Ukraine

The Ukrainian economy’s downward slide may have slowed somewhat over the past year, but political instability remains rife. Coupled with high levels of perceived corruption, this has done much to deter foreign inbound investment. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s IP regime is undergoing significant change: a fresh agreement with the European Union concluded in early 2016 has facilitated improved anti-counterfeiting measures, while the State Intellectual Property Service has been liquidated and its functions entrusted to the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade – a move that should improve the efficiency of the administration of IP rights. A long-awaited specialised IP court is also due to be established; this is more positive news for practitioners, who report increased awareness among brand owners of the importance of protecting their intangible assets in the region.

Firms

1
Baker McKenzie – CIS Limited
Doubinsky & Osharova
Pakharenko & Partners
2
AEQUO
Arzinger Law Office
Asters
Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners
IPStyle
Mikhailyuk Sorokolat & Partners
PETOŠEVIĆ
Sayenko Kharenko
3
Grischenko & Partners
Jurimex LC
Vasil Kisil & Partners
AEQUO
Relative newcomer AEQUO has fast become a leading player on the Ukrainian IP scene; the size and significance of its caseload mark it out as one of the jurisdiction’s most active outfits. A squad of eight dedicated lawyers ensures the smooth running of a bustling prosecution operation, while contentious matters are handled internally without the need to lean on litigation-focused colleagues from other practice areas. Its integral role in the extension of wireless carrier MTS’s strategic partnership with Vodafone highlights its prowess in the telecommunications space; while continued representation of hybrid seed manufacturer Pioneer Hi-Bred in infringement matters demonstrates its mastery of the agrichemical sector. Fronting the team is the multifaceted Oleksandr Mamunya, a professional and highly regarded practitioner who “responds promptly with invaluable advice that closely considers business implications”.
Arzinger Law Office
This Kiev-based full-service operator has all corners of the country covered through regional offices in Lviv and Odessa; while dedicated French, German and Austrian desks reflect its cross-border know-how. A go-to for major international pharma companies – UK concerns HGF and Amaxa both benefit from Arzinger’s strategic guidance – the IP team’s client roster includes companies from a broad range of industries. Department flagbearer Kateryna Oliinyk oversees the management of large portfolios and complex contractual briefs, as well as lending a hand in heated disputes. Her “excellent legal skills, high responsiveness and outstanding knowledge of local and international law” make her a first choice for domestic and foreign enterprises alike; while her position as head of the IP Committee of the Ukrainian Bar Association further underlines her high standing in the field. Food and beverage, healthcare and retail ace Lana Sinichkina tackles unfair competition matters with aplomb, and is heavily involved in a number of working groups tasked with developing improved legislation for the jurisdiction.
Asters
The IP department has been a vital cog in the Asters machine since the firm – now boasting a bench of over 70 lawyers – began operations in 1995. Its trademark practice provides the full range of services, with a growing prosecution presence complementing its established reputation in the contentious sphere. Anti-counterfeiting programmes for the likes of international confectionery giant Ferrero attest to its muscle in the fight against fakes. With 15 years of IP experience to her name, Julia Semeniy wins acclaim for her meticulous prosecution work and astute advice on sweeping portfolios – her recent work has been pivotal in pushing the firm into the silver tier this year.
Baker McKenzie – CIS Limited
Global juggernaut Baker McKenzie is the only international law firm operating in Ukraine to maintain a potent presence on both the contentious and non-contentious fronts. Its cross-border clout brings in abundant registration instructions from major players such as Nissan and the practice has seen a significant uptick in annual filing numbers over the past few years. Meanwhile, the “solid and dependable” litigation and enforcement team serves clients in industries as diverse as banking, agriculture and cosmetics; anti-counterfeiting mandates are on the rise, too, with Moet Hennessy and Columbia among those benefiting from its expertise in the field. Ruslan Drobyazko helms the trademark unit; clients especially appreciate his facility for transactions, anti-counterfeiting and enforcement.
Doubinsky & Osharova
Boutique Doubinsky & Osharova retains a spot at the pinnacle of the Ukrainian IP market, with a close-knit, highly skilled team of over 30 professionals committed to protecting and maximising the value of clients’ intangible assets. The agency has won the trust of major international enterprises and domestic concerns alike, having operated flawlessly across the trademark spectrum for nearly a quarter of a century. Esteemed managing partner Michael Doubinsky is a “great expert” in all things intellectual property. Fellow name partner Irina Osharova has been a redoubtable presence at the firm since day one, bringing decades of invaluable insight to every brief she handles. With an impeccable courtroom record and extensive anti-counterfeiting know-how, Yaroslav Ognevyuk “has profound experience and a deep understanding of trademark law and current issues”. Patent and trademark department head Tatiana Shpakovich specialises in registrations, licensing and rights transfers.
Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners
Commercial player EPAP is a force to be reckoned with in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region – its Kiev office is one of four spread across Russia, Ukraine and Belarus – while additional outposts in Washington DC and London and membership of the Lex Mundi network further emphasise its global outlook. The full suite of trademark services is on offer, with healthcare, telecommunications and information technology all fortes. Courtroom champ and IP team captain Taras Kyslyy secures stunning victories in the most fraught disputes; an authority on all things high-tech, he also wins acclaim from peers for his stellar transactional work. One of Europe’s largest IP practices, boutique Gorodissky & Partners cuts an imposing figure on the Ukrainian market. It eschews a one-size-fits-all approach, endeavouring to exceed expectations by providing bespoke, practical solutions to complex branding issues. While its client list includes household names from an array of industries, the firm excels at assisting enterprises in the pharmaceutical and consumer and luxury goods fields. A former examiner at the Russian and Ukrainian patent offices with 360-degree knowledge of IP law, Nina Moshynska provides sage counsel across the contentious/non-contentious divide.
Grischenko & Partners
Grischenko & Partners’ IP unit is a cornerstone of its full-service offering; it consistently sits among the top firms in the jurisdiction in terms of the number of cases handled. With bureaux in Kiev and Odessa, it is well placed to advise an assortment of domestic and international brand owners at all stages of the trademark lifecycle. Founding partner and director Dmitri Grischenko is a key contact.
IPStyle
“High-quality work, efficiency and great communication are what we look for when instructing external counsel and IPStyle has succeeded in every aspect,” enthuses one satisfied client of this dynamic boutique. Its recently established litigation department is shaping up to mirror the success of its feted prosecution operation, which has registered over 3,000 trademarks and counting. The team has gone from strength to strength since launching in 2007, with a steadily expanding crew of experts serving the needs of a diverse and growing client roster. Talented director and founding partner Mariya Ortynska epitomises the set’s high standards and sophisticated understanding of all things trademark. A “reliable and effective IP lawyer who is fun to work with”, Ortynska is also “one of the best specialists on counterfeit issues in Ukraine”.
Jurimex LC
Jurimex’s three Kiev offices and a further four regional garrisons ensure comprehensive coverage throughout the Ukrainian market. The IP ensemble at this leading commercial player has carved out a niche in the media and online spheres; transactional and licensing work for television channel Espreso and online legal platform Biltex illustrate its strength in these industries. Soft IP virtuoso Yuriy Krainiak heads the IP and media arm and staunchly defends clients’ rights at all court levels and in arbitration proceedings. “He is great at supporting and developing strategies and has perfect experience in representing clients on telecoms and internet issues. His specific specialisation in these fields is very valuable and I am always happy to collaborate with him,” attests one peer.
Mikhailyuk Sorokolat & Partners
Operating across a multitude of Eurasian jurisdictions, Mikhailyuk Sorokolat & Partners boasts unrivalled regional reach among Ukrainian firms. Overseeing its comprehensive trademark offering is founding partner Valentin Mikhailyuk, who draws on decades of experience to dispense incisive guidance on licensing, infringement and unfair competition matters. Vadim Mikhailyuk wins praise from peers for his prosecution prowess.
Pakharenko & Partners
Intellectual property is the bread and butter of this former boutique, which now reaps the benefits from crossover expertise on hand in its commercial law department to protect and exploit intangible assets with a laser business focus. A crew of over 20 lawyers keeps the wheels in motion at offices in Kiev and London, with multiple specialists tackling both contentious and non-contentious challenges head-on. Managing partner Antonina Pakharenko-Anderson is held in the highest regard for the favourable outcomes she secures in Ukraine’s tricky anti-counterfeiting domain; while Alexander Pakharenko brings a wealth of A-to-Z trademark know-how to the table.
PETOŠEVIĆ
A team of more than 120 professionals across 15 outposts in Central and Eastern Europe has the full suite of IP services on lockdown at regional powerhouse PETOŠEVIĆ. Ploughing through cases to get results at all costs is not this set’s style – thoughtful, far-sighted advice is provided at each step of the trademark journey, targeted at achieving clients’ long-term commercial goals. In addition to its robust domestic presence, it has established a solid reputation before the EU Intellectual Property Office and the European Patent Office. Seasoned trademark and patent agent Dina Petosevic manages the Ukraine contingent with a steady hand. Focusing on the CIS countries, all-rounder Elena Zubenko adroitly guides clients through the prosecution and maintenance of marks. Further assistance on portfolio management is provided by Taras Kulbaba, a member of the Europe and Central Asia Sub-committee of the International Trademark Association’s Non-traditional Marks Committee.
Sayenko Kharenko
Stunning transactional nous and effective dispute resolution are the hallmarks of leading business law outfit Sayenko Kharenko, whose London outpost offers a useful Western European vantage point. The IP practice is well equipped to handle any issue pertaining to the commercialisation of intangible assets; it advises across a diverse array of industries, from advertising and media to pharmaceuticals and tobacco. Former Asters man and transactional ace Oleksandr Padalka is a safe pair of hands for domestic and international clients alike.
Vasil Kisil & Partners
Vasil Kisil & Partners has a bench of 35 top-qualified lawyers who can handle both local and global mandates with utmost dexterity. Intellectual property has been a significant focus since the firm’s foundation in 1992, with clients receiving bespoke cradle-to-grave support for their prized brands. A formidable contentious practice sits alongside vibrant anti-counterfeiting and prosecution departments; the firm is currently assisting Mystetskyi Arsenal National Art and Culture Museum Complex in a complex dispute relating to ownership rights of a wall mural. Fronting the IP group is data protection doyen Vladyslav Podolyak, a go-to for enterprises seeking to develop vigorous defensive strategies for crown-jewel assets.

Individuals

Michael I Doubinsky - Doubinsky & Osharova
Ruslan V Drobyazko - Baker McKenzie – CIS Limited
Oleksandr Mamunya - AEQUO
Yaroslav Ognevyuk - Doubinsky & Osharova
Irina O Osharova - Doubinsky & Osharova
Alexander Pakharenko - Pakharenko & Partners
Antonina Pakharenko-Anderson - Pakharenko & Partners
Maxim Koval - Koval & Partners
Yuriy Krainiak - Jurimex LC
Taras Kyslyy - Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners
Valentin Mikhailyuk - Mikhailyuk Sorokolat & Partners
Nina Moshynska - Gorodissky & Partners (Ukraine)
Kateryna Oliinyk - Arzinger Law Office
Mariya Ortynska - IPStyle
Dina Petosevic - PETOŠEVIĆ
Julia N Semeniy - Asters
Lana Sinichkina - Arzinger Law Office
Elena Zubenko - PETOŠEVIĆ
Oleksandr Aleksyeyenko - Marchenko Danevych
Oksana Horban - Dentons
Natalia Kirichenko - DLA Piper Ukraine LLC
Taras Kulbaba - PETOŠEVIĆ
Vadim Mikhailyuk - Mikhailyuk Sorokolat & Partners
Oleksandr B Padalka - Sayenko Kharenko
Vladyslav Podolyak - Vasil Kisil & Partners
Tatiana Shpakovich - Doubinsky & Osharova
Olena Vardamatska - Wolf Theiss LLC
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Issue 68