Costa Rica is an economic leader in Central America and its IP scene is vibrant and dynamic. Having developed a modern legal framework which reflects international standards, the country was recently removed from the Watch List of the Office of the US Trade Representative. It has also recently introduced an online search system which is shared with WIPO, enhancing the efficiency with which both local and international brand owners can protect their brands.
- Zurcher Lawyers
- Consortium Legal
- Facio & Cañas
- Ideas Trademarks & Patents
- Hulbert Volio Abogados
- Nassar Abogados Cost Rica
With a presence in six jurisdictions – Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama – full-service firm Arias is a superb choice for the comprehensive management of regional brand matters. For a contact in Costa Rica, look to Simón Valverde, whose multifaceted practice includes patent and trademark prosecution and advisory work, as well as litigation. Also active as a lecturer and educator, he is hailed as an authority on the market.
“In Costa Rica and Central America, BLP can be relied upon for cost-effective and creative counsel.” The expertise on offer from this technically adept team is not confined to trademarks in the narrow sense, but extends into adjacent fields such as data protection and privacy, advertising, marketing and consumer law. León Weinstok, Uri Weinstok and Giselle Reuben dig deep into clients’ business priorities to inform their strategic thinking. “León is characterised by his agile, solutions-oriented approach”; while Uri is in his element on complex litigation. The “highly reputable” Reuben is a master at directing regional traffic and utilising the wider firm’s resources to their full advantage; sources praise her “efficient and organised” working style. Between them, the trio have managed portfolios for Bayer, Scotiabank and Colgate; and achieved satisfying anti-counterfeiting results for Pandora, Microsoft and Volcom. “Experienced professionals, they know the law inside out and are brilliant at overcoming obstacles in applications and disputes.”
Regional player Consortium Legal boasts a sophisticated IP practice, with a well-stocked toolkit which makes the management of large trademark portfolios a breeze. Its specialists understand the business side of things too, thanks in part to close collaboration with the firm’s commercial departments, and are adept not just at routine protection and maintenance, but also at the creation of IP value. Under the wing of Fabiola Saenz, the Costa Rican branch performs at a consistently high level. Intimately familiar with the domestic and wider Central American IP landscape, Saenz has earned the trust of key players in the cosmetics, life sciences and food industries, and has also established unique systems focused on supporting local entrepreneurs.
Dentons Muñoz has a unique selling point as the only regional Central American firm with the heft of a truly global firm behind it; for marquee international companies, its trademarks offering is thus a compelling one. Like the wider firm, the team in Costa Rica focuses on finding commercially optimal solutions to branding problems –something it does with striking efficacy in the food and beverage and retail industries. Monserrat Guitart provides assured leadership to the regional IP and technology department from her base in San José. An accomplished IT expert with a facility for IP strategy and enforcement, “she is an excellent out-of-the-box thinker with international experience”. Her technological acumen also comes in handy when advising nascent companies on how best to capture competitive market positions. She has an enthusiastic following of A-list companies, but is also highly involved in the regional start-up scene.
For judicious Central and Latin American branding strategies, boutique Eproint is a go-to. The firm has an encyclopaedic grasp of the IP regimes in more than 40 jurisdictions, enabling it to manoeuvre efficiently and effectively when safeguarding the rights of top marques across borders. Always up to speed with international trademark developments, Gabriela Bodden and Aaron Montero design smart action plans and implement them flawlessly. Bodden has a deft touch on portfolio management and is also an ace on anti-counterfeiting, enforcement and IP commercialisation; while Montero resolves patent and trademark infringement issues with a practised hand.
Facio & Cañas
The February 2020 merger between Faycamark (Facio & Cañas) and Pragma Legal resulted in an expanded IP department with a bigger client roster and enhanced expertise in niche areas such as non-traditional trademarks and plant varieties. Under the command of “internationally reputed” managing partner Milagro Chaves, the newly consolidated group stands out for its business-sensitive approach to portfolio management and innovative thinking on how to avoid costly litigation. His recent activity has included representing Illva Saronno and overturning a trademark office rejection of the DISARONNO mark. Chaves is joined in the WTR 1000 this year by Laura Valverde, a rising star who embodies the practice’s dedication to client care. “She has been priceless for our business,” reports one happy patron. “Her legal advice is efficient and cost effective, and translates clearly at our end.” She acts on behalf of some of the firm’s leading international accounts and has recently secured cast-iron protection for Juul Labs, among others.
Hulbert Volio Abogados
Hulbert Volio Abogados is distinguished by its tenacity and proficiency in contentious proceedings. Its proactive, analytical practitioners quickly distil the essence of each case and put together and present clear, cogent arguments to advance the cause of clients. IP department chief Luis Esteban Hernández is unerringly pragmatic and persuasive when it comes to litigation and conflict resolution. With extensive experience in commercial and competition law, he is a well-rounded expert to consult on all manner of legal and business matters.
Ideas Trademarks & Patents
Ideas fits the bill for companies seeking specialised assistance with the management of large trademark portfolios across Central America. Quality is the watchword here: “The team takes great pride in its work, looks for ways to add value and sees IP issues through a strategic lens.” Maricruz Villanea Villegas and Ana Cristina Arroyave Rojas are its local leading lights. Managing partner and anti-counterfeiting chief Villegas “builds long-term client relationships, shows a clear understanding of the law and its development, and works alongside clients as an effective business partner”. Heading up the international department, Rojas has finely honed knowledge of regional IP systems and tailors his portfolio and enforcement moves to the risk tolerance of clients.
Nassar Abogados Cost Rica
Cross-jurisdictional briefs are the lifeblood of Nassar Abogados, a full-service outfit spread across four Central American offices. The tight-knit IP division keeps pace with the rhythms of regional markets, deploys deep expertise in trademarks and brand-adjacent areas, and provides “quick, accurate and cost-efficient” counsel. Overseeing the practice from the firm’s Costa Rican headquarters is Lupita Quintero. In her 27 years here, she has been built the department into a well-oiled machine, forged strong relationships with multinational rights holders and cultivated a solid network of foreign associates to lean on.
Sitting within one of Costa Rica’s most established commercial outfits, the IP team at Zurcher Odio & Raven renders fulsome support to brand owners throughout the region. With an offering that encompasses portfolio management, enforcement and IP monetisation, it is well equipped for any trademark instruction. The group thrives under the hawkish eye of María Del Pilar López. “Detail oriented, knowledgeable and communicative”, the gold-tier leader “gives a seamless trademark service to some of the world’s most significant brands”.
Other recommended expertsLegal Print’s Montserrat Alfaro-Solano is hailed by foreign associates for the personalised and attentive serviced she provides. She applies excellent management skills to the running of her team, the procurement of trademarks and the maintenance of portfolios. Divimark’s managing partner Marianella Arias “provides prompt, efficient solutions to complex trademark issues” and has an outstanding litigation pedigree. She has broad commercial and corporate expertise to complement her IP nous, which she puts to good use for multinational companies. “Carlos Corrales is one of the most intelligent Central American IP attorneys.” He is known for his silver-tongued negotiation skills, having been involved in shaping numerous Costa Rican free trade agreements. Running her own self-titled boutique, Melissa Mora Martin “is tough and practical in enforcement, and represents top-tier clients around the world”. The gold-ranked practitioner is a reference when it comes to anti-counterfeiting. Taking the reins of the IP department at Colbs Legal Studio, Jessica Ward is a “young, but experienced attorney who is excellent at developing sustainable and comprehensive legal and IP strategies”. She maintains a vibrant trademark practice and has also been breaking new ground in fast-developing areas such as data protection.
- María Del Pilar López - Zurcher Lawyers
- Melissa Mora Martin - Mora Martin IP
- Giselle Reuben - BLP
- Uri Weinstok - BLP
- Monserrat Alfaro - Legal Print
- Marianella Arias - Divimark SA
- Ana Cristina Arroyave Rojas - Ideas Trademarks & Patents
- Gabriela Bodden - Eproint
- Milagro Chaves - Facio & Cañas
- Monserrat Guitart - Dentons
- Luis Esteban Hernández - Hulbert Volio Abogados
- Aaron Montero - Eproint
- Fabiola Saenz - Consortium Legal
- Simón Valverde - Arias
- Maricruz Villanea Villegas - Ideas Trademarks & Patents
- Jessica Ward - Colbs
- León Weinstok - BLP
- Carlos Corrales - Core IP Limited
- Laura Valverde - Facio & Cañas