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France: Patents 2016

Preparations for the Unified Patent Court and the Unitary Patent are in the final stages, and there is much anticipation for what will be the biggest change to patent law in Europe for 40 years. As the seat of the central division Paris will have a key role to play in the new system; it will be supported by two specialist sections in London and Munich. As a result, it is anticipated that competition in the market will increase as more patent firms look to expand their offering in the city. In this section we feature 26 patent lawyers and 21 patent attorneys considered at the top of their game. 


Véron & Associés leads the research with four lawyers singled out for inclusion. Pierre Véron has focused exclusively on patent litigation since 1995 and is “world-renowned” for his expertise in the field. He was one of the two French experts who assisted the European Commission in setting up a European patent with unitary effect and a European patent court. Sabine Agé is “a fearless advocate” who represents companies in the fields of telecommunications, medical devices, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, as well as research organisations. Her practice is “greatly respected” by peers who commend her “strong technical skills” and “unflappable manner”. Thomas Bouvet concentrates on patent validity and infringement litigation. He is “a star” in the market. The “first-rate” Isabelle Romet is widely acknowledged as a “top-flight litigator” in Paris. She specialises in patent litigation in the chemistry, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics industries.

At Gide Loyrette Nouel three names are recommended. Raphaëlle Dequiré-Portier has vast experience in patent litigation, in both in domestic and pan-European cases. Her expertise is particularly prominent in the life sciences field in regard to drugs, medical devices and supplementary protection certificates, as well as in technologies and mechanics. Emmanuel Larere’s patent litigation practice encompasses life sciences, technologies and traditional industrial sectors. He is “sensational” at handling contentious matters and “always puts the client at ease”. Grégoire Triet is a “go-to lawyer” for national and European patent disputes and his practice covers validity and infringement matters.

Two lawyers at August & Debouzy are highly nominated. Grégoire Desrousseaux is a “pre-eminent figure” in the market whose “expertise is unrivalled”. He acts for French and foreign clients in connection with their patent-related issues and is active in litigation before the French courts. François Pochart is also highly recommended for his patent expertise. In addition to representing clients in litigation he also advises on regulatory issues and matters related to supplementary protection certificates for drugs and phytosanitary products.

Bird & Bird is also represented by two practitioners. Yves Bizollon is a “standout” in the patent market. With more than 25 years’ experience in IP, he handles cases in the pharmaceuticals, electronics, telecommunications and mechanics fields. Anne-Charlotte Le-Bihan is best known for her patent litigation expertise and is “popular with clients” due to her “detailed and sensible advice” and “commercial approach” to litigation.

Dechert’s Marianne Schaffner is a “tremendous advocate” and serves as national head of the IP group and national co-head of the life sciences group of Dechert in Paris. She is particularly recommended for her experience coordinating litigation in Europe and the US and for her “comprehensive understanding of the US litigation system”.

At his own firm Denis Schertenleib is dual qualified to practice in Paris and in England and Wales. He possesses a “sharp intellect” which is put to good use in patent litigation in the life sciences and technology fields.

Bardehle Pagenberg’s Julien Fréneaux is an “all-time great” in the patent litigation sector. He regularly coordinates with teams of lawyers in different jurisdictions and is praised for his “international mindset” and “responsiveness”.

Armengaud Guerlain is represented by Catherine Mateu whose clients range from inventors to designers, non-profit groups and multinational corporations. She is a “solutions-oriented” lawyer who is “highly effective”.

Dariusz Szleper at Szleper Henry Avocats has over 30 years’ experience handling patent disputes and is recommended for his “exceptional abilities” and “meticulous” approach.   

At Reed Smith Marina Cousté is an “esteemed practitioner” with a “sharp mind” when it comes to advising on validity and freedom to operate issues.

Pinsent Masons’ Emmanuel Gougé litigates patent disputes in the electronics, pharmaceutical and chemical fields. He also drafts and negotiates IP agreements and technology transfer agreements. He is described as having “intricate knowledge” of the sector and applying a “no-nonsense approach”.

Thierry Mollet-Vieville of Duclos Thorne Mollet-Vieville et Associés applies a “forensic approach” to cases and has an “excellent style of delivery” according to peers and clients.

At Olswang Jean-Frédéric Gaultier has an “intricate knowledge” of patent law and assists clients with advisory and disputes matters.

At Allen & Overy Laëtitia Bénard leads the Paris IP practice and is co-head of the global life sciences group. She is “diligent” and provides “sensible advice”.

Denis Monégier du Sorbier at Hoyng Rokh Monegier divides his time between Düsseldorf and Paris and has a particular focus on patent disputes both domestic and cross-border. He has a “commanding presence in court” and a “hands-on approach”.

Founding partner Marc-Roger Hirsch of Hirsch & Associés has a “wealth of understanding” of patent law and is deemed a “pleasure to work with”.  

Alexandra Neri at Herbert Smith Freehills is “internationally renowned” for her IP practice encompassing patent litigation.

David Masson at Dentons is currently representing a leading multinational mobile company in ongoing patent litigation in France regarding the continuity of the sale in France of its products that are compatible with the UMTS Standard. He is “incredibly effective” and “highly sought after”.   

Head of the IP/TMT practice at Linklaters in Paris Pauline Debré regularly assists clients in patent litigation, as well as in the negotiation and drafting of contracts related to IP rights.

Patent Attorneys

Cabinet Beau de Loménie has the largest contingent of patent attorneys in our guide with five of its attorneys singled out. Didier Intes areas of focus include construction/materials and mechanics. He is described as “very competent” and is praised for “getting straight to the point”. François Delumeau focuses on matters relating to electronics, telecoms and new technologies. The “diligent” Pierre-Louis Désormière represents French companies and foreign groups working in the semiconductor, thermostructural composite materials, telecommunications, software, aerospace and aeronautics industries. Philippe Hubert assists clients with prosecution litigation, contracts and due diligence reviews of patent portfolios. In Lille, office manager Pierre Balesta is “highly efficient”. He specialises in civil engineering, the environment, automotive, aeronautics and printing technologies.

At Santarelli three names stand out. Managing partner Luc Santarelli assists clients with patent infringement, patent oppositions, patent ownership rights litigation and licensing operations. He represents clients in the telecommunications, electronics, software, semi-conductors, microtechnologies and the mechanical industry. Thierry Caen concentrates his activities in the pharmacy, chemistry and biotechnology fields, and has “intricate knowledge” of supplementary protection certificates. Hélène Stankoff aids clients with the development of their patent portfolio and is a “great strategist” when it comes to defending their rights.

Three attorneys are recommended at Cabinet Regimbeau. Christian Texier handles infringement cases as well as oppositions before the European Patent Office. He specialises in the mechanics and electronics fields. Stéphanie Celaire enjoys a “very active” practice focusing on the pharmaceutical and agribusiness fields. She has “extensive experience” in European oral proceedings and infringement litigation in France. Jean-Robert Callon de Lamarck is a “great asset to the firm”. He assists clients in relation to obtaining and defending their patents, for the most part in the physics and telecommunications fields.

Ernest Gutmann Yves Plasseraud sees two of its team highly recommended. Carol Almond-Martin devotes a large part of her practice to oppositions and appeals before the EPO and is praised for her “resolute focus” and “impressive record”. Alongside her, Anne Desaix focuses on patents in the life sciences field and represents major French and international research laboratories and innovative SMEs. Clients describe her as a “great strategist” in relation to long term protection and constitution of patent portfolios.

At Cabinet Plasseraud, Cyra Nargolwalla is frequently seen at the EPO for opposition and appeal proceedings; she is a “formidable opponent”. Didier Boulinguiez is also recommended at the firm; he handles litigation in France and abroad as well as proceedings before the EPO.

Germain & Maureau garners two inclusions. Frederic Gaillarde is a “great tactician” and “leading authority” on patent matters. He is “incredibly user-friendly” and as such is always “in high demand”. Philippe Verriest is a “reassuring adviser” and a “seasoned expert” on patent matters.

At Brevalex Philippe Ahner is currently the deputy CEO and head of the mechanics department. He drafts patent applications, tracks issuance procedures, and is involved in opposition proceedings and monitoring disputes.

Gabriel de Kernier at Cabinet Netter has a broad practice encompassing patent drafting, opposition and appeal proceedings, as well as patent pre-litigation advice.  

Laurent Nuss of Cabinet Nuss specialises in patent law and is a “technically gifted” attorney. He has a “prominent name” in the market and is known for his “insightful advice”.

Marks & Clerk’s Christian Nguyen-Van-Yen is a patent attorney in Paris who is particularly well known for offering transaction advisory services including patenting and opinion work in electronics, computer and telecoms cases, as well as IP auditing, due diligence, valuation and licensing. 

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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