JUVE Patent

Reed Smith – France 2023

JUVE Comment

Reed Smith is now harvesting the fruits of its growth efforts of the past few years. The IP practice of this international full-service firm has become well established for patent litigation in a broad range of sectors. It is above all the increasing market presence of the young dual-qualified partner Thierry Lautier that has boosted the visibility of the patent practice of late. He is very active in litigation for some well-known clients from the digital communication and automotive industry, for example alongside practice head Marianne Schaffner for Assia in the dispute over DSL technology.

With its sights set firmly on the UPC, the firm is banking on a mixed set-up of lawyers and patent attorneys and thus a broad range of services covering patent litigation, advice, filing and prosecution. Clients appreciate the mixed approach, as shown by sports equipment manufacturer Bell Sports hiring the practice for both prosecution and litigation. Good connections to prosecution clients from the medical device and life sciences sectors harbour potential for expanding the litigation practice in these hard-fought sectors. The team’s strength is on a par with competitors like Linklaters and Dentons, but it still does not enjoy the same clout as Allen & Overy and Bird & Bird.


Patent litigation in mixed teams with lawyers and patent attorneys (some dual qualified). Also filing and prosecution.

European set-up

With its recent growth and mixed approach, Reed Smith is clearly gearing up for litigation before the UPC. The growing Paris practice is the strongest European patent litigation team, regularly cooperating in cross-border litigation with the IP teams of Reed Smith offices in London or the US. In contrast to the increasingly visible Paris practice though, the small team in London is hardly on the market’s radar. The German office lost its patent expertise with the departure of a Frankfurt-based partner in 2022.

This means the international firm only has a team of its own at one UPC venue and, in the major cross-border proceedings to come, cannot rely on a well-oiled network of various national offices like competitors Allen & Overy or Bird & Bird can. First and foremost, Reed Smith must urgently close the gap in Germany if the French team is to play a bigger role in the UPC. As patent litigators or even entire teams are far more willing to change firms in Germany than in France, this is most likely to work with a targeted recruitment of established and experienced laterals.

Recommended individuals

Thierry Lautier (“does very good work”, competitor)


4 lawyers, 1 patent attorney, 1 dual qualified


All-round advice and litigation in all IP matters.


Litigation: Assia (claimant) against Orange and Nokia over DSL technology; Bell Sports against Lazer Sport and Shimano over time-trial bicycle helmet; Proplast, Cellulopack and Nutripack (claimants) against PackBenefit and Rescaset Concept over biodegradable food trays. Prosecution and advice to Bell Sports, Bushnell, Brain Corporation, Geomagical Labs, Ikos Consulting, Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Leko Labs, Vista Outdoor.