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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 > Patents > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Intellectual property: Patents
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Considered a ‘top-tier unit’, Allen & Overy LLP’s patent lawyers are ‘very responsive and extremely knowledgeable about clients’ business needs, the industry and the technology space in general’. Laëtitia Bénard, David Por and Alexandre Rudoni head the team which has developed a strong expertise in the life sciences, telecoms, gaming and media sectors. Counsel Eveline Van Keymeulen ‘is there to answer regulatory questions surrounding patents cases’ and was part of the team which successfully defended Merck against a series of claims brought by a group including Bristol-Myers Squibb pertaining to a cancer treatment drug. Other notable work highlights included representing Novartis in a series of claims against a generic actor in the French market, and defending Archos in French, German and Dutch infringement actions brought by Philips in relation to mobile phone operating systems. Counsel Frédéric Chevallier is also a key contact.

Bird & Bird ‘has a highly skilled team for pharmaceutical patent litigation matters which always provides helpful and appropriate advice’. Practice co-head Yves Bizollon, who stands out for his ‘proactive and pragmatic approach’, and ‘well-prepared’ counsel Jean-Baptise Thiénot recently represented Actelion in revocation proceedings against Icos with regards to its patent in the innovative pulmonary arterial hypertension medical space. In the technology sector, Anne-Charlotte le Bihan is representing Thomson Licensing in several infringement proceedings against Samsung, and counsel Charles Tuffreau teamed up with Bizollon to advise Chavanoz Industrie on the appeal stage of a patent suit against sunscreen manufacturer Mermet with regards to a high-tech yarn used to manufacture fire-retardant blinds and curtains. Also notable is counsel and patent attorney Laurent Labatte who regularly handles complex litigation cases with a particular strength in the electronics and telecoms spaces.

Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.’s ‘very strong and highly responsive’ intellectual property lawyers are particularly ‘well-known and connected’ in the medical devices and pharmaceutical sectors. Emmanuel Larere recently teamed up with Raphaëlle Dequiré-Portier to represent Ono and Bristol-Myers Squibb in a multijurisdictional patent dispute against Merck with regards to an innovative immunological treatment for cancer, while Grégoire Triet represented Shionogi in two infringement claims against Merck and its subsidiaries pertaining to a HIV drug. In the consumer products space, the team defended Delica and its distributor Mifroma against patent infringement claims brought by Nestlé concerning its marketing of coffee capsules compatible with the ‘Dolce Gusto’ machines. Newly promoted partner Jean-Hyacinthe de Mitry has experience in handling trade secret and ‘know-how’ protection matters; he is a notable contact alongside ‘driven, client-oriented and very strong professional’ and associate Emma Leguillon.

Specialist intellectual property boutique Hoyng Rokh Monegier regularly represents clients from the agro-food, life sciences, aeronautics and telecoms sectors in cross-border litigation. Brussels-based practice head Benoît Strowel advised Zeltiq on a potential appeal against the revocation of one of its patents and the coordination of European litigations pertaining to CoolSculpting Cryolipolysis technology and Denis Monégier du Sorbier assisted Strowel with the enforcement of patent rights. Sophie Micallef, who is representing a corporate client in an invention dispute with a former employee, is another key contact.

Jones Day visibly strengthened its patent litigation offering by welcoming Thomas Bouvet and his team from Véron & Associés. The group represented Yamaha in a patent litigation against its competitor Piaggio concerning the alleged violation of six European patents pertaining to motorcycle and scooter engines, and also represented Vestegaard Fransen in breach of trade secret proceedings against a former consultant and his French company. Other work included representing Star Fruits and the Department of Agriculture and Food of Western Australia in appeal proceedings filed by Pink Lady following a decision by the Community Plant Variety Office to nullify a Community Plant Variety Right to Star Fruits.

Cabinet Schertenleib ‘is outstanding for patent litigation in the life sciences space’ and name partner Denis Schertenleib is ‘a very sophisticated and technically qualified operator’ with ‘experience providing no-nonsense advice as part of multijurisdictional litigation teams’. The group, which also includes of counsels Ombeline Degrèze-Péchade and Matthieu Dhenne, recently advised Mylan on a series of revocation actions and defended the same client against infringement claims. Additional highlights included defending Sandoz in a dispute brought by Pfizer and Warner Lambert with regards to whether generic laboratories can sell the client’s products through skinny label indications and outside of the realm of life sciences, as well as advising Alpinestars on its revocation claim against Dainese pertaining to mechanical engineering patents. Other notable clients are Teva, Amgen and Bio-Rad.

Véron & Associés’s practice is entirely dedicated to the resolution of contentious matters in the patents space and is led by of counsel Pierre Véron, who recently left the management of the firm to Sabine Agé and Amandine Métier. Recent highlights include a high-stakes infringement litigation against Bell on behalf of Airbus Helicopters pertaining to a new type of landing gear and Florence Jacquand, who was recently promoted to partner, defending Gilead in revocation proceedings brought by generic company Mylan. The group was also instructed by the National Institute of Intellectual Property to oversee a series of disputes arising from the lapse of the supplementary protection certificate of block buster cholesterol drug pravastatin. Caroline Levesque and Marta Mendes were recently promoted to counsel.

Armengaud Guerlain’s recent caseload includes acting for clients in multijurisdictional patent infringement proceedings, providing strategic advice on global patent invalidity proceedings and delivering intellectual property advice regarding industrial contracts. Catherine Mateu advised Quad Logic on its patent infringement action against the French public electricity distribution company, Enedis, with regard to smart electricity meters and Stéphane Guerlain defended a corporate client in a litigation filed by a former employee who claimed rights to an invention.

Grégoire Desrousseaux and François Pochart head August Debouzy’s patents offering which recently successfully closed a longstanding infringement claim on behalf of Pfeiffer Vacuum against Till Liquidating concerning plasma-generating technology. The firm also defended the French National Scientific Research Centre against a number of employee inventor claims, and senior associate Loïc Lemercier is working alongside Pochart to challenge the validity of the French part of a European patent owned by Merck before the French Supreme Court and to appeal the granting of a special protection certificate to Novartis. Other notable contacts include Mathilde Rauline who joined the firm as counsel in 2016 from a head of patent litigation position at Sanofi and has substantial experience in both litigious actions but also the management of patent portfolios.

DTMV & Associés’ patents practice services an impressive client roster in the pharmaceutical, manufacturing and high-tech electronics sectors featuring French and international entities such as Gilead, Pfizer, and Nespresso. The team, comprised of Thierry Mollet-Viéville, Pascal Lefort, Eléonore Gaspar and Thomas Cuche, recently defended Gilead in a high-stakes multijurisdictional invalidity action brought by Idenix with regards to its hepatitis treatment drug, and is acting for Nespresso in its ‘capsules war’ against other brands marketing coffee capsules compatible with its machines. Hutchinson and Valeo also engaged the practice to pursue manufacturers of counterfeit automobile parts.

Dechert LLP ‘is highly responsive and available for its clients’ and fields ‘an outstanding team’ headed by Marie Fillon. In recent highlights, Tembec engaged the team to handle its opposition against a European patent owned by Norwegian pulp and paper company Borregaard. The client roster also includes LG and Pierre Fabre. Julie Sérusclat departed the group for a deputy general counsel position at LVMH and Marianne Schaffner joined Dentons.

Dentons recently welcomed Marianne Schaffner and her team from Dechert LLP to bolster the patents offering, which services clients such as Essilor. She is currently handling a number of domestic and multijurisdictional patent infringement cases across a variety of sectors, including the life sciences space. On the non-contentious side, Laboratoires Servier appointed the group to oversee the intellectual property aspects of its international partnership with Swiss biotech company GeNeuro. Also notable is Davis Masson who acted for ICT in a patent litigation case brought by Tissues France pertaining to the use of an absorbent paper product and its production process.

Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP’s Stanislas Roux-Vaillard recently defended Icos, an affiliate of Eli Lilly, in proceedings against the validity of its European urology patent covering Cialis; he also worked at a multijurisdictional level to defend Bristol-Myers Squibbs in a special protection certificate nullification action brought by Teva in France. The team’s recent caseload also includes a number of infringement claims in the technology space, the defence of a company in the transport infrastructure sector against an invention claim by a former employee, and a transfer of patents and trade secret portfolios in the context of a major corporate transaction for a major energy company. Other notable clients include Hollister Inc, SNF Floeger and Merz Pharma. Jane Seager made partner and Marie-Aimée De Dampierre heads the team.

Lavoix is adept at transactional patent matters, the coordination of multijurisdictional cases and the handling of FRAND cases. Practice head Camille Pecnard, who recently joined the firm from Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP, represented ArcelorMittal in a number of disputes against former employees pertaining to the unauthorised use of trade secrets and ‘know-how’, as well as invention claims. Also noteworthy is Valérie Genin-Samson whose experience extends to the intellectual property aspects of contracts, the transfer of portfolios and ownership rights as part of corporate transactions, as well as arbitration proceedings for clients in the railway transport, luxury goods and automotive manufacturing sectors.

At Linklaters, the ‘level of service is excellent and the response times are prompt’ The team, noted for its ‘strength in depth’, is headed by Pauline Debré and acts across a vast array of industry sectors, where it provides litigation and pre-litigation advice in connection with revocation, infringement and nullification actions; however, the team’s recent caseload also features advice on research and development agreements and the transfer of intellectual property portfolios in the context of corporate transactions.

Representing clients in a wide array of industry sectors including healthcare, life sciences and energy, Loyer & Abello tackles both contentious and advisory patents matters. Michel Abello’s team has a particularly strong expertise in the pharmaceutical field where it regularly handles significant disputes pertaining to infringements, nullification demands and oppositions. Clients also engage the firm to advise on trade mark and design issues.

Marina Cousté heads Reed Smith’s European intellectual property team from the Paris office with the support of high-tech partner François Jonquères and counsel Romain Viret. The group has particular expertise in the biotechnical, chemical and technology industries.

Frank Valentin recently joined Altana from De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés with four associates and Armand Aviges who arrived from Armfelt Association d'Avocats. Recently, the three-partner team advised biotechnology company Onxeo on patents and IP aspects of its acquisition of DNA Therapeutics and represented a client in an employee patent dispute. Pierre Lubet is also a partner in the team and collaborated with counsel Jean-Guy de Ruffray to oversee a number of patent infringement claims. Associate Cédric Meiller is another key contact.

The intellectual property litigation practice at Aramis recently attracted several new clients across a wide range of sectors including life sciences, food and drink, and cosmetics. The group centres its practice around litigation, risk analysis and pre-litigation advice, especially related to generic pharmaceutical products. Practice head Benjamin May recently represented a client in patent infringement and know-how proceedings with regards to propulsion technology and also teamed up with Jestaz to advise a client on the acquisition of a portfolio of patents related to storage devices. Another notable work highlight is the representation of Tereos Syral in cross-border patent infringement litigation pertaining to the production process of a starch molecule.

Bardehle Pagenberg has the ‘right people in the right places’ and an ‘in-depth understanding of clients’ needs’ which covers all aspects of patents law including filing, portfolio management, litigation and enforcement. Managing partner and ‘absolutely outstanding litigator’ Julien Fréneaux heads the Paris offering and provided pre-litigation advice to Parrot with regards to its high-tech consumer products. Also noteworthy are patent prosecution team leader Dominique Dupuis-Latour and Marie-Claude Pellegrini, who regularly work alongside Fréneaux to represent telecoms sector clients such as Free and Iliad in infringement and validity actions.

The intellectual property team at Casalonga Avocats is led by four partners with significant experience in all aspects of intellectual property work including patent disputes in the pharmaceutical space. Marianne Gabriel and senior partner Arnaud Casalonga defended generic drug company Biogaran against an infringement claim pertaining to its drug for the treatment of certain forms of high cholesterol. Other key contacts include managing partner Caroline Casalonga, who is especially strong in the mechanical, consumer goods and electronics sectors, and Karina Dimidjian-Lecomte.

The patents team at Cornet Vincent Ségurel consists of four partners and regularly handles both contentious and non-contentious mandates across a variety of sectors. François Herpe and Thomas Deschryver recently represented clients such as Ingenico in patent infringement cases, and the team also handled the transfer and restructuring of patent portfolios as a part of corporate deals and partnership contracts. Florent Lucas and Jérôme Wiehn are other names to note.

DLA Piper’s patent expertise is predominantly applied in the healthcare and life sciences space, where Jean-Christophe Tristant represents pharmaceutical laboraties and medical device companies in infringement and nullity cases. His expertise also extends to the negotiation of intellectual property licensing agreements. Notable clients include IMS Health, Becton Dickinson and Santen Pharmaceutical.

De Gaulle Fleurance & Associés’ intellectual property team regularly advises on patent issues, especially in the context of contractual matters pertaining to the transfer of ownership rights and research and development projects. Recent highlights include advising a client on the implementation of its inventions and patents policy towards its employees, as well as handling consortium agreements. Louis De Gaulle and Francine Le Péchon-Joubert are regularly supported by healthcare sector specialist Jean-Marie Job and senior counsel Jean-Sébastien Mariez.

Guilbot Avocat has ‘profound knowledge in the field of patent litigation’ and clients ‘can be nothing but fully satisfied with the high-quality service provided’. Alongside its strong contentious offering, the team also conducts intellectual property due diligence in the context of corporate transactions and provides advice on the question of freedom of use. Notable work highlights included successfully representing CSI in patent infringement cases against Philips, which included the nullification of three European patents. Founding partner Florent Guilbot’s ‘high responsiveness combined with his willingness to go the extra mile for his clients’ give him an ‘undeniable advantage in the patent litigation sphere’.

Pinsent Masons LLP ‘gains strength through the high concentration of talented individuals’, who provide advice that ‘has a personal feel, so that clients feel like they are part of the team’. Practice head Emmanuel Gougé provides ‘clear, to-the-point advice’ and represented Plastic Omnium in a cross-European patent litigation case against German competitor Emitec. Other work highlights include nullity claims, contract negotiations in the context of FRAND licenses and partnership agreements, and representing Institut Mines-Télécoms in a dispute with an employee pertaining to the ownership of two patents. Calzados Hergar and Landis+Gyr are among the firm’s new clients.

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