The venture, first revealed on www.thelawyer.com (2 August), is 60 per cent owned by the management team of Thales’ IP department, with Marks & Clerk owning the remaining 40 per cent. The office will be known as Marks & Clerk France and will be run by Thales’ IP vice-president Christian Nguyen Van Yen.
The 30-strong Thales team was previously responsible for the protection of the company’s IP rights before the function was outsourced. Marks & Clerk France will continue to work for Thales in addition to other clients.
Marks & Clerk chair Chris Gibson said UK patent attorneys would be seconded to France and vice-versa. “It’s going to be mutually beneficial,” he said, adding that the new office could be followed by others across Europe.