Greece

The lawyers’ strike in Greece, which commenced in January 2016 as a protest against the government’s austerity reforms, finally began to wind down over the summer. However, its effects have lingered – most notably in a daunting backlog of 320,000 pending cases that were put on hold. Before the strike, the backlog was already some 700,000 strong, meaning that it could now be a decade before some trials reach the courtroom. The bottleneck has had a severe impact across the legal sector and IP cases are unlikely to top the priority list. This has fuelled increasing uncertainty on the market, with brand owners being steered towards mediation in all but the gravest circumstances. Despite these challenges, practitioners remain optimistic that things will eventually improve; in the meantime, holistic IP counsel that takes the long view is more important than ever.

Firms

1
Dr Helen G Papaconstantinou and Partners Law Firm
2
Ballas, Pelecanos & Associates LPC
Law Firm Thanos Masoulas
Patrinos & Kilimiris
Prentoulis Lawyers & Consultants
Zepos & Yannopoulos
3
KG Law Firm
Malamis & Associates
PotamitisVekris
Sakellarides Law Offices
Tsimikalis Kalonarou
Vayanos Kostopoulos
Ballas, Pelecanos & Associates LPC
The trademark counsel dispensed at full-service Ballas, Pelecanos & Associates is informed by exhaustive knowledge of patrons’ industries, while tax and business law insight gives it a further commercial edge. Name partner George Ballas ably assists myriad clients across the contentious/non-contentious divide, with anti-counterfeiting a forte and pharmaceuticals perhaps his strongest industry sector. The cosmopolitan Maria Spanos knows European IP legislation inside out; she speaks fluent English, French and Spanish (including Catalan), making her a fine choice for multinationals.
Dr Helen G Papaconstantinou and Partners Law Firm
Venerable outfit Dr Helen G Papaconstantinou and Partners Law Firm wins warm plaudits from peers: “It is very well known, with expertise and experience in all manner of IP matters. Working with it, whether on the same or the opposite side, is really smooth – it has truly respectable practitioners.” Lodestone Helen Papaconstantinou has led the firm since 1986 and is an influential figure on the IP scene; the courtroom veteran is vice president of the Greek working group of the Association of Intellectual Property Attorneys. From three offices in Athens, Bucharest and Tirana, Drakopoulos Law Firm provides invaluable guidance to businesses on trademark issues across Southeast Europe. “The advice is accurate, timely and cost effective – clients are truly satisfied.” Recent highlights include filing an intervention for TÜV before the Athens Administrative Court and assisting Asics Europe with a significant anti-counterfeiting matter concerning the attempted import of 30,000 pairs of fake shoes at the port of Thessaloniki. WTR 1000 newcomer and enforcement sage Michalis Kosmopoulos played a vital role on the latter brief – not least thanks to the excellent relations he enjoys with Customs. Name partner Panagiotis Drakopoulos has over 20 years’ experience under his belt; the pharmaceuticals whizz has recently been counselling Indivior on a weighty opposition before the Trademark Administrative Committee.
KG Law Firm
The “excellent, precise and dynamic” IP team at KG Law Firm breaks into the WTR 1000 for the first time in 2017. It has bases in Athens and Thessaloniki and, with support from its renowned banking and finance and competition practices, offers sophisticated trademark counsel with a distinctly commercial flavour. Irene Kyriakides is a reliable first port of call; she has real transactional savvy and specialises in the pharmaceuticals sector.
Law Firm Thanos Masoulas
Celebrated prosecution powerhouse Thanos Masoulas is the country’s top filer of EU trademarks. The outward-looking set stays on top of the latest developments across the continent and underpins its trademark know-how with in-depth marketing and franchising insight. Having served on the committee of experts that advised on the drafting of the 1994 trademark law, Thanos Masoulas is intimately familiar with its provisions. He is also a dab hand at advertising matters.
Malamis & Associates
The “fantastic” trademark team at Malamis & Associates is famed for its formidable anti-counterfeiting muscle. Having forged strong links with customs officials and overseen scores of seizures, it can handle campaigns for even the biggest multinationals with consummate ease. It also shines for its strategic counsel, offering meticulous clearance and registration services. Alkisti-Irene Malamis counts geographical indications as a strong suit; fluent in English, French, German and Italian, she is the trusted adviser of many international enterprises.
Patrinos & Kilimiris
Boutique Patrinos & Kilimiris is both a forerunner and frontrunner on the Greek market. Founded in 1919, it has seen and done it all in the IP space; its 25 practitioners dispense comprehensive trademark advice on everything from filing and licensing to proceedings at the Greek Patent and Trademark Office, the EU Intellectual Property Office and the courts. Manolis Metaxakis is the star quarterback on the enforcement side; he has triumphed in myriad knotty disputes and has supplementary copyright know-how. All-rounder Maria Kilimiris operates adroitly across the contentious/non-contentious divide; she is celebrated for her shrewd business sense. Electra Kilimiris is a prosecution machine and portfolio manager par excellence; international concerns seek her out thanks to her fluency in English, Italian, French and Spanish.
PotamitisVekris
Forward-thinking PotamitisVekris cuts a dash on the Greek IP scene, making light work of some of the most challenging briefs for household names. On the non-contentious side, it manages the sweeping trademark portfolios of Euro Corpex and Olympia-Xenia, while also assisting Microsoft with transactional and licensing issues. In the courts, it has lately been representing Procter & Gamble in criminal and civil proceedings concerning counterfeit Ariel products. Involved in all of these matters, the industrious Alexandros Koliothomas has “significant experience and deep knowledge in the field – he can explore any matter in detail, and then promptly and effectively present clients with the essential facts. Plus, he is very strong in negotiations and communicates well”.
Prentoulis Lawyers & Consultants
“Clients really appreciate Prentoulis Law & Consultants’ services. It is well known for its superb expertise.” The A-to-Z trademark offering of this innovative IP specialist has won it a glittering client roster, on which cutting-edge designers and architects feature prominently. Name partner Nikos Prentoulis “is a very open-minded professional, who takes a practical approach to all matters and can find a positive solution no matter the circumstances. His IP knowledge is really extensive”. Teammate Nancy Gerakini excels on trademark matters which overlap with corporate or tax law, and can be relied on to produce crystal-clear reports.
Sakellarides Law Offices
Nimble boutique Sakellarides Law Offices has been a firm fixture on the national IP scene since its establishment in 1912. Its advice is infused with a profound academic understanding of the statutes and a refined commercial sensibility. It provides a holistic trademark service to a diverse clientele of eminent national and international brand owners; domain name issues are a forte. Software expert and senior managing partner Vali Sakellarides is a widely published authority on trademark law; she wrote the Greek chapter in key reference guide Trademarks Throughout The World.
Tsimikalis Kalonarou
The storied Tsimikalis Kalonarou wrote itself into IP history with its recovery of trademarks that the Greek government had seized from German entities during World War II. It remains one of the market’s elite players; the team’s enviable client list features marquee brands from the pharmaceuticals, automotive and comestibles industries in particular. Key contact Stefanos Tsimikalis has substantial complementary expertise in unfair competition and domain name law, and is fluent in English and German.
Vayanos Kostopoulos
With more than a century of IP experience to its name, Vayanos Kostopoulos has handled every trademark issue under the sun; it matches this with unrivalled knowledge of the particularities of the Greek market. It knows how to meet and exceed the expectations of clients of all shapes and sizes, from start-ups to established local businesses and large multinationals. It serves each with a personal touch; responsiveness and cost effectiveness are hallmarks. Formidable litigator Nikolaos Lyberis has carved out a real niche in the pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, food and beverages and engineering fields.
Zepos & Yannopoulos
Contentious heavyweight Zepos & Yannopoulos packs a serious punch in the courtroom, representing a panoply of premier multinationals in numerous venues around the country and beyond. It also runs high-profile anti-counterfeiting campaigns for the likes of Louis Vuitton Malletier, to superb effect. “Extremely knowledgeable” Konstantinos Logaras never loses sight of the wider business realities; the enforcement guru plies his trade in English, French and German. Nikos Christoforidis is a familiar face at the Greek Supreme Court; he has useful ancillary insight in the product liability and unfair competition arenas.

Individuals

Helen G Papaconstantinou - Dr Helen G Papaconstantinou and Partners Law Firm
George A Ballas - Ballas, Pelecanos & Associates LPC
Nikos J Christoforidis - Zepos & Yannopoulos
Panagiotis Drakopoulos - Drakopoulos Law Firm
Maria Kilimiris - Patrinos & Kilimiris
Alexandros Koliothomas - PotamitisVekris
Thanos Masoulas - Law Firm Thanos Masoulas
Manolis Metaxakis - Patrinos & Kilimiris
Marina A Perraki - Tsibanoulis & Partners
Nikos Prentoulis - Prentoulis Lawyers & Consultants
Vali Sakellarides - Sakellarides Law Offices
Nicholas Vosemberg - Vosemberg-Vretos
Nancy Gerakini - Prentoulis Lawyers & Consultants
Electra Kilimiris - Patrinos & Kilimiris
Michalis Kosmopoulos - Drakopoulos Law Firm
Konstantinos Logaras - Zepos & Yannopoulos
Nikolaos Lyberis - Vayanos Kostopoulos
Alkisti-Irene Malamis - Malamis & Associates
Maria Spanos - Ballas, Pelecanos & Associates LPC
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Issue 68