Intellectual property in Guatemala
The 'efficient and trusted' team at BLP is 'proactive and well aware of the current trends and criteria of the Guatemalan Patent Office', and the full-service IP practice is also noted for its expertise in trade marks and anti-counterfeiting. Clients include a number of major pharmaceutical companies; practice head Luis Ruiz acted for Abbott Laboratories in its claim against local pharmaceutical laboratory Provimed over the counterfeiting of drugs - the largest such case in Guatemala's history - and also represented GlaxoSmithKline in its opposition to the registration of the trade mark Plaxil for a medication. Ruiz and senior associate Pamela López also advise large corporations including H&M on the protection of their trade mark portfolios in Central America.
Ninoshka Urrutia leads the team at Consortium Legal, which advises on trade mark registrations, patent applications, industrial designs and copyright matters, as well as handling litigation relating to infringement and counterfeit goods. Past highlights included advising Conzorcio Parmigiano Reggiano on the protection of its geographical indication, and assisting Titon with a patent application. The Central American integration system, Secretaría de Integración Económica Centroamericana, is also a client.
The team at Mayora & Mayora, S.C. handles the full range of IP services: patent (and industrial design), trade mark and copyright filings; the protection of IP rights, particularly in the Northern Triangle region; and IP portfolio management. The team is also active in IP litigation and has specialist knowledge of the transfer of technology licences. Highlights included practice head Santiago Mayora and senior associate Hugo Rivas filing a series of criminal complaints relating to copyright issues for a luxury fashion brand, and Eduardo A Mayora acting for Grupo Eco in a nullity action on the grounds of bad faith.
Palomo Abogados 'delivers work to the highest of standards': 'what makes the practice unique is its outstanding service, responsiveness and excellent IP expertise'. The team advises on the filing of trade marks and patents, and copyright matters, as well as more niche areas such as the transfer of technology and biotechnology-related inventions. The team is also active representing clients in IP litigation. Clients include leading international companies Starbucks, The Body Shop and Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma (Heineken México). Joint practice heads Héctor Palomo and Sandra Iriarte - both 'excellent lawyers and always reachable' - acted as local counsel to Apple following opposition to the filing of its "Touch ID" trade mark. 'Proactive and smart' associate Paula Passarelli is also noted.
Viteri & Viteri
Boutique IP firm Viteri & Viteri has particular expertise in trade mark and patent prosecutions, as well as copyright law, and has a strong client base of local and international companies across a range of sectors, including retail, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and technology. Ernesto José Viteri Arriola is the key contact; senior partner Ernesto Ricardo Viteri Echeverria is also highly regarded.
Arias counts numerous leading names from the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, fashion and automotive sectors among its clients, including Proctor & Gamble, Sanofi, AstraZeneca, Inditex and Crocs. The team handles trade mark and patent filings; geographical indication, domain name and copyright issues; software licensing; and civil and criminal litigation, such as anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy cases. Highlights included senior associate Ivón Hernández, who leads the practice, representing a fashion brand in an infringement case, and litigation partner Mario René Archila acting alongside Hernández for the US Dairy Export Council in a claim relating to the use of the term "parmesan".
CENTRAL LAW Guatemala
CENTRAL LAW Guatemala is praised for the 'efficiency and quality of its services, the detail with which it answers questions, its follow-up on key questions, and the availability of the team'. The team advises on IP matters ranging from national and regional trade mark and patent applications and the protection of trade secrets to enforcement actions, including oppositions to trade mark filings. The practice is led by the 'honest and responsible' Gustavo Noyola, who 'has great skill in designing IP protection strategies in Central America'. Recent highlights include acting for the makers of Antigua Cerveza craft beer to oppose the registration of the trade mark "Antigua Brewing Company" by another business.
Comte & Font – Legalsa's strengths include advising companies in the technology and financial services sectors on the protection and defence of IP rights; advising artists and museums, as well as the Ministry of Culture and Sport, on copyright protection for art works; and handling large volumes of trade mark and patent registrations and renewals. The team also represents clients in IP litigation; recently, practice head Karina Calderón (who is arguably 'one of the best IP lawyers in Guatemala') defended Tuenti Technologies against Comunicaciones Celulares' opposition to the registration of one of its designs. Other clients include Diageo, Uniespecies and Chiquita. María Isabel Saravia, formerly an associate with the firm, left to start her own practice.
Gonzalo Menéndez González leads the team at Lexincorp, which is known for handling a high volume of trade mark registrations and patent applications. The firm has a strong client base of multinational corporations with operations in Guatemala, particularly in the telecoms, pharmaceutical and technology sectors; key clients include Turner Broadcasting System, Millicom International Cellular, Laboratorios Pisa and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. The team also handles litigation, such as oppositions to trade mark and patent filings, where Ovidio Parra is noted for his expertise. Gonzalo Menéndez Park, who specialises in advising regional companies in the pharmaceutical and financial spheres, as well as the protection of international brands, is also a key contact.
Palacios & Asociados/Sercomi
Palacios & Asociados/Sercomi specialises in IP matters, acting for clients throughout the Central American region, as well as international companies. The team has a strong reputation for IP litigation, particularly IP enforcement actions, and advises on trade marks, patents and data protection. Marco Antonio Palacios leads the practice.
Juan Sebastián Soto leads the team at A. D. Sosa & Soto, which advises on trade mark and patent filings and the management of IP portfolios, and handles litigation. It also specialises in technology transfer matters. In recent highlights, the firm acted for international confectionery company Lindt & Sprüngli in a complaint to the Ministry of Health to prevent an authorised seller from selling expired products, and represented Compañia Distribuidora (CODISA) in an anti-counterfeiting action relating to its Magia Blanca product. The team also advises Universidad del Valle de Guatemala on the protection of spinoffs launched by students and professors.
BUFELCO Bufete López Cordero
BUFELCO Bufete López Cordero is 'well known' for its IP practice, advising on the protection of trade marks, patents, designs and industrial models, as well as copyright matters. The team also represents clients in litigation, where it handles opposition and infringement actions, among others. Past highlights include conducting due diligence of the trade mark portfolio of Colombian company Quala on behalf of Unilever; the team also counts international companies GlaxoSmithKline, AbbVie and Walmart among its clients. Guillermo López Davis leads the practice.
Carrillo & Asociados specialises in trade mark and patent prosecutions and smuggling and anti-counterfeiting cases, but also advises on the registration of trade marks and patents and the management and protection of IP portfolios, particularly in the cosmetics, pharmaceutical, clothing, food and beverages, and communications sectors. Following the departure of former practice head Analucía Carrillo in December 2018, the team is led by Luis Mazariegos and Rodrigo Callejas, who specialise in IP litigation, as well as experienced associates Alfaro López and Carlos Meza. Key clients include Novartis, Industria de Alimentos Dos en Uno and Walmart de México y Centroamérica.
QIL+4 ABOGADOS, S.A. advises local and international clients on patent and trade mark registrations, copyright matters, and due diligence of IP assets in corporate transactions, as well as complex issues concerning trade secrets and data privacy, among others. Alongside the firm's strong dispute resolution department, the team also acts for clients in IP litigation, including trade mark opposition and infringement actions. The team is led by Marcos Ibargüen and experienced senior associate Alejandro del Valle. New clients include Japanese personal care company Shiseido and US paint supplier PPG Industries.
Bermejo & Bermejo
The 'proactive' team at local firm Bermejo & Bermejo is 'very attentive to clients' needs and requests' and is noted for its ability to 'apply local legislation to complicated IP matters'. The team handles a high volume of trade mark and patent registrations in Guatemala and across Central America, and also advises clients including Novartis, Volkswagon and Grupo Solid on the management and protection of their trade mark portfolios. The 'smart, sharp and meticulous' Luis Fernando Bermejo leads the practice; he is praised for 'always giving more than is expected'. Bermejo and Flor de Maria Folgar recently successfully defended Belizean airline Tropic Air against a trade mark opposition brought by transport carrier Tropical Shipping and Construction Company.
Director Gabriela Gándara Ulloa leads the growing IP practice at Dentons Muñoz. The team is particularly active in trade mark prosecutions, but also advises on the management of IP portfolios and copyright matters. Recent highlights include assisting Universidad Francisco Marroquín with the redaction of authorisation for the use of certain image rights. The team also advises clients in the food industry, such as Costa Rican company Alimentos Prosalud, on obtaining health registrations for their products from the Guatemalan Ministry of Health. Managing partner Luis Abundio Maldonado is another key contact.
EY Law Central America has extensive experience advising on the protection of IP rights in corporate transactions, as well as assisting with the filing of trade marks and patents, and handling prosecutions and oppositions. Clients come from the consumer products, retail, food and beverages, and pharmaceutical sectors, among others, and include Florida Bebidas and Industrias Alimenticias Kern's. The team is led by Enrique Möller Sánchez, Ruby Asturias and senior manager Ana Rocío Beltetón, who has 12 years' experience in IP, IT and data privacy.