IP firms in the Dominican Republic are in high demand for their ability to guide brand protection, development and enforcement efforts across the Caribbean, as well as in Central and Latin America. There is a real concentration of trademark expertise in this small jurisdiction, as the WTR 1000 listings show. While plenty of lawyer movement changed the shape of the market in 2016, things calmed down in 2017 as professionals settled into their new positions. The firm listings therefore remain unchanged this time around, although the individual rankings feature new faces, as the next generation of talent begins to make its mark.
- MINIÑO Abogados
- Angeles Pons
- BUFETE MESSINA LUGO IP
- HEADRICK RIZIK ALVAREZ Y FERNANDEZ
- Troncoso Leroux
- JJ Roca & Asociados
- Jorge Mera & Villegas
- Troncoso Y Cáceres
- Valdez Albizu
The star power of Jaime Angeles and Wallis Pons makes the ensemble they established in 2016 a serious player in Dominican intellectual property. Each lawyer has a wealth of experience encompassing not just trademarks, but also regulatory, advertising, unfair competition and consumer protection law, among other areas. Angeles is “the most respected IP attorney in the country” and “a top professor and litigator”. He currently serves as Latin America president of the Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance and, together with Pons, is a member of the International Trademark Association’s (INTA) Anti-counterfeiting Committee. The two lawyers are international thinkers who keep abreast of the latest developments in global IP law and policy; this informs their advice, which in turn helps clients to stay one step ahead of their competitors. Of Pons, foreign associates say: “She is so personable and great at developing meaningful client relationships – and she provides robust advice, too.”
BUFETE MESSINA LUGO IP
Established in 2016, BUFETE MESSINA LUGO IP is a relative newcomer to the Dominican market; although its lead partners are some of the most experienced minds in Caribbean intellectual property. Having published widely on the subject of trademark law – and a university professor to boot – managing partner Zaida Lugo Lovatón is looked up to as a thought leader. She has previously served as president of the Dominican Intellectual Property Association. She is flanked by Ana Isabel Messina Vasquez, an IP trailblazer who has contributed much to the development of trademark law and practice in the region.
HEADRICK RIZIK ALVAREZ Y FERNANDEZ
A muscular full-service outfit which sets benchmarks in many areas, HEADRICK maintains a spectacular trademark practice. The team shines brightly when it comes to the strategic management of large international portfolios; knows all the right notes to hit in infringement battles; and can take care of the IP components of sizeable commercial transactions. A doyenne of intellectual property, Mary Fernández Rodríguez has an intimate understanding of the country’s IP laws, having participated in many legislative drafting projects. Her practice is not limited to intellectual property, but also encompasses foreign investment, corporate, banking, real estate and tourism law (among other areas), making her a veritable one-stop shop for companies conducting business in the Dominican Republic. Leading the IP department is Lily Acevedo Gómez, who adds value for food and beverage, pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies with her deep regulatory knowledge.
The dynamic trademark team at JJ Roca manages a large portfolio for the world’s leading medical technology company, Medtronic; protects the trademarks of footwear company Steven Madden; and files marks for major domestic supermarket chain Bravo. Sharin Pablo de Roca and Ana Paula Campusano work tirelessly on all of these projects, but never drop the ball on quality. They are also busy on the contentious side of the practice, handling cancellation actions for the likes of Zumba Fitness and Constellation Brands, a premium wine, beer and spirits company. Pablo de Roca focuses with a laser-like intensity on client service and is deeply committed to solving the Caribbean and Latin American IP protection issues her clients face; the same can be said of IP group coordinator Campusano, who makes her debut in the WTR 1000 this year.
Jorge Mera & Villegas
Across the firm, Jorge Mera & Villegas takes a sectoral approach to practice – it gets into the trenches alongside its clients to know them and the industries in which they operate, so that it can provide advice that is commercially relevant; the IP team does not let the side down in this regard. Well-rounded counsellor Patricia Villegas de Jorge does much within the IP community beyond the immediate concerns of her client practice, including university lecturing. Carmen Prieto Villegas is in the same mould as her colleague, and is perspicacious when it comes to trademark and copyright protection, as well as litigation.
Put simply, “MINIÑO is extremely responsive, communicates quickly and provides outstanding client service all around”. The lone occupant of the WTR 1000 gold tier for the Dominican Republic this year, the firm continues to enjoy huge success as a domestic and pan-Caribbean IP protection and enforcement specialist. New clients are coming on board all the time: a recent one is Western Digital Technologies, which has tasked the set with strategic advisory and regional trademark protection instructions; Amazon Technologies and L’Oréal are others. Meanwhile, existing marquee clients such as Red Bull and Twitter remain pleased as punch with the team’s top-quality work and efficiency. A magnet for the most exciting and news-making brands, Urko Ochoa is the group’s award-winning talisman. “He has a brilliant understanding of trademark law in many jurisdictions, and provides tip-top advice on prosecution matters and much more.” Managing partner Orietta Blanco is another ace on multi-jurisdictional trademark protection; no matter how busy things get, she conducts herself with grace and poise, imbuing clients with great confidence that their matters are in the best of hands. Ochoa and Blanco are flanked by stars of the future Arlene Herrera and Pamela Hernandez, who have proved to be unstinting in their dedication to clients. Regional trademark portfolio management is Herrera’s strong suit; while Hernandez coordinates the litigation section and has particular expertise in anti-counterfeiting and customs intercepts, as brands such as Michael Kors know well.
Troncoso Leroux specialises in trademark and unfair competition law and renders a complete service in these areas to an impressive cadre of international brands. The outfit has garnered a lot of positive attention of late, thanks in part to María del Pilar Troncoso’s leadership of the Inter-American Association of Intellectual Property. This prestigious position is a clear mark that she is among Latin America’s IP elite; it has also helped her to further cultivate her fabulous network of contacts in the region, and her superb knowledge of cross-border IP trends and developments – all of which clients are free to leverage as they protect and enforce their rights.
Troncoso Y Cáceres
Troncoso y Cáceres is a pioneer of IP practice in the Dominican Republic and boasts a rich tradition of excellence in the trademark area. An abundant source of insight on brand strategy, the team also handles bread-and-butter registration tasks with dexterity and utmost efficiency. It adds further value by keeping an eagle eye on the counterfeits market – pouncing on infringers when necessary – and by providing staunch representation in civil infringement cases in the Dominican courts. María Felix Troncoso is the leading IP professional on the full-service firm’s roster, and one of the country’s best IP litigators.
Valdez Albizu does a stellar job tailoring its filing, enforcement, litigation and strategic advisory services to the specific needs of each client, and can aid brand owners in all of their trademark endeavours in Central and Latin American, as well as across the Caribbean. The organisation gets an excellent write-up from the patrons who know it best: “It is extremely responsive and provides straightforward, transparent and reliable advice, while keeping you fully up to speed on the progress of your cases. It explains trademark procedures in the Dominican Republic clearly and concisely, and gives each matter the proper care and attention. Working with the organisation is a great pleasure.” Seasoned lawyer Alejandra Valdez is the driving force behind the group’s success. Able to serve clients in three languages – Spanish, English and French – and plugged into a number of international IP organisations such as INTA, she has aligned herself as a key regional guide to international brand owners.
Other recommended experts
Tania Castillo has made intellectual property a forte of general business firm Castillo & Castillo, which she manages. She maintains a 360-degree IP practice in terms of the rights she covers and the activities – prosecution, litigation and commercialisation – in which she engages, and can thus provide holistic guidance to companies with diverse portfolios. Companies looking to protect their intangible assets across the region’s borders would do well to seek out Katherine Mena Franco of Mexico City and Santo Domingo outfit Mena & Sanchez-Guadarrama; she maps out highly effective international IP strategies.
- Jaime R Angeles - Angeles Pons
- María Del Pilar Troncoso - Troncoso Leroux
- María J Felix Troncoso - Troncoso Y Cáceres
- Mary Fernández Rodríguez - HEADRICK RIZIK ALVAREZ Y FERNANDEZ
- Zaida E Lugo Lovatón - BUFETE MESSINA LUGO IP
- Urko Ochoa - MINIÑO Abogados
- Orietta Blanco - MINIÑO Abogados
- Tania Castillo - Castillo & Castillo
- Sharin Pablo de Roca - JJ Roca & Asociados
- Wallis Pons Cardi - Angeles Pons
- Alejandra Valdez - Valdez Albizu
- Lilly Acevedo Gómez - HEADRICK RIZIK ALVAREZ Y FERNANDEZ
- Ana Paula Campusano - JJ Roca & Asociados
- Pamela Hernandez - MINIÑO Abogados
- Arlene Herrera - MINIÑO Abogados
- Katherine Mena Franco - Mena & Sanchez-Guadarrama SC
- Ana Isabel Messina Vasquez - BUFETE MESSINA LUGO IP
- Carmen Prieto Villegas - Jorge Mera & Villegas
- Patricia Villegas de Jorge - Jorge Mera & Villegas