Weak enforcement is a concern for brand owners protecting their rights in Ecuador – the country is on the US Trade Representative’s 2018 Watch List. However, 2018 also saw a major anti-counterfeiting success in the country; following an injunction request made by Crocs against the infringement of its registered three-dimensional trademarks, the Ecuadorian IP office conducted simultaneous raids in multiple locations across three cities and seized more than 37,000 items – the largest ever haul of counterfeit goods in the country. The success of this operation has inspired confidence among IP market stakeholders that the Ecuadorian authorities will step up their enforcement efforts.
- Bustamante & Bustamante
- Falconi Puig Abogados
- Pérez Bustamante y Ponce Abogados
- Arosemena Burbano & Asociados (AB&A)
- Bermeo & Bermeo Law Firm
- Fabara & Compañía Abogados
- Julio C Guerrero B
- Quevedo & Ponce
- Romero Corral Abogados
Arosemena Burbano & Asociados (AB&A)
While cost savings may be had by hiring attorneys outside of Quito, clients find that they don’t always get the quality they are looking for. However, Arosemena Burbano & Asociados is a fantastic option that just happens to be based in Guayaquil. In recognition of its market-leading position in the country’s economic capital, the set entered the WTR 1000 listings for the first time this year. Fronted by Flavio Arosemena Burbano, Arosemena Burbano & Asociados acts for an eclectic mix of clients, including some prominent universities in Ecuador, professional football teams, domestic innovators and well-known international brands. An experienced four-strong team is on hand to tackle any trademark problems and work assiduously to promote intellectual property on the domestic scene.
Bermeo & Bermeo Law Firm
For pan-Latin American trademark expertise look no further than Bermeo & Bermeo. This IP and corporate boutique alleviates the headaches of brand owners who attempt to coordinate multiple representatives themselves, taking care of everything seamlessly through its own network. Domestically, Bermeo & Bermeo files with rare efficiency, deploying advanced docketing and file management technology. The engine of the prosecution and portfolio management practice is Rodrigo Bermeo-Andrade, a creative and dynamic partner who handles disputes with poise. Overseeing the IP practice, senior partner Rodrigo Bermeo Rosales has proven himself to be a steady anchor in benchmark IP litigations. More than 30 years of experience gives authority to his strategic and commercial advice.
Bustamante & Bustamante
Heavyweight full-service player Bustamante & Bustamante “has always been one of Ecuador’s top IP firms and a leader on trademarks”. A guardian of many household-name international brands, the team keeps its nose to the grindstone to identify and execute commercially expedient solutions to trademark, IP and other legal problems. A partner with Bustamante & Bustamante for more than three decades, Carmen Robayo de Hidalgo is synonymous with excellence in IP and IT law. A former administrative litigation judge, she knows how to play things if they reach court, but also finds alternative paths to a favourable outcome with the sort of wisdom born only of experience.
Distinguished by its blend of IP and regulatory expertise, CorralRosales is highly equipped at getting clients’ products to market – and keeping them there in a prominent position. By investing in technology to harvest data and then analysing it in clever ways, the team – which maintains the only patent and design trademark database in Ecuador – makes every effort count in touch-and-go prosecutions. UK chartered trademark attorney Ian Wall is an ace when it comes to administrative actions before the Ecuadorian IP Office and oversees much of the set’s trademark protection activities. The group also litigates and enforces marks with confidence, as a fantastic recent result for Crocs shows – a multifaceted team obtained injunction measures for the footwear maker and organised one of the country’s largest ever anti-counterfeiting raids in which more than 37,000 items were seized by a team of 16 public officers. The masterminds behind this were Maria Cecilia Romoleroux and Eduardo Rios. A “reference in Ecuadorian intellectual property”, INTA board member Romoleroux is also a towering figure in regional and international IP circles. Rios leads the anti-counterfeiting practice. Expertise in transactional intellectual property is yet another string to the firm’s bow, and it is a practice area which is growing now that Francisco Gallegos is fully in the fold (he merged his firm Estudio Juridico Gallegos with CorralRosales in 2017). Intimately knowledgeable about the life sciences and technology sectors, Gallegos is a favourite of European, Japanese and US clients, looking to safeguard their intellectual property and capitalise on it in business.
Fabara & Compañía Abogados
Fabara & Compañía’s recipe for success is simple – rapid response, personal attention and to-the-point, clear advice. Focused on intellectual property but experienced in adjacent areas and general commercial law, Fabara & Compañía is a one-stop shop. Founding partner Maria Rosa Fabara Vera has abundant experience in trademark and unfair competition law.
Falconi Puig Abogados
“Falconi Puig is the firm you always want to hire – it has a reliable, responsive and well-connected team and excellent quality-control processes.” It knows the lay of the trademark land throughout Latin America and it never lets up in its quest for business-tangible results; such dedication resonates with major Ecuadorian companies and blue-chip international brand owners. Garnering warm recommendations from far and wide, Sasha Mandakovic is a repository of trust for many: “Sasha is one of the best IP lawyers in the country. He’s creative and has outstanding negotiation skills enabling him to find solutions to problems without recourse to costly proceedings.” Mandakovic is a litigation and transactions supremo, as is all-round IP connoisseur Carlos Alberto Arroyo del Rio, the firm’s manager. Their partner Cecilia Falconi calls upon a wealth of prosecution experience when dispensing strategic advice. She enforces IP rights with dexterity, acting for prestigious brands such as Christian Louboutin: “Nothing is ever a lost cause for Cecilia – she’s a top expert who acts fast.” They are all supported by stellar associates such as Jaime Mantilla, an “excellent professional who is always looking for the best solutions for his clients”.
Julio C Guerrero B
The original Ecuadorian IP player, Julio C Guerrero B will be celebrating its centenary in 2019. The anniversary comes at an exciting time as the firm continues to make headway in IP-adjacent areas, including unfair competition and regulatory law. It remains a stalwart IP protector and manages and develops major portfolios with precision on behalf of numerous multinationals, including Unilever, Abbott, Sony and General Motors. The graphic and logo database it has developed enables these clients and many more to make informed decisions about the direction in which to take their brands. Should any disputes arise along the way, the set is equipped to put them to bed swiftly and decisively thanks to a highly organised litigation department helmed by Johana Aguirre Guerrero.
Pérez Bustamante y Ponce Abogados
In recognition of the dynamism of its trademark practice and in response to favourable reviews of its recent performance, Pérez Bustamante y Ponce moves into the WTR 1000 gold tier this year: “The firm is reliable, prompt, flexible and cost-effective. Its legal strategies are well-thought out and adjusted to the business realities facing clients.” The IP team thinks about brands holistically – one of the benefits of being positioned in a well-integrated full-service outfit – and offers watertight advice on all aspects of prosecution and litigation. Big in fashion and luxury brands – representing the likes of Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton Malletier – the group also possesses fine-grained life sciences, automotive and transport and consumer goods industry knowledge, making its counsel commercially expedient. Francisco Pérez-Gangotena coordinates the department and is a leading light in copyright law and trademarks. He has done much to advance the state of the art in intellectual property in Ecuador through his extra-curricular association and committee work and the cases that he has handled and won. A tenacious fighter against fakers and forgers, Luis Marin-Tobar has made Pérez Bustamante y Ponce an anti-counterfeiting destination.
Quevedo & Ponce
“Quevedo & Ponce has always had a strong IP litigation practice – its lawyers prepare themselves thoroughly for any court proceedings and have an encyclopaedic knowledge of procedural rules.” Alejandro Ponce Martínez has litigated IP and other cases for decades and is as experienced as they come. If the stakes are high, the subject matter of the case particularly complex or the law uncertain, Martínez is the one to call. The firm has a rich IP tradition and works efficiently on non-contentious matters, straightening out and enhancing trademark portfolios.
Romero Corral Abogados
A small competition and IP-focused boutique, Romero Corral guarantees a flexible service and personal attention to each client. Forming a tailor-made strike force for prestigious brand owners, partners Margarita Romero Rosales and Alfredo Corral Ponce transmit their passion for the law and their clients to everything they touch. Romero Rosales is a rigorous portfolio manager and sought-after expert on consumer protection issues, advertising, franchising, e-commerce and regulatory law. A former president of the Ecuadorian Institute of Intellectual Property and experienced negotiator of free trade agreements, Corral Ponce has a striking résumé and is an authority on competition law.
Other recommended expertsFormer Julio C Guerrero B professional Jorge Luis Carrión Vizcarra now runs his own independent practice. Having coordinated the Ecuadorian IP office’s oppositions division, he has an intimate knowledge of the organisation which he leverages to get his clients’ rights on the register with the minimum of fuss.
- Carlos Alberto Arroyo del Rio - Falconi Puig Abogados
- Maria Rosa Fabara Vera - Fabara & Compañía Abogados
- Cecilia Falconi - Falconi Puig Abogados
- Sasha Mandakovic - Falconi Puig Abogados
- Francisco Pérez-Gangotena - Pérez Bustamante y Ponce Abogados
- Maria Cecilia Romoleroux - CorralRosales
- Johana Aguirre Guerrero - Julio C Guerrero B
- Flavio Arosemena Burbano - Arosemena Burbano & Asociados (AB&A)
- Rodrigo Bermeo Rosales - Bermeo & Bermeo Law Firm
- Rodrigo Bermeo-Andrade - Bermeo & Bermeo Law Firm
- Jorge Luis Carrión Vizcarra - Jorge Luis Carrión Vizcarra
- Alfredo Corral Ponce - Romero Corral Abogados
- Francisco Gallegos R - Estudio Juridico Gallegos
- Luis Marin-Tobar - Pérez Bustamante y Ponce Abogados
- Alejandro Ponce Martínez - Quevedo & Ponce
- Eduardo Rios - CorralRosales
- Carmen Robayo de Hidalgo - Bustamante & Bustamante
- Margarita Romero Rosales - Romero Corral Abogados
- Ian Wall - CorralRosales