Thanks to its political stability and the government’s commitment to intellectual property, trademark activity is alive and well in the Dominican Republic. The National Office of Industrial Property remains one of the fastest and most efficient in the region; electronic filing is now in place; work volumes are increasing in both contentious and non-contentious proceedings; and practitioners report a rising number of national companies registering marks abroad, signalling the growth of local brand owners in the region. Despite some concerns that an increase in registrations could mean delays and higher costs for clients, practitioners remain confident of the trademark climate’s steadiness overall. In sharp contrast, the market has been full of churn when it comes to IP players – since the last cycle, established firms have dissolved, practices have merged and top practitioners have gone solo. The WTR 1000 highlights the top players who have remained stable and reliable throughout this time.
- MINIÑO Abogados
- Troncoso Leroux
- Angeles Pons
- Headrick Rizik Alvarez & Fernandez
- JJ Roca & Asociados
- Valdez Albizu
Technically a new name in the market, Angeles Pons is already a familiar one thanks to the significant market presence of the eponymous partners Jaime Angeles and Wallis Pons. Having joined forces to create a prominent IP and commercial boutique, the pair offer 360-degree brand protection to a number of top global and domestic patrons. Customers describe Angeles as a “charismatic, approachable, diligent and highly experienced” litigator with a knack for anti-counterfeiting and enforcement measures, while Pons is “an extremely proactive and hard-working attorney”, who takes good care of clients’ trademark portfolios, providing “timely, in-depth responses” to each of their queries.
Headrick Rizik Alvarez & Fernandez
Pharmaceutical companies need look no further than HEADRICK RIZIK ALVAREZ & FERNANDEZ – this full-service ensemble is ready to handle their regulatory, commercial, litigation and IP needs, plus everything else in between. “A large firm, HEADRICK provides personalised service despite its size” and so does its “solid and constantly growing IP practice”, led by Lilly Acevedo Gómez. “A driven, witty, approachable and extremely thorough attorney,” Acevedo is best known for her trademark and regulatory expertise, “crafting strategies that not only meet clients’ immediate goals, but also account for long-term trends in local regulations”. Founding partner Mary Fernández Rodríguez, “the glue that holds it all together”, is the backbone of the practice. Highly admired by patrons and peers, “she is a market reference for her charismatic, extremely active, hard-working and client-driven nature”.
JJ Roca & Asociados
Competitors praise JJ Roca & Asociados for its evident commitment to patrons and end-to-end legal services across Latin America. Clients point out the “exceptional service” provided by the firm’s IP group headed by name partner Sharin Pablo de Roca “both in the Dominican Republic and across all Caribbean jurisdictions”. One referee comments: “Sharin is my ‘partner’ for the region. All of her work is absolutely brilliant, comprehensive and always on time, following a very competitive fees structure.” The IP group’s director, Ana Paula Campusano pairs up with Pablo de Roca on virtually every case and shares her thoroughness and efficiency. Together, the duo handle an ever-growing Caribbean-wide trademark portfolio, assisting marquee patrons such as Coca-Cola on that front.
A technologically savvy, agile and people-centred group, MINIÑO’s IP practice “gives the level of service of a top London or New York IP firm”. Popular among international clients with businesses in the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean, companies “can rely on the firm’s input to find timely and efficient solutions, despite the time challenging frameworks some local jurisdictions provide”. Orietta Blanco and Urko Ochoa lead the side’s “results-oriented and attentive team” by example – Blanco is an all-round IP lawyer with a knack for multi-jurisdictional portfolio management; while Ochoa is a “very pragmatic, business-focused attorney, who crafts invaluable strategies for brand awareness building purposes”. When litigious matters arise, Pamela Hernandez takes over. An anti-counterfeiting guru, she works with Blanco and Ochoa on their Caribbean-wide handling of Philip Morris’s trademark portfolio – a complex operation requiring the prosecution, maintenance and litigation of approximately 2,500-plus marks. Last but not least, Arlene Herrera provides her Caribbean-focused expertise, leading region-wide filing strategies for DIRECTV, Netflix and Western Digital Technologies.
Troncoso Leroux’s IP department is much in demand. Handling a jaw-dropping number of clients across all sectors, the IP and corporate boutique has grown impressively throughout its five years’ existence, ensuring the “perfect handling of every single case” in the process. These positive results are unsurprising with founding partner María del Pilar Troncoso at the wheel. “One of the best legal practitioners in the Dominican Republic”, the highly admired Troncoso is a fount of knowledge who “sees the whole picture and tackles problems with incomparable ease”. Under her mentorship, the team handles cases across the IP spectrum, receiving special praise for its market-leading position in enforcement and litigation. In that sphere, the group recently handled a major border measure for Gucci, overseeing the seizure of 27,500 cigarette packages that infringed the fashion brand’s famous mark.
At Valdez Albizu, clients know exactly what they are paying for – a transparent, cost-effective and personalised service of excellent quality. An ever-growing practice, trademark prosecution is still the firm’s forte, although its litigation and licensing practices have been expanded of late. Tying these strands together, Alejandra Valdez has been key to the IP department’s growth and development, using her far-reaching networking skills to bring in new Caribbean and Central American-wide portfolios.
Other recommended expertsDebuting this year in the WTR 1000, Abogados & Notaría Ulises Cabrera’s Magdalena Almonte is “an impressive leader” and popular choice for international firms. One global referee comments: “She is the best legal partner I have in the Central American and Caribbean region – I can assure you she has a brilliant future in intellectual property.” Also warmly endorsed by local and overseas counsel, Tania Castillo doubles up as Castillo & Castillo’s managing partner and IP department head, leading by example with her clear advice and shrewd portfolio management. Having recently rejoined Felix & Co, Maria Felix Troncoso “is well regarded for her academic work and experience in trademark litigation”, dividing her time between court, IP seminars and publications. Bufete Lugo Lovaton’s Zaida Lugo “is well versed in IP matters and has vast experience in strategy creation, enforcement and litigation”. At the newly formed IP boutique Pellerano & Messina, Ana Isabel Messina is a top-notch, highly respected attorney with 35 plus years’ experience in the field. Running the IP practice at Jorge Mera & Villegas, Patricia Villegas de Jorge and Carmen Prieto Villegas are both well regarded in local circles, writing and lecturing extensively on intellectual property.
- Jaime R Angeles - Angeles Pons
- María del Pilar Troncoso - Troncoso Leroux
- Maria J Felix Troncoso - Felix & Co
- Mary Fernández Rodríguez - Headrick Rizik Alvarez & Fernandez
- Zaida E Lugo - Bufete Lugo Lovaton
- Urko Ochoa - MINIÑO Abogados
- Wallis Pons - Angeles Pons
- Lilly Acevedo Gómez - Headrick Rizik Alvarez & Fernandez
- Orietta Blanco - MINIÑO Abogados
- Tania Castillo - Castillo & Castillo
- Ana Isabel Messina - Pellerano & Messina
- Sharin Pablo De Roca - JJ Roca & Asociados
- Alejandra Valdez - Valdez Albizu
- Magdalena Almonte - Abogados & Notaría Ulises Cabrera
- Ana Paula Campusano - JJ Roca & Asociados
- Pamela Hernandez - MINIÑO Abogados
- Arlene Herrera - MINIÑO Abogados
- Carmen Prieto Villegas - Jorge Mera & Villegas
- Patricia Villegas de Jorge - Jorge Mera & Villegas