The trademark protection and enforcement environment in the Caribbean is constantly evolving and maturing: in Jamaica, the government is stepping up its efforts in the fight against fakes; in the Cayman Islands, the introduction of new trademark legislation now allows for national applications; the British Virgin Islands is another jurisdiction that has overhauled its legislation in recent years. A host of quality firms help clients to navigate what is still a complex region, maintaining a mix of local and regional practices; the best are recognised in the rankings in this section.
- Keithley Lake & Associates
- Carrington & Sealy
- Clarke Gittens Farmer
- Cox Hallett Wilkinson Ltd
Firms: Cayman Islands
- HSM IP
Firms: Costa Rica
- Cabinet de Lespinasse
- Cabinet Salès
- Foga Daley
- Livingston Alexander & Levy
- Myers Fletcher & Gordon
- Nunes, Scholefield, DeLeon & Co
Firms: Puerto Rico
- Ferraiuoli LLC
- McConnell Valdés
Firms: The Bahamas
- Mosko & Associates
Firms: Trinidad and Tobago
- JD Sellier + Co
Firms: United States
- Caribbean IP
Cabinet de Lespinasse
This Haitian IP reference firm has a rich tradition of practice when it comes to trademarks; one generation of de Lespinasse lawyers has passed the baton down to the next for 130 years. Christian de Lespinasse is the current lynchpin. He does a great deal to promote intellectual property as a business tool locally but has international horizons as well, thanks to his participation and leadership in some of the world’s top IP organisations. He and the team not only take care of prosecution, but also provide a competitive edge in infringement and counterfeiting scenarios.
The business and legal advice dispensed by Cabinet Salès is extremely rigorous; this is particularly the case in the trademark arena, in which it has over a century’s worth of experience. It provides crisp registration services and has an impressive record of delivering victories when infringements occur – all at a reassuringly reasonable price. Managing partner Jean-Frédéric Salès is a pioneer of intellectual property in Haiti and across the region.
Caribbean IP’s main selling point is its ability to sew up trademark protection in over 25 jurisdictions creatively, efficiently and economically. For this ability, and for myriad other qualities, it gets a great write-up from clients. According to one: “We found it quite challenging to obtain reliable and consistent service in the Caribbean – that was until we started working with Katherine Van Deusen Hely’s firm. Katherine is extremely responsive and clearly committed to providing superior work and service to her clients.” Another says: “Katherine helps us with trademark filings in the Bahamas, Guyana, Bermuda, Trinidad and Tobago, the Cayman Islands, Cuba and elswhere and is extremely knowledgeable about trademark law nuances in these countries. She is a responsive, energetic professional with a can-do attitude and is a true pleasure to work with.” Joining her in the WTR 1000 this year is Patrick Hely, who has built his Caribbean IP knowledge on a bedrock of US and international IP expertise. He supports clients on prosecution matters, but also brings a wealth of litigation experience to the practice.
Carrington & Sealy
The name Carrington & Sealy is synonymous with the practice of law in Barbados – after all, it has operated under the same denomination for an impressive 145 years. Central to its full-service offering is a strong IP capability that encompasses all aspects of brand protection and enforcement. The responsive and cost-effective team is helmed by Fiona Hinds who matches a thorough knowledge of commercial law with IP expertise. A key member of the Barbadian government’s IP commission, she has done much to shape trademark law in the country in which she practices.
Clarke Gittens Farmer
The IP section of business law firm and Lex Mundi member Clarke Gittens Farmer shines brightest on trademark prosecution and Patent Cooperation Treaty national phase entries, but also has a deft touch when it comes to maintaining the robust protection it obtains for clients. Rosalind Smith Millar is a repository of trust for international and local rights holders. A meticulous manager of portfolios, she is also an expert mediator who knows how to handle convoluted disputes.
Cox Hallett Wilkinson Ltd
The only Bermudan law firm in the WTR 1000 Caribbean section, Cox Hallett Wilkinson dominates the IP practice in the British overseas territory. The team, fronted by Jennifer Hedges, neatly sews up trademark registrations with the minimum amount of fuss.
Internationally renowned top-flight commercial law firm DunnCox adopts an inter-disciplinary approach to solve clients’ legal and business problems, whatever they may be. The IP group sits within the broader commercial practice, but is by no means just a support unit; it has strong standalone trademark skills and prosecutes with poise while seizing on monetisation opportunities so that clients get the best return on their IP investment. A key contact for interested parties is Joanne Wood Rattray; her transactional IP nous is second to none.
From a head office in San Jose, Costa Rica and branches in Honduras, the Dominican Republic and the Cayman Islands, Eproint deftly services all the IP needs of innovative brands – both famous and up and coming – across over 40 jurisdictions. Putting the right case law, legislative provision or procedural step to use expeditiously and efficiently is no easy task across such a geographic spread, but Gabriela Bodden and Aaron Montero have mastered the art completely. Bodden shows flair at crafting and giving impetus to portfolios in which every right plays a commercial role; she enforces judiciously as well. A founding partner, Montero is not just a high-calibre brands expert, he also has a solid foundation in patent law and plenty of practical experience filing patent applications and analysing infringements.
Trademark owners love to work with Puerto Rico-based entity Farraiuoli; the firm is quick to grasp what clients are looking to accomplish within their business and its straight-to-the-point advice nets quick but long-lasting results every time. The firm strives to be efficient and cost-effective and it achieves these aims without sacrificing on quality or the personal nature of its service. The mastermind of this modus operandi is Eugenio Torres-Oyola, the managing partner and IP practice chair. His international knowledge is a boon to brand owners who want local protection in Puerto Rico which is aligned with their global safeguards. Flanking Torres-Oyola is Maristella Collazo-Soto, a risk mitigator par excellence with a panoramic perspective on intellectual property.
Considered by many to be one of the best IP firms in the entire Caribbean, Jamaica’s Foga Daley can meaningfully support brand owners in many different ways. The team takes care of routine prosecution matters with the utmost efficiency, but also provides abundant source of insight on strategic portfolio management and IP commercialisation. Staunch representation in infringement and anti-counterfeiting cases is also supplied when necessary. Dianne Daley participates in Jamaica’s IP life in many different ways; she was head of Jamaica’s Copyright Office, has advised the government on IP issues and represented it internationally and now enjoys an outstanding private practice career at her eponymous firm Foga Daley. Steeped in the area, she is a clear-sighted counsellor in whom brand owners have complete trust.
Cayman Islands set-up HSM IP is supremely efficient at trademark prosecution across the Caribbean, as well as in Central and Latin America; its international experience and know-how are a major magnet for multinationals. The take-up of its seamless cross-border service is high among household international brands – many of whom go to it directly, rather than through foreign associates – and this has necessitated expansion; the team now numbers one partner, one attorney, four paralegals and six IP assistants, not to mention a squad of support staff. Sophie Davies does an outstanding job on the day-to-day management of the practice and happy customers recommend her without hesitation. “She is extremely reliable and proactive in following up with clients and gives great advice that, ultimately, gets matters resolved.” The rapidity of her response is also well received.
JD Sellier + Co
The 20 lawyers at JD Sellier work across nine practice areas, including banking, corporate, energy, litigation and intellectual property. The firm’s work in trademarks began shortly after Jean-Baptiste Denis Selliér entered into partnership in 1916 and its institutional experience in the discipline enables it to get to grips with whatever instruction come through the door. Brien de Gannes is a prominent figure on the Caribbean IP scene who has negotiated key rights treaties. An IP all-rounder, he is best known for his litigation expertise; Ariane Ramnath also knows how to handle trademark contentions, but focuses primarily on regional trademark prosecution for multinationals. With their overlapping skill sets but unique perspectives, the two make a tremendous team.
Keithley Lake & Associates
Ask any international brand owner or law firm for a recommendation in the Caribbean and, chances are, the immediate response will be ‘Keithley Lake & Associates in Anguilla’. The respected full-service firm has a vibrant IP team which, having played a central role in forming the country’s 2002 IP legislation, knows the law back to front and inside out. Kenneth Porter runs the IP, communications and technology group and is regarded as an “exceptional, responsive lawyer who provides comprehensive advice”. A wise counsellor and silver-tongued advocate, he truly is the complete package.
Livingston Alexander & Levy
Intellectual property is a pillar of the practice at venerated commercial firm Livingston Alexander & Levy. Leading an exceptional team are dynamic lawyers Anne-Marie White-Feanny and Kathryn Pearson, who offer tip-top registration, licensing, enforcement, litigation and general advisory services. White-Feanny has run the practice efficiently from the moment she joined the firm in 1982; she has bags of experience and has seen just about everything there is to see – as a result, she is always ready with a solution to any IP conundrum. Pearson has worked in the IP field for over a decade where she has proven herself to be a complete natural. The customer service-minded lawyer is especially proficient when it comes to contentious matters.
Puerto Rican outfit McConnell Valdés maintains a sophisticated end-to-end commercial law practice and offers bespoke solutions to clients of all stripes. Creative IP thinking helps the organisation stand out for brand owners in need of strategic guidance on portfolio matters; when trouble brews, the McConnell Valdés practitioners’ assured conflict management skills bring comfort and reassurance. Having participated in preparing the jurisdiction’s trademark legislation, Dora Peñagarícano is extremely well placed to advise on its provisions with a comprehensive knowledge of black-letter law. She frequently speaks as an authority at international IP conferences and has become a popular port of call for US and other overseas associates and rights holders. She co-leads the practice with Roberto Quiñones-Rivera, a Yale law school graduate with litigation experience at US East Coast law firms.
Mosko & Associates
Intellectual property is a pivotal focus for full-service legal provider Mosko & Associates. An ever-reliable ally for international brand owners seeking trademark protection in the Bahamas, it is the only firm with both a database of registered trademarks in the jurisdiction and both an expert panel of specialised IP lawyers and assistants. Top Bahamian professional Katina Mosko has dedicated decades to the service of rights holders.
Myers Fletcher & Gordon
Myers Fletcher & Gordon’s well-rounded trademark team – made up of one partner, several associates and two consultants – has all the bases covered when it comes to trademarks. Understanding the commercial value of IP rights and able to enhance that value in an assortment of ways, the group takes a business-minded approach to all its tasks. Always keen to furnish clients not just with practical advice but also with lasting knowledge of IP topics, it regularly publishes blog posts and articles which provide brand owners with interesting food for thought. Peter Goldson is in charge of the IP section and managing partner of the firm. He has overseen the trademark affairs of leading multinationals for many years and is a true connoisseur of intellectual property.
Nunes, Scholefield, DeLeon & Co
Nunes, Scholefield, DeLeon & Co earns plaudits for its commercially aware approach to trademark briefs. Personifying this is Grace Lindo, who captains the team. Her exposure to and kinship with start-ups has cultivated her business instinct, which she deploys for the benefit of clients large and small. A technology ace, she works with many tech-sector brand owners, protecting their marks with zeal and inking ground-breaking IP-driven deals.
- Kenneth Porter - Keithley Lake & Associates
- Fiona J Hinds - Carrington & Sealy
- Rosalind K Smith Millar - Clarke Gittens Farmer
- Jennifer Hedges - Cox Hallett Wilkinson Ltd
Individuals: Cayman Islands
Individuals: Costa Rica
- Gabriela Bodden - Eproint
- Aaron Montero - Eproint
- Christian de Lespinasse - Cabinet de Lespinasse
- Jean-Frédéric Salès - Cabinet Salès
- Dianne Daley - Foga Daley
- Peter S Goldson - Myers Fletcher & Gordon
- Grace A Lindo - Nunes, Scholefield, DeLeon & Co
- Kathryn JE Pearson - Livingston Alexander & Levy
- Anne-Marie White-Feanny - Livingston Alexander & Levy
- Joanne E Wood Rattray - DunnCox
Individuals: Puerto Rico
- Maristella Collazo-Soto - Ferraiuoli LLC
- Dora M Peñagarícano - McConnell Valdés
- Roberto C Quiñones-Rivera - McConnell Valdés
- Eugenio J Torres-Oyola - Ferraiuoli LLC
Individuals: The Bahamas
- Katina Mosko - Mosko & Associates
Individuals: Trinidad and Tobago
- Brien A de Gannes - JD Sellier + Co
- Ariane S Ramnath - JD Sellier + Co
Individuals: United States
- N Patrick Hely - Caribbean IP
- Katherine Van Deusen Hely - Caribbean IP