Owing to busy ports – especially Rijeka – Croatia is the entry point for a significant number of parallel imports, many of which end up in Eastern Europe. Border officials continue to proactively partner with law firms to coordinate raids and seizures, and there was effusive praise from interviewees for their efforts. However, in the courts a serious backlog persists, with cases frequently left pending for a lustrum; as a result, there has been an upturn in alternative dispute resolution.
- Vukmir & Associates
- Zivko Mijatovic & Partners
- Dennemeyer & Associates
- Divjak Topic & Bahtijarevic
- Hraste & Partners
Dennemeyer & Associates
With 23 offices in 12 countries, Dennemeyer & Associates has what it takes to navigate the international trademark seas. The set excels at filing and prosecution and leverages internally developed DIAMS iQ software to effortlessly manage portfolios – however large they may be. Helming the Zagreb office, Tomislav Hadzija always goes the extra mile to ensure his clients are satisfied. “He combines a very deep knowledge of IP law with sound practical reasoning. His responsiveness is really impressive too.” Having shrewdly evaluated all available options, he builds impregnable defences for his clients’ rights.
Divjak Topic & Bahtijarevic
Full-service Divjak Topic & Bahtijarevic serves up an A-Z IP menu to its loyal patrons. Its brand protection offering stretches from prosecution through licensing to full-blooded enforcement, and is reinforced by strong practices in neighbouring fields such as data protection and advertising – not to mention competition and regulatory law – making it a true one-stop shop. With over 35 years’ experience between them, Olena Manuilenko and Saša Divjak can be trusted to provide exceptional counsel. “They respond swiftly and always get straight to the point, recognising which issues will be of interest to clients.” Manuilenko recently helped a subsidiary of Doğuş Group – a huge private-sector Turkish conglomerate – acquire figurative and verbal trademarks for its Dalmatia marina, and Divjak’s “excellent” practice continues to attract new international clients.
Hraste & Partners
“Hraste & Partners’ has real IP experts and a seriously strong reputation.” Most prominent among its members is name partner Silvije Hraste, who knows all the tricks in the book and comes out of the Croatian State Intellectual Property Office with a favourable result time and time again. Fazed by nothing, he straddles the contentious/non-contentious divide with poise. Any business knocking on his door can rest assured that it will receive theoretically sound advice with a distinctly commercial flavour.
PETOŠEVIĆ’s “excellent” Croatian team is part of a network comprising over 120 people in 15 offices, meaning it has the regional reach to expertly handle international trademark portfolios and cross-border battles. It has extensive experience before the EU Intellectual Property Office, which it utilised recently to help the ice cream and frozen food producer Ledo win an opposition against an EU trademark filed by Nappo & Moritz. Captain Anamarija Stancic Petrovic took care of this matter and secured victory for Ledo with an assured performance before the Board of Appeal. “She’s a really intelligent, professional and reliable practitioner with plenty of experience.”
Vukmir & Associates
The illustrious Vukmir & Associates continues to lead the way in Balkan intellectual property. Whether filing non-traditional trademarks or liaising with customs officials on major anti-counterfeiting efforts, this “strategic, prompt and practical” side offers a truly first-rate service. Name partner Mladen Vukmir is “one of the top lawyers in Croatia – not only in the IP sphere but overall. He’s really an outstanding practitioner and a true trademarks veteran. Not only is he extremely intelligent, he’s also very efficient and hardworking”. Directing the IP practice, Carla Biancotti is a polyglot with a thriving international filing practice. They are ably supported by the “fantastic” Ivan Cuk, who of late has been busy counselling independent farmers and their associations on geographical indication cases.
Zivko Mijatovic & Partners supplies domestic and international clients with a robust, cost-efficient service. Thanks to the firm’s state-of-the-art cloud-based sharing service, information is seamlessly shared between its 15 offices in Southeast Europe, and clients bear a minimal administrative burden. It also offers a special customs package, whereby one point of contact takes care of issues across the Balkan region. Ivana Šarlija is the first name on many brand owners’ lips, having overseen the destruction of innumerable seizures of counterfeit goods in her time. She has forged invaluable links with border officials throughout the area.
Other recommended expertsAlbina Dlačić at Dlačić Law Offices garners plaudits for her trademark prosecution and domain name work. “She’s a really knowledgeable and diligent professional who has a strong client base and impressive knowledge in copyright law.” Dina Korper Žemva at Korper & Partneri is a “very strong litigator with broad legal knowledge” and stellar academic credentials; she lectures and publishes widely. Matijevich Law Offices’ Andrej Matijević has the trademark know-how to foresee every twist and turn in any multi-faceted case. Luka Tadić-Čolić at Wolf Theiss tirelessly enforces his clients’ IP rights but knows how to negotiate cannily too. Knowledge of English, French, German and Italian sets him apart from the crowd. Law firm Vukina & Partners’ “really business-minded” founding partner Sanja Vukina is a licensing maestro with a gimlet eye for the crucial clauses in a contract.
- 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
- Dina Korper Žemva - Korper & Partneri
- Olena Manuilenko - Divjak Topic & Bahtijarevic
- Andrej Matijevich - Matijević Law Offices
- 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