Although France is home to a small number of highly renowned patent litigators, it remains an unpopular location to launch primary patent litigation proceedings due to procedural difficulties. International commentators agree that when patent litigation is undertaken in France, it is essential that clients secure the services of a top-end practitioner or they could be in for a long and bumpy ride.
French patent litigation market, predominantly thanks to the presence of the “excellent” Pierre Lenoir. His multi-jurisdictional work and deep knowledge of the life sciences sector have won him a strong international reputation, according to sources. Custodian of “one of the best reputations in Europe for patent litigation”, Pierre Véron of Véron & Associés is a “superb all-rounder who handles life sciences cases with the same brilliance as he does all areas of patent litigation”.
Cabinet Cousin & Moatty founding partner Pierre Cousin is described as a “discreet but extremely effective” practitioner; he is a “fantastic all-round patent litigator and one of the most seasoned pros on the French scene”.
Véron & Associés partner Sabine Agé draws praise from market observers, especially for her work for pharmaceutical giant Novartis. Joint head of Bird & Bird’s French IP practice Yves Bizollon covers the gamut of IP work which includes activity in the life sciences litigation field. A doctor of law whose PhD centred on plant breeders’ rights infringement, Thomas Bouvet garners impressive reviews and is a “pillar of the Véron & Associés life sciences team”. The managing partner of Howrey’s Paris office, Marina Cousté is a “solid and highly active” patent litigator who has a special focus on life sciences and boasts over 20 years’ experience in the field. Market commentators label her a “strong and dogged competitor”. Cabinet Hirsch & Associés’ Grégoire Desrousseaux is dual qualified as a lawyer and patent attorney, meaning that he is one of the few individuals in the French market able to handle the strategic and technical aspects of patent litigation. Interviewees praise the range of skills that this “bright and rising star” can offer. Linklaters’ Paris patent litigation practice is spearheaded by Marianne Schaffner, who is “making a name for herself and creating a great impression”. Schaffner has a broad practice including telecommunications and electronics, but has won attention for her life sciences work. Physics graduate Denis Schertenleib also holds a PhD in molecular neurobiology and is qualified to practise in both France and the United Kingdom. He specialises in biotechnology and interviewees confirm that he is “developing an impressive practice in the field”. He is a partner at Cabinet Hirsch & Associés.