Vanessa is a senior intellectual property (IP) lawyer who acts on both contentious and non-contentious matters. Before joining Gowling WLG, she practised in the intellectual property department of top-tier international law firms in both Paris and Dubai. Vanessa also gained in-house experience at Universal Music.
Vanessa's practice covers all areas of IP, including copyrights, trademarks, designs, patents, know-how, domain names and unfair competition.
She has significant experience in cross-jurisdictional IP disputes. Her practice also includes a variety of commercial matters such as distribution and franchise agreements, general commercial licensing work, advertising clearance, product regulatory matters and protection of personal data.
She has a particular focus on the media sector, the fashion industry, the life sciences sector, consumer goods, and food and beverages.
Vanessa advises individual designers and/or artists, small and medium businesses, as well as multinational corporations on the full spectrum of intellectual property issues under both UAE law and French law, and aims at providing every client with cost-effective and business-oriented advice and solutions.
Building on her extensive IP experience in a wide range of sectors, in cross-border matters and with her civil law background, she is a key asset in all of the IP matters handled by Gowling WLG in the Middle-East.
Vanessa presented at a number of events on various aspects of intellectual property law issues and on general aspects of doing business in the Middle-East in France, in the Middle-East, in the United-States and in India.
She is a member of the Paris Bar and is fluent in English and in French.
Her experience in Europe includes:
- Successfully representing the worldwide leader in the field of veterinary products in a lawsuit it initiated against a competitor on the basis of trademark infringement, damage to our client's reputation arising out of an earlier trademark and invalidity of the contested trademark designating a veterinary product (due to the confusion arising out of the international common denomination of the active ingredient of such treatment). Action brought simultaneously in France and in the Benelux.
- Successfully representing a leading French research institute in a contractual liability lawsuit brought against one of its licensees on the basis that the said licensee had unilaterally modified the basis for the calculation of royalties, and dissimulated part of the income received from sub-licensees. Claim value of approximately €28 million.
- Representing a French publishing company before the Paris courts in a claim for copyright infringement and unfair competition brought against it by a major publishing company in the United Kingdom, involving a renowned international lifestyle magazine. The claimant was notably requesting an injunction to stop offering for sale client's new magazine, which could have had implications on client's wider business. Matter successfully settled through formal mediation proceedings. Client was very pleased with the strategical litigation advice provided, the content of the settlement agreement negotiated which was very favourable to the client, and by the swift outcome of the proceedings.
- Successfully representing before the Paris Court of appeal a worldwide leader in the toy industry in a contractual liability claim against a French newspaper on the basis that such newspaper had been repeatedly using its renowned trademark as a generic name, thus jeopardising the distinctive nature of its trademark, and engendering a risk of revocation. The decision was very important as the first of its kind in 30 years, and has been commented in a number of legal magazines.
- Assisting a renowned French publishing company in its negotiations with a leading media company in China to license the exploitation of its new lifestyle magazine in China, Hong-Kong, Taiwan and Macau. Leading the negotiations, allowing the parties to swiftly enter into a satisfactory licensing agreement and hence launch the magazine in the licensed countries within very tight deadlines.
- Advising a world leading beverage company on its strategy to improve the management of IP content worldwide. The work included simplifying its global management of IP rights, ensuring that the scope of acquisition of the rights be as broad as possible, and limiting the risks as regards authors/performing artists' moral rights.
Her experience in the MENA region includes:
- Advising a Middle East online entertainment business in relation to production agreements, talent agreements, securing ownership of IP rights, intra-group licensing and regional IP rights registration management for the purpose of producing and broadcasting a new entertainment program.
- Advising an independent French pharmaceutical company on a new distribution strategy for its products in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, which included advice on the non-renewal of its current distribution agreements and the potential actions that could be brought by registered commercial agents. The scope of work included advising client on regulatory aspects of the importation, storage, distribution, sale, marketing and export of drugs, medical devices, dietary supplements and cosmetics in the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
- Advising the international advertising agency behind the new MENA campaign of an American sportswear multinational corporation. The campaign, celebrating Arab women in sports, made the headlines internationally.
- Successfully advising and assisting clients, including a leading drink manufacturer and a leading British technology company, with infringements in a number of countries in the region, including enforcement actions through the administrative authorities, the criminal authorities and proceedings through the local courts.
- Advising an international entity organizing major international sport competitions on copyright and broadcasting matters in the UAE and in Saudi Arabia.
- Advising a leading entity in the sports industry on its new franchise and trademark agreement in the UAE, which included providing coordinated advice across 21 jurisdictions in the Middle-East and North Africa region.
- Managing for a local government entity a global IP matter covering over 40 countries which involved advising on the protection of names of a series of programs, corresponding logos and slogans, and of designs, as well as developing a worldwide trademark filing strategy, and assisting in trademark prosecution and domain name arbitration.
- Providing IP trainings to local government entities and authorities.