THE FIRM Sources agree that this international firm continues to be one of the market leaders for IP. Its principal focus is on high-profile, multi-jurisdictional patent litigation cases, especially in the pharmaceutical sector but also in hi-tech and other areas. Lately, the group has been developing its trade mark and copyright activity, and has built up strong relations with players from the media. Recent work highlights include assisting Novartis, one of the team’s most important clients, with the definition and implementation of an IP strategy to prevent the unlawful entry of its generic competitors into several of Novartis' markets.
Sources say: “An excellent team, which can reach out to the firm’s network of highly qualified individuals in other important jurisdictions when it needs expertise on international issues.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Laetitia Benard “is becoming increasingly important” in the practice and is “a true rising star,” agree peers. Clients observe that “she has developed profound expertise in the pharmaceutical and biotech areas, both in regulatory and contentious areas.” Long-established patent litigation expert Pierre Lenoir maintains his formidable reputation but is less visible on cases nowadays.
THE FIRM This sizeable IP practice is a well-established leader in the French market and benefits from the firm’s strong practice on a global scale. It handles major pharmaceutical patent disputes, as well as important soft IP cases in the areas of trade marks, Community design and unfair competition, for a varied and international clientele.
Sources say: “Often our cases require interaction with lawyers from numerous jurisdictions. We have been fully satisfied with the team’s abilities and skills of co-ordination when it comes to handling situations with international elements.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS “Excellent and well-known patent litigator” Yves Bizollon is “calm, subtle and eloquent whilst vehemently driving his clients’ interests forward.” He is “an exceptional strategist with long IP experience.” His main area of practice is patent litigation but he also handles a small amount of trade mark work. His skills will be a valuable asset to the firm now that Isabelle Leroux has left to join Salans.
THE FIRM This four-partner boutique focuses entirely on patent litigation, and continues to have a stellar reputation amongst peers and clients. The firm places great emphasis on the technical components of its work, and employs a scientific consultant, an economic litigation consultant, a graphic designer and an integrated translation service to complement the lawyers’ expertise. The group’s work is highly international in nature. The pharmaceutical sector is the most significant source of instructions, but the telecoms and aviation sectors are also important. Major clients include Novartis, Air Liquide and Nokia.
Sources say: “The leading patent litigation boutique in Paris.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Peers hail star patent litigator Pierre Véron as “a role model” and confirm his “phenomenal reputation” in the field. Clients also view him as “extremely well reputed for patent litigation” and appreciate that “he tries to be conciliatory and helps us to find the right route.” “Very clever” fellow partner Isabelle Romet also has a robust reputation for patent litigation. Her practice covers patent validity, infringement and licence disputes, especially in complex technological fields with an international context.
THE FIRM This prestigious French firm's large IP team benefits from the firm's full-service nature, and is able to advise on a broad spectrum of IP issues, including patent litigation, trade marks and copyright. It is present in a wide range of sectors: on the patent side in pharmaceuticals, biotech and hi-tech; on the soft IP side in areas such as media, publishing, motion pictures and music. The group is best known for soft IP matters and IT-related work. It advises many US clients on trade mark and copyright issues.
Sources say: “Especially well reputed for soft IP.” “Extremely responsive, available and understands how we work. It has numerous US-based clients and there is no sense of any linguistic or cultural gaps – geography hasn’t been an issue.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Well-known name partner Louis De Gaulle has a “very strong strategic sense – he is good at understanding a situation and leading the best way forward,” report clients. He has a broad practice that covers multiple IP areas in depth. Partner Frank Valentin has been very visible in the IP area of late, and wins glowing client feedback. He provides counsel on trade mark and patent litigation to clients from the entertainment and internet industries before the French and European IP authorities.
THE FIRM Soft IP, and particularly trade mark-related work, is this team’s standout area of strength, although it also handles advisory and contentious patent matters. It acts for a mix of domestic and foreign clients, the latter coming particularly from the USA, the UK, Eastern Europe and Asia. It is especially well known for its activity in the fashion industry, but is present in a variety of other sectors including life sciences, food and publishing.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Gérard Delile has been an IP specialist for many years, focusing on soft IP. Generalist IP lawyer David Masson leads the practice. Peers particularly recommend him for trade mark and copyright-related advice. Isabelle Leroux focuses mainly on trade marks and is widely acknowledged as “a leader in her field.” She recently moved from Bird & Bird, where she built a formidable practice.
THE FIRM This eight-partner boutique specialises in IP and has been one of the best-known and most active players in the field for many years. It covers contentious and non-contentious issues relating to patents, trade marks, copyright, designs, models and IT. The firm is also able to advise on general litigation, employment law and corporate matters.
Sources say: “A sizeable team specialising in IP, with an excellent reputation.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Senior partner Thierry Mollet-Viéville is a renowned patent litigator who continues to be “highly active on important cases.” He commands the serious respect of peers, who comment that “he is a dangerous opponent – he really has the knack of court, and a lot of people lose against him.” He also has experience of trade marks, design, copyright and unfair competition.
THE FIRM This relatively large and highly regarded team handles a wide range of patent, trade mark and IT-related matters. It is particularly active in the pharmaceuticals, life sciences and telecoms areas, but also represents clients from sectors including energy, automotive, consumer, food, entertainment and media. The firm’s extensive global network makes the group very well placed to advise foreign clients on cross-border matters.
Sources say: “Extremely reactive, professional and creative in their solutions and advice.” “An excellent and large IP team with a great client base.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS “Excellent” trade mark specialist Marie-Aimée de Dampierre is “very thorough and a great strategist – she is someone who takes us in the right direction,” enthuse clients. She receives special mention for her aptitude for advising US companies. Widely respected IP expert Xavier Buffet Delmas receives particular mention for his recent trade mark activity. Clients commend his “huge knowledge, excellent advice and understanding of all the nuances of complex IP issues.” Long-established IP expert Dominique Ménard is particularly well recognised for patent litigation, and maintains a solid reputation in the market.
THE FIRM The IP team at this international firm is best known for its soft IP and IT-related work, and handles slightly more advisory than contentious matters. It acts for domestic and foreign clients, with Asia being a key source of instructions, and is present in a diverse range of sectors including luxury goods, automotive, hi-tech, pharmaceuticals and alcoholic beverages. Major clients include Moët-Hennessy and The Swatch Group.
Sources say: “The team has great clients and an excellent international network.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS Long-standing IP practice head Jean-François Bretonnière handles a range of contentious and advisory IP work and has huge experience of the Asian market, with particular expertise in advising Japanese clients. Virginie Ulmann provides counsel on the negotiation of IP agreements and litigation relating to trade marks, domain names, design, copyright and unfair competition.
THE FIRM The three-partner team at this recently created IP boutique enters the rankings following positive feedback relating to the swift impact that it has made on the market. It covers a wide range of IP matters, with particular renown in patent litigation. The group handles a substantial number of cross-border cases, and is able to draw upon the expertise of IP specialists in the firm’s offices in Amsterdam, Brussels and Madrid.
Sources say: “The firm has quickly built up a strong reputation.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS “Outstanding and extremely experienced” Denis Monégier du Sorbier co-founded this firm in January 2011, having previously been at Howrey. He is one of the top patent litigators in the country and most of his practice is in this area, but he also handles disputes relating to soft IP matters including trade marks, design and unfair competition. Peers acknowledge that his new venture has been a success and “he has built up a great team.” Previously of Cotty Vivant Marchisio & Lauzeral, Marie George-Picot’s practice is a balance of contentious and non-contentious work and encompasses trade marks, copyrights, patents and unfair competition.
THE FIRM This relatively new team has established a robust position in the market, especially for trade marks, which account for a large portion of its activity. Much of its work is cross-border in nature, drawing upon the firm’s extensive international resources. Work with the Chinese market has been particularly important of late. The group is active in sectors including media, luxury goods, fashion, pharmaceuticals, biotech, energy, food and retail.
Sources say: “The group’s work is of really excellent quality.”
KEY INDIVIDUALS “Fantastic” department head Emmanuel Baud receives shining client endorsements and is especially well reputed for his trade marks work. “He is extremely reactive, client-friendly, talented and creative, and I know that I can trust him completely,” enthuse clients. They also highlight his expertise in geographical indications, stating that “he is one of the most important lawyers in France in this area and has a full vision of the concept.”
Formerly of Hirsch & Associés, Grégoire Desrousseaux
of August & Debouzy Avocats is dual-qualified as a patent attorney and a lawyer, and wins rave reviews from market sources. Clients greatly value his “unique combination of technical and legal expertise”
and consider that “his excellent understanding of technically complex matters makes it easier to communicate with him than many other lawyers.”
Peers report that he is “extremely active in patent litigation, and one of the best.” Anne-Marie Pecoraro
of Aklea concentrates on trade mark and copyright matters in the music industry. Muriel Antoine-Lalance
of boutique firm Cabinet Antoine & Benoliel is well reputed for her specialist design and copyright practice. At specialist IP, media and communications firm Watrin Brault Associés, name partner Nicolas Brault
is “excellent and really active on copyright and trade mark cases in the media, arts and luxury goods sectors.”
He is also visible in the internet field, advising start-up companies. Peers state that “younger but smart” Stéphane Colombet
of Vivien & Associés is “extremely good in copyright”
and is becoming increasingly visible. Emmanuelle Hoffman
of Cabinet Hoffman has “a strong reputation, notably in the fields of design and trade marks.”
She represents French companies, especially in the fashion industry, and is well known for her involvement in professional associations. Peers identify the venerable François Greffe
of Cabinet Greffe as “a pioneer of designs, models and advertising law,”
and note that he has drafted legislation and written famous books on design law. Marina Cousté
moved to Reed Smith from now dissolved firm Howrey in spring 2011. She is one of the best-known patent litigators in France, and frequently advises US-based clients. Stefan Naumann
of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP has a broad IP and TMT practice. He receives special mention for his trade mark work. Well-recognised partner Marianne Schaffner
recently left her position as head of IP at Linklaters to boost the IP practice at Dechert LLP. She is best recognised for patent disputes but also handles trade mark, copyright and software matters. She also provides corporate support from both advisory and contentious angles. Highly regarded and long-experienced IP specialist Jean-Christophe Tristant
of DLA Piper UK LLP is mainly present on large cross-border patent disputes but also handles some copyright and trade mark cases. Young but “extremely talented and promising”
patent litigator Denis Schertenleib
of Cabinet Schertenleib receives glowing feedback from peers and clients. “He is very responsive and proactive, and can handle a wide range of technical matters. His scientific background is a real asset and he really knows how to work with international parties,”
enthuses one interviewee. As well as being dual-qualified as a lawyer in France and the UK, Schertenleib is a trained physicist with a PhD in molecular biology. He is most visible in the life sciences field but is also active in other areas including telecoms, optics, mechanical devices and electronic devices.