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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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France > Intellectual property > Trade marks, designs and copyright > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Trade marks, designs and copyright
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Armengaud Guerlain’s ‘excellent’ team regularly applies its ‘great negotiation skills’ in copyright and trade mark litigation, especially in the luxury fashion and cosmetics sectors. ‘Outstanding negotiator’ Catherine Mateu represented couture and costume designer Fred Sathal in an IP dispute against a leading ballet company with regards to the costumes used in its production of Romeo and Juliet, while Stéphane Guerlain represented Dolce & Gabbana in a copyright litigation against a number of retailers who sold allegedly infringing dresses. Other noteworthy clients include Virbac, L’Oréal and Safran.

The laywers at Candé Blanchard Ducamp are all entirely dedicated to litigation in the field of intellectual property on behalf of domestic and international clients from a wide array of industry sectors. Founded by Patrice de Candé, Julien Blanchard and Claire Herissay-Ducamp, the practice recently handled various copyright and trade mark infringement cases for clients in the luxury fashion and cosmetics space, as well as trade mark opposition matters.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. advises clients such as Dior, Tag Heuer and Johnson & Johnson on the full spread of contentious and non-contentious trade mark, design and copyright matters. Raphaëlle Dequiré-Portier recently represented Levi Strauss in a cross-border trade mark infringement claim against Dogg Label while Arnaud Michel acted for Merck and five of its French subsidiaries in a trade mark and name infringement action against MSD regarding the use of the ‘Merck’ sign in France. Emmanuel Larere defended Marks & Spencer in a major trade mark dispute brought by Auchan in connection with the client’s ‘simply M&S’ brand, and Grégoire Triet, who ‘takes a holistic view’ and provides ‘pragmatic advice’, is representing Fondazione Prada in copyright infringement proceedings brought by a former Naf Naf designer.

Clients such as Danone, Geox and YouTube entrust their trade marks, design and copyright issues to Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s intellectual property and TMT department. Practice head Alexandra Néri recently advised a consumer electronics company on ‘free-riding’ and defended an internet company in a criminal case concerning videos hosted online by the client which allegedly breached copyright and neighbouring rights. Other noteworthy clients include SNCF, Google and Huawei. Of counsel Sébastien Proust specialises in litigation and is also a key contact.

Marie-Aimée de Dampierre heads Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP’s intellectual property, media and technology practice, which also includes newly promoted partner Jane Seager and David Taylor, who has in-depth knowledge of internet-related intellectual property issues, especially online copyright, trade marks and domain names; he frequently assists Facebook with the recuperation of domain names and with a number of litigious matters pertaining to the client’s potential liability as a hosting provider and website editor. Counsel Olivia Bernardeau-Paupe advises McDonald’s on the protection and enforcement of its copyright and trade mark portfolios as well as its image rights, and de Dampierre provides ongoing counsel to Lego in connection with customs seizures and civil and criminal proceedings. Other notable clients include Hollister Inc, Pepsi and Beiersdorf. Stanislas Roux-Vaillard is in charge of the patents sub-team and is also a key contact.

Hoyng Rokh Monegier routinely represents household name brands in domestic and multijurisdictional infringement proceedings and unfair competition claims. The intellectual property offering is led by Denis Monégier du Sorbier and supported by Marie Georges-Picot, who recently represented a well-known lingerie brand in litigious proceedings regarding design, advertising and market positioning issues, and Sophie Micallef, who is assisting a luxury cosmetics company with a series of trade mark infringement claims. Apart from its contentious work, the group also provided transactional support and guided a prominent financial services client through the redrafting of its trade mark management policy. Retail chain Cora and Canal+ feature among the firm’s impressive client roster.

The intellectual property team at Laude Esquier Champey ‘is clearly established as a major and renowned actor in the field’. Sophie Havard Duclos, who ‘stands out for her responsiveness, availability and her strategic talents based on both an in-depth knowledge of the regulatory landscape and an acute pragmatism’, regularly handles cross-border infringement proceedings for media and luxury fashion clients. Other work included representing a French client in criminal proceedings following the seizure by customs of items infringing one of the client’s trade marks. Victor Champey and business litigation specialist Olivier Laude are also key contacts.

Jones Day provides trade marks, designs and copyright advice to clients such as Accor, Shiseido and Pernod Ricard and its affiliates. Recent highlights include acting for the BNIC – the national bureau of cognac producers – in two sensitive matters against major cognac actors with respects to ageing denomination and the listing of cognac as an ingredient, and defending artist Jeff Koons and his company Jeff Koons LLC in copyright infringement proceedings filed by French photographers and their heirs. Other notable work highlights include assisting a client with license agreements related to the proposed development of a hotel chain, and handling intellectual property transfers. Emmanuel Baud is the key contact.

At Altana, the copyright and trade marks team ‘works very efficiently and punctually’ and was significantly strengthened by the arrival of Frank Valentin and four of his associates from De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés. The firm regularly assists household name clients in the technology, healthcare and media sectors with the enforcement and protection of their trade mark portfolios in France and the EU, including high-value litigation and contractual issues. Pierre Lubet and counsel Jean-Guy de Ruffray are defending an American music production company in litigation against an individual who claimed ownership of music used in a television spot created by the client, and are also acting for an individual in the haute couture sector in his claim for infringement of moral rights and supplementary renumeration for copyright. Notable clients include Netflix, Amazon, Microsoft and Moulin Rouge.

BCTG Avocats ‘stands out in terms of responsiveness, professionalism and practical advice’ and fields intellectual property specialists which ‘are very proactive at suggesting enforcement strategies to help clients combat counterfeits and other infringements’. In recent highlights, associate Georgina van der Heijden, who ‘stands out’ and ‘is a pleasure to work with’, teamed up with practice head Gaëlle Bloret-Pucci to handle a complex trade mark infringement case on behalf of Converse, as well as ongoing brand protection work for a number of household clothing brands involving customs seizures and criminal proceedings. Other names to note include associate Pierre Trusson, who is part of a team acting for a jeweller in copyright infringement proceedings, and counsel François-Xavier Boulin, who is assisting a major technology company with copyrights issues related to a decorative feature on the side of its headquarters.

With a particular strength in litigation work, Baker McKenzie’s Virginie Ulmann heads the intellectual property team and is supported by Nathalie Marchand, who recently acted for Canal+ in a number of disputes related to the calculation and payment of copyright levies for private copy. In other highlight work, the group defended Intel against trade mark and copyright infringement as well as unfair competition allegations pertaining to the use of the ‘ultra-book’ trade mark, including the filing of a counterclaim for the cancellation of a trade mark on the grounds of non-use; and senior associate Thomas Defaux is also working alongside Ulmann to advise the heirs of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry on their copyright and trade mark rights related to the merchandising of his works. Other noteworthy clients include Unilever, Moët-Hennessy and RealD.

Bird & Bird is ‘excellent in all respects’ and clients ‘are completely satisfied with the service’ provided by the intellectual property team, which consists of four partners and handles portfolio management, transactional support and contentious mandates. Anne-Charlotte le Bihan defended electronics retailer Calor and the SEB group in a design infringement litigation brought by Babyliss with regards to the launch of a new hair curler. In the copyright space, Marc Schuler is representing longstanding client Dailymotion in privacy rights proceedings regarding the use of the image of a former France Télévision entertainer as well as providing pre-litigation advice against a ‘fake views’ service, and coordinating potential action against adblockers. Practice head Yves Bizollon successfully defended Electrolux in copyright infringement proceedings filed by an architect and conceptual artist claiming ownership of a concept. In Lyon, the name to note is Géraldine Arbant.

At Casalonga Avocats, Karina Dimidjian-Lecomte represents several clients in disputes arising from infringement claims pertaining to well-known audio-visual trade marks such as Star Trek and the CSI series, while Arnaud Casalonga and Marianne Gabriel defended La Chaise Longue against infringement claims brought by a German company regarding the use of the Pan Am logo. The group also regularly handles cross-border work, as demonstrated by Caroline Casalonga’s ongoing advice to La Samaritaine whose trade mark filing was previously denied by the authorities in China on the grounds of bad faith; she also represented BNP Paribas in an infringement claim regarding the use of its slogan by a competitor.

Although traditionally noted for its strength in litigation, Cléry - Avocats also provides advice on non-contentious patent, trade mark, design and copyright matters, as well as unfair competition issues. Alain Cléry’s team recently obtained a 3D trade mark for a mineral water bottle, and continues to represent Chronopost in proceedings against DHL who allegedly counterfeited a number of the client’s intellectual properties. On the copyright front, Nestlé instructed the practice to defend it in litigation against an illustrator claiming she owns the rights to the féminine character printed on a range of the client’s products. Also noted is Coralie Devernay.

Litigation boutique Cousin & Associés acts on the full spectrum of intellectual property matters with a particular expertise in trade mark issues. The group represented Louis Roederer in trade mark infringement proceedings against wine grower Pierre Chainier pertaining to the use of the ‘cristal’ terminology in the marketing of his products and on the copyrights front, the group defended Bouygues Bâtiment and its Moroccan subsidiary Bymaro in copyright litigation proceedings filed by a French architecture firm with regards to a number of buildings currently under construction in Casablanca. Other work included assisting Fatboy with design infringement actions against numerous parties infringing the client’s Lamzac product. Pierre Cousin, Myriam Moatty, Jean-Martin Chevalier and Sandrine Bouvier-Ravon are the names to note.

DTMV & Associés’ five-partner practice has a strong track record in contentious intellectual property issues and is particularly prominent in patent litigation, although the team also acts for French and international brands in a strategic and advisory capacity. Audio-visual expert Jean-Pierre Duclos, Thierry Mollet-Viéville, Pascal Lefort, Eléonore Gaspar and Thomas Cuche are the names to note.

De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés advises clients on transactional and litigious intellectual property issues. Louis de Gaulle acted for toys and games company Goliath in several litigious proceedings aiming to protect the client’s trade marks from immoral use by competitors, and Julien Horn continues to assist a longstanding client with the validation of movie titles and the protection of its trade mark portfolio which recently involved actions against distributors of counterfeit merchandise. Clients also recommend Francine le Péchon-Joubert, who is representing a trading company in its appeal against the court’s decision to condemn it for the import and distribution of infringing products, and Charles-Edouard Renault, who advised clients in the audio-visual production space on IP aspects of an exclusive output deal for a well-known television series. Other noteworthy clients include Château de Versailles, Microsoft and Twentieth Century Fox. Sandra Strittmatter and associate Sophie de Marez Oyens were new arrivals in February 2018 from LMBE.

According to one client, ‘very few firms offer the ability to address complex intellectual property in connection with high-stakes corporate deals’ like Dechert LLP. Marie Fillon represented a luxury fashion brand in trade mark infringement proceedings against a fashion company. Associate Clémence Boland is part of the team advising a household cosmetics name on IP aspects of its acquisition of a skincare and spa products producer, and a major technology client engaged the group to tackle the intellectual property obstacles hindering its expansion into Europe, including trade mark oppositions and revocation claims. In terms of counsel work, the team assisted the Technetics group with research and development agreements with EDF and Atomic Energy Commission and is also managing its intellectual property portfolio. Marianne Schaffner joined Dentons in 2018.

Dentons’ intellectual property offering provides advice on the whole array of both contentious and non-contentious IP matters: in recent highlights, the team advised Polaroid on branding and enforcement strategies for its trade mark portfolio, and senior counsel Isabelle Leroux represented Coca-Cola and its French and German subsidiaries in a complex copyright and ‘free riding’ dispute arising from the broadcasting of a Christmas advertisement. Of counsel Clémence Monnet is also a key contact and continues to assist well-known advertising agency J. Walter Thompson and its clients with campaigns and direct marketing projects and practice head David Masson carries out both civil and criminal proceedings on behalf of clients in the telecoms, life sciences, luxury goods and media spaces. The firm’s impressive client roster also includes Lactalis, Allergan and Harley Davidson. Marianne Schaffner was a new arrival from Dechert LLP in 2018.

FTPA’s intellectual property co-head Boriana Guimberteau represented a client in four separate trade mark infringement and unfair competition litigation cases against four different entities involving seizure operations and criminal charges, and together with corporate partner Nathalie Younan she also assisted a major global fashion retailer with a global agreement and the transfer of a competitor’s trade mark rights. In other recent work, Antoine Gautier-Sauvagnac regularly advises a high-end jewellery start-up company on copyrights issues and licensing agreements and also handled numerous infringement disputes. Fabrice Lorvo is one of the key contacts in the firm’s intangibles law department.

Gowling WLG ‘is well equipped to assist with any intellectual property matter regardless of its scale’ and the ‘impeccable’ Philippe Rousseau ‘is very accessible and swift in delivering straightforward and sound advice’; he recently advised Estée Lauder on the sale of its company to prestige fragrance brand Kilian, and represented a European manufacturer in a claim against a French competitor on the grounds of the copying of its product packaging and website. In other work, dispute resolution expert Céline Bey assisted a luxury cosmetics brand with a trade mark dispute. The firm’s client roster also includes household names in the automotive and life sciences sectors.

‘Excellent’ IP boutique Hoffman has a particularly strong standing in the luxury retail space, particularly in the fashion sector, and is headed by the recommended Emmanuelle Hoffman, Ingrid Zafrani and Pierre Hoffman. The group represented Barbara Bui in copyright and unregistered community designs infringement claims against RT International with regards to clothing products and allegations of parasitism and represented Domaine Château Tour-Fourthon in a trade mark opposition case pertaining to the registration of the La demoiselle d’Haut-Peyrat which allegedly violates the client’s established la demoiselle trade mark. Other noteworthy clients include Guess, Repetto and Chaumet.

The intellectual property team at Passa Varet Avocats provides strategic legal advice with regards to contract negotiations and litigation and consists of Jérôme Passa and Vincent Varet. In recent highlights, the duo advised a heavyweight luxury name on copyright agreements in connection with advertising campaigns and manufacturing processes, and Passa assisted a car manufacturer with trade mark issues pertaining to the use of a family name for marketing purposes. Clients also regularly seek advice on anti-counterfeiting measures.

Boutique firm Arenaire acts on the full spread of advisory and contentious IP mandates. Having recently welcomed Thibault Lentini from Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I., the team is acting for clients such as Pernod Ricard and Maisons du Monde in trademark litigation, and assists organisations and individuals such as architect Lina Ghotmeh with the protection of their copyright. Founding partner Pierre Massot is heavily recommended and has substantial experience in a vast array of industry sectors including the creative, pharmaceuticals and media sectors.

Bardehle Pagenberg’s Axel Munier, who recently made partner, and Rebecca Delorey ‘are very easy to correspond with and understand the client’s needs’. The duo is acting for BMW in two design and trade mark infringement cases before the Paris Court of First Instance against online resellers of online replica rims, and Delorey is assisting new client EasyGroup with multiple trade mark oppositions. Also noteworthy is Julien Fréneaux who recently represented fashion brands in trade mark, design and copyright litigation matters with Munier. Other notable clients include Diesel, H&M and Pandora.

Benoliel Avocats ‘provides an outstanding and reliable service to its clients’ under the leadership of founding partner Sylvie Benoliel-Claux, who is ‘committed, provides sound advice and tailors her assistance to her clients’ needs’. In recent highlights, the team acted for clients in the luxury goods sector in trade mark infringement and cancellation for non-use cases, and assisted a stationary manufacturer with its efforts to stop the sale of counterfeit products in European discount shops. On the copyright side, the group advised the heir of a well-known author on the protection and exploitation of intellectual property rights and on negotiations with various production companies regarding the adaption of the material into cartoons and movies.

CMS’ intellectual property practice recently welcomed trade marks and unfair competition specialist José Monteiro as of counsel from an in-house position at L’Oréal. In noteworthy 2017 highlights, practice head Anne-Laure Villedieu represented the National Geographical Institute, a public administrative body, in IP proceedings against Michelin pertaining to the alleged counterfeiting of several of the client’s maps, and senior associate Sabine Rigaud is part of the group advising the French Olympic committee on intellectual property-related issues on an ongoing basis. The practice’s recent caseload also includes complex cross-border infringement cases related to opposition and revocation claims, the transfer of portfolios and intangible assets, and the drafting and negotiation of partnership agreements. Other key clients are Deliveroo, Snapchat and Trainline.

The intellectual property practice at DS Avocats handles both portfolio management and litigation work for clients such as SNCF, Nature & Découverte and Pages Jaunes. Recent work highlights include advising new client Musée du Louvre on the management of its trade mark portfolio, particularly in the build-up to the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and assisting EDF with its partnership agreement with television channel M6 and the French Football Federation. On the contentious side, the team handled both trade mark and copyright infringement litigation. Catherine Verneret and Bertrand Potot were recently joined by sports and media law specialist Thierry Granturco from De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés.

Barbara Levy heads the intellectual property offering at De Pardieu Brocas Maffei which has developed a particular expertise in commercial contracts for domestic and international clients. The group assisted Shiseido and Beauté Prestige International with an exclusive license agreement for Dolce & Gabanna products as well as with transitional distribution and intellectual property agreements with the previous licensee Procter & Gamble; and senior associate Claire Poirson was part of a cross-practice team advising Areva on IP aspects of its sale to EDF. Also noteworthy is Levy’s representation of VF Corporation in various trade mark, design and copyright disputes against JM Weston, and in a counterfeit litigation against Desigual pertaining to the client’s Vans brand.

Guillemin Flichy’s Alexis Guillemin combines IP expertise with substantial experience in communications and new technologies law. The group’s recent caseload includes defending sports retailer Decathlon against unfair competition and infringement claims brought by Carrefour, assisting a wine producer with a number of labelling issues, and managing a trade mark portfolio for a railway company. In other work, Guillemin defended garden center corporation Truffaut in copyright and design infringement proceedings pertaining to a range of garden furniture. New clients include Vivarte, CMA snc and digital marketing agency Adlead.

Harlay Avocats’ IP offering services clients in relation to transactions, litigation and portfolio management strategies and considerably strengthened its capacities with the recent arrival of Dominique Mallo Saint-Jalmes from Taylor Wessing. Notably, Sabine Lipovetsky is acting for a well-known internet company in copyright infringement and unfair competition actions, and is also advising on the protection and enforcement of all intellectual property rights related to a major tourist attraction. Fabrice Perbost defended an online marketing agency against an infringement claim and advised a software editor on the verification of license agreements. The firm also assists clients in the creative industry.

Under the leadership of Tania Kern and Claire Weyl, Kern & Weyl exclusively handles litigious, pre-litigious and transactional intellectual property matters. Fashion brand Desigual retained the firm to oversee its anti-counterfeiting campaign which now includes handling a number of copyright, trade marks and design infringement actions, while matters in the technology sector included advising a successful start-up on trade mark license agreements. The group also regularly acts as referral counsel to IP Law Galli and Swissberg Ltd. to advise their Italian, Swiss and international clients on the specificities of French intellectual property law.

A ‘good outfit in its field of practice’, LMBE fields a ‘small, smart and efficient’ team. The group’s recent work highlights include trademark infringement, cancelation and opposition proceedings as well as regularly assisting clients with the intellectual property aspects of contract negotiations. On the copyright front, the team assisted a client with a database infringement case, and advised a manufacturer reproducing famous artworks on their products on negotiation with owners of artistic copyrights. Sandra Strittmatter and Sophie de Marez Oyens joined De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés in February 2018.

Meridian’s ‘team always raises extremely sophisticated and appropriate points which never fail to hit their target’. Co-headed by Julien Canlorbe, who joined the team from De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés and whose ‘expertise in trade marks is particularly remarkable’, and Vincent Vilchien, the group regularly assists clients with the management and enforcement of their trade mark portfolio and other intangible assets, and also acts for claimants and defendants in infringement proceedings related to trade marks and copyright. The team is also adept at advising on the negotiation of coexistence and partnership agreements including the transfer of intellectual property assets.

Osborne Clarke’s Claire Bouchenard acts for clients such as Esprit and Coquet in copyright and trade mark infringement proceedings; she also provides non-contentious advice on advertising, coexistence agreements and labelling issues for clients such as Innocent. Xavier Pican recently joined the team from LPA-CGR avocats.

Osmose’s intellectual property team is known for its ‘eagerness to understand and respond to the client’s concerns’. The group recently handled several copyright matters such as assisting Sony with a multi-party infringement claim pertaining to a song included in the soundtrack of a FIFA videogame, and acting for Yesss Electrique in unfair competition and infringement proceedings in connection with a lamp model. Other work highlights included advising Saupiquet on the management and enforcement of its trade mark portfolio. The ‘available, approachable and pragmatic’ Alexandra Le Corroncq, the ‘technically impressive’ Antoine Gendreau and Alexis Vichnievsky are the key contacts.

Emmanuel Gougé is in charge of Pinsent Masons LLP’s intellectual property offering, where he advises clients on infringement matters as well as strategic counsel issues pertaining to partnership and commercial agreements. In noteworthy 2017 work, the team advised Griesson de Beukelaer on a longstanding three-dimensional trade mark infringement and parasitic action against Générale Biscuit Glico and Mondelez with regards to the Mikado chocolate biscuit stick, and a household hospitality name engaged the team to assist with IP matters related to the opening of a franchise restaurant within the premises of one of its hotels. In terms of copyrights work, Gougé defended an NGO against a copyright infringement claim brought by a former employee pertaining to the use of her photographs in the client’s magazine, and the group also assisted an artwork collector with copyright matters and merchandising rights related to loans for the organisation of an exhibition.

The names to note in Reed Smith’s intellectual property outfit are European practice head Marina Cousté and counsel Romain Viret. The team handles the full gamut of intellectual property issues. Associate Sarah Madi is also noted.

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