Croatia

IP awareness has increased among Croatian businesses, fuelling a rise in prosecution work for the country’s practitioners; but the situation on the contentious side is rather more problematic. Judges at the administrative courts do not specialise in any one area of law and many are thus insufficiently experienced in trademark law. There is also a considerable backlog at the courts, with some cases pending for over five years; mediation is thus a sensible and increasingly popular choice in many instances. Practitioners are hoping for changes in policy and, in particular, the introduction of more specialised enforcement bodies.

Firms

1
PETOŠEVIĆ
Vukmir & Associates
2
Divjak Topic & Bahtijarevic
Hraste & Partners
Divjak Topic & Bahtijarevic
The “excellent” Divjak Topic & Bahtijarevic continues to impress. Recent non-contentious highlights include representing Heineken Hrvatska, the Interactive Advertising Bureau and Atlantic Grupa. On the contentious front, it has lately been representing Elektro-Kontakt in major litigation. Involved in this matter, Olena Manuilenko is a “top attorney with extensive experience – a really impressive CV”. Her sparkling client catalogue features both promising start-ups and elite multinationals. With over 20 years’ experience, Sasa Divjak is another renowned name who comes into his own on telecommunications, media and IT briefs.
Hraste & Partners
For more than two decades now, Hraste & Partners has been one of Croatia’s most highly sought boutiques. The six lawyers in its team can frequently be found in Zagreb courtrooms and also have ample experience before the Croatian State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO). Founding partner Silvije Hraste has handled almost every trademark issue imaginable, although she shines particularly brightly on criminal matters.
PETOŠEVIĆ
The resource-rich PETOŠEVIĆ effortlessly covers the full trademark spectrum and beyond, providing incisive counsel on everything from filing to infringement and brand monetisation. With 120 personnel operating across 15 jurisdictions, it has an impressive network which the Zagreb team can tap into at will, making it a favourite among international companies with interests in Central and Eastern Europe. The seasoned Anamarija Stancic Petrovic has 17 years’ experience in the field; her strong suits include domain name and design issues.
Vukmir & Associates
Relentless in its pursuit of results, the “proficient and responsive” Vukmir & Associates performs flawlessly on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide; entertainment and software are particular strongholds. “One of the most prominent names in Croatian intellectual property”, Mladen Vukmir is something of a talisman for trademark practitioners; he has unmatched experience before SIPO and the European Patent Office. The multilingual Carla Biancotti can communicate effortlessly with clients in English, Italian, French and Spanish, and is equally au courant with the latest EU legislation and case law. Making his debut in the WTR 1000, silver-tongued negotiator Ivan Ćuk is “fantastic – a really diligent trademark professional”. With complementary know-how in banking and foreign investment law, he has won countless fans among international corporates. “The whole team at Zivko Mijatovic & Partners works extremely well together. Everything is impressively centralised. It responds swiftly and really knows intellectual property. It is cost effective too.” It has leveraged on its impressive footprint across Southeast Europe to entice some of the biggest companies in the world onto its roster; sophisticated cloud-based file-sharing technology facilitates seamless integration between its 13 offices, making it a go-to for clients with cross-border interests. “It is a superb law firm; it can help you out in countries that are difficult to work in.” Enforcement sage Ivana Šarlija captains the squad in Zagreb and specialises in anti-counterfeiting. “I’ve been really impressed by her experience, her pragmatism and the speed of her service,” enthuses one interviewee.

Individuals

Carla Biancotti - Vukmir & Associates
Luka Tadić-Čolić - Wolf Theiss
Ivan Ćuk - Vukmir & Associates
Sasa Divjak - Divjak Topic & Bahtijarevic
Albina Dlačić - Dlačić Law Offices
Tomislav Hadzija - Dennemeyer & Associates
Silvije Hraste - Hraste & Partners
Dina Korper Žemva - Korper & Partneri
Olena Manuilenko - Divjak Topic & Bahtijarevic
Andrej Matijevich - Matijevich Law Offices
Ivana Šarlija - Zivko Mijatovic & Partners
Anamarija Stancic Petrovic - PETOŠEVIĆ
Sanja Vukina - Vukina & Partners Ltd
Mladen Vukmir - Vukmir & Associates
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Issue 68