Intellectual property in Belarus
SBH Law Office
SBH Law Office's intellectual property team is led by senior associate Veronika Sokolovskaya, who is 'one of the best specialists in IP legislation in Belarus'. Sokolovskaya brings a 'technically excellent and inventive' approach to a broad practice, including trade mark protection, unfair competition issues, and counterfeit and commercial piracy matters. The group also includes corporate specialist Anastasiya Malakhova, who advises businesses on a wide range of day-to-day issues, including negotiation of IP agreements, and senior associate Evgeniya Starosotnikova. The IT sector is an area of particular expertise for the firm.
Other key lawyers:
Anastasiya Malakhova; Evgeniya Starosotnikova
‘SBH Law Office has a great understanding of our needs and expectation and the team is well balanced and has a huge experience working in IT-sector. They know and apply the USA IP laws very well. The team is able to deliver dual English/Russian documentation and has practical, reactive and creative approach to work.’
‘Veronika Sokolovskaya is a great lawyer and one of the best specialists in IP legislation in Belarus. I rate Veronika Sokolovskaya above the rest because she is technically excellent and inventive. ’
‘They have diverse expertise in IT, this saved my time because I didn’t need to explain nuances of my tasks to them, most of which were related to the most recent advancements in IT. They were even predicting my future questions and providing the answers beforehand.’
‘I work with Anastasiya Malakhova mostly and she has proved to be a strong professional with a very gentle but accurate approach.’
‘The team has a wide variety of specialists.’
‘Anastasiya Malakhova has fantastic organisational skills. She possesses such personal qualities as erudition, competence, giving strong and sound recommendations and providing client-oriented services.’
Algimed Trade ltd
Press Fire Games LLC (previously registered as Blitz Team LLC)
- Providing Coca-Cola Hellenic with legal support on issues related to unfair competition and violation of intellectual property rights.
- Advised Algimed Trade on its acquisition of tangible and intangible assets related to NovaPrep systems and products.
- Representing Press Fire Games in an action before the Ministry of Antimonopoly Regulation and Trade concerning the issue of alleged unfair competition and infringement of exclusive rights.
The team at Sorainen maintains long-standing relationships with many of its clients, which include a multitude of global household names from the TMT, pharmaceuticals and consumer goods sectors. Practice head Maksim Salahub handles both contentious and advisory IP work, focusing particularly on rights protection matters and piracy issues. The group also fields a number of industry specialists, notably senior associates Marina Golovnitskaya and Kirill Laptev, who take the lead on life sciences and TMT mandates, respectively. Alexey Anischenko is another name to note.
Other key lawyers:
Marina Golovnitskaya; Alexey Anischenko; Kirill Laptev
Moomin Characters Oy Ltd
Papa John’s International
Cajun Operating Company
- Advised Moomin Characters Oy, the company established by Finnish writer and illustrator Tove Jansson, on various copyright and trade mark protection matters.
- Advised CrossFit, a global provider of fitness consultancy services, on combatting unauthorised trade mark use.
- Advising Papa John’s International, a global pizza restaurant franchise, on all matters related to local franchising operations, including contractual work.
Brand protection is a key area of expertise for the team at VMP Vlasova Mikhel & Partners; the 'very responsive and forward thinking' group regularly represents clients in counterfeiting and parallel import cases, as well as advising on IP registration, licensing and enforcement. Leveraging its close links with the IT practice, the IP department also handles mandates relating to software, mobile applications and games development. Practice head Tatiana Emelianova counts such well-known global companies as Procter & Gamble, Bulgari and Duracell among her core clients.
‘I was impressed with the very responsive and forward thinking lawyers.’
Jas Hennessy & Co.
William Grant & Sons Ltd
The Procter & Gamble Company
Nike International Ltd
Coty Germany GmbH
Duracell Batteries BVBA
Remy Cointreau Europe & MEA SA
British Petroleum UK
- Assisting a producer of electronic goods with brand protection matters, including trade mark registration and infringements.
- Representing William Grant & Sons Distillers in an unfair competition case concerning the unlawful imitation of the protected bottle and label design by a local producer.
- Providing Procter & Gamble with ongoing assistance with customs registration and protection of trade marks against counterfeit importation.
Arzinger Law Offices
Leveraging its close connection with the Hi-Tech Park, Arzinger Law Offices assists foreign high-tech investors with the entire process of launching their business in Belarus, starting from market evaluation and incorporation issues and ending with IP creation and transfer matters. Practice head Klim Stashevsky is noted for his expertise in drafting software development agreements and negotiating contracts for the creation of complex hardware systems. For trade marks mandates, associate Mikhail Khodosevich is the name to note. Aliaksandr Solopov is also recommended.
Other key lawyers:
Aliaksandr Solopov; Mikhail Khodosevich
Poster POS Inc. (USA)
Perk Card (Belarus)
Reify Health (USA)
Telecommunications & E-Commerce Solutions (Austria)
- Advised Axonim, a software development and engineering design company, on its agreement with a Belarusian state-owned producer of heavy machinery for software and hardware development for a brand-new product.
- Advising Poster POS on tax and license aspects concerning the distribution of its software to Belarusian users.
- Structuring a contractual model of a marketplace mobile application service which allows employers to provide their employees and contractors with special discounts on various goods and services by means of special barcodes and QR-codes on behalf of Perk Card.
The joint IP and TMT practice At Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners advises global brands and major technology companies on the full gamut of industry issues. Led by Dennis Turovets, it advises on registration, transfer, and use of intellectual property rights, and handles advisory work. On the contentious side, it is well versed in representing clients before patent, customs and law enforcement authorities. The firm was one of the initiators behind the IT Industry Lawyer Discussion Club, which is involved with the work of the IP commission at the International Chamber of Commerce.
Orange Brand Services Limited
Children’s World (Russian: Detsky Mir)
TA Associates Management, L.P. and Francisco Partners Management, L.P.
CBS Corporation, SNI/SI Networks L.L.C
- Assisting Playtika, a global leader in the social gambling sphere, with various IP matters.
- Representing Orange Brand Services, the owner of the well-known international telecoms Orange trade marks, in an IP-related unfair competition dispute with a Belarusian company operating on the same market.
- Advising Detsky Mir on IP issues relating to its entry onto the Belarusian market under its brand, well-known in the former USSR countries.
GRATA International is singled out for its 'ever-growing experience' in the IP sphere and its 'deep understanding of both the intellectual property issues and the commercial relationships'. Maxim Lashkevich advises IT and media companies on software development and assignment of rights, and assists retail businesses with franchise agreements and trade mark protection matters. Lashkevich is noted for having 'enough experience to prevent problems and give the right advice in time before a decision is made'. Dmitry Viltovsky and senior associate Olga Velishkevich are also recommended.
Olga Velishkevich; Maxim Lashkevich
Other key lawyers:
‘Maxim Lashkevich has enough experience to prevent problems and give the right advice in time before a decision is made. It was a pleasure!’
‘Their forte is ever-growing experience with the provision of legal assistance in the IP protection sphere. Before providing the advice they go into the details of the matter and double check everything.’
‘The team has a deep understanding of both intellectual property issues and commercial relationships. Smart, experienced, awesome team.’
‘Intelligent and open-minded team.’
‘Dmitry Viltovsky and the team are always ready to help and find an answer to all our questions and problems.’
‘GRATA International provides us with legal support with deep knowledge of the sport sector, legal regulation of business activity and IP protection. They work quickly and know foreign languages. They have enough experience to prevent problems and give the right advice in time before a decision is made.’
‘Benefits of working with GRATA International Belarus: well-coordinated teamwork, comprehensive legal advice and innovative solutions to the client’s problems.’
‘We were really impressed by GRATA’s lawyers’ personal attention to all the details of our project.’
LLC Bel-light group 1
- Advising Sagbel, a local distributer of energy equipment, on various IP protection matters.
- Assisting Squash life with various IP matters when organising sporting events.
Helen Mourashko brings a wealth of corporate expertise to her role as team lead at REVERA, focusing particularly on issues facing local and global companies with a nexus to IT. The group is well placed to advise on all IP issues relating to entry into the domestic market and Hi-Tech Park. The firm counts well-established IT businesses and start-ups as clients; for the latter, senior associate Artem Khandriko, who acts as head of the start-up hub, is the name to note. Leading associate Ksenia Erofeeva's broad practice spans a range of copyright and trade mark matters.
Other key lawyers:
Artem Khandriko; Ksenia Erofeeva
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
- Providing comprehensive IP support to SayGames, a global mobile game developer.
- Prepared agreements related to general licensing, delivery and licensing of software on behalf of Adani Group, as well as advising on the necessary procedure to embed an ERP-system.
- Advising Playrix on its entry into the Hi-Tech Park.
Verkhovodko & Partners LLC
Advising on the IP aspects of international business issues and large-scale transactions is a cornerstone of the practice at Verkhovodko & Partners LLC; the team is noted for its 'excellent knowledge of IP law, and the peculiarities of the applicability of the local law in international contracts'. Sectors of particular expertise include pharmaceuticals, telecoms and IT. The key contacts are 'brilliant strategist' Dmitry Bokhan, IP litigation expert Igor Verkhovodko and 'exceptional lawyer' Nina Knyazeva.
Igor Verkhovodko; Dmitry Bokhan
Other key lawyers:
‘Dmitry Bokhan is a very experienced and efficient lawyer and a brilliant strategist, which makes him an excellent legal assistant for advising on demanding international business law assignments and large-scale transactions, complicated or international cases.’
‘Verkhovodko & Partners team has excellent knowledge of IP law, and the peculiarities of the applicability of the local law in international contracts regardless of the law governing the contract.’
‘Nina Knyazeva is an exceptional lawyer who advised us on the diversity of IP-related issues and drafted a number of documents and contracts protecting our IP rights with respect to the developing software.’
‘This law firm has a unique blend of expertise and understanding of Belarusian laws. They have excellent client service – very quick response times, lots of attention to the client’s business and we are very impressed with the firm’s knowledge. Thus, we are fully satisfied with the professionalism that is given to each matter, whether large or small, local or international. In my opinion, they provide outstanding legal services, in a timely and accurate manner.’
‘Dmitry Bokhan stands out for his ability to comprehensively develop, suggest and implement IP strategies in Belarus and internationally.’
EPAM Systems Inc
A1 Telekom Austria Group
Zavod Bulbash LLC
- Advising EPAM Systems on the IP issues relating to its acquisition of Competentum, a company specialising in educational software.
- Assisting Avtoidea with a new dealer contract concerning the supply of BMW and MINI cars in Belarus and the use of trade marks.
- Advising Yuri Bashmet International Music Festival on various IP issues.