Bolivia is a challenging market for brand owners – high staff turnover at the National Intellectual Property Service (NIPS), backlogs, weak enforcement and outdated IP laws are all significant obstacles to smooth trademark protection. Some positive developments may be imminent, however. The NIPS’s overly harsh interpretation of the non-use requirement for trademarks – which meant that brand owners could face cancellation actions if they were unable to prove use of their marks for three consecutive years – may soon be relaxed due to an alternative interpretation by the supranational Andean Court. The economy is also growing steadily, bringing in new waves of franchising and start-up-related work for trademark practitioners. Reflecting this dynamic climate, the WTR 1000 covers the Bolivian market for the first time this year, identifying the country’s top firms and practitioners.
Bolet & Terrero
“A renowned IP boutique, Bolet & Terrero really strives to achieve the best outcome for clients.” Covering all aspects of intellectual property, from commercialisation to litigation, the firm is home to a terrific five-attorney team of “highly efficient professionals” who handle a significant portion of the country’s IP work. Managing partner Juan Ignacio Zapata leads the way in the trademark litigation practice, “approaching unknown situations through a creative lens and keeping clients informed of the latest developments in the country”. Head of trademark prosecution Mario Cruz oversees an experienced group of paralegals, ensuring that all trademark fillings and renewals are carried out to perfection.
Bufete Aguirre, Quintanilla, Soria & Nishizawa
In October 2018, two powerhouses joined forces to form BAQSN – a dynamic, cost-effective outfit that prioritises clients’ business above all. Offering comprehensive services across virtually all legal areas, the full-service ensemble is home to a vibrant IP practice with a significant national presence in trademark prosecution and enforcement circles. As head of the IP department, the well-known Perla Koziner keeps abreast of international IP trends, participating in all relevant conferences and associations. Coming from a mediation background, Moira Ascarrunz is a true asset at the negotiating table, knowing when to turn up the heat and when to dial it back.
Cervieri Monsuarez & Associates
A technologically savvy, anti-counterfeiting trailblazer, Cervieri Monsuarez & Associates is an IP reference across Latin America. The establishment of the firm’s La Paz office in 2014 brought new, ground-breaking services into the country, such as an online monitoring system that covers the entire Latin American sub-continent. Knowing the local market like the back of her hand, the Bolivian office’s director Mónica Rivero acts as anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy counsellor for some of the side’s most illustrious clients. On the trademarks front, she is joined by Diego Rocabado, whose strategic vision comes in handy for portfolio commercialisations. The duo recently achieved a landmark decision for Polo Ralph Lauren and Sporloisirs, setting a precedent for claiming damages in civil infringement cases.
DAK Intellectual Property
Departing from the traditional family firm model, “up-and-coming boutique” DAK Intellectual Property follows a refreshing approach to IP practice – one that is more active, more modern and more client-focused. Judging by its significant growth, this tactic seems to be bearing fruit and founding partners Octavio Alvarez, Carlos Arze-Diaz and Pablo Kyllmann deserve credit for their ingenuity. “The three musketeers of IP practice”, the trio frequently join forces to provide quick, effective services to a respectable international clientele.
Ferrere keeps a top-notch portfolio of national and overseas clients, “handling each case with great care and responsibility”. Backed by full-service capabilities, the “experienced, well-prepared and approachable” IP team advises brand owners on a broad range of IP matters, communicating seamlessly across the firm’s 10 offices. A popular choice among pharmaceutical giants, the practice handles Bayer’s trademark portfolio for Bolivia – a complex endeavour that involves protecting 700-plus trademarks, fillings of new marks and assisting with countless oppositions and coexistence agreements.
Guevara & Gutiérrez SC
Full-service Guevara & Gutiérrez does not play around when it comes to academic credentials, featuring an impressive number of Fulbright scholars among its staff. Such a selection of talent, combined with large investment in human capital, has created the basis for growth and success – two traits which the firm has enjoyed since its establishment in 1989. Marcos Mercado heads the well-reputed IP department. Highly endorsed by foreign counsel, his transactional savoir-faire and courtroom expertise make him a favourite among corporate clients.
Landivar & Landivar
An IP pioneer, Landivar & Landivar has been in the IP business since 1962 and grown alongside the field’s development in Bolivia. Making efforts to modernise its services and keep up with IP trends, the boutique enjoys a stellar reputation for trademark prosecution, home and abroad. Keeping the practice on point, Martha Landívar Gantier is a reference in the legal community and the go-to lawyer for interested parties.
Moreno Baldivieso Attorneys provides “rock-solid, consistent and reliable” services across all legal areas, but remains best known as “one of the top IP firms in the country”. This is no coincidence; since its establishment as an IP boutique in 1931, the practice has expanded significantly but kept intellectual property at its core. With patrons such as PEPSICO and TOYOTA relying on its 360-degree IP services, the department’s eight-attorney squad is never short of trademark prosecution and complex transactional matters. Former Supreme Court judge Ramiro J Moreno Baldivieso leads the way in the latter; the backbone of the practice, he handles sensitive cases for some of the outfit’s most high-profile clients. When disputes arise, Freddy Paredes is the lawyer to call. A shrewd IP litigator, he keeps busy with high-stakes litigious and enforcement proceedings, recently achieving stunning victories for NIKE at both the trademark office and the courts. Senior counsel Rodrigo Moreno Gutierrez takes the lead in the day-to-day business, ensuring that the practice runs smoothly and jumping in with sage IP advice when needed.
An eminent boutique, ORPAN is a long-time fixture on the Bolivian IP market, offering superb, all-round services to top domestic and international brands. The well-recognised and respected Pilar Soruco leads by example, possessing “a very long and strong track record of excellence”. General director Wolfgang Ohnes Casso is also a prominent name in IP circles and the first port of call for interested parties.
- Perla Koziner - Bufete Aguirre, Quintanilla, Soria & Nishizawa
- Marcos Mercado - Guevara & Gutiérrez SC
- Ramiro J Moreno Baldivieso - Moreno Baldivieso Attorneys
- Pilar Soruco - ORPAN
- Juan Ignacio Zapata - Bolet & Terrero
- Octavio Alvarez - DAK Intellectual Property
- Carlos Arze-Diaz - DAK Intellectual Property
- Moira Ascarrunz - Bufete Aguirre, Quintanilla, Soria & Nishizawa
- Mario Cruz - Bolet & Terrero
- Pablo Kyllmann - DAK Intellectual Property
- Martha Landívar Gantier - Landivar & Landivar
- Rodrigo Moreno Gutierrez - Moreno Baldivieso Attorneys
- Wolfgang L Ohnes Casso - ORPAN
- Freddy Paredes - Moreno Baldivieso Attorneys
- Mónica Rivero - Cervieri Monsuarez & Associates
- Diego Rocabado - Cervieri Monsuarez & Associates