Intellectual property: Patents in France
Allen & Overy LLP
Laëtitia Bénard, David Por and Alexandre Rudoni are the three main partner names to note within Allen & Overy LLP's intellectual property team. They are supported by counsel Eveline Van Keymeulen, who was recently promoted to head of the firm's regulatory life sciences department. Merck Sharp & Dohme appointed the group to act on a series of patent actions seeking to defend the validity of its supplementary protection certificate (SPC) for Ezetrol and enforce it against major generics manufacturers, and Novartis instructed Bénard and her team to advise on a patent nullity and infringement action brought by Teva. In other highlights, the team is currently representing Samsung in a salvo of litigation filed against it by Technicolor alleging the infringement of six patents. Other key clients include Archos, Pfizer and 3M. Counsel Charles Tuffreau joined from Bird & Bird and Frédéric Chevallier became a partner at Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.
The patents offering at August Debouzy 'consists of lawyers with a strong technical background and a deep understanding of their clients' business'; clients especially value their 'ability to quickly explain technical points, immerse themselves in the commercial environment and adopt a pedagogical approach'. Practice co-heads François Pochart and Grégoire Desrousseaux recently represented clients such as Nicoll, Teva and Orange in sensitive patent disputes with the support of 'standout practitioner' and senior associate Loïc Lemercier. Also notable are counsel Mathilde Rauline and senior associates Lionel Martin and Martin Brion.
Bird & Bird handles local and European patent matters for a broad range of enviable client names. Yves Bizollon recently represented Actelion in a patent revocation action against Icos - an affiliate of Eli Lilly - and Anne-Charlotte Le-Bihan continues to lead the advice to Technicolor regarding a series of infringement claims filed against Samsung pertaining to technologies such as video coding. The team also acted on a number of sensitive proceedings in the healthcare and consumer goods sectors. Géraldine Arbant is the main name to note in Lyon and counsel Laurent Labatte is also a key contact within the Paris branch.
Dentons recently recruited the 'hard-working, extremely responsive and strategically brilliant' Marianne Schaffner from Dechert LLP; one client describes her as 'by far the most knowledgeable and best prepared patent litigator in Paris'. She joins David Masson, who is currently representing a global technology leader in French proceedings against a competitor in the telecoms space, and leading the advice to clients regarding FRAND and European patent law issues. Of counsel Pierre-Olivier Ally and associate Clémence Boland arrived alongside Schaffner to join the ranks of counsel Clément Monnet and consultant Michel Vivant. The firm also gained a number of new clients including Essilor, Pierre Fabre and St-Gobain.
Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.'s patents offering sits within the wider IP/TMT department and consists of five partners who hold substantial expertise in the pharmaceuticals, medical devices and telecoms sectors. Raphaëlle Dequiré-Portier is currently defending Guerbet in a patent invalidity claim brought by Bayer, and Emmanuel Larere teamed up with her to advise Ono Pharmaceutical on its overall patent strategy in France, which currently includes two appeals regarding the French patent office's refusal of two SPCs for major immunotherapy treatments. The team also handled high-stakes litigation on behalf of clients such as Shionogi, Nokia and Maury Imprimeur. Also notable are Grégoire Triet, Jean-Hyacinthe de Mitry and Arnaud Michel.
HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER
Benoît Strowel, Denis Monégier du Sorbier and Sabine Agé head the patents offering at HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER, which recently merged with the team from Véron & Associés, including Amandine Métier and Florence Jacquand. Telecoms player Conversant Wireless appointed the group to enforce the patent rights of a large essential portfolio against LG, and Agé acted for Sony on the protection of three of its patents covering features of its game controllers. In the healthcare space, Gilead Sciences instructed a team including Métier and Jacquand to handle proceedings for the revocation of an SPC filed by various generic manufacturers. Sophie Micallef is also a key name to note.
Jones Day impresses clients with its 'promptness, short turnaround times and clear communication', which one client finds personified in practice co-head Thomas Bouvet. He is currently acting for Coloplast in infringement and preliminary injunction proceedings against its competitor Hollister, and secured a victory for Naos in an aggressive infringement claim. Client such as Merck Sharp & Dohme, Lufthansa and Renault also feature on the firm's enviable client roster. Emmanuel Baud co-heads the team with Bouvet and is also an experienced litigator.
Stéphane Guerlain and Catherine Mateu co-head the intellectual property offering at Armengaud Guerlain and represent an enviable client roster in the full gamut of 'soft' and 'hard' intellectual property matters. Significant recent patent work includes a number of sensitive and high-value international patent disputes, and the defence of a bailiff who had performed a seizure in infringement proceedings. Also notable is associate Axelle Collin, who plays a key supporting role in the practice.
DTMV & Associés
DTMV & Associés fields patent experts such as Eléonore Gaspar, Thierry Mollet-Viéville, Pascal Lefort and Thomas Cuche to act for an enviable client roster of domestic and international names in the technical sectors. Mainly appointed to handle high-profile cross-border patent disputes, the group has acted for clients such as Nespresso and Gilead Sciences in high-stakes invalidity, counterfeiting and nullity claims.
Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP's Stanislas Roux-Vaillard is currently representing Eli Lilly and one of its affiliates in validity attacks on patents covering urology products Cialis and Alimta as part of a cross-office team. He is also acting on a cross-border SPC nullification action on behalf of a major pharmaceutical company as defendant. In other highlights, the team oversaw SPC filings, patent ownership disputes against employees claiming rights or remuneration, and the defence of exclusive licence rights. Other noteworthy clients include Hollister, Merz Pharma, Dassault Systèmes and HTC. Marie-Aimée de Dampierre heads the firm's wider IP, media and technology department and is also a key name to note.
Lavoix's Camille Pecnard leads a patents offering with significant capabilities in the management of international portfolios, transactional support and litigation. Along with Valérie Genin-Samson, he has advised on disputes with employees pertaining to contested ownership rights, questions of inventorship and the misappropriation of know-how.
Linklaters' 'intellectual property team is very dedicated to its clients' and its 'thoroughly experienced patent specialists' are led by Pauline Debré, who one client recognises as 'one of the top patent litigators on the French market'. Noted for her 'great oral persuasion skills and deep understanding of the law', she recently defended a major pharmaceutical client in a patent revocation action, and acted for a leading international technology player on a potential challenge to an arbitration award pertaining to the determination of FRAND terms. Managing associate Jean-François Merdignac recently joined the firm from HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER and recently assisted a luxury client with a dispute arising from a former employee's claim for additional remuneration for inventions realised during her employment.
Emmanuel Gougé is the name to note at Pinsent Masons LLP for patents work; he recently acted for B/E Aerospace in its nullity claim against the French part of a European patent held by Zodiac Aerotechnics in a pan-European action. He and associate Virginia de Freitas have been representing Plastic Omnium in a cross-border infringement claim against German competitor Emitec from the seizure of counterfeit goods by the authorities to the action's current stage in the European Patent Court. Other key clients include Landis+Gyr, Bobis Engineering and Aber Instruments.
Cabinet Schertenleib is 'an effective niche patent litigation offering' with 'great technical understanding' of the technology and life sciences sectors. Clients can rely on the 'responsive and technically gifted' Denis Schertenleib and Ombeline Degrèze-Péchade, who 'is skilled in regulatory law in the health sector'. The group is currently representing biotech company Amgen in a patent infringement claim against Sanofi regarding hypercholesterolemia antibodies, and Mylan instructed Schertenleib to assist with a number of SPC revocation actions.
Adamas' Barbara Bertholet 'is a great professional, a tough counterpart and has a constructive approach to litigation'. She is currently assisting Sandoz with patent litigation against pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo, and is acting for Babymoov as a co-defendant in patent litigation brought by Bamed. In other highlights, the team advised on the negotiation of employee inventor policies and the drafting of licensing agreements.
The four-partner team at Altana advises French and international clients on the protection and enforcement of their intangible assets and recently strengthened its offering through the promotion to partner of Jean-Guy Ruffray and the promotion to counsel of Charlotte Hébert-Salomon. In recent highlights, Frank Valentin, Armand Aviges and senior associate Cédric Meiller acted on a number of sensitive and high-stakes patent litigation cases in the technology and healthcare sectors. Alongside the contentious aspect of its practice, the team also advises on the negotiation of licensing agreements and the prosecution of patents. Pierre Lubet is also a partner within the team.
Aramis' Benjamin May recently handled multi-jurisdictional patent litigation proceedings in the food, cosmetics, technology, pharmaceuticals and life sciences sectors, as well as the management of patent portfolios. Teoxane appointed the group to handle a multi-jurisdictional dispute in Switzerland, Belgium, France and Monaco arising from the infringement of a patent and the misappropriation of know-how; this matter also involved a series of notifications before national regulatory health bodies. Associates David Roche and Louis Jestaz are also key names to note within the practice.
Boutique firm Bardehle Pagenberg is 'very proactive and attentive, responsive to its clients' needs, not afraid to push back and able to think outside of the box'. The team is active in both litigation and prosecution but is noted especially for its the contentious side of the practice, headed by the 'very conscious and responsive' Julien Fréneaux. He is currently collaborating with Axel Munier and Dominique Dupuis-Latour to assist an international patent holding company with a series of infringement disputes in France in the telecoms sector, and recently led the advice to a foreign automotive equipment manufacturer on an infringement claim filed by a non-practising entity.
The four-partner team at Casalonga covers all aspects of intellectual property law including patent disputes. Caroline Casalonga has substantial experience in the mechanical and engineering space, while Arnaud Casalonga has a strong track record of advising clients in the pharmaceutical industry. Other key names include Marianne Gabriel and Karina Dimidjian-Lecomte.
De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés advises on the negotiation of R&D agreements, the intellectual property aspects of corporate transactions and the implementation of employee-inventor policies. The team is jointly led by Louis de Gaulle and Francine Le Péchon-Joubert and represents clients such as Groupe Cahors, R Santé and Alstom. In recent highlights, a large team of partners handled the intellectual property aspects of a joint venture between a rail company and a regulatory agency for the development of a new generation of high-speed trains, including patents and know-how. Other key names include Cécile Théard-Jallu, Blandine Fauran and Julien Horn.
Dechert LLP provides clients with a 'very wide scope of expertise' and fields a team of practitioners led by Marie Fillon, a 'rising star within the French intellectual property ecosystem', who is 'very reactive and available' and 'always gets straight to the point when answering difficult questions'. She recently acted for Astorg as part of a multi-disciplinary team on its acquisition of a controlling stake in medical devices company Echosens, and handled the intellectual property aspects of HRA Pharma's takeover of the Compeed brand from Johnson & Johnson. Along with a number of disputes, the team also advised on the negotiation of licences, R&D agreements and the revision of employee-inventor policies. Associates Guillaume Bensussan and Louis de Chezelles recently joined from DTMV & Associés and HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER, respectively. Marianne Schaffner departed the firm to join Dentons.
In addition to its strong contentious offering, Guilbot Avocat's intellectual property team regularly advises on due diligence in the context of corporate transactions and questions of freedom of use. Founding partner Florent Guilbot has acted on infringement and nullity claims pertaining to European patents.
The 'fantastic team' at Taliens 'has developed high-end capabilities in patent disputes' and 'always goes the extra mile for its clients'. The practice is led by 'fantastic litigator' Jean-Frédéric Gaultier, who has 'deep knowledge of both French civil proceedings and international patent litigation'; he is currently acting for Boston Scientific on its multi-jurisdictional infringement claim against Edwards concerning heart valve technology. Other highlights included the negotiation of licensing agreements and criminal proceedings pertaining to the misappropriation of know-how and trade secrets.