Withers & Rogers has strengthened its presence in France with lateral hire Marie-Claude Pellegrini from Bardehle Pagenberg. As a patent attorney experienced in patent litigation, she joins to bolster the recently set up French team of the British patent attorney firm.
17 March 2023 by Konstanze Richter
Marie-Claude Pellegrini (50) joined Withers & Rogers at the beginning of March as a partner. Pellegrini, who moved from the Paris office of IP boutique Bardehle Pagenberg, has a PhD in computer sciences. Regarding her patent work, she has specialist experience in electronics, software, computer technology and communication.
Pellegrini started her career in-house as a patent engineer at software company Gemplus, now belonging to Thales Group, followed by another in-house stint at Canal + Technologies. She then joined patent attorney firm Santarelli for two years, before moving to the in-house legal department of the French computer manufacturer Bull in 2007. Here, she advanced to the position of IP director, moving again after four years to join Valeo Systemes Thermiques as IP director.
After many years working in-house, interrupted only by her experience at Santarelli, Pellegrini ventured back into private practice in 2015. At Bardehle Pagenberg, she was heavily involved in patent litigation as a European patent attorney, leading oppositions at the INPI.
Pellegrini also supported renowned litigator Julien Fréneaux on technical issues in infringement suits in the telecommunication sector, most recently for Intellectual Ventures against various networking companies and their suppliers. At Bardehle, her practice also included patent drafting and prosecution for clients in the fields of drones, medical devices, cryptography and AI.
Speaking to JUVE Patent, Marie-Claude Pellegrini says, “Withers & Rogers’ extensive expertise and European environment is an ideal framework to support small, medium and large companies with a European IP strategy in line with their business strategy. This is a strategy that will have to be adapted with the start of the UPC and the Unitary Patent.”
She continues, “Thanks to its presence in the main European jurisdictions for IP, Withers & Rogers will participate in the European construction of patent law. We will support our clients to make IP work to our clients’ best advantage in this new context.”
Following the departure of Pellegrini, one patent attorney and five lawyers, one dual qualified, remain at Bardehle Pagenberg. The French team of the mixed firm has a good reputation for mobile communications cases, which is based mainly on its work for Intellectual Ventures and IPCom.
Withers & Rogers first opened its French office in 2019, when London partner Russel Edson relocated to Paris. In autumn 2021, French patent attorney Yannick Biron also joined the firm.
Like Pellegrini, Biron also brings in-house experience, including at Safran, Airbus and Delegate, and supports Edson in his position as of counsel. To date, the French office’s primary activity has been supporting the firm’s international clients in the local French market. For example, the small team handles filing and administration for international clients from the US and Japan at the French patent office (INPI).
With the addition of Pellegrini, Withers & Rogers is banking on her in-house experience to further develop the patent practice’s French client base. She is also responsible for further strengthening the French practice of the patent attorney firm.
Since 2014, Withers & Rogers has also maintained a small Munich office with five patent attorneys, two of which are partners. The offices in Paris and Munich are part of the firm’s UPC strategy to develop as an integrated firm, giving it a presence in two key locations of the new court as well as in the UK. So far, however, it has had little visibility in the respective national markets. On the other hand, the UK team boasts 55 patent attorneys across four offices.