August Debouzy – France 2023
The IP practice of this national full-service firm is a true powerhouse in patent litigation and has been a market leader for years. Few competitors are active in as many proceedings before the French courts as the mixed team led by dual-qualified partners Grégoire Desrousseaux and François Pochart, whom one client counts “among the best in patent litigation”.
The patent practice puts in a brilliant performance in high-profile disputes across a broad spectrum of industries. Notable clients from the telecoms sector – Huawei, Xiaomi or Alcatel, for example – hire the team, as do pharma companies like Teva, which it is representing in a series of disputes. Clients from the medical device sector (Insulet, Nipro), the automotive industry (Suzuki, Valeo), as well as energy (TotalEnergies) bank on the firm’s litigation experience. Many of them frequently hire the patent practice for the related EPO oppositions as well.
When it comes to developing its staff, August Debouzy focuses on home-grown talent and has once again raised its headcount, both with patent attorneys and a lawyer associate. Having lost a few experienced counsel in recent years, the practice has now bolstered its partner ranks with the appointment of Lionel Martin as partner. Abdelaziz Khatab was promoted to counsel at the same time. Both are already visible in the market and enjoy praise for their litigation work. They can therefore increasingly take the lead in instructions, especially if renowned partner Desrousseaux has to give up some client work following his appointment as a UPC technical judge. Khatab for example, took the lead for Xiaomi in the dispute against Philips and ETSI.
Litigation before the French courts and the EPO. In-depth telecoms, electronics and pharmaceuticals expertise.
Clients entrust August Debouzy with high-stakes proceedings before the national courts, as well as in the parallel EPO suits. The team is therefore confident about the UPC and its cases and, unlike many competitors, sees no need to join forces with lawyers in other European jurisdictions. However, internationally well-integrated teams at Allen & Overy or Hoyng ROKH Monegier, for example, and a growing number of UPC cooperations like the German-Dutch outfit Vossius-Brinkhof could provide strong competition. It might therefore be advisable to strengthen the existing ties that have developed through the team’s frequent involvement in the French parts of cross-border litigation.
In its pan-European cases, for example for Alcon/Novartis against Hoya Surgical Optics and Teva over an SPC for sorafenib, August Debouzy already works in close cooperation with a wide range of firms in all jurisdictions chosen by clients. The team also boasts good relationships with mobile communications companies, such as Huawei and Alcatel Lucent/Nokia, which are often involved in multi-jurisdictional disputes. The partner firms of the overall outfit, such as Noerr or Gleiss Lutz in Germany, do not play any significant role for the patent practice. All the more reason to knit closer ties to outfits with a good standing in patent litigation in other countries.
Grégoire Desrousseaux (“without question the best in the market for TMT”, competitor), François Pochart, Lionel Martin (“pleads very well, has a great knowledge of the EPC”, competitor), Abdelaziz Khatab (“very competent”, “does a good job”, competitors)
6 lawyers, 6 patent attorneys, 5 dual qualified
Patent litigation in all technical fields, EPO oppositions. Also general IP advice. Small patent filing practice.
Litigation: Alcatel Lucent/Nokia (as co-defendant of Orange) against Assia over ADSL; Huawei (co-defendant of Télécom, Orange and SFR) against Intellectual Ventures over SEPs for DSL; Thales (claimant) against Philips and ETSI over FRAND licensing and claim in the US; Xiaomi (claimant) against Philips and ETSI over SEPs for LTE and UMTS standards (settled in 2022); Alcon/Novartis (defendant) against Hoya Surgical Optics over eye lens; Barco (claimant) against FVS in infringement case and EPO opposition over networked visualisation technique; Insulet (claimant) against Medtrum over medical device, incl. seizure; Nipro (defendant) against Fresenius over dialysers; Teva (defendant) against Daiichi Sankyo over SPC for anti-cholesterol medication; Teva (claimant) against MSD on SPC for drug ezetimibe simvastatin (Supreme Court); Teva (defendant) against Novartis on everolimus; Teva (defendant) against Bayer over cancer drug sorafenib/Nexavar (Supreme Court); K-Fee (defendant) against Nestlé over coffee capsules; PSA Peugeot Citroën Automobiles (defendant) against Piaggio over three-wheeled vehicles; Suzuki (defendant) against Chemours over refrigerants for car-cooling systems; Valeo (claimant) against Nissens over auto replacement parts; Swania/Henkel (defendants) against Salveco over ecological detergents. Prosecution: patent filing and advice for Acrelec, B.Braun Medical, Bugali, Be.Care, I.Ceram, Novasep. EPO oppositions for Becton Dickinson, CNRS, Epsilon, Essilor, Medtronic, Saft, SFR, Suez, Total Energies, Wright Medical.