Allen & Overy LLP stands out in particular for its excellence in the gaming and entertainment industry. Under the direction of Paris practice-head Alexandre Rudoni, the group leads the firm's global initiative in the sector and has built up considerable muscle in acting for video game companies. For the practice's mainly international clients (with a particularly large number coming from the US and Japan), the integration of the French office into the firm's wider network is a key asset for their cross-border needs. The practice group's focus is on litigation and anti-counterfeiting work, on the one hand, and the commercial exploitation of rights -both in transactional contexts or in the context of licencing agreements- on the other. Advisory work prior to the launch of new products and services is also typical of the team's caseload.
Intellectual property: Copyright in France
Allen & Overy LLP
Other key lawyers:
‘It’s always a pleasure to work with Alexandre and his team: he possesses the perfect mix of technical precision, business understanding and finesse to achieve straight-forward and judicious legal advice.’
‘Alexandre Rudoni is top. Really nice and easy going, and at the same so knowledgable and responsive. He is especially strong for interactive entertainment and certainly France’s top lawyer for games.’
‘The strength of Alexandre Rudoni’s team is its in-depth knowledge of the industry, the sector and its major players. a big plus in adapting contracts to the business reality of our activity. I particularly appreciate the experience accumulated horizontally by each member of the team from which we benefit, all confidentiality preserved in addition.’
‘Alexandre Rudoni is particularly experienced, devoted to his clients, attentive, human, brilliant and full of resources. It is a pleasure to work with Alexandre and the members of his team.’
‘Extremely high industry knowledge (video games), very responsive, broad range of legal topics. ’
‘Our primary person to work with is Alexandre Rudoni. He is probably the most central lawyer in the French video games industry. He has a unique perspective and net of connections of players.’
Focus Home Interactive
Viviane Hamy Editions
- Represented Nintendo in civil litigation initiated against hosting-company Dstorage, which operates a website known globally for hosting unlawful copies of video games.
- Advised Epic Games on most of its legal matters in France, from IP disputes to transactions, and in particular, on various copyright-related issues.
- Assisted Valve Corporation with a commercial and intellectual property litigation initiated by the French consumer association, UFC Que Choisir, involving the company’s online Terms and Conditions.
The copyright practice at August Debouzy has a distinctly European outlook, with a focus on matters at the intersection of copyright and digitalisation. The team's technology expertise shows in its work on rights management in the context of an evolving technological framework, including assistance with issues regarding blockchain and data privacy issues. Its sector focus on the software and media segments therefore comes naturally, but the practice's scope also includes other areas, for example the arts. Additionally, the team is well versed in providing IP support in corporate transactions, both to the firm's own transactional experts and to other firms in need of IP expertise. The practice heads are Mahasti Razavi and Basile Ader, with counsel Amélie Tripet providing key support. Counsel Véronique Dahan joined Joffe & Associés in November 2020.
- Regularly assisted Première Media with copyright or right-of-publicity matters, notably in the context of several formal notices it received regarding the non-authorised use of actors and directors’ photographs on its website.
Bird & Bird's copyright practice is an integral part of the firm's wider IP offering, both in France and the firm's many other jurisdictions, including its presence in other European countries. As in the group's other areas of expertise, the copyright practice revolves around the firm's sectors of choice, namely the technology and communications, healthcare and life sciences, media and entertainment, and sports sectors. With its dedicated brand management team, where practice head Géraldine Arbant is the key contact, and litigation experience primarily provided by practice co-heads Yves Bizollon (leader of the French IP team), and Anne-Charlotte Le Bihan (both of whom also have extensive experience in patent litigation), the practice is a well-rounded proposition. Lyon-based senior counsel Frédérique Bocqueraz, who specialises in copyright litigation, is also noted.
Other key lawyers:
Take-two interactive software / Rockstar Games
- Represented Take Two in a copyright infringement procedure against a mod menu developer.
- Represented VITRA in France in copyright infringement claims against several infringers.
- Represented Kidiliz Grzoup in a copyright and trade mark action brought by Mr Creac’h and company A L’aise Breizh, including a contentious warranty claim.
The team at Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. includes both the firm's IP and TMT specialists, demonstrating the practice's awareness of the necessity of intersectional advice. A substantial number of instructions flow from the press and culture sectors, especially matters regarding issues around the collection and payment of royalties. Furthermore,both its international and local French clients benefit from the proximity to developments in EU law that the firm's Brussels office provides. The key partners in the practice are Raphaëlle Dequiré-Portier, Emmanuel Larere, Arnaud Michel, Jean-Hyacinthe de Mitry and Grégoire Triet; all five IP specialists whose combined expertise includes transactional and litigation experience across copyright, patent and trade mark matters; and media and entertainment specialist, Olivier Cousi. Counsel Julien Guinot-Deléry, who specialises in litigation in copyright, media, communication and culture contexts, is also noted. The firm's digital transformation platform, Gide 255, attests the firm's dedication to technological change.
‘Extremely savvy, able to hit the ground running, and with a broad base of expertise.’
‘Jean-Hyacinthe de Mitry is a gifted legal advisor. He makes complex matters of IP law very accessible to foreign lay persons.’
‘Very good combination of in-depth knowledge of legal matters and the client’s business flexibility requirements.’
Experienced Capital Management
Shanghai Icicle Fashion
- Assisted Mattel and Mattel France in copyright litigation against the wholesaler Mercier.
- Regular advisor to Celine regarding copyright issues, including representation in copyright litigation.
- Represented AFP in the framework of a procedure against Google before the French Competition Authority regarding the French translation of the EU Directive on copyright in the Digital Single Market.
Pinsent Masons LLP
At Pinsent Masons LLP, Emmanuel Gougé and his team handle a busy contentious caseload, composed primarily of disputes from the life sciences, retail and culture sectors, while also maintaining a steady flow of advisory work, such as the review and negotiation of licencing agreements, assistance with merchandising clearance, exhibition-related work and clearance advice prior to the launch of new products and services. As the French branch of a UK firm with offices in numerous jurisdictions world-wide, the group is a strong option for cross-border matters.
Other key lawyers:
Griesson de Beukelaer
Taylor Wessing is among the most technology-savvy teams in the market. The group combines its experience in advisory work and litigation with its acute awareness of the challenges posed by the constantly evolving digital landscape its clients operate in. To respond to these challenges, the group assists with the development and implementation of policies and alert systems and has developed 360-degree vision of the sector advising digital platforms and industry players alike, as its track record attests. The team's particular strength in the media and entertainment sector complements this orientation very well, since it includes assistance with licencing and distribution matters, transactional work and regulatory advice. Christian Valsamidis, Claire Saint-Laurent, Benoît Goulesque-Monaux and Marc Schuler co-lead the practice.
Reworld Media Magazines
Banijay / Zodiak Media
- Regularly assisted Spotify on IP matters related to the operation of its platform and new functionalities.
- Represented Dailymotion in copyright claims in relation to its content sharing platform, including representation in a voluntary intervention in the framework of a litigation iniated by a Daylimotion platform user against one of its partners, Orange telecom.
- Advised Mandarin Television on all legal matters linked to its production activities for television and on-demand media, including assistance with author agreements, talents agreements, music agreements, production services agreements and licences or co-production agreements with new media as Netflix on international English language series.
The merger of UGGC Avocats and Aturquoise in July 2020 brought the strength in copyright matters of Anne-Marie Pecoraro's and senior counsel Rodolphe Boissau's to the practice. Helmed by Pecoraro in conjunction with Elisabeth Logeais and Corinne Khayat, the team now enjoys considerably enhanced participation in the luxury goods, entertainment, culture, media and non-profit sectors, in addition to its existing IP strength. The experience of former Aturquoise duo Logeais and Khayat in cross-border matters fits well with the firm's international outlook and its offices in Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Additionally, clients benefit from the team's experience in anti-piracy work, including online anti-counterfeiting measures, and the expertise derived of a lengthy track-record which includes work for creators as much as for producers and brands.
Other key lawyers:
Diego et Alberto Giacometti succession
Cité de la musique Philharmonie de Paris
Frédéric Lyphoudt Archikonsol Project
- Legal counsel for the French matters of Diego and Alberto Giacometti’s heirs, handling the monitoring of potential infringements and filing a criminal complaint in order to prosecute unauthorised editions of works with posthumous titles.
- Advising the client on the construction of the building (awarding and execution of all contracts), dispute resolution, integration of the Orchestre de Paris into the public establishment Cité de la musique Philharmonie de Paris, including assistance with moral rights issues.
- Advised consultant editorial and visual director Sophie Djerlal on her contribution to a book by Azzedine Alaia.
Armengaud Guerlain's powerful litigation practice includes a strong copyright component as part of the group's 360-degree approach to IP. Practice heads Stéphane Guerlain and Catherine Mateu are highly experienced in domestic and cross-border disputes and can rely on their established network of foreign partner firms for assistance outside France; the boutique also regularly provides IP support to other law firms. With their long careers, Mateu and Guerlain possess broad knowledge of the sector - including the publishing, entertainment and fashion segments.
Castorama – Kingfisher
Andros – Bonne Maman
Acturus (El Ganso brand)
- Represented thebeneficiaries of a comic’s co-authors seeking compensation and an injunction to cease copyright infringement through the reproduction of comic characters on t-shirts, obtaining a judgment in favour of the clients.
- Assisted the authors of a sound and light show with claims for compensation for the assignment of the clients’ copyright to a third party without authorisation.
- Represented the defendant before the Paris Judicial Court in copyright and unfair competition law claims.
De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés stands out for its cross-practice approach and wide sector expertise, including in the fashion and consumer goods segments. The litigation strength of the team is, by nature, more visible in the market, but the team also assists with advisory work. The quartet at the helm of the practice consists of Louis de Gaulle, Francine Le Péchon-Joubert, Julien Horn and Serge Lederman. However, Sandra Strittmatter moved to Franklin in July 2020, while Jean-Sébastien Mariez left in September 2020 to co-found Momentum.
Ile de France Mobilité (Paris Area Public Transportation)
FFT (French Tennis Federation)
My retail box (day by day)
Château de Versailles
DreamWorks Animation/NBC Universal
Hill’s Pet Nutrition
Les Amis de Delâge
National Football League
Palais des Thés
Yann Couvreur Pâtisserie
Bibliothèque Nationale de France
CNC (Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée)
Editions Xavier Barral
No Money Productions
Yale University Press
- Represented autonomous-vehicle-technology specialists, EasyMile, in litigation brought by Kompai Robotics for alleged software infringement and unfair competition.
- Represented defendant Mango in a copyright and unfair competition action brought by Canada’s company App Group regarding a parka.
- Represented Etam in various copyright infringement litigations and unfair competition cases against fashion retailers for the sale of underwear with a lace design similar to the one created and used by the client for its main product line.
French litigation powerhouse Laude Esquier Champey acts for a wide range of clients, including individuals, small and medium-sized enterprises and well-known multinationals. Practice head Sophie Havard Duclos enjoys an excellent reputation in the market and demonstrates a high degree of versatility in her varied caseload, with experience including the fashion, publishing, jewellery, hospitality and consumer goods sectors.
‘The team of Maître Sophie Havard Duclos has a very strong and unique expertise in the matter. This team has an excellent analysis of the situation, strengths and weaknesses of each party and therefore conducts optimal negotiations and obtains satisfactory results.’
‘Their expertise is remarkable, excellent knowledge of the IP sector and its players, best advice to its clients while respecting the budgetary constraints of its clients.’
‘Delivers hands-on advice and strategy without any fuss. Understands what practical, but thorough advice looks like. ’
‘Sophie Havard Duclos – very responsive and open, clear communication. Doesn‘t just simply follow instructions but proactively thinks with clients to see how goals can be achieved as best and efficiently as possible.’
Christian Dior Couture
- Obtained a successful decision for Christian Dior Couture from the Paris Court of Appeal which condemned the largest apparel retailer for having infringed Dior’s copyright and unregistered community design regarding a model of sunglasses.
- Assisted Accor with the drafting of various contracts involving copyright-related issues.
- Defended Christian Dior Couture in various judicial copyright and design actions related to its famous ‘Mise en Dior Tribale’ earrings.
Simmons & Simmons
Simmons & Simmons excels in cross-border work, both in an advisory role and representing clients in copyright litigation. The group is able to assist clients from a wide range of sectors and demonstrates particularly strong experience in the protection of websites and databases, as well as in the protection of software. The entertainment and fashion sectors are other core industry segments in which the practice is particularly active. Dual qualified (France / England and Wales) Sarah Bailey and Marina Cousté co-direct the practice.
Other key lawyers:
- Assisted this French association (on a pro bono basis) with the review of the IP provisions of its various contracts, in particular to ensure the protection of copyright material in its training materials.
At Taliens, practice heads Clara Steinitz and Jean-Frédéric Gaultier offer experience in advisory and contentious cross-border work, and in particular -given the firm's set-up as an IP boutique with a European structure and culture- regarding matters involving other European jurisdictions. The copyright practice consists primarily of disputes work for clients from a number of sectors, with the film, publishing, fashion and jewellery sectors accounting for a substantial number of instructions.
Stella Mc Cartney
Burger King France
- Advised a media company on the implementation of the EU copyright Directive in French law.
- Assisted a media company with its negotiations with French copyright associations.
- Assisted a world-famous street artist with defence against alleged copyright infringement.
ADVANT Altana's copyright practice houses both a transactional and a litigious capability. On the disputes side, the caseload consists of copyright infringement proceedings, contract-related issues, breach of contract and royalty-related litigation, and anti-counterfeiting work. The transactional practice covers the negotiation and drafting of licence agreements, regulatory clearance, audits, and assistance with the preparation of campaigns, products or services before their launch. Pierre Lubet and Jean-Guy de Ruffray co-lead the practice advising a roster on which clients from the entertainment, insurance, technology, publishing and marketing sectors all feature heavily. Frank Valentin and counsel Charlotte Hébert-Salomon joined DLA Piper in February 2021.
Exacompta – Clairefontaine
Vinci Construction France
At Cabinet Bouchara Avocats founding partner and practice head Vanessa Bouchara impresses with her prolific activity for fashion-sector clients, but is also an experienced adviser to clients from the cosmetics, luxury goods, food and beverage, and hospitality sectors. Litigation is the practice's mainstay, but the team is also well versed in advising on issues with a strategic aspect such as contractual matters.
‘Very available, responsive team, involved in all the files entrusted. The whole team is very technically talented, which we really appreciate. We love working with this firm. They take care of the validation of our projects, the drafting and negotiation of contracts (assignment of copyright, image rights, etc.). Vanessa Bouchara also manages our litigation (actions for infringement of our models that we actively protect).’
‘Vanessa Bouchara has impressive expertise in intellectual property, particularly in copyright, she knows our sector perfectly and always gives us sound advice. She advises us as if it were her own business. Vanessa is always available and more than reactive, she is personally involved in each of the files that we entrust to her and that is what we particularly appreciate.’
‘Maître Bouchara is an available and involved lawyer who knows the history of our company, perfectly and is always on the lookout for the latest case law.’
‘The team is very responsive and offers solutions to save time in each situation.’
‘We work with Vanessa Bouchara and Heta Sacko in perfect confidence in the efficiency and the keeping of the deadline for each situation.’
BA & SH
Sofrane (Paul & Joe)
Des Petits Hauts
Les Montres Suisses
In N Out
Benoit Valerie Calvet
Chatueau Peyrat Fourtho
La Francaise des Jeux
Maison France Confor
Western Digital Technology
- Represented the client (as claimant) in High Court proceedings against Monoprix Exploitation regarding the sale of sweatshirts, polo shirts, t-shirts and boxers with the same characteristics as its own.
- Represented Jabouley in infringement proceedings against defendant Superdry regarding the counterfeit of a specific type of lace, securing a favourable outcome for the client.
- Represented the client (as defendants) in proceedings brought by photographer Richard Harinthe regarding the use of photographs in poster advertising campaigns.
Under the direction of practice head Richard Milchior, the team at Herald Avocats is experienced in assisting creators and companies, both small and medium-sized companies and major corporations, with their non-contentious and litigious copyright needs. With its varied client list -which includes publishers, production companies, cultural institutions and individuals among many others- the practice has proven versatility and offers comprehensive expertise across the different aspects of copyright issues. In particular, all the team's members possess in-depth knowledge of the country's media sector. On the international front, the firm is a member of Geneva Group International.
Other key lawyers:
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is well-known for its work with the world's biggest internet and technology companies, especially on strategic matters. Alexandra Neri and her team act on contentious and non-contentious matters, particularly in cross-border contexts where the firm's extensive geographical reach comes into play. Moreover, the firm's 'ALT' offering -an alternative legal services structure- is set-up to handle around-the-clock data-intensive matters around the globe, using its locations in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and the US.
Other key lawyers:
- Acted for Forseti in litigation against Lexis Nexis, Dalloz, Lexbase, and other traditional editors of legal information.
With its extensive cross-border experience, clear dedication to IP and sizeable team, Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP is an attractive proposition. The team led by practice heads Marie-Aimée de Dampierre, Stanislas Roux-Vaillard, David Taylor and Jane Seager is active in both advisory and contentious matters, including clearance work, licencing agreements and infringement proceedings. Very much seeking to provide a one-stop IP service, of late, the practice is increasingly gaining profile as a ‘go-to’ destination for multijurisdictional matters.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is knowledgeable, responsive, and flexible, and is always willing to dig deeper and/or explore further avenues to trace or resolve any matter.’
‘Each member of the team has established both a professional and personal connection to us as a client allowing for a better client relationship and a deeper working relationship.’
‘We worked closely with Marie-Aimee De Dampierre and her team, and found them to be incredibly responsive, intelligent, and efficient. We really appreciated Marie-Aimee’s counsel on this case.’
Klein Wenner's copyright practice is integrated into the firm's IP/IT department and is particularly active for technology, media and sports clients. Clients receive a wide range of services, including portfolio management advice, assistance with licencing and assignment contracts and advice on the legal aspects of publishing matters. Production contracts and creator contracts, for example for artists or authors, are core lines of work. The litigation offering completes the practice spectrum. The group's in-depth knowledge of the entertainment sector also covers complementary legal areas, such as broadcasting rights, image rights and press-related matters. The practice heads are Laurent Badiane and Matthieu Bourgeois.
ASIP SANTE NO
TOUT SUR L’ECRAN PRODUCTIONS NO
LAGARDERE LIVE ENTERTAINMENT
- Advised and assisted the ASIP Santé regarding several copyright issues (verification and acquisition of exploitation rights for terminology and other content stored and distributed in a database with regard to open data obligations, including the analysis of all existing ‘free’ licenses and the drafting of several analysis notes).
- Assisted and represented a French audiovisual production company in litigation against another French production company in a revenue sharing dispute relating to the sale of a program abroad.
- Assisted the ECPDA with copyright questions regarding the insertion of an end credits in a movie, in particular whether the mention of names of public officials is a modification of the work carried out in the public interest service and, consequently, damage its respect.
Osborne Clarke assists with portfolio management and litigation as well as with commercial matters, especially the negotiation and drafting of licencing contracts involving content available on the internet. Infringement proceedings account for the bulk of the contentious caseload. OC Solution, the firm's internal legal-tech hub, serves to build customised project management platforms for clients, storing relevant information and providing around-the-clock access to their file histories. Claire Bouchenard Xavier Pican and Béatrice Delmas-Linel co-lead the practice; all three are very experienced in handling cross-border matters.
Inncent France (Coca-Cola Group)
Taboola (droit des éditeurs de presse)
Mino du Sud
- Assistance with protecting the client’s handicraft tableware goods against copyright infringements; securing €365m in damages.
- Advised the clients on the new IP rights granted to press publishers, updating their publisher template-agreement accordingly.
- Advised the client on the differences between hosting platforms and publishers in a litigation against a competitor.
Pierrat & Associés
Pierrat & Associés is among the most established copyright specialist firms in the market. Practice heads Emmanuel Pierrat and Sophie Viaris de Lesegno are steeped in the country's cultural sector and offer longstanding expertise in crafting customised solutions to its clients' IP needs. Clients include well-known names from the cinematic, architectural, photographic and museum segments.
‘The expertise at Pierrat de Sèze is exceptional because it is based on great strength in non-legal areas (art history, architecture history) and the development of skills in new media formats that have become a breeding ground for fakes. The ability to integrate international components, especially from Asian jurisdictions, also sets the firm apart.‘
‘The team around Maître Pierrat is young, cultivated and modern.‘
Schmidt Brunet Litzler
Schmidt Brunet Litzler is known for its efficient litigation practice, but also offers in-depth knowledge of contractual matters, including assignment and licencing agreements and transactional IP support. The group's customs-seizures experience is another strength. Delphine Brunet-Stoclet leads the group.
‘Attentive, available, professional, with rapid comprehension skills.’
‘We work in a very specific field of activity. The expertise of the lawyers in this firm is useful to us on a daily basis. There is little case law to refer to in the event of a dispute, but they do a fabulous job of research to defend our interests’
‘There is always a member of staff available and the follow-up of our file is very professional.’
‘First, Delphine and her team are always highly responsive. I can count on Schmidt Brunet Litzler to deliver. Additionally, their design clearance and design infringement advice is not only thorough, but also creative and oriented towards finding a workable solution. I particularly enjoy working with Delphine Brunet for the reasons set forth above.’
Morgan Motors Company
Vasgos – Oddo vins et Domaine
Dermatologic Skincare Solutions
Concept Footwear Solutions
Edmond de Rothschild
Fonds Stratégique de participations
- Represented the client in copyright infringement proceedings brought by a furniture company regarding the alleged counterfeiting of coat stands.
- Advised Artora following the receipt of an email and a formal notice regarding the unauthorised use of a picture whose photographer had transferred his rights to Agence France Presse.
- Defended the client in proceedings brought by APM Monaco regarding alleged copyright infringement of a bangle, securing a win in the first instance and representing the client in the following appeal proceedings brought by the claimant.
VARET & PRÈS AVOCATS opened its doors in October 2020 when practice heads Vincent Varet and Xavier Près joined forces to assist clients with their IP, media and IT law needs. The boutique is especially active in the luxury goods, publishing, culture, sport and IT sectors, where it acts on both contentious and non-contentious matters, including contract-related work and infringement proceedings.