Intellectual property in Argentina
Standing strong at the top of the market, Marval O’Farrell Mairal’s widely admired IP practice is held up as ‘impossible to compete with’ by clients. The firm’s ‘unrivalled depth of team’, ‘high volume of cases’ and ‘specialist lawyers’ ensure it maintains a significant lead over its competitors and the client consensus is ‘few firms come close’. The comprehensive nine-partner group fields experts in patents, trade marks, IP litigation and enforcement, with its broad sector expertise spanning the pharmaceutical, luxury goods, TMT, and food and beverage industries, among others. On the patent side, the firm’s dominant position translates into a 45% share of patent litigation cases in Argentina — patent heavyweight Martín Bensadon continues to be a prominent player in that space. On the trade mark front, Sergio Ellmann is a high-profile figure and recently assisted Ultimate Fitness Club with correcting a mistake whereby the wrong trade mark was published — the correction was allowed on appeal. The team also includes widely revered IP litigator Gustavo Giay, who acted with Martín Chajchir to advise Procter & Gamble on an anti-counterfeiting programme to block the large-scale counterfeiting of its Ariel laundry detergent. Other names to note include trademark specialist Iris Quadrio, counsel Iván Poli and impressive patent litigation partner Ignacio Sánchez Echagüe.
Berton Moreno + Ojam
Following its merger in 2017, boutique firm Berton Moreno + Ojam reinvented itself again by adding a compact corporate department to provide support on transactional support matters. IP remains its core business and the firm fields ten partners dedicated to the area, with specialist skill sets covering trademarks, patents, copyright and related IP matters. Key figures include seasoned expert Alberto Berton Moreno, who stands as one of the most senior IP experts in the Argentine market; Juan Carlos Ojam, who brings to bear a broad practice and a strong academic background; and celebrity branding specialist Ricardo Amigo. Recent work included representing Claro in a trade mark case brought by Samsung Argentina concerning Claro’s attempts to register the ‘Claro be smart’ slogan.
The ‘outstanding’ G. Breuer is held up by many as an ‘excellent IP boutique’. The long-established firm enjoys a strong profile locally due to its deep roots in the Argentine market, while internationally it has strong links with global law firms and multinational clients. Among the names to note, sector expert Jorge Otamendi is widely regarded as a pioneer in IP law and clients attest: ‘Few would disagree that he is the best IP practitioner in the country.’ Other key contacts include Alejandro Breuer Moreno and Agustina Martínez Estrada — both are highly regarded for trade mark matters. The group also handles patents, copyright and unfair competition matters. Associate Alfonso Campos Carles, singled out as ‘a future leader’, is also recommended.
Noetinger & Armando
‘Highly commercial and great to deal with’, Noetinger & Armando is widely hailed for its ‘very strong and experienced partners’. The comprehensive practice is also highlighted for its ‘solid all-round expertise’, which takes in specialist offerings in trade marks, patents, domain names, plant varieties and copyright matters. Seasoned IP litigator Fernando Noetinger remains a key figure in the group and is recommended for his adept handling of patent and unfair competition cases. Matías Noetinger, who leads the trade mark and copyright departments, is also highly regarded. The firm is particularly well known for representing clients from the pharma, biotech and agriculture sectors.
Richelet & Richelet
Richelet & Richelet is highly sought after for its enviable track record in complex IP litigation, both in the administrative and judicial spheres. It also handles non-contentious matters across the full suite of trade marks, patents, copyright, industrial designs and plant varieties. Among its recent cases, the firm handled several contentious patent matters discussing the joint ministerial resolution issued by the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) and the ministries of industry and health, which sets up limitations as to the subject matter that can be patented in the pharmaceutical field. Key contacts include senior partner Ricardo Richelet and patent specialist Gastón Richelet.
‘A top firm with great service’, Allende & Brea scores highly for its ‘excellent response times’ and ‘strong understanding of industry problems’. The increasingly prominent IP practice is distinguished by its focus on representing technology companies — including Facebook, LinkedIn and WhatsApp — across a wide range of IP matters. Department head Pablo Palazzi ‘can turn his hand to any legal issue’ and advised Instagram on a string of trade mark opposition cases over the past year. Senior associate Marco Rizzo Jurado is also a key contact.
Baker McKenzie sets itself apart through its impressively diverse client list, which is composed of some of the world’s leading multinational corporations, including 3M Company, Honeywell and Schlumberger. Among the group’s strong suits, trade mark portfolio management stands out as a sweet spot and it also shines in trade mark and patent prosecution and IP litigation. Bernard Malone, who ‘exceeds expectations’, heads the ‘passionate, experienced and reliable group’ and recently advised Victoria's Secret on infringement matters. Senior associate Maria Bassi is also a key contact.
Beccar Varela houses a growing practice, which demonstrates weight across an array of IP prosecution, management, enforcement and litigation matters. High-profile TMT specialist Emilio Beccar Varela co-leads the department alongside Florencia Rosati; together they are advising Grupo Enjoy on ongoing IP issues, including trade mark portfolio management. Other representative clients include Samsung Argentina, Sanofi Argentina and WestRock Packaging Systems.
Ferrer Reyes, Tellechea & Bouche
Ferrer Reyes, Tellechea & Bouche’s exclusive focus on IP law translates into coverage of the full suite of contentious and non-contentious matters, but it is best known for its firepower in trade mark issues. On the non-contentious front, Julia Elena Tellechea and Diego Bouché are popular choices for portfolio management, particularly in the pharmaceutical, chemical and retail fields. On the contentious side, litigation head Laura de Achával successfully represented Héctor Oesterheld and Francisco Solano López before the Supreme Court in a long-running trade mark case relating to El Eternauta comic.
Hausheer Belgrano & Fernández
Hausheer Belgrano & Fernández covers the full waterfront of IP matters but it is best known for its robust trade mark practice, which secures a steady stream of prosecution and enforcement work. Graciela Pérez de Inzaurraga, who manages the foreign clients department, is recommended for trade mark, copyright and patent protection. Juan Carlos de la Vega, who manages the local client unit, is also a key contact. Representative clients include Nestlé, Procter & Gamble and Sanofi.
The ‘extremely professional’ team at Mitrani Caballero & Ruiz Moreno Abogados strikes the right note with its ‘great industry knowledge’ and ‘quick and precise advice’. The group, which is well balanced between contentious and non-contentious matters, is led by Ignacio Bérèterbide, who is noted for his ‘responsive and high-quality service’. Highlights included advising Raízen Combustíveis on the IP aspects of its $950m acquisition of Royal Dutch Shell’s downstream business in Argentina. Other key clients include Digirodeo, Holcim (Argentina) and Tenaris.
Pérez Alati, Grondona, Benites & Arntsen’s practice is best known for its record in trade mark portfolio management, particularly on behalf of clients from the pharmaceutical, retail, and food and beverage sectors. The three-partner group also handles a significant volume of patent, advertising and IT law issues. In a notable coup, the firm recently took over the management of Molinos Río de la Plata’s trade mark portfolio, which includes around 4,000 marks worldwide. Fernando Alonso and IP litigation specialist Julio Lago are recommended.
Palacio & Asociados
Palacio & Asociados is widely acknowledged as a leading participant in Argentine trade mark and patent filings. The IP-focused firm, which counts an impressive number of major multinational brands among its clients, is also routinely engaged on IP litigation and enforcement. Among its highlights, Mingo Palacio represented Samsung Electronics in trade mark opposition proceedings. Managing partner Héctor Palacio and up-and-coming partner Diego Palacio are also key contacts.
Although compact, Bomchil’s IP practice is roundly praised by clients, who commend its ‘very responsive service’ and ‘clear and proactive advice’. The group, which is led by ‘young, talented and client-oriented’ senior associate Patricio María Albornoz, has a strong focus on non-contentious work, including corporate support matters and IP portfolio management. Representative clients include Indian Madero, OneClick International and TVS Motor Company.
‘Professional, efficient and transparent’, Bruchou, Fernández Madero & Lombardi’s integrated IP, privacy and new technologies practice provides ‘excellent, value-added services’, according to satisfied clients. Senior associate Marcos Santiváñez Vieyra is ‘sharp and strategic’ and leads a team which is recognised for its niche expertise in technology-related matters. Highlights included advising Bunge Argentina on trade mark protection, domain name matters and software-related issues.
Estudio Chaloupka acts for an impressive stable of foreign clients on IP matters, with notable weight in the pharmaceuticals, chemicals, TMT and consumer industries. Highlights included representing Allergan in defending the ‘botox’ mark against infringers — head of legal Claudia Serritelli and senior associate Paula Galván led that work. The firm has also recently undertaken work for CrossFit and Jeyes Group.
Herrero & Asociados
Spanish IP firm Herrero & Asociados utilises its Buenos Aires office to plug into the wider Latin American market — it also benefits from further regional platforms in Mexico and Brazil. Local group head Ariel Juan Ibáñez steers a group that recently represented a major global corporation in a patent enforcement case. Other representative clients include Editorial Planeta, Naturgy and Westinghouse Electric Company.
Litvin Marzorati Legales
‘Responsive, commercial and efficient’, Litvin Marzorati Legales’ IP team is held up as ‘simply on the ball’. In particular, founding partner Melisa Litvin secures rave reviews for her ‘strong and up-to-date knowledge’ and ‘strong skill set across a range of IP matters, particularly trade mark management and litigation’. Highlights included advising key client Buldey Company on several contentious actions — it also handles the company’s global portfolio management.
Estudio Randle’s burgeoning IP and advertising group continues to build on its IP portfolio management credentials. Among its key clients in this area, department head Paula Fernandez Pfizenmaier manages the Argentine trade mark portfolios of NSE Products and Les Éditions Quel Toupet. The group also has solid experience in IP prosecution and litigation.
Wiener Soto Caparrós
The ‘knowledgeable and responsive’ group at Wiener Soto Caparrós ‘instils confidence’, according to clients. The team, which handles a mix of trade mark, patent and copyright matters, recently advised construction company Semin on trade mark registrations in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. Counsel Celia Lerman is the name to note.