Greece

There has been significant progress made clearing the courtroom backlog left by the lawyers’ strike, which commenced in January 2016 as a response to stringent austerity reforms. After filing a suit, claimants can now expect to receive a resolution within 12 months – and in many instances far sooner. Amendments to the Greek Civil Procedure Code have been instrumental in streamlining the process and bringing about this newfound efficiency. With regard to counterfeits, there has been increased coastal vigilance owing to the enduring refugee crisis, and more seizures of counterfeit goods are being organised than ever before; however, the influx of fakes into the country shows no signs of abating.

Firms

2
Ballas, Pelecanos & Associates LPC
Law Firm Thanos Masoulas
Patrinos & Kilimiris
Prentoulis Gerakini Law Partnership
Zepos & Yannopoulos
3
KYRIAKIDES GEORGOPOULOS Law Firm
Malamis & Associates
PotamitisVekris
Sakellarides Law Offices
Tsimikalis Kalonarou
Vayanos Kostopoulos
Ballas, Pelecanos & Associates LPC
“Ballas, Pelecanos & Associates employs highly trained, skilful professionals who are always polite, helpful and accommodating; the practice is very impressive.” Operating as part of a long-established full-service offering, the IP team excels on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide and is a familiar presence at the EU Intellectual Property Office. With significant experience organising customs seizures – complimented by long-established links with police officials – the firm exclusively represents Greece at the International Counterforce Legal Network of the Counterfeiting Intelligence Bureau. Managing partner George Ballas is an enforcement ace who has personally been involved in hundreds of anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy cases over the last two decades. “He’s quick to respond, precise in his planning and meticulous in the implementation of solutions; his advice has always been forthcoming and dependable.” He is ably supported on the prosecution side by the dexterous Maria Spanos, who files with finesse and has the strategic acumen to come out victorious in opposition and cancellation proceedings time and time again. When it comes to prosecution and portfolio management, brand owners need look no further than the “fantastic” Dr Helen G Papaconstantinou and Partners. “It unquestionably leads the way in Greece on branding issues; the team has tremendous experience, is ethical and collegial, communicates very effectively, and is responsible for practically half of the marks in the country’s register. Its name is recognised worldwide.” Hallmarks of the firm’s first-rate service are rigour, responsiveness and a resolutely commercial focus; long-term business objectives are always at the forefront of its lawyers’ minds. Leading the line, Helen G Papaconstantinou is the doyenne of Greek intellectual property. Nothing escapes her gimlet eye; give her a few minutes and she can find a needle in a haystack. She serves as vice president of the Greek working group of the Association of Intellectual Property Attorneys. Having recently opened an office in Larnaca – in addition to successful ones in Athens, Bucharest and Tirana – Drakopoulos is a force to be reckoned with in IP law across Southeastern Europe. The firm excels in anti-counterfeiting operations and is the exclusive partner for REACT both in Greece – where it represents over 100 brand owners – and in Cyprus. Its new Cypriot base means that it is perfectly positioned to conduct seizures across the so-called ‘Green Line’, over which fakes regularly find their way into the European Union from mainland Turkey. The “very experienced” Michalis Kosmopoulos is the man to turn to for such instructions. “He has a strong command of Greek IP law and he understands the way customs proceedings work. His advice is given on time in a no-nonsense way, and his English is perfect.” MCM, Samsung Electronics and Prada are three world-famous names with complete faith in his ability to stamp out forgeries. Founding partner Panagiotis Drakopoulos utilises a shrewd business mind in portfolio management and transactions. His corporate credentials come into their own when nimble negotiation is needed to sew up a cross-border IP matter. Recently he and Kosmopoulos teamed up to assist Intertrade on a recourse action against the Greek Trademark Office – the first time such an action has been brought on the grounds of administrative failure.
KYRIAKIDES GEORGOPOULOS Law Firm

KYRIAKIDES GEORGOPOULOS Law Firm operates a cutting-edge IP practice as part of its potent full-service operation. Plugged into the commercial world, the firm knows exactly how to monetise and optimise a trademark portfolio – and to secure a signature on the bottom line in deals. Its counsel is invariably rooted in business realities and conveyed in concise, transparent language. Irene Kyriakides is a dependable port of call. She has a particular penchant for handling issues concerning medicinal products.

Law Firm Thanos Masoulas
A prolific filer of EU trademarks, Thanos Masoulas is a cosmopolitan boutique which is up to speed with the latest legal developments across the continent. Its team collaborates extremely closely with clients, chewing over the possible implications of various courses of action with them before making any decisions. Name partner Thanos Masoulas is the firm’s talismanic lynchpin. He brings unique legislative knowledge to the table – having advised on the drafting of the 1994 Trademark Law – and addresses matters with academic creativity and scrupulousness. Businesses looking to get their rights registered internationally should have no hesitation calling on him.
Malamis & Associates
Malamis & Associates is an efficient IP boutique whose small size belies the scope and diversity of its workload. It is as impressive monetising portfolios as it is fighting it out in the courtroom or organising anti-counterfeiting efforts. In particular, geographical indication issues are fast becoming a forte for the Malamis squad. Alkisti-Irene Malamis possesses discerning tactical nous and always stays on top of the most recent case law developments. Her robust leadership and cool temperament instil confidence in clients. Polylingual, she is fluent in English, French, German and Italian – an attribute that continues to attract plenty of international companies to the practice.
Patrinos & Kilimiris
Established in 1919, Patrinos & Kilimiris is one of the oldest IP firms in the country and has a storied history. It has managed the portfolios of clients from all sectors and is no stranger to game-changing cases; of late it has taken on exciting new work concerning non-traditional marks. The pharmaceutical, automotive and fashion industries have emerged as three areas of particular focus. On the prosecution side, Electra Kilimiris is a fabulous choice. She masters the inner workings of each and every one of her clients’ markets and responds to their enquiries at lightning speed. Razor-sharp business acumen seems to run in the family, as it is equally evident in Maria Kilimiris. While Kilimiris carefully weighs up strategic options before providing prudent solutions, she is a tremendously versatile practitioner and just as comfortable handling contentious matters, and the heat of the courtroom never fazes her. The “very respected and experienced” Manolis Metaxakis is an enforcement aficionado, for whom high-stakes litigation is meat and drink. He never misses a beat in complicated proceedings and always has a compelling rejoinder up his sleeve.
PotamitisVekris
PotamitisVekris has the legal and commercial expertise needed to support clients every step of the way as their brands evolve from start-ups to world-beaters. The registration, prosecution and enforcement of marks are bread and butter to the firm’s gifted professionals. Lately it has been advising Procter & Gamble on an action relating to comparative and misleading advertising and also on proceedings regarding counterfeit Ariel products. Assisting Coca-Cola on complex domain-name issues and a merchandising agreement with Warner Bros provide further evidence that the firm is a superb one-stop shop.
Prentoulis Gerakini Law Partnership
Praise continues to rain down on trailblazing boutique Prentoulis Gerakini Law Partnership. “In a market highly affected by growth and development stagnation, businesses need to be more results-oriented than ever – for help in this domain, they should turn to Prentoulis Lawyers. Its practitioners have excellent communication skills, are creative and analytical when it comes to getting out of seemingly dead-end situations and always persevere.” Captaining this talented group is the “exceptional” Nikos Prentoulis, a savvy strategist and a renowned figure in anti-counterfeiting operations in Greece. “He really stands out in the market, with his down-to-earth, practical approach. Not only does he quickly get to grips with the legal aspects, he also understands what his clients are seeking to achieve from a commercial perspective. Dealing with other parties, he’s really proactive; he always presses them for timely responses and ensures that things progress fast. On top of all this, he knows how to manage young associates too. It’s not a one-man show here – the team has considerable depth.” Of the other individuals on the bench, Nancy Gerakini has been making the most waves. She supplements her robust trademark practice with invaluable competition and distribution law knowledge and has sealed the deal for scores of commercial agreements. “Nancy is an astute, experienced, proactive and hands-on practitioner whose wide-ranging experience adds up to make the firm a one-stop shop for all corporate matters.”
Sakellarides Law Offices
Located in the shadow of the Acropolis, Sakellarides Law Offices operates a vigourous and cost-effective trademark practice that resonates with local and foreign companies alike. It has the wisdom to handle matters of all stripes, but is at its best providing strategic prosecution and portfolio management support. The Greek Trademark Office has become like a second home to Vali Sakellarides, an artful drafter and a sharp analyst. She knows how to think on her feet and has an all-encompassing command of domain name-related issues – an area on which she has written extensively.
Tsimikalis Kalonarou
Tsimikalis Kalonarou’s first IP mandate came in 1950 when it was tasked with recovering the trademarks of foreign companies that the Greek state had seized at the end of World War Two. Since this distinguished and striking beginning, the IP team has become a venerable player in the market. However, it has never rested on its laurels and continues to keep up with the times, striving to set new precedents with novel lines of reasoning. Stefanos Tsimikalis is a reliable contact, with a percipient understanding of unfair competition issues.
Vayanos Kostopoulos
Vayanos Kostopoulos has had 110 years to hone its customer service, and this is distinctly apparent: putting a premium on close collaboration, its members give clients maximum face time and respond with lightning speed – regardless of the hour of day. All the same, they manage costs effectively thanks to a streamlined internal infrastructure. This recipe has proven extremely popular among a host of companies, ranging from start-ups to multinationals. Nikolaos Lyberis repeatedly works his magic in touch-and-go courtroom fights, remaining methodical and disciplined even as the pressure rises. He possesses a wealth of knowledge across multiple sectors, with experience handling pharmaceutical, consumer goods, automotive, food and beverages and engineering briefs.
Zepos & Yannopoulos
Bringing formidable firepower to courtroom battles, sewing up licensing contracts and organising significant customs seizures are all in a day’s work for the indefatigable Zepos & Yannopoulos. Exploiting a second sight for when to pounce on forgers, it is at its strongest in the anti-counterfeiting arena. However, the trademark team also works closely with the firm’s widely respected tax and corporate law practices on tricky transactional matters; clients can, therefore, get all their IP services in one go from one provider. Konstantinos Logaras and Nikos Christoforidis work in tandem in enforcement; pooling wisdom, they come up with watertight strategies that stand up under scrutiny. The polylingual Logaras is effortlessly capable working in English, German or French. With an enterprising spirit, Christoforidis runs out to bat the second a client sends something his way.

Individuals

George A Ballas - Ballas, Pelecanos & Associates LPC
Helen G Papaconstantinou - Dr Helen G Papaconstantinou and Partners Law Firm
Nikos Prentoulis - Prentoulis Gerakini Law Partnership
Nikos J Christoforidis - Zepos & Yannopoulos
Panagiotis Drakopoulos - Drakopoulos Law Firm
Maria Kilimiris - Patrinos & Kilimiris
Alexandros Koliothomas - AVK Legal
Michalis Kosmopoulos - Drakopoulos Law Firm
Thanos Masoulas - Law Firm Thanos Masoulas
Manolis Metaxakis - Patrinos & Kilimiris
Marina A Perraki - Tsibanoulis & Partners
Vali Sakellarides - Sakellarides Law Offices
Nicholas Vosemberg - Vosemberg-Vretos
Christos Chrissanthis - Christos Chrissanthis & Partners
Nancy Gerakini - Prentoulis Gerakini Law Partnership
Electra Kilimiris - Patrinos & Kilimiris
Konstantinos Logaras - Zepos & Yannopoulos
Nikolaos Lyberis - Vayanos Kostopoulos
Alkisti-Irene Malamis - Malamis & Associates
Maria Spanos - Ballas, Pelecanos & Associates LPC
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Issue 74