Argentina

With new centre-right President Mauricio Macri now at the helm, there is much hope that Argentina can chart a course to smoother financial and political waters, and re-integrate with the global economy. Trademark practitioners are confident that, after years of stagnation, their workloads should increase alongside an expected rise in foreign investment. While the full impact of this regime change will not be felt for some time and the new incumbent has a difficult road ahead, there is tangible optimism in the market – which is significant at a time when crises are unfolding in neighbouring jurisdictions such as Brazil.

Firms

1
G Breuer
Marval O'Farrell & Mairal
2
Berton Moreno & Asociados
FRTB – Ferrer Reyes, Tellechea & Bouche
Hausheer Belgrano & Fernandez
Mitrani Caballero Ojam & Ruiz Moreno
Noetinger & Armando
Palacio & Asociados
3
Apellaniz & O’Farrell
Baker McKenzie SC
Estudio Chaloupka
Moeller IP Advisors
PAGBAM IP
Richelet & Richelet
Apellaniz & O’Farrell

This two-partner outfit has what you want if you are looking for clear, direct, no-nonsense trademark advice. It gives the right answer whatever the question and offers a well-rounded contentious and non-contentious service. The person to call is Nicolas O’Farrell, a “really smart” lawyer who has his finger on the pulse of international developments in the brands sphere. “Incredibly responsive, he thinks like a US lawyer and is great expressing his counsel in a way that is easy to understand.”

Baker McKenzie SC
Regardless of Baker McKenzie’s strength as a global firm, its Argentina IP contingent is highly regarded, leading to its inaugural appearance in the WTR 1000 this year. Just like the gold-ranked Bogota team, the Buenos Aires group proficiently coordinates Latin American affairs for several multinationals with sweeping portfolios. Its methods are aimed at optimising brand value, while a laser focus on the bottom line endears it to the likes of 3M, Caterpillar and Unilever, all of which task it with prosecution and wider protection matters on a daily basis. With both civil and criminal experts among its ranks, the team is also well placed to handle all manner of infringement issues. Bernard William Malone pulls all the right strings for clients, who profess 100% confidence in his “sound advice”. One in-house trademark administrator at an international company remarks: “I trust his expertise and knowledge, and rely on him when we have difficult issues to deal with in Argentina and other Latin American countries.” Locally, peers hail him as a “complete lawyer” and praise the job he has done in developing the firm’s Argentine profile.
Berton Moreno & Asociados

For “excellent, business-friendly, easily understandable advice”, Berton Moreno is a smart choice. “It upholds top-quality standards and makes everything run smoothly, even when handling a high volume of matters.” Several sources further applaud its “speedy communication”. Fashion and sports expert Alberto Berton Moreno is widely regarded as the front man. He provides holistic counsel, making sure to tailor his advice to the client’s specific needs and situation. He and his brother Juan Berton Moreno are great at getting inside the minds of clients and understanding the industries within which they operate. Enrique Gatti and Marcelo García Sellart are the top names on the contentious fight card.

Estudio Chaloupka
A wave of positive feedback – particularly for legal department head Claudia Serritelli – propels Estudio Chaloupka into the WTR 1000 for 2017. The esteemed boutique has been conjuring up elegant solutions to trademark riddles for over 50 years, showcasing a nuanced understanding of how best to address the concerns of foreign associates and clients. Serritelli is a “reliable attorney” and “a reference for IP issues in Argentina”. One in-house counsel respondent describes her as an “excellent strategic thinker who understands our business and the intricacies of protecting and enforcing our marks”, adding: “She is detail oriented, responsive and a true professional.” Paula Galván is another name for the address book. The Spanish, English and French speaker captains the foreign trademark department and embodies the group’s sparkling communication skills.
FRTB – Ferrer Reyes, Tellechea & Bouche
There is no shortage of recommendations for FRTB, whose “dedicated professionals” demonstrate “a great touch with clients” and foreign associates. Thanks to its notably low rotation of personnel and sensible, down-to-earth style, it has been steady as she goes through 2016 for the boutique, despite the political and economic gloom hanging over the country. A refined appreciation of branding issues in the pharmaceutical sector has attracted a host of leading European drug companies, although its clientele is diverse thanks to its nuanced understanding of the commercial drivers of different industries. The firm’s strength in depth is reflected in the WTR 1000 listings, with all five of its partners ranked. Search and clearance ace and all-round strategic brain Julia Tellechea and prosecution maestro Diego Bouché provide strong leadership to the group in tandem. “A great litigator with a brilliant analytical mind”, Laura de Achával anchors the contentious division, with Laura Beatriz Plavnick second in command. They have lately secured cast-iron protection for Nike and Telefónica. Santiago Ferrer Reyes captains the patent department, but also provides sage counsel on all manner of trademark topics. Together, these experts “answer queries in an effective manner and offer competitive prices and quick turnaround times.”
G Breuer
Although it may be smaller than its gold-tier counterpart Marval, venerable institution G Breuer is hailed as “really excellent – a serious firm which is solid and thorough in everything”. Thanks to its “deep bench of quality attorneys” – and its nearly 150 years of practice – it enjoys a fine reputation on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide. In Jorge Otamendi, it has “an icon of intellectual property in Argentina”. He has practised at the coalface for decades, but has also occupied influential roles in many different associations and committees; his advice comes with gravitas. Also highly respected are Alejandro Breuer-Moreno and Pedro Breuer-Moreno – “vastly experienced professionals and great negotiators”.
Hausheer Belgrano & Fernandez
Hausheer Belgrano & Fernandez has a long history – it was established in 1903 – but has continually evolved to ensure it can continue to meet and exceed the most exacting standards. The set doesn’t just think fresh about its own business and organisation; it innovates for clients, too – and given the country’s enduring economic problems, this is highly appreciated. Patrons also appreciate receiving advice directly from the group’s partners and their associates, rather than it being filtered through administrative staff or paralegals. Every lawyer on the team is encouraged to continue studying and participate in different IP organisations, so they have developed broad knowledge and experience. “Excellent professionally and academically”, Graciela Claudia Perez de Inzaurraga and Carolina Inés Fernández earn particular praise. Perez is great at seeing the big picture and understanding what brand owners want to achieve. She supervises protection and enforcement strategies for foreign companies, while general manager Fernández ensures that everything is geared towards realising clients’ ambitions and expectations. They form a triumvirate with deep legal thinker Gabriela Inés Musante, who takes charge of contentious affairs, having started out on the prosecution side.
Marval O'Farrell & Mairal
Put simply, “Marval is the best for intellectual property in Argentina”. It is also a top choice for regional matters and is increasingly selected to devise and execute Latin American IP strategies for prestigious clients. While all respondents remark upon its size, to a man they also cite its enduring commitment to quality as a true hallmark. “It really cares about the work it does and is dedicated to providing an excellent service. It has done a lot to shape the IP profession and the law in Argentina, and its lawyers devote a great deal of time and energy to local and international associations.” An astonishing success rate in court is another key distinction and there has been no let-up from its adroit litigators this past year. First among equals is Gustavo Giay, an enforcement pioneer who draws recommendations from fellow top-tier professionals across the world. He frequently teams up with Martin Chajchir, a dynamic litigator who never flinches when crossing swords for household-name brands. Those seeking searching and filing wisdom should look no further than Sergio Ellmann, a master strategist who manages several key client relationships. Especially warm plaudits are reserved for portfolio manager par excellence Iris Quadrio: “She doesn’t just give chapter and verse on the law – she frames her advice around commercial reality.” “She is resolutely focused on finding practical and effective solutions, and her responsiveness is really impressive.” These four lawyers – and all the other members of the team – make up an exceptionally integrated unit, so the advice laid out to patrons is always well rounded.
Mitrani Caballero Ojam & Ruiz Moreno
Mitrani Caballero Ojam & Ruiz Moreno is “one of Argentina’s biggest business law firms, but provides a high-quality trademark service. Its excellent IP lawyers are good at anticipating your needs – they know what you are going to ask for before they send the work, so they build everything necessary into their reports from the get-go. They provide quick, thoughtful replies in a way that is easy to understand.” The firm continues to cultivate a weighty prosecution and counselling practice, and adds value through its expertise on niche issues such as geographical indications, advertising and labelling; this broad perspective is much appreciated by demanding IP owners such as SC Johnson and Televisa. Plenty of contentious work also keeps the group on its toes, with oppositions something of a specialty. Some of the most commercially sophisticated advice is dispensed by IP head Juan Carlos Ojam, “a reliable lawyer who has been in the business for a long time and who is easy to get on well with”. A string of heavyweight US brands lean heavily on him, including Nike, Starbucks and Facebook. Mercedes Bullrich, meanwhile, stands apart for her “extreme responsiveness”: one Brazilian peer calls her “the fastest correspondent”, and hails her advice as “always clear and practical”. She recently showcased her fleet of foot on behalf of WhatsApp and bicycle manufacturer Specialized. Raquel Flanzbaum makes this a trio to be reckoned with. All three are versatile operatives who make it into both the prosecution and litigation tables.
Moeller IP Advisors
With a presence in both Buenos Aires and São Paulo, Moeller IP “can be recommended to anyone needing IP guidance in Latin America”. Practitioners at this prosecution and administrative inter partes proceedings specialist “never let things fall through the cracks” and are “highly responsive, consistently patient, good humoured and a delight to deal with”. “Thorough in advising on the chances of an application’s success” and “efficient in following up and meeting deadlines”, they “have a great track record”. Trademark head Victoria De Lasa Andrés is adept at sourcing regional solutions. Director of business and professional development Mariano Municoy maintains relationships with the firm’s large following in German-speaking jurisdictions, but has also done much to attract a slew of patrons from across Europe and the United States.
Noetinger & Armando
Noetinger & Armando is singled out for its “intelligent, timely and pragmatic advice” on matters across the trademark and patent spectrum. It was founded in 1994 by Fernando Noetinger, an elder statesman who commands much respect from his fellow professionals, who call him “a real gentleman”. Today, Matias Noetinger leads the charge on the trademark front; he is known for going the extra mile and will “take immediate action when you’re in a time of need”. Sources are quick to shine the spotlight on “a great new firm in Argentina” in the form of O’Conor & Power, a compact boutique with a particular affinity for trademarks. It secures the endorsement of a wide swathe of foreign associates, thanks to its “high-quality work, responsiveness and cost-benefit ratio”. Commentators observe that under the watch of founding partner Santiago O’Conor, the group “practises with a lot of energy” – this is something they like to see, given that many suggest that “a lot of firms in Argentina and the region have rested on their laurels”. “Cracking lawyer” O’Conor has “got a really good team around him – and he’s built it so quickly”. “He is much more responsive and resourceful than others.”
PAGBAM IP
PAGBAM IP may have suffered a loss with the departure of Damaso Pardo, but it is to the firm’s great credit that this former leader of its team was appointed president of the National Institute of Industrial Property of Argentina. Patrons continue to be well served by a combination of veteran and up-and-comer in Fernando Alonso and Paula Fernandez Pfizenmaier, respectively. A strategic alliance with full-service outfit Perez Alati, Grondona, Benites, Arntsen & Martinez de Hoz (h) means that clients enjoy the specialist advice of a boutique alongside the resources and sway of a general practice. Operating within this environment, the IP lawyers here are not overly conservative and are happy to advise clients on risk. Prompt, on-point advice and keen commercial sensibilities are further draws. In addition, the team boasts deep expertise in the advertising area and is the Argentine representative of the Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance.
Palacio & Asociados
Ringing endorsements for Palacio & Asociados poured in during the research for the WTR 1000 2017 and the firm consequently breaks into the silver tier for the first time. “Palacio provides some of the best guidance we get in Latin America and its compact size is never an issue,” reported one respondent at a gold-ranked US outfit. “It is quick on turnaround, responsive and business oriented.” Associates in Asia are similarly impressed, lauding its “strong sense of professionalism” and ability to “highlight key issues and devise strategies for complicated cases”. Brand owners are likewise quick to sing its praises: “The team is very responsive to emails and extraordinarily attentive to your concerns. Apart from the high quality of legal work, all of the lawyers there are extremely personable and good to spend time with – they are invested in your business and in helping you to identify the best course of action.” “All the Palacio guys are awesome.” Main man Héctor Palacio “has no weakness – he is very experienced in all aspects of trademark law”. The managing partner is flanked by Diego Palacio and Mingo Palacio, who both make their debuts in the guide this year. Cost-efficient problem solver Diego is “calm, fast, experienced and reliable”, and “great at thinking outside the box”. Holding the reins of the legal department, Mingo is “a careful negotiator who is good at litigating tough cases”. Trademark department co-head Mercedes Durlach “provides top work as a matter of course and is very cognisant of budgeting issues”. She blends prosecution and litigation expertise into a tasty mix.
Richelet & Richelet
“Richelet & Richelet is a long-standing firm which has always maintained its focus on quality. Lawyers from the younger generations there have continued the legacy of their elders with honours.” Peers are happy to send conflict work here: “You know it will do the work reliably and to a high standard.” The protection of intellectual property is the firm’s metier and it renders the full range of services – including litigation – with finesse.

Individuals: enforcement and litigation

Gustavo Giay - Marval O'Farrell & Mairal
Jorge Otamendi - G Breuer
Fernando Alonso - PAGBAM IP
Pedro C Breuer-Moreno - G Breuer
Martin Chajchir - Marval O'Farrell & Mairal
Laura de Achával - FRTB – Ferrer Reyes, Tellechea & Bouche
Paula Fernandez Pfizenmaier - PAGBAM IP
Raquel Flanzbaum - Mitrani Caballero Ojam & Ruiz Moreno
Marcelo García Sellart - Berton Moreno & Asociados
Enrique JF Gatti - Berton Moreno & Asociados
Héctor Ariel Manoff - VMF – Vitale, Manoff & Feilbogen
Gabriela Inés Musante - Hausheer Belgrano & Fernandez
Fernando Noetinger - Noetinger & Armando
Santiago R O’Conor - O'Conor & Power Abogados-Propiedad Industrial
Nicolas O'Farrell - Apellaniz & O’Farrell
Juan Carlos Ojam - Mitrani Caballero Ojam & Ruiz Moreno
Mingo Palacio - Palacio & Asociados
Graciela Claudia Perez de Inzaurraga - Hausheer Belgrano & Fernandez
Laura Beatriz Plavnick - FRTB – Ferrer Reyes, Tellechea & Bouche
Claudia Serritelli - Estudio Chaloupka

Individuals: prosecution and strategy

Alberto R Berton Moreno Jr - Berton Moreno & Asociados
Alejandro M Breuer-Moreno - G Breuer
Sergio M Ellmann - Marval O'Farrell & Mairal
Juan Carlos Ojam - Mitrani Caballero Ojam & Ruiz Moreno
Graciela Claudia Perez de Inzaurraga - Hausheer Belgrano & Fernandez
Iris V Quadrio - Marval O'Farrell & Mairal
Juan Berton Moreno - Berton Moreno & Asociados
Diego O Bouché - FRTB – Ferrer Reyes, Tellechea & Bouche
Mercedes Bullrich - Mitrani Caballero Ojam & Ruiz Moreno
Victoria De Lasa Andrés - Moeller IP Advisors
Mercedes Durlach - Palacio & Asociados
Carolina Inés Fernández - Hausheer Belgrano & Fernandez
Santiago Ferrer Reyes - FRTB – Ferrer Reyes, Tellechea & Bouche
Raquel Flanzbaum - Mitrani Caballero Ojam & Ruiz Moreno
Paula Galvan - Estudio Chaloupka
Bernard William Malone - Baker McKenzie SC
Mariano Municoy - Moeller IP Advisors
Fernando Noetinger - Noetinger & Armando
Matias Noetinger - Noetinger & Armando
Santiago R O’Conor - O'Conor & Power Abogados-Propiedad Industrial
Nicolas O'Farrell - Apellaniz & O’Farrell
Diego F Palacio - Palacio & Asociados
Héctor Palacio - Palacio & Asociados
Julia Tellechea - FRTB – Ferrer Reyes, Tellechea & Bouche
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Issue 70