Practice Areas

Dual Expertise in Science and Law

Our Patents team includes lawyers and patent attorneys. Most of them have dual legal and technical qualifications, are qualified as European Patent Attorneys (EPA) and to represent clients before the Unified Patent Court (UPC). 

This unique dual expertise, combined with a thorough knowledge of the industry and a proven practice before the courts, the EPO and the French patent office (INPI), very often in the context of international disputes, ensures that we develop the best litigation, contractual and valuation strategies. This allows us to respond to all of our clients' needs and interests at optimal cost. 

Given the diversity of our backgrounds and experiences, we can work in all technical fields: chemicals, pharmaceuticals, biochemicals, biotechnology, engineering/mechanics, telecoms, new technologies, computer implemented inventions, etc. 

We work regularly in close collaboration with the firm's other teams, as well as with the patent teams of leading international firms, and provide original solutions in the most complex cases. 

Interventions

Patent Litigation before the French Courts and the UPC

We assist our clients at all the pre-contentious and contentious stages of invalidity and infringement proceeding, before French courts and the UPC, up to the final decision as well as in settlement negotiations.  

We strategically assess risks and benefits to explore all potential litigation options. Where relevant we explore the entire range of litigation options available (before civil, commercial and administrative courts, employment tribunals, the relevant PTOs, etc.) and work closely with the firm's other teams. 

Our comprehensive experience allows us to respond swiftly to the most complex cases (interim injunction, declaration of non­infringement, claim to ownership of an invention, arbitration, mediation, FRAND litigation, coordination of pan-European litigation, etc.).  

Our excellent knowledge of the UPC system and long-standing experience in managing cross-border cases, makes us very reactive for litigation before the UPC.  

Patent Litigation Before the EPO and the French PTO (INPI)

We have comprehensive expertise in litigation before the EPO and the INPI (oppositions and appeals, third-party observations and intervention of the alleged infringer before the EPO, limitations, monitoring of competitors' patent applications, provisional protections, etc.). 

Since we do not consider oppositions as mere extensions of the examination procedure but as litigation in their own right, we are familiar with the use of all available litigation tools, and in particular procedural rules, witnesses and technical experts. 

Our opposition cases before the EPO very frequently have ramifications before national courts and our EPA - the majority of whom are also lawyers – therefore develop customized strategies that take these national aspects into account. 

Drawing on our EPO expertise, we are now very familiar with the opposition procedure before the INPI, using our civil procedure practice to anticipate the appeal stage before the Court of Appeal. 

Patent Filing and Drafting Strategies, Freedom-to-operate Analysis

Our team is involved on a daily basis in litigation before courts and the EPO. The vast majority of our team has in-house experience, particularly through secondment assignments.  

This practical knowledge of both litigation and industry gives us the necessary in-depth knowledge: 

  • Develop effective patent portfolios that address business concerns and anticipate future judicial interpretation issues; 

  • Investigate all possible protection measures, including other intellectual property rights and trade secrets protection; 

  • Conduct freedom-to-operate analysis, assess launch risks and examine competitor patent validity. 

Our in-depth knowledge of the UPC and unitary patent system enables us to provide effective answers to your questions in this area, particularly with regard to opt-out and unitary effect strategies. 

We understand the financial stakes involved in patent litigation and endeavour to provide the best results. We work with the best subcontractors for all administrative aspects of cases such as annuities and regional phase entry, in complete transparency.  

Valuation, Licensing, and IP-related Agreements

Our broad expertise in the negotiation and drafting of contracts in the field of industrial property, acquired in particular during secondment assignments, allows us to provide assistance with contracts of all kinds: assignments, licenses (including FRAND licenses), co-ownership agreements, confidentiality, collaboration, co-development, R&D, pledges, service agreements and settlements. 

Our experience of industrial property disputes including FRAND arbitration and litigation, ensures that we provide our clients with the best advice regarding the valuation of their patents, the implementation of licensing policies and anti-infringement policies (identification of infringers and their distributors, sending of formal notices, negotiation of agreements, etc.). 

Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Legal Advice and Litigation

August Debouzy is a key player in pharmaceutical and medical device patent litigation. Our lawyers and patent attorneys have been involved in some of the most significant cases in this field in recent years.  

Our understanding of small molecules, biological products, formulations, medical devices, and second therapeutic applications, combined with our expertise in the regulatory landscape and close collaboration with the firm's Public and Regulatory team, enables us to advise on:  

  • Pharmaceutical and medical device patent filing/drafting; 

  • Pharmaceutical and SPC patent litigation; 

  • Seizure of infringing products from competitors or the French National Agency for Medicines and Health Products Safety (ANSM); 

  • Revocation of third-party marketing authorizations (petitions for suspension, appeals for excess of power before the administrative courts); 

  • Proceedings with the commission for access to administrative documents (CADA); 

  • Regulatory expertise on substitution, and opening of generic groups. 

Coordination of cross-border patent litigation

Our clients frequently entrust us with coordinating pan-European patent litigation, where providing the big picture without losing focus on relevant details is essential.  

In our reports, we place a particular emphasis on clarifying, based on our capacity to explain complex matters in simple terms.  

August Debouzy has one of the biggest teams dedicated solely to patent litigation. As such, we have the necessary resources to manage the challenging workload of these cases both in terms of strategy and logistics. 

François Pochart and Grégoire Desrousseaux's 30 years of practice in international cases has given our team an excellent understanding of different legal cultures and enabled us to develop effective working habits with our foreign colleagues, particularly in the USA, Asia and other European countries. 

 
 

Advice and litigation concerning employee inventions

Our team has proven expertise in the law concerning employee inventions, acquired over years of practice in a large number of cases. 

We can assist you with all your issues in this area: setting up compensation packages, appearing before the CNIS and the courts, advising on the assessment of additional remuneration or fair price, and negotiating and drafting settlement agreements. 

Whenever a case requires, we develop original, cross-disciplinary strategies in close collaboration with the firm's Employment team, ensuring that the right procedural decisions are made before the employment tribunal or any relevant court in accordance with the client's interests. 

Insurance and industrial risks

The diversity of our team members' scientific training, their detailed knowledge of technology sectors and their practice in these areas before French courts and the EPO enable us, together with the firm's Litigation team, to develop solid know-how in the field of industrial risks, civil professional and product liability, and insurance: 

  • Providing advice and assistance in all areas of industrial risk, in collaboration with a network of technical and financial experts; 

  • Defending our client's interests when civil corporate and/or directors’ liability claims are made in respect of professional negligence or product liability (pharmaceutical, consumer, automobile industry, telecommunications, technology, tobacco, etc.); 

  • Analyzing risks and insurance cover; 

  • Providing advice and assistance in the conclusion of insurance contracts. 

Industrial Property Training

We firmly believe that experience sharing stimulates individual and collective talents, and we pool our expertise through initiatives and training programs on site at our firm, at our clients' premises and at professional associations, training organizations and universities (CEIPI, EFB, IEEPI, Polytechnic University of Milan, marking of the EQE, CentraleSupelec, ENSTA, Ponts ParisTech, C5, Life Science Patent Network, MIP, INPI, etc.). 

We always make it a priority to adapt to the audience concerned (lawyers, engineers, works councils, workforces, students, etc.), to achieve the objectives set and to illustrate what we have to say with concrete examples taken from our practice.  

We provide a great variety of training sessions: raising awareness or more in-depth work concerning industrial property issues, patent and related litigation (unfair competition, plagiarism, trade secrets), counterfeit seizure (saisie-contrefaçon), negotiation and drafting of contracts. 

Since 2018, we have organized annual "Patent Workshops" at our offices (Les Ateliers du Brevet), where our IP practitioners and professionals from related sectors meet to share best practice.  

Rewards

August Debouzy has established itself as one of the leading law firms in the French patent litigation scene thanks to the leadership of Grégoire Desrousseaux and François Pochart, both of whom are qualified as patent attorneys and lawyers. Both partners have a background in engineering but Pochart has carved out a patent practice in the pharmaceutical sector while Desrousseaux handles disputes in a range of technical fields, including electronics and mechanics. The firm is also recommended for patent office proceedings and IP transactions.

IP Stars (MIP) Reviews

“Exceptional team advising on all aspects of IP cases. Notable expertise in patent issues before the French courts and the European Patent Office, in addition to experience in trademarks and unfair competition. Recent mandates also include handling copyright infringement cases. Instructed by an array of international names from the pharmaceutical and fashion industries. Also handles IP issues arising in the telecommunications and transport sectors.”

Chambers & Partners Europe 2023

Intellectual Property

Band 1

Chambers & Partners Europe 2023

Intellectual Property: Grégoire Desrousseaux

Band 1

Chambers & Partners Europe 2023

Intellectual Property: François Pochart

Band 2

Chambers & Partners Europe 2023

Pharma/Life Sciences: François Pochart

Band 2

“François Pochart frequently acts for major pharma and energy corporates on a variety of French and cross-border patent matters. Impressed clients report: "He is an excellent strategist and litigation advocate with a strong grasp of underlying technical issues."

“Grégoire Desrousseaux maintains his position as a leading practitioner in the French IP market, as well as in cross-border mandates. He demonstrates impressive skill in contentious matters, chiefly patent infringement proceedings and appeals as well as unfair competition and copyright disputes. Impressed sources say: "He is very technically competent and is an excellent communicator."

Chambers & Partners Global 2023

Intellectual Property

Band 1

Chambers & Partners Global 2023

Intellectual Property: Grégoire Desrousseaux

Band 1

Chambers & Partners Global 2023

Intellectual Property: François Pochart

Band 2

"A standout independent outfit on the French market, August Debouzy demonstrates exceptional capability when prosecuting patents, bringing contentious matters to a successful close and dis­pensing strategic advice. This versatility is reflected in positions on all three tables in the rankings. Despite its relatively small size, it makes light work of multinational proceedings, earning it the loyalty of industry titans such as Teva, Orange and Total. One enthusias­tic client declares: “In short, there is no better patent attorney or patent law firm in the whole of Europe than them. I learned that I needed August Debouzy on my side. I definitely did not want them to be on the other side of the table.” François Pochart and Grégoire Desrousseaux are the dynamic duo at the heart of the practice. Pochart’s guidance on regulatory issues, supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) and plant protection products is always on point; while Desrousseaux benefits from qualifications in both law and engineering. “There is no doubt of Grégoire’s extraordinary intelli­gence. However, what makes him truly stand out without equal is his fierce application of that intelligence and subject-matter expertise to achieving clients’ business objectives. He does not hesitate to take measured risks in the pursuit of total victory.” “He is a brilliant profes­sional, able to handle a huge amount of data in a very short period of time and to extract itsessence.”"

IAM patent 1000 France 2022

Litigation : François Pochart

Gold (Tier 1/3)

IAM patent 1000 France 2022

Prosecution : François Pochart

Recommended

IAM patent 1000 France 2022

Transactions : François Pochart

Recommended

IAM patent 1000 France 2022

Transactions : Grégoire Desrousseaux

Recommended

IAM patent 1000 France 2022

Litigation : Grégoire Desrousseaux

Gold (Tier 1/3)

 « At August Debouzy, practice heads Grégoire Desrousseaux and François Pochart lead a deep bench of patent specialists, including both lawyers and patent attorneys, which allows for a particularly broad sector scope. Clients from the medical device, chemicals, energy, telecoms and agri-food sectors rely on the team with particular frequency, both for advisory work and disputes. The group is well versed in transactional work and licensing matters, including the transfer of technology and know-how, and holds its own in cross-border litigation, with particularly strong experience in coordinating multi-jurisdictional disputes in the pharmaceutical and telecom sectors. Leveraging its full-service positioning, the practice is able to draw on colleagues from other departments for optimal case staffing, with the competition teams a key asset for matters involving FRAND issues. Counsel Lionel Martin is dual-qualified as both a lawyer and a European patent attorney ».

« Representing leading pharmaceutical companies and clients specialised in medical devices, August Debouzy is highly regarded for its expertise in pharmaceutical patent litigation before the domestic and European courts. Joint practice head François Pochart, who is described as 'very knowledgeable, confident and experienced', leads on these matters alongside co-head Grégoire Desrousseaux. A further area of expertise for the team is assisting insurers of medical device manufacturers which are the subject of product liability proceedings. Co-head Alexandra Cohen-Jonathan is the key contact for these cases ».

‘The team is fully devoted to its client. They look at each file from all possible angles of attack/defence. They present a realistic view of the outcome of the case. Their knowledge of IP is second to none.’

‘Very focused team with deep expertise. Team works in a very pleasant atmosphere. Flexibility.’

‘A competent and powerful team, with high technical and legal skill and always responsive and clear.’

‘In general, the people from August & Debouzy with whom we are in contact are characterised by their listening skills, and therefore by their very great understanding of the issues for their clients.’

‘The flexibility of the team stands out, they are always ready to take into account our requests and our perspectives, to think about the most appropriate strategy. Also, their ability to adapt their thinking according to the elements that we bring to them, and to propose the most adapted solutions according to the needs of the company.’

Legal 500 EMEA 2023

Patents

Tier 1/4

Legal 500 EMEA 2023

Industry focus: Healthcare and life sciences

Tier 2/4

Legal 500 EMEA 2023

Patents: François Pochart

Hall of fame

Legal 500 EMEA 2023

Healthcare and LifeSciences: François Pochart

Leading individual

Legal 500 EMEA 2023

Patents : Grégoire Desrousseaux

Leading individual

Legal 500 EMEA 2023

Patents : Lionel Martin

Next Generation Partner

"The IP practice of this national full-service firm is among the market leaders in patent litigation. August Debouzy boasts a large number of dual-qualified lawyers, allowing it to handle both French proceedings and the associated EPO proceedings for its clients. This effective strategy as a one-stop shop combined with in-depth technical understanding are what impress clients. (…), this is one of the few teams with an impressive track record in high-stakes cases, such as Peugeot Citroen Automobiles against NPE Papst Licensing. Practice head Grégoire Desrousseaux is one of the most experienced litigators with a deep technical understanding of mobile communications patents. He successfully litigated this year, for example, for Asus in a suit against Philips regarding graphical user interfaces, as well as for Huawei against Intellectual Ventures over SEPs. The second, also dual-qualified partner, François Pochart, is renowned for his in-depth pharma sector expertise. He conducted the proceedings for Fresenius Kabi against Amgen concerning Humira, which were much observed across Europe". 

"The leading patents team has strong client contacts, partly because both dual-qualified partners frequently represent their clients before both the national French courts and the EPO. If the UPC arrives, this experience will be a trump card that few European firms can play. This makes August Debouzy an interesting partner for lots of international firms, especially those with a similar full-service approach".

Juve Patent 2022

Litigation: Lawyers France

Tier 1/5

Juve Patent 2022

Grégoire Desrousseaux et François Pochart

Advisors in patent litigation

Juve Patent 2022

Abdelaziz Khatab

Ones to watch

Global IP Awards (IAM & WTR)

2019

Patent Law Firm of the year

Managing intellectual property (MIP) 2022

Patent litigation

Tier 1/3

Managing intellectual property (MIP) 2022

Grégoire Desrousseaux

Patent star

Managing intellectual property (MIP) 2022

François Pochart

Patent star

Managing intellectual property (MIP) 2022

Managing IP’s EMEA Awards

French Patent Contentious firm of the year

Managing intellectual property (MIP) 2022

Lionel Martin

Rising star

Managing intellectual property (MIP) 2022

Mahasti Razavi

Trade mark star & Top 250 Women in IP

Managing intellectual property (MIP) 2022

Pierre-Olivier Ally

Rising star

Managing intellectual property (MIP) 2022

Pierre Pérot

Rising star

• Gregoire Desrousseaux
• Francois Pochart
• Abdelaziz Khatab

Who's Who Legal 2023

• Grégoire Desrousseaux :
Patents (Thought Leader) ; Life Sciences - Patent Litigation

• François Pochart :
Life Sciences (Thought Leader) ; Life Sciences-Patent Litigation 

Décideurs stratégie finance droit

Electronic health

Excellent

Décideurs stratégie finance droit

Patents – Litigation

Leading

Décideurs stratégie finance droit

Patents litigation in healthcare, biotechs and pharmaceuticals

Leading

Le Monde du Droit 2020

Patents

Golden Trophy

Le Monde du Droit 2020

Copyrights

Golden Trophy