Intellectual property in Panama

Estudio Benedetti

Referred to as 'the best intellectual property law firm in Panama', Estudio Benedetti is a highly-regarded mainstay of Panama's IP scene. Led by Ramon Benedetti, the sizeable team is active in all sector-related matters, including the filing and prosecution of trade marks, patents, utility models, industrial designs, plant varieties, copyrights and trade names. Audrey Williams heads the anti-counterfeiting practice, while Diana Leandro is in charge of all litigious matters, including oppositions, cancellations and annulment actions. The client portfolio is populated by heavyweight international companies in the entertainment, technology, luxury retail and pharmaceutical sectors. One 2018 highlight involved assisting various local universities and innovation companies with the filing of 126 PCT applications. The team's knowledge further extends to parallel areas like distribution agreements, international franchising and unfair competition.

Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez

Led by the highly-endorsed Marissa Lasso de la Vega the IP team at Alfaro, Ferrer & Ramírez has extensive experience assisting primarily foreign clients in a variety of sectors, such as life sciences, agrochemicals, healthcare and consumer goods. The practice generally handles matters related to the prosecution, enforcement and protection of patents, trade marks, copyrights, industrial designs and domain names. The team also provides advice on labelling, advertising and franchises, and is involved in contentious work, often acting on behalf of clients before the Courts of Justice. Partner Monique Ferrer is another key figure in the department.

Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega

The IP practice at Arias, Fábrega & Fábrega demonstrates strength across contentious and non-contentious matters. The diverse service offering covers the registration of patents, trade marks and copyright, anti-counterfeiting, infringements, opposition proceedings and transfer of IP rights related to mergers and acquisitions. The predominantly international client base includes well-known names like Colgate-Palmolive, FIFA, Facebook and L'Oréal; the team is also responsible for managing some of their longstanding clients' IP portfolios throughout Latin America. Headline work saw the team obtain registration rights for Guess's logo, after a nine-year long international legal battle with Gucci. Senior associate Carol Durling leads the team, with key support coming from Melissa del Busto, who specialises in health registration matters.

Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán

Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán advises domestic and international clients on trade marks, patents, utility models and trade names, handling both the filing of applications and registrations. On the contentious side, the team assists with the protection of IP rights locally and internationally, advising on licensing agreements, infringements and enforcement before civil and criminal courts; the IP litigation team is also actively involved in anti-counterfeiting work. With almost 30 years' at the firm, the well-regarded Gabriela Tejada de Britton heads the six-strong department. Former head of the IP litigation group Hugo Morán left the firm in January 2019.

Jimenez, Molino & Moreno

Jimenez, Molino & Moreno advises primarily international clients and the local subsidiaries of foreign companies on a broad spectrum of IP matters. The team not only demonstrates extensive experience registering trade marks and patents in Panama, but also excels in litigious and arbitral matters involving oppositions and nullity actions, as well as anti-counterfeiting cases. Respected Edwin Molino leads the four-partner practice, which was strengthened with the arrival of associate Michael Lopez in May 2018.

Morgan & Morgan

The IP practice at Morgan & Morgan has a strong track-record advising international companies in sector-related matters, including patent prosecution, trade mark registration, the transfer of IP rights in M&A and franchise transactions. Enrique Jimenez leads the practice, which recently acted for Colleen Pencil Thailand in an anti-counterfeiting matter; while key associate Maria Brenes advised LVMH Group in relation to the registration of pattern designs and renewal of the client's trademark portfolio in Panama. Other representative clients operate in the energy, healthcare and media industries.