LAVOIX
  • Gérard Dossmann - CASALONGA
  • Dominique Dupuis-Latour - BARDEHLE PAGENBERG SAS SPE 
  • Aujain Eghbali - Bandpay & Greuter
  • Frédérique Faivre Petit - REGIMBEAU
  • Renaud Fulconis - Bandpay & Greuter
  • Hervé Gicquiaux - NONY 
  • Albert Hassine - Plasseraud IP
  • Philippe Hubert - Cabinet Beau de Loménie
  • Didier Intes - Cabinet Beau de Loménie
  • Claude Jupin - NONY 
  • Thierry Lautier - Reed Smith LLP
  • Pascale Le Coupanec - NONY 
  • François Lepelletier-Beaufond - Santarelli
  • Emmanuelle Levy - REGIMBEAU
  • Bertrand Loisel - Plasseraud IP
  • Stéphanie Michiels - LAVOIX
  • Gérard Myon - LAVOIX
  • Cyra Nargolwalla - Plasseraud IP
  • François Pochart - August Debouzy
  • Enrico Priori - Marks & Clerk
  • Nadine Rocaboy - Plasseraud IP
  • Jean-Christophe Rolland - GEVERS
  • Luc Santarelli - Santarelli
  • Jérôme Sartorius - NONY 
  • Ina Schreiber - Plasseraud IP
  • Hélène Stankoff - Santarelli
  • François Tanty - NONY 
  • Jean-Baptiste Thibaud - abello IP
  • Philippe Verriest - Germain & Maureau
  • Francis Zapalowicz - CASALONGA

Individuals: transactions

  • Emmanuel Baud - Jones Day
  • Mark Bell - Marks & Clerk
  • Céline Bey - Gowling WLG
  • Yves Bizollon - Bird & Bird LLP
  • Louis de Gaulle - De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés
  • Grégoire Desrousseaux - August Debouzy
  • Dominique Dupuis-Latour - BARDEHLE PAGENBERG SAS SPE 
  • Jean-Frédéric Gaultier - TALIENS
  • Antoine Gautier-Sauvagnac - FTPA Avocats
  • Emmanuel Gougé - Pinsent Masons
  • Julien Horn - De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés
  • Anne-Charlotte Le Bihan - Bird & Bird LLP
  • Bertrand Liard - White & Case LLP 
  • Bertrand Liard - White & Case LLP 
  • David Masson - Dentons
  • Arnaud Michel - Gide Loyette Nouel
  • François Pochart - August Debouzy
  • Marianne Schaffner - Reed Smith LLP

Luminaries

  • Thierry Mollet-Viéville - Duclos, Thorne, Mollet-Viéville & Associés