The cultural, commercial and legal diversity of the Caribbean makes it an interesting and often challenging market in which to protect intangible assets. Increased harmonisation of trademark law across the region is on the horizon and various jurisdictions will likely join the Madrid Protocol in the years to come; but for the time being, brand owners must take a highly nuanced and strategic approach in this part of the world. In terms of notable developments, new trademark legislation has been passed in Trinidad and Tobago with immediate effect, simplifying the registration process and enhancing protection for well-known trademarks. This will likely lead to an increase in trademark action in the country, as has been seen in other Caribbean jurisdictions whose IP regimes have recently been overhauled.
- Sagis LP
- Cabinet de Lespinasse
- Highly recommended
- Foga Daley
- Livingston Alexander & Levy
- Henlin Gibson Henlin
- Myers Fletcher & Gordon
- Nunes, Scholefield, DeLeon & Co
- Caribbean IP
- HSM IP
- MINIÑO Abogados
Firms: Puerto Rico
- Ferraiuoli LLC
- McConnell Valdés LLC
Firms: The Bahamas
- Mosko & Associates
Firms: Trinidad and Tobago
- Fitzwilliam Stone Furness-Smith & Morgan
- JD Sellier + Co
Cabinet de Lespinasse
Cabinet de Lespinasse is a go-to for robust trademark care in Haiti. The firm has a rich tradition of excellence in intellectual property and can handle any assignment with confidence and poise. Its enduring popularity among international brands and foreign associate law firms speaks to the quality of its work and client care, which are supervised by perspicacious counsellor Christian de Lespinasse.
For multi-jurisdictional support across the region, West Palm Beach, Florida-based Caribbean IP is hard to beat. “The service it provides is really first class. The team is pragmatic and cost conscious, but also highly strategic in its advice, which is informed by a thorough understanding of clients’ businesses.” The standard is set by founding partner Katherine Van Deusen Hely, who “combines a deep knowledge of the law with an entrepreneurial approach and exquisite manners”. “Katherine is super-responsive and does a great job on all aspects of trademark protection.” She and Patrick Hely work with striking efficiency across 28 Caribbean jurisdictions and are constantly onboarding new clients, which they do with the absolute minimum of fuss. Though active in an incredibly wide range of industries, the team is noted for its complete command of the pharmaceutical domain.
Respected Jamaican full-service DunnCox is a reliable port of call for mandates involving complex, intersectional IP and commercial issues; its practitioners have both a high degree of specialisation and broad business horizons, which makes them sophisticated and effective problem solvers. Both active in the corporate and IP spheres, Joanne Wood Rattray and Roxanne Miller take point on brand protection and enforcement matters and have cultivated a fine international reputation through the results they obtain in Jamaica and their involvement in INTA. Recent highlights include representing Merck against Monster Energy in an opposition, which Rattray led on.
Expertise safeguarding brands both across the Caribbean and throughout Central and Latin America is the USP of Eproint. The efficiencies and cost savings it affords as a one-stop shop are compelling for all sorts of international brand owners, as well as overseas correspondents, so Gabriela Bodden and Aaron Montero are never short of work. Always busy but always on the ball, they do sterling work protecting intangible rights and helping companies to optimise the returns on their IP investments. Bodden understands how to build portfolios into competitive positions of strength and maintain them through effective enforcement. Montero is a good fit for those with diverse rights, given his blend of patent and trademark know-how.
Specialisation in intellectual property sets Ferraiuoli apart in Puerto Rico, while quality and sophistication distinguish it both regionally and internationally. The ensemble makes smart use of legal technology to ensure the timely delivery of precision trademark output, freeing up its commercially attuned lawyers to concentrate on finding ways to add strategic value for companies as they navigate the IP environment. Presiding over the practice, Eugenio J Torres-Oyola is an essential partner to many prestigious, world-famous names – Coca-Cola, Hersheys and Diageo among them. He and WTR 1000 newcomer and rising star Cristina Arenas-Solís, who frequently form a dynamic pairing, are enthusiastically endorsed by the market. “Eugenio has an impressive breadth of IP understanding and is an expert on patents and trademarks. He is always available and ready to answer any IP question at any moment.” “Cristina has outstanding subject-matter knowledge and is a responsive professional with superb communication skills.” Alongside Torres-Oyola, Maristella Collazo-Soto brings stellar leadership to the practice. Her rights management and enforcement abilities are finely honed, as is her negotiating style.
Fitzwilliam Stone Furness-Smith & Morgan
Spontaneously recommended by top regional firms for trademark tasks in Trinidad & Tobago, Fitzwilliam Stone Furness-Smith & Morgan is hailed as “quick and reliable”. Leading light Olive Angela Tibbets Ramchand wins plaudits for her attention to detail and prioritisation of clients’ business concerns. She focuses on IP procurement and – capitalising on close working relations with local trademark examiners fostered over many years – has a pristine track record taking applications through to successful grant. She also provides sage counsel on contentious matters in collaboration with the full-service firm’s experienced litigation department.
A commercial law firm with its roots in intellectual property, Jamaica’s Foga Daley is a repository of trust for brand owners and their international representatives with diverse trademark-related needs. Far from just a filing shop, it supervises transactional IP assignments and infringement cases with a sure hand. Versatility in the practice gives Dianne Daley an edge when setting strategy: she puts the right IP tools to use expeditiously to bring about desired outcomes. This illustrious practitioner has led the country’s Copyright Office, advised the government on IP law and policy, and been recommended in every edition of the WTR 1000 since its inception.
Henlin Gibson Henlin
Kingston-based litigation boutique Henlin Gibson Helin has a strong appetite for IP infringement cases and handles them with great tactical dexterity, utilising civil and criminal law to best advantage. Online enforcement is a particular forte. The key contact for interested parties, Georgia Gibson-Henlin is results driven and committed, and a discerning choice for tough legal disputes of any kind.
Sources line up to sing the praises of HSM IP, a Grand Cayman firm that provides a dream service across the Caribbean and Central and Latin America: “Every single member of the team does amazing quality work: they are professional and courteous, and respond quickly with answers to questions and helpful, thorough reports. The firm itself is extremely well organised and covers a huge number of countries, and uses paralegals sensibly for routine tasks to keep costs low.” Adding to its appeal, it maintains an interactive database that facilitates efficient matter management and allows for easy adaptation to clients’ individual reporting and invoicing requirements. Harnessing everything that the firm offers to blue-chip brand owners, Sophie Peat surpasses high expectations as a managing senior attorney.
JD Sellier + Co
JD Sellier is an eminent presence on the IP scene and has contributed much to the advancement of trademark law and practice in Trinidad and Tobago. Recommended for its responsiveness and quick turnaround, it delivers crisp results in prosecution, licensing and litigation scenarios, proving itself a superbly capable partner for any rights holder. The names to know are Brien de Gannes, a thought and practice leader with a gift for resolving conflicts; and Ariane Ramnath, a filing and prosecution ace and robust enforcer.
Livingston Alexander & Levy
Approved by some of the top IP practitioners in the region – and endorsed by its Jamaican peers – Livingston Alexander & Levy offers a “world-class service” to brand owners. The rainmaker here is Anne-Marie White-Feanny, who is “reliable, responsive and quick” and produces “great work” when it comes to the procurement and maintenance of trademarks. She is considered a doyenne of intellectual property in Jamaica and has captained the firm’s IP department for a remarkable 39 years. By her side, Kathryn Pearson is a prime pick for contentious and commercial IP mandates.
McConnell Valdés LLC
McConnell Valdés is one of the premier commercial law outfits in Puerto Rico and is highly rated for its capabilities in intellectual property – a practice it takes seriously and in which it is committed to excellence. As testament to this, it is frequently engaged to advise on legislative and policy initiatives and has done much to shape the domestic IP landscape over the years. Accomplished litigator Dora Peñagarícano is an ardent champion of strong intellectual property, both for her clients and for the entire Puerto Rican market. Another sought-after advocate, Roberto Quiñones-Rivera has a keen comprehension of IP and other branches of law.
A force for IP good in its home nation of the Dominican Republic, in the Caribbean and in Central and Latin America, MINIÑO maintains a far-reaching IP practice. The set is highly recommended for its umbrella support on all brand-related matters, which is provided in a personalised, responsive and strategically astute way. For pan-Caribbean assistance, the person to call is Arlene Herrera, an associate with a flair for getting multiple foreign correspondent firms pulling in the same direction at the same time for clients.
Mosko & Associates
Mosko & Associates sets the standard when it comes to IP practice in the Bahamas and is the jurisdiction’s only representative firm in the WTR 1000. In alignment with the wider commercial objectives of its patrons – including prominent brands in the alcoholic beverage, fashion and luxury, pharmaceutical, technology and financial industries – it staunchly protects trademark rights and takes swift, decisive action to keep infringers at bay. Helmswoman Katina Mosko makes every effort to understand the intricacies of her clients’ products and services, to better defend the integrity of their brands.
Myers Fletcher & Gordon
“One of the best and fastest-responding IP agents in the Caribbean,” is the verdict on top Jamaican business firm MF&G. “It confirms instructions almost immediately, completes work thoroughly and in compliance with all deadlines, and does so on a very competitive fee schedule.” Its exhaustive IP capabilities are a boon to prestigious brands and eminent law firms, which welcome the efficiency that comes from one-stop shopping. Making this a destination of choice for many are Peter Goldson and Samantha Moore – the former a vastly seasoned all-round business lawyer and the latter a rising star.
Nunes, Scholefield, DeLeon & Co
The practitioners at Nunes, Scholefield, DeLeon keep their finger on the pulse of the evolving trademark scene to devise smart, creative solutions to contemporary branding problems. Skilled in prosecution, portfolio management and administrative, as well as in judicial litigation, they bring encyclopaedic knowledge of domain name and other trademark-adjacent issues to the mix, ensuring solid wraparound support. Litigation partner Ayana Thomas is a handy contact.
Despite its youth – it was founded in 2018 – Sagis has already established itself as a sure bet for ironclad IP protection in Anguilla. The group understands the essence of a matter quickly upon instruction and puts its shoulder to the wheel to resolve issues quickly but thoroughly and carefully. Making this his mission on the trademark side is Kenneth Porter, who engenders trust through his pragmatic, commercial approach to intellectual property. The Intellectual Property Caribbean Association board of directors member is an authority on regional matters and is regularly called on to provide cross-jurisdictional counsel.
Other recommended expertsCox Hallett Wilkinson practitioner Jennifer Hedges is Bermuda’s go-to IP maven. She has dedicated herself to the practice for over three decades, during which time she has overseen a vast number of trademark registrations. Barbados firm Carrington & Sealy is home to Fiona Hinds, who brings wisdom distilled from more than two decades of IP experience to every assignment. Grace Lindo established Carter Lindo in September 2020, having moved on from her position at Nunes, Scholefield, DeLeon. Insightful about technology and brand issues, she fits the bill perfectly for innovative clients with business and legal needs to tend to in Jamaica. Fanta Punch navigates rights holders over and around IP protection obstacles in Trinidad and Tobago without a hitch. The M Hamel-Smith & Co practitioner is especially noted for her sterling anti-counterfeiting work. Jean-Frédéric Salès anchors the IP practice at historic Haitian firm Cabinet Salès. His advanced legal and business know-how makes him well suited to find ready answers to nuanced trademark questions. Andrea Scarlett-Lozer enters the WTR 1000 for 2021 as a rising star of the Jamaican IP scene. Her forward-thinking counsel is underpinned by deep knowledge of trademark, copyright and corporate law. Rosalind Smith Millar of Clarke Gittens Farmer in Barbados works “quickly, efficiently and effectively” and “communicates useful updates clearly and in good time”. The “highly capable IP team” at Jamaica’s Grant Stewart Phillips & Co is spearheaded by Arturo Stewart, who has handled trademark prosecution matters within his broader commercial law practice for more than 45 years. Jessica Ward does “exceptional and innovative work” from her base at Colbs: “She is a thorough, extremely dedicated, intelligent and assertive professional who is well qualified as one of the best experts in Costa Rica.” “She has experience in international trade negotiations, which gives her a clear advantage over her peers.”
- Kenneth Porter - Sagis LP
- Fiona J Hinds - Carrington & Sealy
- Rosalind K Smith Millar - Clarke Gittens Farmer
- Jennifer Hedges - Cox Hallett Wilkinson Ltd
- Christian de Lespinasse - Cabinet de Lespinasse
- Jean-Frédéric Salès - Cabinet Salès
- Dianne Daley - Foga Daley
- Meg Georgia Gibson-Henlin - Henlin Gibson Henlin
- Peter S Goldson - Myers Fletcher & Gordon
- Grace A Lindo - Carter Lindo
- Samantha Moore - Myers Fletcher & Gordon
- Kathryn JE Pearson - Livingston Alexander & Levy
- Andrea Scarlett-Lozer - Levy Cheeks
- Arturo Stewart - Grant Stewart Phillips & Co
- Anne-Marie White-Feanny - Livingston Alexander & Levy
- Joanne E Wood Rattray - DunnCox
- Gabriela Bodden - Eproint
- Patrick Hely - Caribbean IP
- Arlene Herrera - MINIÑO Abogados
- Aaron Montero - Eproint
- Sophie Peat - HSM IP
- Katherine Van Deusen Hely - Caribbean IP
- Jessica Ward - Colbs
Individuals: Puerto Rico
Individuals: The Bahamas
- Katina Mosko - Mosko & Associates
Individuals: Trinidad and Tobago
- Brien A de Gannes - JD Sellier + Co
- Ariane S Ramnath - JD Sellier + Co
- Olive Angela Tibbets Ramchand - Fitzwilliam Stone Furness-Smith & Morgan