Allen & Overy’s IP practice is among the market leaders for patent litigation in France. The team around Laëtitia Bénard and David Por is most established in the major pharma disputes in Paris, exclusively on the side of originator manufacturers, like all of Allen & Overy’s European patents teams. Examples include the pan-European litigation for pharma manufacturer Bayer against Ceva over a veterinary drug, where the French patents team worked closely with the German and Dutch patent litigators. This is also a good example of the firm’s strong cross-border visibility in pharma cases, which sets it apart from other market leaders like Hoyng ROKH Monégier Véron and August Debouzy. At the same time, David Por also advises a range of companies from the mobile telecommunications sector, among them Samsung and Archos. He has yet to achieve the same market visibility for this as in pharma cases, but recently landed Nokia as a client. Por demonstrated his sector expertise in litigation for the Finnish mobile communications company as well as for Alcatel Lucent in the case against Intellectual Ventures, one of the biggest disputes in the telecoms sector. The in-house counsel of a major technology company, who observed the patent dispute between Philips and various mobile communications companies globally, was “very impressed by his work” for Archos. With two fee earners qualified as both lawyers and European patent attorneys, the team has its own technical know-how and deploys this in many proceedings, such as those for Archos or Nokia.
Strong pan-European network. Representation of originator drugs manufacturers in pharmaceutical cases.
The French office is a central part of the well-coordinated, cross-border strategy with Allen & Overy’s European patent teams collaborating on high-profile cases. In pharma disputes especially, the firm’s European practice is a market leader on the originator side and represents many of these clients across several offices, including Eli Lilly and Boehringer Ingelheim. Especially in the last year, the European Patent Group under the leadership of the London office has made considerable progress with regard to Europe-wide representation in large pharmaceutical and biosimilar cases and, in doing so, has become an important challenger to Hogan Lovells and Bird & Bird. In mobile communication cases it has not yet managed a similar feat because the German office in particular is still too weakly represented in large mobile phone cases. The firm has offices in most of the key European jurisdictions, although with six partners London remains its strongest. With a well-positioned Munich team in pharmaceuticals, a leading position in the French and UK markets, Allen & Overy has made significant progress over the past few years but visibility in Amsterdam could be stronger and a Düsseldorf team is still on the list of Allen & Overy’s strategic plans.
Laëtitia Bénard (“very strong in pharma proceedings”, competitor), David Por (“first choice in France”, client)
2 partners, 2 counsels, 7 associates
Strong focus on litigation in patents, especially pharma, biotech and telecommunications. Arbitration, transactions and cross-border licensing agreements.
Litigation: Bayer (claimant) against Ceva over veterinary drug Baycox Iron; MSD (claimant) against generics companies over Inegy; Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent (defendants) against Intellectual Ventures over mobile communications; Samsung (defendant) against Technicolor over SEPs; Archos (defendant) against Philips over mobile communications; 3M against Saint-Gobain over automobile product.