The patent litigation team of Bird & Bird is a challenger to the market leaders in France. Its strength lies in its roots among international clients and its strong visibility in pan-European cases, where it works in close cooperation with the German and Italian practices, and occasionally also with the British and Dutch teams. Patent suits such as that for Edwards Lifesciences, Amgen and Nespresso show how numerous clients put their trust in the practice for high-stakes cases. In the work for Broadcom against Intellectual Ventures, Anne-Charlotte Le Bihan’s team demonstrated that it is also hired for major national proceedings independently from the international Bird & Bird network.
Up to now, the Paris team has worked closely with the firm’s patent attorneys in Germany, but the past year has seen the French practice make some efforts to build up a mixed team of its own. This could be an important step in line with the trend in its home market and could help the practice to gain ground.
Well-oiled pan-European patent litigation in all technical fields.
Bird & Bird is excellently positioned to support clients from all technical fields in pan-European proceedings and before the UPC. The firm has its own patent litigation teams at all UPC venues, as well as experts in all technical sectors who have proven their litigation skills for years. IP is a clear priority across the firm and, unlike in some other international firms, is not subordinate to the M&A practice.
But Bird & Bird’s patent team does not operate at the top of the market in all countries. The German practice, which was and still is a pioneer when it comes to cooperation between lawyers and patent attorneys, is one of the foremost players in Germany. . The teams in Paris and London are not yet leaders in their national markets. But Bird & Bird has a very well-positioned team in Italy. This overall setup gives rise to a very large client base. In international proceedings clients frequently bank on joint representation comprising the teams from Germany, Italy, UK and France.
Against the backdrop of the UPC, however, it will be more important than ever that the teams cultivate a well-oiled, long-standing and close cooperation in their pan-European proceedings and thus have the experience, manpower and technical expertise needed to represent clients before the UPC at short notice. There are only a few competitors, such as Hogan Lovells, so well positioned.
Anne-Charlotte Le Bihan (“does a good job”, competitor), Yves Bizollon
14 lawyers, 2 patent attorneys
Focus on patent litigation. Advice concerning patent strategies and licences and on the interface with antitrust.
Litigation: Microsoft (defendant) against Mr. Allani on icon displays; Broadcom (defendant) against Intellectual Ventures over SEPs for DSL; Edwards Lifesciences (claimant) against Meril over transcatheter heart valve; Honeywell (defendant) against Manulatex over safety products, incl. seizures; Amgen (defendant) against Fresenius over biosimilar Humira (settled); Life Scientific (defendant) against Syngenta over second application of azoxystrobin; Allergan (claimant) against Mylan over Bimatoprost; SERF (claimant) against Adler and Amplitude over hip and knee protheses; Minakem (claimant) against Melchior over method for producing cyclopropane; Lesaffre (defendant) against Jouffray Drillaud and Danstar Ferment over fermentation plant products; Nespresso (defendant) against ECC over coffee capsules (Court of Appeal); Rescaset Concept (defendant) against Cellulopack, Proplast over biodegradable and compostable packaging; Keboda (defendant) against Sonceboz & MMT over automotive electronic components; ABB (claimant) against GE Grid Solutions (GE) over high-voltage direct current converter stations; Petzl (defendant) against Tractel over safety harness; Novares (defendant) against Mann & Hummel over oil separator for motor engines (Court of Appeal); SATT AST (Inserm, Université de Bordeaux, CHU de Bordeaux, defendant) against ProGeLife over licence agreement on patented invention related to skin cancer; Baxter (defendant) against former employee (Court of Appeal and Cour de cassation) over employee invention rights.