Ecuador

Ecuador is a difficult market from a brand protection perspective, particularly for major multinational rights holders. For example, bad-faith actors have capitalised on the first-to-file system and a prevailing tendency to presume the validity of registered trademarks; while recognition of well-known status is hard to come by for marks that are not used in the country. These problems remain – as do others, such as a lack of investment in the National Service of IP Rights in Ecuador; but there are signs of improvement, and of an increased appetite for strengthening the protection afforded to prestigious companies.

Firms

  • Bustamante & Bustamante
  • CorralRosales
  • Falconi Puig Abogados
  • Pérez Bustamante & Ponce
  • Arosemena Burbano & Asociados (AB&A)
  • Fabara & Compañía Abogados
  • Julio C Guerrero B
  • Romero Corral Abogados
  • Bermeo & Bermeo Law Firm
  • Ferrere
  • Lexvalor Abogados
  • PlusLaw IP
  • Quevedo & Ponce
  • Solines & Asociados
  • Tobar ZVS Spingarn

Arosemena Burbano & Asociados (AB&A)

The first IP boutique to be established in Ecuador’s economic centre, Guayaquil, Arosemena Burbano & Asociados is a convenient choice for non-Quito-based rights holders. Its cutting-edge brand auditing and monitoring offering is a major draw, as it facilitates strategic decision making around trademark and business matters. Bringing valuable US experience to the table, Flavio Arosemena Burbano oversees all IP operations with a laser focus on quality and efficiency.

Bermeo & Bermeo Law Firm

The lean and agile team at Bermeo & Bermeo continues to punch above its weight in the Ecuadorian IP market. Its advanced file management and docketing system makes for a highly efficient prosecution and brand protection service; persuasive performances in the courts and on the enforcement frontlines also make this a well-rounded package. The engines of the practice are Rodrigo Bermeo-Andrade and Rodrigo Bermeo Rosales; the former is particularly skilled at domestic and Latin American prosecution and portfolio development, while the latter is a 30-year veteran with a stellar record in complex IP litigation.

Bustamante & Bustamante

Full-service powerhouse Bustamante & Bustamante is hailed throughout Latin America for its “ability to take complex instructions, but deliver simple solutions”. A standard-setter in this regard, the IP team is comprised of dedicated, highly specialised professionals who keep their finger on the pulse of market developments and provide pragmatic, forward-thinking advice. Seasoned partner Carmen Robayo de Hidalgo is the marquee name. Thanks to her vast judicial insight, clients benefit from measured and convincing lines of argument in IP disputes.

CorralRosales

“A go-to in Ecuador and the wider region, CorralRosales provides meticulous, creative support in all trademark matters.” The many household-name brands that seek it out for essential support bear testament to the quality on offer, the Coca-Cola Company, Nestlé and Novartis among them. Complex litigation is a forte for the IP group – the largest in the country – which is constantly adding to its roster of impressive wins. Francisco Gallegos and Maria Cecilia Romoleroux provide assured leadership. Gallegos “sets the proactive tone of the team by providing an immediate and precise service”. Considered by many to be “the best IP attorney in Ecuador”, Romoleroux is “relentless in maintaining exceptional team standards across the board”: “Maria is strategic and practical in the pursuit of trademark protection.” There are plenty of other names to note, including litigation sharp-shooter Eduardo Rios and former Ecuadorian IP office director of oppositions Katherine González. Their proficiency is reflected in crucial results achieved for Crocs, for which they have protected a three-dimensional trademark and coordinated significant counterfeit goods seizures. As a UK-qualified trademark attorney, Ian Wall provides a fresh perspective and is fundamental to maintaining productive international relationships. He is particularly adept at administrative litigation and is well respected as a strategist.

Fabara & Compañía Abogados

A full-service firm committed to outstanding client care, Fabara & Compañía is a trusted option in Ecuador for a diverse range of rights holders and foreign associates. Practitioners across its two offices collectively demonstrate abundant expertise on all aspects of trademark protection, management, enforcement and commercialisation. Drawing on a wealth of wider resources, its accomplished IP team efficiently handles routine and complex matters. Over many years, Maria Rosa Fabara Vera has proved herself a wholly reliable and well-informed counsel. She is a distinguished figure not only in intellectual property, but in unfair competition and business, too: she serves as a board member of several private companies.

Falconi Puig Abogados

Always up to date on the latest domestic and regional market trends, Falconi Puig provides meaningful, joined-up guidance encompassing all aspects of intellectual property. Performing well in the WTR 1000, the firm has a trio of gold-tier professionals in Carlos Alberto Arroyo del Rio, Sasha Mandakovic and Cecilia Falconi. The exemplary negotiation skills of managing partner Arroyo Del Rio have been put to the test in many must-win disputes. He has recovered numerous famous trademarks for their rightful owners following unlawful registrations in Ecuador. Mandakovic – who is dual qualified in Ecuador and New York – plays the role of trusted adviser perfectly, dispensing wise counsel informed by high-level IP management, licensing and litigation experience. On the portfolio management front, it is hard to find a better expert than Falconi – a versatile lawyer with deep trademark and copyright expertise.

Ferrere

Ferrere has multiple Ecuadorian offices and maintains a presence in Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia, making it a convenient point of contact for brand owners in need of regional assistance. The sophisticated, well-resourced commercial outfit is applauded for its capabilities in complex, high-profile litigation and enforcement; it handles a significant portion of the trademark cases heard in Ecuador and has refined its contentious skills to a razor-sharp point. Pedro Cordova presides over the local IP group. Well versed in all aspects of trademark law and practice, he receives plaudits for his “diligent, responsive and professional approach”. His contributions to wider domestic and international IP life are also worth noting.

Julio C Guerrero B

The original Ecuadorian IP boutique, Julio C Guerrero B has a rich tradition of building well-formed brand portfolios and delivering effective representation in infringement scenarios. Over a century after its formation, it continues to burnish its reputation thanks to astute hires, promotions and the ascent of Johana Aguirre Guerrero and Omar Alban Cornejo to authoritative positions in the IP community. Coming in for particular praise, “Johana provides practical and risk-aware advice, both in portfolio management and enforcement”. She has added headline-grabbing wins to her CV, including for A-list companies such as Abbott Laboratories. IP department head Cornejo joins Guerrero in the WTR 1000 rankings for the first time this year. He has prosecution on lock and also brings keen transactional IP expertise to the mix.

Lexvalor Abogados

Young, fresh and dynamic outfit Lexvalor Abogados understands clients’ business models and provides innovative, cost-efficient branding solutions that align well with commercial requirements. Particularly popular with Ecuadorian brand owners, it deftly manages portfolios domestically and regionally, while enforcing rights with purpose. Recent developments include the addition of Luis Marin-Tobar to its panel of experts – a lawyer who has brought significant clients on board and significantly enhanced the firm’s profile. “His advice in registrations and oppositions is clear, concise and practical; and in disputes, he always brings about fast resolutions.” Hernán Ponce Aray is another key contact who “shows great energy and creativity when enforcing rights”. He is a specialist on pharmaceutical trademarks and takes care of all branding needs of long-term clients such as SAVAL Pharmaceuticals. He and Marin-Tobar have been quick to strike up a productive partnership, providing comprehensive regional support to Veto Global Sourcing and Alpina Food Products, among others.

Pérez Bustamante & Ponce

“The largest and most complete Ecuadorian firm both in general practice and in intellectual property”, Pérez Bustamante y Ponce does a brilliant job on the trademark protection front; Amazon, AB InBev and Jaguar Land Rover routinely direct trademark instructions its way as a result. The firm’s litigation capabilities are also impressive, as illustrated by recent favourable outcomes for premier brands such as Marriott, for which it has handled numerous oppositions. Never resting on its laurels, the firm continues to recruit new talent and develop new service offerings, including one aimed at entrepreneurs and start-ups designed to help support Ecuadorian innovation. Seasoned IP head Francisco Pérez-Gangotena has been fundamental in keeping the firm in the thick of the action. He is an authority on all branding issues and an essential ally for many famous names, including American Airlines and Ford Motor Company.

PlusLaw IP

Fast-rising boutique PlusLaw IP makes its WTR 1000 debut on the back of warm praise for its “diligent, responsive and efficient” trademark offering. Its distinguishing features include deep life sciences industry knowledge and portfolio auditing expertise; across the board, work and advice are packaged up neatly as comprehensive solutions. The entrepreneurially astute Daniela Moreira Sarmiento and Francisco Villacreses have been driving the practice forward. Founding partner Sarmiento is a “bright star from the new generation of Ecuadorian IP attorneys. She is diligent, responsible and wholeheartedly committed to the close monitoring and care of her clients”. Bringing over 20 years of experience to the table, Villacreses has a history of tending to important portfolios. He has been making great strides in expanding the firm’s international visibility, with considerable success.

Quevedo & Ponce

Although capable of providing crisp portfolio management services, it is in IP contentions where Quevedo & Ponce truly shines. The commercial boutique has a stacked line-up of litigation talent and is well-equipped to triumph in complex and business-sensitive scenarios – none less than Alejandro Ponce Martínez. The venerable leader has half a decade of trial experience under his belt and is one of the most well-respected courtroom advocates in Ecuador.

Romero Corral Abogados

Romero Corral Abogados is appreciated for its “flexible and bespoke counsel”. The lean IP and competition boutique is a discerning choice for commercially sensitive trademark guidance, which it provides on all manner of instructions, both contentious and non-contentious. Margarita Romero Rosales, who heads the practice, takes her work personally and goes above and beyond for those she represents. “Proactive and business minded, she approaches matters with diligence and passion, and stays consistently ahead of even the tightest deadlines.” A doyen of the competition law domain, Alfredo Corral Ponce has finely tuned negotiation skills, which he deploys both for clients and in the drafting of free trade agreements. Also deserving a shout-out is up-and-comer Samantha Maldonado, who recently took the reins of the legal and enforcement department.

Solines & Asociados

Solines adopts a sector-led approach to legal practice, giving clients the benefit of advice that goes directly to the heart of their business. Intellectual property is one of many areas in which the ensemble practises and one it takes seriously: its comprehensive menu of service options includes trademark registration and maintenance, franchising, infringement litigation and anti-counterfeiting. Pablo Solines Moreno anchors the IP practice and is perfectly suited as a counsellor to those in the media and entertainment, communications and high-technology spheres.

Tobar ZVS Spingarn

“Efficient, pragmatic and cost conscious”, the IP group at full-service Tobar ZVS Spingarn excels at designing anti-counterfeiting and IP enforcement strategies – and executing on them swiftly and decisively. The team is a leader when it comes to the use of border measures and, putting its deft coordination skills to good use, facilitates effective collaboration between the trademark office and Customs in order to bring about desired outcomes for clients. Taking charge is Alfonso Rivera, an astute portfolio manager and enforcer at the domestic and international levels who is appreciated as “highly proactive”, with a “contagious enthusiasm for his work”.

Other recommended experts

Maria de los Angeles Lombeyda Araujo is tipped as a “detail-oriented” professional with abundant experience in IP and competition law. She operates out of Lexim Abogados. “Hardworking, creative and wholly dedicated to the success of clients, Byron Robayo delivers on every trademark need and does so in a cost-effective manner.” The Paz Horowitz IP director is a smart selection for tricky prosecution problems and oppositions; highly engaged in Ecuador’s entrepreneurship scene, he is also great to call on for IP commercialisation matters.

Individuals

  • 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 & 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
  • Pedro Cordova - Ferrere
  • Alfredo Corral Ponce - Romero Corral Abogados
  • Francisco Gallegos R - CorralRosales
  • Maria de los Angeles Lombeyda Araujo - Lexim Abogados
  • Luis Marin-Tobar - Lexvalor Abogados
  • Pablo Solines Moreno - Solines & Asociados
  • Alejandro Ponce Martínez - Quevedo & Ponce
  • Eduardo Rios - CorralRosales
  • Alfonso Rivera - Tobar ZVS Spingarn
  • Carmen Robayo de Hidalgo - Bustamante & Bustamante
  • Margarita Romero Rosales - Romero Corral Abogados 
  • Daniela Moreira Sarmiento - PlusLaw IP
  • Byron Robayo - Paz Horowitz
  • Francisco Villacreses - PlusLaw IP