Pinsent Masons – France 2021
The Paris IP team of this international full-service firm enjoys a sound market position where it brings its pronounced sector focus into play. In the auto sector, Emmanuel Gougé’s team represented a South African manufacturer of steel wheels, Global Wheel, in a patent dispute against Hutchinson concerning inflation technology. The firm’s contacts in the energy sector are similarly well-established.
However, there remains unexploited potential when it comes to cross-referrals from other offices, especially the UK practice’s strong client base of generics manufacturers. Clients like Teva and Accord frequently entrust the Paris team with FTO analyses, but not yet with the French proceedings of major pan-European patent disputes. Teva, for example, has a close relationship with competitor August Debouzy (against MSD) and Allen & Overy (against Novartis).
The team around Emmanuel Gougé is also active in the pharma sector. Indeed, it has even steadily grown its client base and landed a notable pharma manufacturer as a new client, which it advised on potential patent-related conflicts when entering the French market.
Litigation in automotive, energy and technology.
With London, Paris and Munich, the firm has IP teams in the key European patent venues. The UK team is the most visible of Pinsent Masons’ European patent practices and coordinates the most pan-European patent disputes, for instance for regular clients Teva and Accord.
While the Paris office has already carved out a certain market profile, the Munich team is still struggling to establish itself in the highly competitive German market. The firm does not yet have an IP team in the Netherlands, another important European market. Since the UK withdrew from the UPC process, the focus is increasingly on the Dublin office. Here, further expansion makes it likely the Irish capital will become more central to the firm’s UK strategy after Brexit. In European jurisdictions where the firm has no offices, international cases are managed via a partnership with a selected law firm with a patent specialty.
1 partner, 2 counsel, 3 associates
Focus on patent litigation concerning technology, especially in automotive, energy and aerospace sector. Licensing projects, FTO analysis and transactions.
Litigation: Global Wheel (defendant) against Hutchinson in infringement action including seizure (saisie-contrefaçon) over wheel with improved inflation system; truck and industrial motor manufacturer (defendant) against automotive company over driving systems technologies; automotive supplier (claimant) against competitor over catalytic depollution technologies. Advice: Teva and Accord on FTO analysis and market entry of generics.