Intellectual property: copyright in France
The copyright offering at Armengaud Guerlain consists of Catherine Mateu, Stéphane Guerlain and associate Axelle Collin, who cover both contentious infringement matters and non-contentious contract negotiations for clients such as Studyrama and Dolce & Gabbana. Along with copyright licensing negotiations, the group recently represented a luxury brand in infringement proceedings against several retailers. Clients also instruct the team to advise on the monetisation of intellectual property and intangible assets.
The 'technically excellent and very responsive' intellectual property team at August Debouzy is noted for its 'outstanding industry knowledge and huge strength in depth'. Clients highly recommend 'superb litigator' and counsel Véronique Dahan for her 'excellent client management skills' and 'outstanding commercial lawyer' Mahasti Razavi, who 'has a good sense of what clients need'. The team was recently strengthened by the arrival of Basile Ader and counsel Amélie Tripet from Cabinet d'Avocats Ader Jolibois; the pair recently acted for a wide range of clients on contentious copyright infringement and parasitism claims as well as the negotiation of licensing agreements. In recent highlights, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences instructed the group to handle its claim against L'Oscar Café, which allegedly reproduces the "Oscar" logo and statuette without authorisation. Other key clients include Marlau Editions, Première Media and Edition Pierre Chareau.
Bird & Bird's Lyon-based Géraldine Arbant is currently acting for Swiss designer furniture manufacturer Vitra in several copyright infringement proceedings against a host of parties, and in Paris Yves Bizollon successfully defended an international home appliance manufacturer in an infringement claim filed by a designer previously employed by the defendant. Also notable is Anne-Charlotte Le-Bihan, who is currently representing a leading global hospitality client in contractual and copyright infringement disputes across multiple jurisdictions.
Louis de Gaulle and Julien Horn jointly head the copyright offering at De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés, which was recently strengthened by the arrival of Sandra Strittmatter from LMBE. The group is currently advising on a copyright infringement claim brought by two authors against the client, a major cinema production studio, and an international publisher instructed the team to represent it in an action filed by the heir of a famous individual regarding the use of posthumous materials in a biography. Charles-Edouard Renault is also a key name to note within the practice and recently oversaw non-contentious mandates in the television and cinema sector such as co-production agreements and output deals.
Recently strengthened by the promotion to partner of Jean-Hyacinthe de Mitry, the intellectual property team at Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I. represents an enviable client base in the luxury, media, fashion and technology sectors. Emmanuel Larere is currently assisting John Galliano - a subsidiary of Christian Dior - with a dispute brought by its founder, who demanded the forfeiture of all John Galliano marks and the prohibition of the use of his name for corporate purposes. Grégoire Triet is representing Fondazione Prada as the owner of a Jeff Koons sculpture at the centre of a copyright infringement action pertaining to the sculpture's alleged reproduction of a previous advertisement campaign owned by the plaintiff, Naf Naf. Other key names include Raphaëlle Dequiré-Portier and Arnaud Michel, who advise high-profile clients.
Pinsent Masons LLP's Emmanuel Gougé 'is a brilliant practitioner capable of quickly navigating to the core of the dispute with a problem-solving and pragmatic approach'; according to one client, 'as opposed to some other French attorneys, he is a very talented English speaker and team coordinator'. In recent highlights, senior associate Virginia de Freitas and associate Léonore Isnard supported Gougé in his advice to a photographer in a pre-litigation matter pertaining to the unauthorised use of the client's work by large conglomerates for advertising purposes. Also notable is the team's work for a perfume brand on the intellectual property aspects of the launch of a new product in France.
Recently bolstered by the arrival of Marina Cousté, along with Romain Viret and Frédérique Potin (both of counsel), from Reed Smith, the intellectual property team at Simmons & Simmons covers the full gamut of intellectual property issues across a wide array of industry sectors. Sarah Bailey is currently representing the estate of a famous painter in actions protecting his name and copyright from unauthorised use, and she was instructed by a multinational conglomerate to handle an infringement action filed by a former employee pertaining to the copyright of products he designed during his employment. Viret assisted corporate partner Christian Taylor with the intellectual property aspects of open source software in the context of a corporate acquisition.
Taylor Wessing fields a team of four partners to cover the full range of 'soft' intellectual property matters, including Marc Schuler, who recently joined the firm from Bird & Bird. Christian Valsamidis is currently leading a team including Benoît Goulesque-Monaux and counsel Jeanne Léon-Dufour to assist a music publisher with an infringement action against an animation studio on the grounds that the soundtrack to a popular series counterfeits one of the client's songs. Claire Saint-Laurent-Mantoux is a partner within the media and entertainment department and specialises in copyright issues across the advertising, cinema, design and arts sectors, particularly relating to contractual matters. Key clients include Dailymotion, Webedia, Mondadori Magazines and National Geographic.
Allen & Overy LLP
At Allen & Overy LLP, the copyright offering is headed by Alexandre Rudoni, who has a particular expertise in the video games and electronic entertainment space, where he represents an enviable client roster including names such as Nintendo and Epic Games on counterfeiting, piracy and copyright infringements. On the non-contentious side, the firm advised on the allocation of royalties and the negotiation of commercial contracts pertaining to intangible assets.
Altana's copyright offering is especially strong in the digital world, where it advises on both transactions and litigation. Frank Valentin and recently promoted counsel Charlotte Hébert-Salomon continue to assist a major technology player with the day-to-day copyright issues arising from its audiovisual production activities in France and the EU, and Pierre Lubet is currently collaborating with Jean-Guy de Ruffray to advise a high-profile individual in the haute couture world on an action against a former designer on the grounds of moral rights infringement. The group also advised on the negotiation of licence contracts, liability reviews and pre-litigation matters.
The 'very dedicated and professional' team at FTPA covers all aspects of intellectual property including trade marks, patents, designs and unfair competition matters. Antoine Gautier-Sauvignac recently advised clients on the negotiation of publishing contracts and production arrangements as well as contentious infringement cases. Other key names include Boriana Guimberteau and Philippe Pochet, who advises clients on counterfeiting.
The litigation specialists at niche firm Laude Esquier Champey have substantial capabilities in the contentious intellectual property arena, where the 'very skilled and highly renowned' Sophie Havard Duclos 'always provides clear and business-oriented advice' through her 'creative and pragmatic approach'. The practice is representing Christian Dior at the appeal stage of a copyright and community design infringement action against a host of retailers following a favourable decision in the Paris District Court.
The lawyers at boutique intellectual property firm Taliens 'are trustworthy, provide great advice and are true experts in their field'; they 'know how to approach litigation strategically' and the 'fantastic team has developed high-end capabilities in the copyright area'. Especially noted is 'bright practitioner and leading IP specialist' Clara Steinitz, who is 'commercially astute and takes into account the bigger picture'. She is currently representing the BBC in an action brought by the successor of a renowned photographer on the grounds of copyright infringement in a TV documentary, and Airbnb instructed the group to handle an infringement action filed by a photographer hired to illustrate the listings on the platform. Other noteworthy clients include Facebook, AccorHotels and Thomson Reuters.
Cabinet Bouchara Avocats
The 'reactive' team at Cabinet Bouchara Avocats 'is strong when it comes to portfolio management and can easily decide on how to optimally protect trade marks and copyrighted assets'. Practice head Vanessa Bouchara 'is very involved and always provides advice as if it was for her'; she recently represented Eleven Paris in an infringement case pertaining to the reproduction of three t-shirt models. In other highlights, Jabouley instructed the team to defend it in an appeal by Nedel following the client's victory in 2015 in a case pertaining to the illegal copying of one its laces, and Bouchara successfully acted for Cloud B and Hall B in its action against Laboratoire Bouix Santé (LBS) in the Nanterre District Court on the grounds of infringement and unfair competition. Associate Héta Sacko heads the trademark department and is also a key contact.
Herald Avocats' client roster includes TV broadcasters, literature and music publishers, production companies, research institutes and industrial groups. Jean Castelain and Richard Milchior jointly head the offering with the support of counsel Juliette Félix. Recent highlights include a number of copyright infringement disputes in the music space, as well as a dispute over the copyright aspects of the use of medical software following the dissolution of the inventor partnership.
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's Alexandra Néri and counsel Sébastien Proust recently acted for a leading global technology client in litigation proceedings against unions representing copyright holders in the music and cinema industries seeking the implementation of anti-piracy measures on its online search platform. In other highlights, the firm advised on several infringement cases and anti-counterfeiting efforts abroad.
Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP fields experts such as counsel Olivia Bernardeau-Paupe and Marie-Aimée de Dampierre to advise clients on a wide range of intellectual property issues, including copyright litigation cases pertaining to the infringement of third-party copyrights, both economic and moral. Luxury and entertainment players also instruct the firm to provide strategic advice in the context of new product launches and international marketing.
Kern & Weyl
Kern & Weyl 'has high-quality expertise in intellectual property brought to clients through a modern, efficient and business-oriented approach'. Particularly noted are recently promoted partner Giulia Cortesi, who 'matches a strong academic perspective to an efficient, pragmatic approach', and Tania Kern, who 'combines in-depth knowledge of intellectual property with her expertise in contractual law'. The firm is currently advising well-known clients in the fashion world on a number of anti-counterfeiting campaigns, and Claire Weyl acted for a global car manufacturer in a pre-litigation matter against a film production company regarding the use of its products in a film.
Schmidt Brunet Litzler
The main names to note at Schmidt Brunet Litzler are Delphine Brunet-Stoclet and Marie André-Nivet, who was recently promoted to senior associate. The group advises clients such as JJA, Swarovski, Amélie Pichard and Generik on copyright infringement claims, brand protection and anti-counterfeit programmes.