Hoyng ROKH Monegier – France 2023
After another successful year with another impressive track record, the French patent litigation team of this international IP boutique is holding its ground as one of the market leaders. The team is present in high-stakes French proceedings and key European cross-border cases in equal measure.
The partners litigated for Siemens Gamesa in a wind turbine dispute, a tyre manufacturer against one of its main competitors and Signify regarding LED technology. Sabine Agé and Amandine Métier are particularly visible in mobile communications disputes on the side of implementers like Lenovo as well as for patent holders like Philips. The fact that an international mobile communications manufacturer that had previously instructed the German and Dutch teams is now also considering the Paris partners comes as no surprise and underscores the team’s strength. Benoît Strowel is best known for litigation in the life sciences sector, for Biogen among others. Like the other partners, however, he boasts more than one sector specialty. The partners are active in high-level cases in numerous technical fields.
The Paris practice further impressed the market with the level of satisfaction expressed by clients. “A deep bench and great deal of experience,” was how one life sciences company described the team, while a company from the telecoms sector would be happy to work with various partners again.
Hoyng ROKH Monegier remaining relatively unchallenged at the top of the French market for so many years is also down to the strong presence of its three main partners Agé, Métier and Strowel. On top of this, a generation of excellent young talent is emerging, including Marta Mendes, who was made partner in 2021 and comes highly praised by life sciences clients. She is currently working for some of the firm’s important pharmaceutical clients but also for a manufacturer of games consoles.
The Paris team was therefore able to cope with the fact that veteran Denis Monégier du Sorbier recently stepped down from the partnership and now acts in an of-counsel capacity, though he is still playing a prominent role for Bouygues Telecom against Intellectual Ventures over DSL patents.
Cross-border litigation over pharma, electronics and telecoms patents.
The firm sets itself apart from other European market leaders like Bird & Bird or Hogan Lovells with its approach as a pure IP boutique, despite an international set-up with market-leading teams in Amsterdam, Paris and Germany. It is now clear that the merger of the formerly national boutiques has been a big success. Conflicts of interest between the offices have been resolved. The firm therefore benefits hugely from its integrated partnership and from an intensive cross-selling between its own offices, as well as being called in by well-positioned UK patent practices for pan-European cases. The partners have acquired numerous new clients together, among them Apple, Philip Morris and Hanwha Q-Cells. They can also rely on a steady flow of new cases from long-term clients such as Phillips, Signify and Sony.
Furthermore, the German practice recently played out its strength on the side of original drug manufacturers in the pharma and biotech sectors by representing BioNTech in the German lawsuits brought by CureVac and Moderna over Covid-19 vaccines. The Dutch team is also representing BioNTech against Moderna. If there were to be lawsuits in France, it would be a surprise if the Paris partners were not involved.
The intense cross-border cooperation among the individual offices makes it currently the only IP boutique that can hold a candle to the large international practices of Allen & Overy, Bird & Bird and Hogan Lovells when it comes to cross-border work. With its current set-up there is very little doubt in the market that Hoyng ROKH Monegier can play an important role in future UPC cases.
The Dutch office also provides additional technical expertise with its own patent attorneys in international proceedings through its mixed set-up, but the Paris practice also has the support of a patent attorney. In addition, the firm has small offices in Brussels and Madrid.
So far, Hoyng ROKH Monegier has shown no interest in London, an important location for pharmaceutical cases. Following the UK’s withdrawal from the UPC, Hoyng ROKH Monegier’s lack of a London office is even an advantage – it can operate as a strong cooperation partner to the two market-leading British boutiques, Bristows and Powell Gilbert. If Milan wins the bid for the UPC division originally planned for London, it will make sense to open an office there in view of Hoyng ROKH Monegier’s strong representation of pharma companies.
Sabine Agé (“one of the best in the market. We’re always happy to work with her”, client), Marta Mendes (“we are working with her on a number of projects. Very happy with her work”, client; “she is an excellent litigator”, competitor), Amandine Métier (“we often work with her”, client; “very professional. I like her pleadings”, competitor), Denis Monégier du Sorbier (“good in all technical fields”, competitor), Benoît Strowel (“deep bench and great deal of experience”, client)
18 lawyers, 2 patent attorneys
Pan-European IP boutique focusing on patent infringement, proceedings and nullity suits. Also licences, R&D cooperations and transactions. Trademarks and unfair competition.
Litigation: Bouygues Telecom and Orange (both defendants) against Intellectual Ventures over SEPs for DSL; Philips (claimant) against Thales over SEPs; Philips (claimant) against Xiaomi over SEPs (settled 2022); Lenovo (defendant) against IPCom over SEPs for UMTS; Signify (claimant) against Asled over LED technology; Sony (claimant) against Subsonic over games console controllers; Biogen (claimant) against Viatris over MS drug Tecfidera; Illumina (claimant) against BGI/MGI over DNA sequencing technology; Zimmer Biomet (defendant) against Heraeus over bone cement; Siemens Gamesa (claimant) against GE Renewable Energy over offshore wind turbines including trade secret issues; Hanwha Q-Cells (claimant) against various competitors over solar panels (public knowledge); Volvo Trucks (claimant) against Scania over fuel-saving technologies; Vorwerk (claimant) against Lidl over several patents for Thermomix; JC Bamford (claimant) against Manitou over excavators; INPI (defendant) against Daiichi Sankyo regarding revocation of an SPC.