JUVE Patent

Allen & Overy – France 2021

JUVE Comment

The IP team at this international full-service firm is a challenger to the market leaders and best known for representing originators in major pharma disputes. For the French proceedings in pan-European cases, international heavyweights from the life sciences sector such as Bayer and MSD rely on the team led by Laëtitia Bénard, which often works with Allen & Overy’s team in the UK and Germany. For regular client MSD, the firm succeeded in keeping generics of cholesterol-lowering drug Inegy from entering the French market until the SPC expired. This solid position in life sciences litigation won over Chinese manufacturer of medical devices Beijing Genomics Institute, which called on the firm because of infringement allegations by US competitor Illumina.

Away from life sciences, the team is struggling to gain recognition for its work in major SEP proceedings. The practice does litigate for such notable clients as Samsung and Nokia in telecommunications disputes. The latter is represented by David Por in some of the largest FRAND proceedings before the French courts against NPE Intellectual Ventures. In these cases, the team brings the knowledge of two dual-qualified lawyers/patent attorneys into play. But the team has yet to enjoy the visibility of market leaders August Debouzy and Hoyng ROKH Monégier Véron.


Strong pan-European network. Representation of originator drugs manufacturers in pharmaceutical cases.

European strategy

Allen & Overy has made significant progress in coordinating and developing its European practice over the past few years and advises clients such as Bayer in cross-border disputes. In large pharmaceutical and biosimilar cases, the firm’s European practice is a market leader on the side of originator manufacturers. With offices in most of the key European jurisdictions, it has become a serious rival to Hogan Lovells and Bird & Bird as a European market leader.

In pan-European litigation, the French team works closely with those in London and Munich, taking on a coordinator role in some cases. Like its Munich colleagues, the Paris practice has raised its visibility in mobile communications cases in recent years. Neither have yet reached the powerful market presence of the UK practice. However, growing connectivity in the car industry offers great potential for the whole practice.

In Germany, there is still room for growth – at both partner and associate level. In Amsterdam, the team’s presence remains understated. Allen & Overy also lacks visibility in the Italian market, where pharma proceedings play an important role.

Recommended individuals

Laëtitia Bénard, David Por


2 partners, 1 counsel, 10 associates


Strong focus on litigation in patents, especially pharma, biotech and telecommunications. Arbitration, transactions and cross-border licensing agreements.


Litigation: Archos (defendant) against Philips over mobile communications; Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent (defendants) against Intellectual Ventures over mobile communications; Bayer (claimant) against Ceva over veterinary drug Baycox Iron; MSD (claimant) against generics companies over Inegy; Beijing Genomics Institute (defendant) against Illumina over DNA sequencing technology; 3M against Saint-Gobain over automobile product. Advice: frequent for Samsung and Google (public knowledge).