France

Top patent firms in France

Who are the leading firms in the French patent market? Which firm has the best European strategy to succeed for the upcoming Unified Patent court. Read our in-depth analysis of the French litigation firms.

6 April 2018 by Christina Schulze

European market leaders, their Paris litigation teams and UPC strategies*

ALLEN & OVERY

European presence and strategy: Broad presence with offices in almost all significant UPC locations. Very well-positioned litigation teams in Paris as well as London. The Paris team has a high reputation for pharmaceutical as well as mobile cases. The German practice recently strengthened its presence as it hired a well known partner for mobile cases from Quinn Emanuel’s Munich office.
Offices in Europe: Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Luxembourg, London, Munich
Size of Paris patents practice: 2 partners, 2 counsel, 8 associates
Renowned French lawyers: Laëtitia Bénard, David Por
Significant clients Paris office: Novartis, MSD, Pfizer, Samsung, Archos

 

BIRD & BIRD

European presence and strategy: A fully integrated litigation team and one of the strongest in Europe – in London and Germany it is a market leader. The Paris team, however, remains small but has an excellent market position. The European practice is active in all relevant UPC locations. In Germany it has a well-known team of patent attorneys who are focused on litigation work. Unlike Hogan Lovells, Bird & Bird does not have direct access to the US market through an office in the States but announced its intention to open a branch in San Francisco in 2018, where it will not employ US-attorneys.
Offices in Europe: Paris, Brussels, The Hague, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, London, Luxembourg, Milan, Munich, Stockholm
Size of Paris patents practice: 2 partners, 2 counsel, 6 associates
Renowned French lawyers: Yves Bizollon
Significant clients Paris office: Allergan, Accord Healthcare, Edwards Lifesciences, Nestlé, Technicolor

 

HOGAN LOVELLS

European presence and strategy: One of the strongest patent litigation teams in Europe with well-positioned offices in almost all significant UPC locations. Düsseldorf serves as the base for the worldwide patents group. The Paris team’s presence is somewhat weaker than that of the German and London teams. Unlike Allen & Overy and Bird & Bird, Hogan Lovells already boasts patent expertise in the US. But, it started to integrate patent attorneys later than competitors to support litigation work. The patent attorneys are located in Dusseldorf and will not do any prosecution work.
Offices in Europe: Paris, Amsterdam, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Luxembourg, London, Munich
Size of Paris patents practice: 1 partner, 5 associates
Renowned French lawyers: Stanislas Roux-Vaillard
Significant clients Paris office: Eli Lilly, HTC; Bristol-Myers Squibb, Nikon, Etablissement Français du Sang

 

HOYNG ROKH MONEGIER

European presence and strategy: This firm specialises purely in IP law and will strengthen its French arm in June through a merger with top French firm Véron et Associé, which works primarily on patent proceedings. It is one of the strongest teams in France and thus a linchpin for the impressive European practice. With its new Paris team, the boutique has an excellent position to serve clients in cases before the central divisions and the local division in Paris. The patents practice has well-positioned teams in all significant UPC locations across Europe, mainly in Amsterdam, Düsseldorf and Munich. Unlike the other leading European teams, the firm has no office in London and must cooperate with network firms, which also work with others.
Offices in Europe: Paris, Lyon, Amsterdam, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Madrid, Mannheim, Munich
Size of Paris patents practice: 8 partners, 2 counsel, 10 associates (incl. the 8 Véron lawyers)
Renowned French lawyers: Sabine Agé, Amandine Métier, Denis Monégier du Sorbier, Benoît Strowel
Significant clients Paris office: No details provided.

 

Paris full-service firms and their UPC strategies*

AUGUST DEBOUZY

European presence and strategy: The ambitious French patents team has seen impressive development and has followed a mixed approach for years with the renowned litigator Desrousseaux and patent attorney Pochart. Many independent patent firms in other countries regard this team from the national full-service firm as first choice when it comes to referring work to France. For the UPC, however, AD must rely on cooperation with partner firms that are also being courted by AD’s competitors in Paris.
Offices in Europe: Paris
Size of Paris patents practice: 2 partners, 2 counsel, 8 associates
Renowned French lawyers: Grégoire Desrousseaux, François Pochart
Significant clients Paris office: Teva, Medtronic, Total, Valeo, Peugeot Citroën Automobiles

 

Gide Loyrette Nouel

European presence and strategy: This national full-service firm has a renowned partner-centric patent team in Paris and boasts an office in London, although only one associate there is active in IP. The firm covers important UPC locations together with the team of its similarly positioned German partner firm Gleiss Lutz. However, this network has gaps in Amsterdam and London, where both firms are dependent on cooperations with national teams that are also being wooed by other European firms.
Offices in Europe: Paris, London
Size of Paris patents practice: 5 partners, 2 counsel, 10 associates
Renowned French lawyers: Grégoire Triet, Jean-Hyacinthe de Mitry
Significant clients Paris office: Nokia, Knauf, Bristol Meyer Squibb, Schaeffler, Celltrion.

 

JONES DAY

European presence and strategy: Litigation practice with a strong position across the entire UPC area. The Paris office made great strides with the arrival of Thomas Bouvet and his team from top patent litigation boutique Véron et Associés in late 2016 and is now well positioned for international patent litigation with its relatively large team. Thanks to a strong patent attorney practice in Munich and Frankfurt and a well-established litigation team, the German arm is the second pillar of the European team. The mixed German practice is well known for its prosecution, as well as for its litigation work. Although JD has patent teams at all key UPC locations, the teams in Amsterdam and London do not have the same position as those in Paris and Germany. Further reinforcement is necessary for the firm to be able to compete significantly with the European market leaders Allen & Overy, Hogan Lovells and Bird & Bird. In contrast to these, however, JD has one of the strongest patent teams in the US.
Offices in Europe: Paris as well as Amsterdam, Düsseldorf, Brussels, Frankfurt, Munich, London
Size of Paris patents practice: 2 partners, 1 counsel, 7 associates
Renowned French lawyers: Thomas Bouvet, Emmanuel G. Baud
Significant clients Paris office: No details provided

 

Paris litigation boutiques and their UPC strategies*

ARMENGAUD GUERLAIN

European presence and strategy: A traditional French boutique specialising purely in IP advice and litigation. The small outfit has a varied client structure, ranging from SMEs to large corporations. For international cases, the firm needs to establish cooperations with similar outfits from other European countries and is thus in competition with other IP boutiques.
Offices in Europe: Paris
Size of Paris patents practice: 2 partners, 2 associates
Renowned French lawyers: Catherine Mateu, Stéphane Guerlain
Significant clients Paris office: Quadlogic, Agromet, Telecom Design.

 

CABINET SCHERTENLEIB

European presence and strategy: With its clear focus on pharma litigation, this ­boutique and its renowned partner Denis Schertenleib have a good position in the French market. Over the past few years, Schertenleib has become well known for his litigation for NPEs before the Paris courts. With regard to the UPC, the national boutique is still too small and will need to form alliances with similar firms in Germany, the UK and the Netherlands if it wants to play a strong role at the new court.
Offices in Europe: Paris
Size of Paris patents practice: 1 partner, 2 of counsel
Renowned French lawyers: Denis Schertenleib
Significant clients Paris office: Mylan, Sandoz, Amgen, Dr Reddy’s, Samsung Bioepis.

 

CASALONGA

European presence and strategy: This IP boutique was one of the first to form a mixed partnership consisting of lawyers and patent attorneys in France, though both types of fee earners have worked together at the firm for years. Casalonga is thus following the same approach as boutiques in Germany and the UK, in contrast to traditional firms in France. For international cases, the firm needs to form alliances with IP boutiques, for which it must compete with many smaller outfits.
Offices in Europe: Paris, Grenoble, Lyon, Toulouse, Munich
Size of Paris patents practice: 4 lawyers, 10 patent attorneys
Renowned French lawyers: Gérard Dossmann, Arnaud Casalonga, Caroline Casalonga
Significant clients Paris office: L’Oréal, Renault, STMicroelectronics, Vallourec, Arkema

 

COUSIN ET ASSOCIÉS

European presence and strategy: This nationally independent, partner-centric IP boutique is one of the more traditional outfits in the French market. In increasing competition with large firms, it presents itself as an agile firm that focuses purely on IP cases and thus does not suffer from the internal conflicts seen at large firms. For international cases and the UPC, the firm cooperates with similar boutiques in Germany, the UK and other countries. By refraining from joining an institutionalised network, the firm remains flexible, but is constantly competing for sought-after cooperation partners.
Offices in Europe: Paris
Size of Paris patents practice: 4 partners, 2 associates
Renowned French lawyers: Pierre Cousin
Significant clients Paris office: No details provided

 

DUCLOS THORNE MOLLET-VIEVILLE & ASSOCIES

European presence and strategy: The small national full-service firm is known for its work in IP. Thanks to its three renowned lawyers, the firm boasts a very good position in the French market for patent litigation. The patent team will only be able to play a similar role at the UPC, however, when it forges closer ties to partner firms. DTM&A is seldom named by German firms as a cooperation partner.
Offices in Europe: Paris
Size of Paris patents practice: 4 partners, 7 associates, 2 of counsel
Renowned French lawyers: Thierry Mollet-Viéville, Pascal Lefort, Thomas Cuche
Significant clients Paris office: No details provided

 

Lavoix

European presence and strategy: Following competitor Casalonga’s example, the firm is currently planning to merge its patent attorneys and lawyers into an integrated partnership. The outfit, which consists mainly of patent attorneys, thus sets itself apart from more traditional IP boutiques with this approach. Lavoix is close to its client base through its numerous offices in France and also boasts an office close to the European Patent Office in Munich. For international litigation, however, the firm must cooperate with lawyers from other European firms, for which it faces competition from other national outfits.
Offices in Europe: Paris, Rennes, Nantes, Lyon, Lille, Toulouse, Nice, Grenoble, Munich, Milan.
Size of Paris patents practice: 31 partners (including 30 patent attorneys), 40 associates (including 35 patent attorneys)**
Renowned French lawyers: Bertrand Domenego
Significant clients Paris office: Sanofi, L’Oreal, Thales, Devialet, Alstom.

 

LOYER & ABELLO

European presence and strategy: This nationally independent IP boutique follows an approach of close cooperation between legal and technical experts. Internationally the firm is part of the non-exclusive network UPCLA, of which Maiwald in Germany is a member. L&B presents this to its clients as an example of its international connections, which could play an increasing role in international patent cases.
Offices in Europe: Paris
Size of Paris patents practice: 4 partners, 7 associates
Renowned French lawyers: Michel Abello
Significant clients Paris office: Manitou, SFR, Felco

 

TALIENS

European presence and strategy: This 2017 spinoff of Paris and Munich IP lawyers from Olswang presents itself as a European IP boutique with an interesting approach. It relies on the good position of the two patent teams in Paris and Munich as well as on established relationships to former Olswang clients, such as ZTE and Boston Scientific. Right from the start, the young firm deliberately opted for an international setup, partly with regard to the UPC. Taliens cooperates in Madrid with IP outfit Baylos, as the lawyers did when they were at Olswang.
Offices in Europe: Paris, Munich, Madrid
Size of Paris patents practice: 1 partner, 1 associate
Renowned French lawyers: Jean-Frédéric Gaultier
Significant clients Paris office: ZTE, TCL, Boston Scientific, Sagemcom, Aptargroup, AcelorMittal

Read more about the current trend towards mixed patent firms. 

* Law firms and lawyers are selected based on recommendations from German and French patent lawyers in law firms and companies. Sources: law firmsʼ own data and JUVE Patent research

**Currently in two separate entities