Counterfeits continue to flow into Croatia’s Rijeka port on their way to Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Customs officials receive praise for their efforts, but resources remain stretched and IP enforcement is not a political priority, making it unlikely that the situation will improve in the near future. At the State Intellectual Property Office, the outlook is also mixed. While applications are being processed in a reasonable time frame (registration is usually confirmed in eight to 10 months), rights holders are having to wait inordinately long for a first-instance decision in opposition and cancellation proceedings (sometimes up to four years).
Unique experience conducting trademark prosecution across the entire West Balkan region sets Dennemeyer & Associates apart from its competitors. The well-oiled Dennemeyer machine uses internally developed DIAMS iQ software to adeptly manage portfolios across jurisdictions and share information between offices. Tomislav Hadzija wears the captain’s armband in Zagreb. “Tomislav is a fantastic lawyer whose top reputation is well deserved. He is approachable and always does everything he can to meet his clients’ needs. As well as providing strong legal advice, he knows how to organise his workflow – everything proceeds very efficiently.”
Divjak Topic & Bahtijarevic
Divjak Topic & Bahtijarevic operates a classy IP practice within its full-service setup. Appreciating that trademark counsel provided in a vacuum means nothing, its lawyers work hand in hand with their esteemed data protection, advertising and competition counterparts to devise holistic strategies that tick every box. Olena Manuilenko and Saša Divjak form the beating heart of the practice. Manuilenko has recently been showing her ace analytical skills supporting Worldwide Entertainment Group – the organiser of the renowned Ultra Music Festival – on a string of knotty oppositions. Meanwhile, name partner Divjak continues to ply his trade in the transactional space; the agreements he oversees always get great results for his clients.
Hraste & Partners
“Hraste & Partners is a well-established firm with an excellent reputation.” It combines extensive local knowledge and experience handling matters before the Croatian State IP Office with a modern, cosmopolitan outlook and a laser focus on the long-term commercial objectives of its clients. Having shepherded trademarks safely from cradle to grave for more than 30 years, Silvije Hraste is the top name on the team sheet.
With 16 offices in Central and Eastern Europe, PETOŠEVIĆ has what it takes to support even the most trademark rich multinationals. Its commercially savvy attorneys in Zagreb give clients 24/7 care and ensure that work is completed on budget and on time, with no exceptions. Ivan Kos and Anamarija Stancic Petrovic embody this customer-oriented ethos. Kos toils around the clock to provide killer resolutions to even the most convoluted disputes. Petrovic understands the interconnectivity of the modern world – and consequently the need for a global branding strategy – as well as anyone. “Her advice is always sound; you know that she will produce great results whatever the issue. It’s a real pleasure working with her.”
Vukmir & Associates
Peers laud Vukmir & Associates as the “biggest and best IP firm in Croatia”. It has acquired a reputation as a “nursery for trademark lawyers” – owing to the number of top professionals who learnt their craft there – and continues to set the pace. The outfit’s tireless trademark aces file an impressive number of applications annually and are uncompromising in their pursuit of infringers. Founding partner Mladen Vukmir is “an IP God, his résumé is remarkable and he remains extremely active”. He is ably supported by the dynamic duo of Ivan Cuk and Carla Biancotti. Cuk is a versatile practitioner whose crisp but comprehensive instructions are adored by one and all, and Biancotti is a familiar sight before the EUIPO, where she sidesteps obstacles in examinations and oppositions with remarkable poise.
Zivko Mijatovic & Partners is a compelling choice for trademark portfolio management and cross-border courtroom representation. Its razor-sharp team in Zagreb – which is supported by 14 other outlets across Southeast Europe – scrutinises relevant information and separates the wheat from the chaff before coming up with ingenious solutions. What is more, it places a premium on client satisfaction and is acutely sensitive to time and budgetary constraints. Experienced on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide, Ivana Šarlija and Luka Jelcic are two rock-solid IP practitioners. “Šarlija is a loyal, assertive and reliable lawyer who is precise and accurate in everything she does.” Quick thinking and pragmatism are Jelcic’s key characteristics.
Other recommended expertsPresident of the Croatian Chamber of Patent and Trademark Attorneys, Albina Dlačić at Dlačić Law Offices is widely respected in the IP community. Korper & Partneri’s Dina Korper Žemva is an active member of several international IP organisations and publishes widely. “Mirela Rakocija of Tana Intellectual Property maintains a very impressive multi-jurisdictional practice across the Balkans.” Lego is just one huge name that frequently seeks out her services. Knowing five foreign languages – Bulgarian, English, French, German and Italian – the cosmopolitan Luka Tadić-Čolić at Wolf Theiss is feted by renowned multinationals. Vukina & Partners’ Sanja Vukina is a licensing wizard with refined business nous.
- Carla Biancotti - Vukmir & Associates
- Ivan Cuk - Vukmir & Associates
- Saša Divjak - Divjak Topic & Bahtijarevic
- Albina Dlačić - Dlačić Law Offices
- Tomislav Hadzija - Dennemeyer & Associates
- Silvije Hraste - Hraste & Partners
- Luka Jelcic - Zivko Mijatovic & Partners
- Dina Korper Žemva - Korper & Partneri
- Ivan Kos - PETOŠEVIĆ
- Olena Manuilenko - Divjak Topic & Bahtijarevic
- Mirela Rakocija - Tana Intellectual Property
- Ivana Šarlija - Zivko Mijatovic & Partners
- Anamarija Stancic Petrovic - PETOŠEVIĆ
- Luka Tadić-Čolić - Wolf Theiss
- Sanja Vukina - Law firm Vukina & Partners Ltd
- Mladen Vukmir - Vukmir & Associates