Colombia

The new head of trademarks at the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC) – who has ample private practice experience – has been making waves on the Colombian IP scene, according to sources. They particularly appreciate her accessibility and willingness to change approaches – for example, with respect to the recognition of trademark notoriety. Sources also report that the global pandemic has had limited impact on the SIC’s services, which speaks to the quality of its operations. Colombia thus stands out regionally in Latin America for the robustness of its IP environment.

Firms

  • Baker McKenzie
  • Brigard Castro
  • Cavelier Abogados
  • Lloreda Camacho & Co
  • Castellanos & Co
  • Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas
  • OlarteMoure
  • Posse Herrera Ruiz
  • Triana Uribe & Michelsen
  • ClarkeModet 
  • Cuesta & Asociados Ltd
  • Pons IP
  • Wolf Méndez Abogados Asociados

Baker McKenzie

Sophistication, commerciality and cross-cultural sensitivity distinguish the IP professionals at Baker McKenzie’s Colombian outpost. With astute portfolio managers and accomplished litigators on deck, the team provides wraparound care for prestigious brands in the pharmaceutical, consumer electronics, media and food and hospitality industries. Setting the pace is Juan Pablo Concha Delgado, a “determined, focused lawyer” who protects rights holders to the hilt. He is well supported by “deeply committed and experienced” senior associate Yuliana Salamanca, who is increasingly taking on matter and client leadership responsibilities, and makes her debut in the WTR 1000 this year. Together they have been handling complex oppositions for Victoria’s Secret and Ascot Racecourse, making clever and convincing arguments to yield positive reversals of fortune.

Brigard Castro

Many international companies and elite foreign law firms look first to eminent boutique Brigard Castro when it comes to safeguarding brand integrity in Colombia. The ensemble is a prolific filer and has a superb hit rate in taking applications through to successful grant; it also puts in assured performances in litigation, which inspires confidence in strong protection come what may. At the forefront of the practice are Martín Torres Cardozo, Juan Pablo Cadena and María Fernanda Castellanos, who all bring something special to the table. Torres runs the prosecution side like a well-oiled machine, but isn’t just about smooth processes: “He conducts deep analyses and makes thoughtful recommendations on courses of action. His bills are very reasonable too, particularly given the outstanding quality of the service provided.” Cadena heads the trademark, copyright and patent litigation teams and is a trusted relationship partner who “understands the needs of international clients perfectly”. Castellanos litigates with aplomb and gives vital strategic counsel to patrons, including Promotora Médica Las Américas – which operates a top health clinic in Medellin – and Carvajal Propriedades Inversiones, the owner of the well-known Jean Book brand. She has successfully represented both in trademark disputes of late, the former in a judicial context and the latter through negotiations.  Joining her colleagues in the rankings this year, Catalina Gómez Gutiérrez was recently promoted to a leadership position on the prosecution team. She is an essential ally for Target Brands, Coors Brewing Company, Inditex and other well-known names.

Castellanos & Co

Immediate responsiveness and rapid turnarounds characterise the outstanding, cost-effective service of Castellanos & Co. The professionals here don’t just comply with deadlines, but get out ahead of them – something its international followers are grateful for. A hands-on, personalised approach to assignments is another USP of the compact two-partner, two-lawyer, all-female team, which is led by Margarita Castellanos and Ximena Castellanos. They perform flawlessly for household names such as PUMA, the exclusivity of whose graphic trademark they recently defended in a nullity action; Swatch Group, which received assistance with the territorial expansion of its international AGASSIZ wordmark; and Carolina Herrera, which lately benefited from a favourable opposition result. Their remarkable track record speaks to their unwavering commitment to safeguarding their clients’ interests.

Cavelier Abogados

Celebrated for its “systematised approach, innovativeness, high efficiency, forward-looking mindset and accessibility”, Cavelier is first-class in Colombia and one of the top IP names in Latin America. It has a deep bench of trademark experts ready to deploy on any brand protection or enforcement matter; but the first name on the team sheet is international department captain Jorge Chávarro, an IP veteran with encyclopaedic knowledge of the practice area.  Taking the reins of the trademark department, the popular Eduardo Varela is known for his “collaborative attitude, solutions-oriented approach and excellent negotiation skills”. In charge of litigation, Edna Sarmiento takes on all kinds of IP cases, not just those involving trademarks, delivering satisfying outcomes each time.

ClarkeModet 

ClarkeModet has 500 IP practitioners in 22 offices across Europe and Latin America, giving it virtually unrivalled international reach and resources. It has a rich tradition in IP protection, consulting and enforcement, and can cater to the total brand needs of its client base. A vital cog in its network, the technically astute team in Colombia – which is spread between offices in Bogota and Medellin – acquits itself with distinction in oppositions, of which it has lately handled many in service of marquee brands such as LEGO. Spearheading the practice, Carolina Daza Montalvo has spent a decade licking large portfolios into optimum shape. One of the best among her supporting cast of consultants is Alonso Castrillón, who gets consistently great results in enforcement scenarios.

Cuesta & Asociados Ltd

Cuesta & Asociados has been delighting clients with its impeccable trademark service for over 30 years. It puts in place robust brand protection frameworks not just in Colombia, but across Latin and Central America, and acts as a regional hub for patrons, which include famous e-commerce, videogame, media and energy industry players. The sophisticated technological matrix of the practice means that matters are transacted smoothly and efficiently, which keeps costs down. Founding partner Juan Carlos Cuesta Quintero is a discerning choice for strategic advice and complex cases – the extent of his insight gives him a problem-solving edge. Head of intellectual property Diana Romero Calvo is endorsed as a “very diligent and responsible” lawyer with real commercial nous. On the advisory front, she has recently been handling several queries relating to the protection of non-traditional marks.

Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas

High-calibre full-service outfit Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas has more than 100 lawyers practising rigorously in all areas of business law, including intellectual property. Its specialised IP team has a sophisticated understanding of the local protection and enforcement environment and, through the Dentons network, all possible resources to help companies expand their brands internationally. Rainmakers Luz Helena Adarve and Juanita Acosta have a high level of visibility among peers and sterling reputations in IP circles. Captaining both the IP and technology group and the privacy and cybersecurity group, Adarve “handles matters efficiently and responsively, making clients’ business concerns her priority”. She has potent portfolio management and contract negotiating capabilities; as does Acosta, who is cited as a top referral for conflicted local lawyers as a “highly experienced partner with expertise encompassing all aspects of IP law”.

Lloreda Camacho & Co

A destination of choice for total brand care, Lloreda Camacho blends refined trademark, copyright, advertising, social media and litigation know-how in a compelling way. Worthy of special mention is its proven ability to stop infringers swiftly and decisively by obtaining injunctions from the Colombian courts without any time wasted. As an expanding part of the practice, its foreign department – which designs and executes targeted strategies for those opening in new markets – also deserves the spotlight. The architect of the firm’s 24/7, high-quality service is Alicia Lloreda: “She has an incredible depth of knowledge that enables her to see matters from different perspectives and design effective plans of action with reliable alternatives. In terms of timing of delivery and pricing, she’s brilliant.” Another dignitary on this “precise and detail-oriented team” is Tatiana Carrillo, who serves as director of the trademark and copyright practice. She manages large portfolios with a deft touch and also has a special talent for resolving disputes. Making her first appearance in the WTR 1000 this year, senior associate Natalia Franco has benefited from her partners’ education and training and is increasingly playing a leadership role in litigation and enforcement.

OlarteMoure

OlarteMoure’s “creative approaches to enforcing trademark and patent rights in Colombia” and “cost-efficient assistance” win rave reviews from brand owners: “Its professionals give very accurate advice and never provide less than an exemplary service.” The innovation-focused firm puts intellectual property at the heart of its well-rounded practice, which is flexibly designed to secure robust rights protection for domestic and international companies in technology-intensive industries. Juan Moure brings added prestige to the practice as a result of his past headship of the SIC. For companies such as Grupo Nutresa, he plays a critical role in guiding brand strategy at a global level. He also forms a formidable contentious pairing with Juan Felipe Acosta, who was elevated to the partnership in June 2020 and is now director of litigation. Together they represent adidas as anti-counterfeiting counsel.

Pons IP

“You cannot ask for a better IP partner,” is the verdict on the Colombian contingent of international Madrid-based firm PONS IP. “Extremely attentive to client demands, the team responds rapidly and manages large processes with great organisational and technical skill. It carries out instructions fast and is very sensitive to the issue of cost.” Displaying fine-tuned regional knowledge, it is routinely enlisted to champion IP rights not just in Colombia, but across Latin America, operating effortlessly across borders. Helping to ensure consistent growth in the practice in recent years, Juan Camilo Amaya is “a trusted adviser with great communication skills and a go-to for an efficient, high-quality service in multiple jurisdictions”. “Creative and agile, he is always looking for effective solutions.” He serves as deputy to practice director Claudia Lucia Caro Ramirez, who knows a great deal about business and brand development across the continent. “Claudia has an open and caring attitude, and really listens to her clients. The work she does is exceptionally thorough.”

Posse Herrera Ruiz

As a central contact for all Latin American and Caribbean IP needs, it is hard to find a better choice than richly resourced full-service outfit Posse Herrera Ruiz. Its IP group has accumulated infinite wisdom on regional brand strategy and draws on a carefully cultivated network to get difficult jobs sewn up seamlessly. Seasoned at prosecution, the team benefits immeasurably from the oversight of Helena Camargo, who has honed her portfolio management abilities over many years. “Her strategic input is invaluable not just on filings, but on potential enforcement proceedings too. She has a gift for solving problems and stands out for her deep dedication.” When Camargo teams up with Annabelle Angarita, great things happen. A senior trademark attorney, Angarita “gives timely and accurate advice and showcases excellent judgement. She has a perfectly calm temperament and is always a voice of reason”. Together they have been making forays into the burgeoning cannabis sector, advising Canadian company Aphria on protecting its trademarks in Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Paraguay. On hand for transactional assignments, Ernesto Cavelier is one of the top commercial IP minds in the country.

Triana Uribe & Michelsen

Stability and consistency are hallmarks at Triana Uribe & Michelsen; collective institutional knowledge means that when clients call up, they don’t need to retell their story every time. This creates efficiencies which the team can leverage to provide swift counsel that gets right to the heart of the issue. Further enhancing the quality of the service on offer, the partners here – Juan Carlos Uribe and Fernando Triana – stay directly involved in matters, so that rights holders enjoy senior-level attention. Captain of the IP group Uribe is known for his perspicacity and complementary expertise in trademark-adjacent areas such as advertising law. For tricky oppositions, he is a safe pair of hands – as reflected by his many recent successes on this front. Triana has chalked up a litany of victories on behalf of players such as multinational computer company Dell, for which he handles myriad contentious issues, including domain name disputes. He frequently collaborates with all-rounder Sandra Ávila, who gives “the most reliable and precise assessments and uses in-depth knowledge to successfully see off infringement issues”.

Wolf Méndez Abogados Asociados

Hailed by foreign associates as “one of the best options in Colombia”, Wolf Méndez is appreciated for its “proactive approach” and “smart, experienced lawyers”. The commercial firm puts a strong emphasis on intellectual property and dispenses the full suite of brand-related services, harnessing time-tested systems and databases to ensure that no detail gets missed. Presiding over the practice, Mónica Wolf de Camhi is dynamic in both prosecution and litigation across patents and trademarks; she uses the right IP tools expeditiously and efficiently to achieve clients’ goals.

Other recommended experts

In heading up the IP, competition, consumer and regulatory teams at Pinzón Pinzón & Asociados, Silvia Garcia demonstrates striking versatility. She has more than two decades of experience and is a good port of call for a full-bodied brands service. Mauricio Patino practises at elite Ibero-American full-service firm Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uria and is a key contact for IP matters. He works in both the patent and trademark areas and operates at a high level in litigation. Cárdenas Vega’s Luis Fernando Patrón Fuentes is a “tremendous lawyer with a positive attitude”, whose “sound, reliable advice fills you with confidence”. His impressive CV includes in-house roles and a stint as head of trademarks and oppositions at the SIC.

Individuals

  • Luz Helena Adarve - Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas
  • Juan Pablo Cadena - Brigard Castro
  • Jorge Chávarro - Cavelier Abogados
  • Juan Pablo Concha Delgado - Baker McKenzie (Colombia)
  • Alicia Lloreda - Lloreda Camacho & Co
  • Juan G Moure - OlarteMoure
  • Martín Torres Cardozo - Brigard Castro
  • Fernando Triana - Triana Uribe & Michelsen
  • Juan Felipe Acosta - OlarteMoure
  • Juanita Acosta - Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas
  • Juan Camilo Amaya - Pons IP
  • Helena Camargo - Posse Herrera Ruiz
  • Claudia Lucia Caro Ramirez - Pons IP
  • Tatiana Carrillo - Lloreda Camacho & Co
  • Margarita Castellanos - Castellanos & Co
  • Maria Fernanda Castellanos - Brigard Castro
  • Ximena Castellanos - Castellanos & Co
  • Ernesto Cavelier - Posse Herrera Ruiz
  • Juan Carlos Cuesta Quintero - Cuesta & Asociados Ltd
  • Mauricio Patino - Philippi Prietocarrizosa Ferrero DU & Uria
  • Juan Carlos Uribe - Triana Uribe & Michelsen
  • Eduardo Varela - Cavelier Abogados
  • Mónica Wolf de Camhi - Wolf Méndez Abogados Asociados
  • Annabelle Angarita - Posse Herrera Ruiz
  • Sandra Ávila - Triana Uribe & Michelsen
  • Alonso José Castrillón - ClarkeModet
  • Silvia Garcia - Pinzón Pinzón & Asociados
  • Carolina Daza Montalvo - ClarkeModet
  • Diana Romero - Cuesta & Asociados Ltd
  • Yuliana Salamanca J - Baker McKenzie
  • Edna Sarmiento - Cavelier Abogados