Estonia

The Estonian economy maintains its healthy status, with public spending and investment activity remaining high. Brand owners are becoming increasingly aware of the need to protect their assets, as evidenced in the uptick in filing activity and the growing workload of trademark practitioners. On the administrative front, the Estonian Patent Office (EPA) has launched a new online filing system and enhanced features for both its backoffice and front-end systems, allowing for a much smoother and efficient process. The change went live on 1 April 2019 – the same date that Estonia’s new trademark law entered into force. The new legislation implements the EU Trademark Directive, harmonises Estonia’s laws with those of other EU member states and ushers in a much more positive atmosphere.

Firms: enforcement and litigation

  • AAA Legal Services
  • Ellex Raidla
  • SORAINEN
  • COBALT Legal
  • Derling
  • INTELS
  • Patendibüroo KÄOSAAR

Firms: prosecution and strategy

  • LASVET Patendibüroo OÜ
  • Patendibüroo KÄOSAAR
  • SORAINEN
  • AAA Legal Services
  • Ellex Raidla
  • INTELS

AAA Legal Services

“A prominent name on the market, AAA Legal Services is recognised as the best in the business. Its prosecution and strategy work is strong but it dominates in enforcement.” The practice’s sterling reputation is due in no small part to “outstanding litigator” Almar Sehver. “His theoretical and practical knowledge is fantastic – he is the go-to practitioner for super technical and tricky matters. Almar never misses the mark and is creative in his approach; he knows exactly when to apply pressure and when to turn down the heat.” Lauded as a “top-notch and brilliant litigator”, Mikas Miniotas can expertly navigate his clients out of any sticky situation.

COBALT Legal

Full-service practice COBALT Legal serves up holistic trademark counsel to a diverse clientele. The pan-Baltic firm is also the exclusive Estonian member of Lex Mundi and the World Services Group, meaning that it is well equipped to handle international instructions with finesse – this was showcased in a recent mandate requiring the seamless handling of EU, US and Canadian trademark applications and strategies on behalf of an Estonian company. Leading light Viive Kaur has knife-like trademark and patent litigation skills, honed to a keen edge over two decades of practice. She is flanked by all-round practitioner and technology whizz Liina Jents, who comes armed with ancillary knowledge of advertising law and pharmaceutical regulations and provides a value-added service on all fronts.

Derling

Since its establishment in 2016, business law outfit Derling Primus has been making waves on the Estonian legal landscape and has quickly become a favourite among marquee clients and leading foreign counsel. The ensemble registers marks flawlessly, enforces them with panache and deploys robust licensing and transaction services through close collaboration with the M&A department. “Synonymous with quality, Toomas Taube is enthusiastically recommended for complicated matters.” The practice spearhead devises optimum multi-jurisdiction litigation strategies and sews up IP-rich deals for highflying companies such as Hewlett Packard, Sony and Vodafone.

Ellex Raidla

A comprehensive suite of services can be found at Ellex Raidla, where trademark attorneys and attorneys at law congregate under one roof to tackle branding conundrums from every angle. The set acts for top international brands and has played a hand in almost every landmark dispute and major transaction in the country. “Mari Must and Ants Nõmper are the stars of the show. Mari is incredibly efficient and superb for strategy work.” As a European trademark and design attorney and a member of the Bar, Must thinks holistically about brand protection and that ensures no stone is left unturned when protecting her clients. When it comes to bet-the-company litigation, Nõmper is a safe pair of hands. Quick on his feet, the IP and IT department head utilises his innovative thinking to secure wins in never-seen-before cases.

INTELS

Operating like a well-oiled machine, INTELS knows how to get rights on the register.  Although, the boutique firm is more than just a filing shop, its vast coverage across the Baltics and Commonwealth of Independent States allows for a sturdy enforcement and anticounterfeiting offering. Operating out of the Estonian outpost, “Riina Pärn is a reliable and successful resource for all prosecution work in the country. Diligent, bright and responsive, Riina keeps her clients informed and provides sound advice on a short turnaround.”

LASVET Patendibüroo OÜ

“LASVET is a well-established and strong player in the Estonian market.” It has honed its craft for almost three decades and drafts watertight trademark applications as a result. Leading the practice with verve is Estonian and European patent and trademark attorney Villu Pavelts. Highly regarded by peers and foreign associates, he is classed as “one of the best in the field. Reliable, knowledgeable and efficient, Villu works well on both a domestic and international level.”

Patendibüroo KÄOSAAR

“KÄOSAAR shines in prosecution and dazzles in disputes. Its services are highly recommended” – especially to those looking for detail-oriented and business savvy advice. Firm founder and IP veteran Jüri Käosaar is best known for his patent work, however, his trademark prowess is just as refined. Manager of the Tallinn office, Kalev Käosaar has the magic touch in trademark registration briefs. His former stints at the Danish and US patent agencies stand him in good stead when protecting brands locally and abroad. The outfit is also home to Aivo Arula, a trademark search expert with unrivalled experience. Arula has spent over 20 years conducting thousands of searches and perfecting his methods, resulting in commercially valuable and insightful reports. Over on the contentious side, Indrek Eelmets leads the charge. “A top litigator, his performance is exceptional and he is always a pleasure to work with or even against.” Eelmets also sits as a panellist on the ‘.ee’ domain disputes committee and has actively contributed to the drafting of its rules.

SORAINEN

Multidisciplinary firm SORAINEN runs the full gamut of IP services and keeps its eye on innovation at all times. It has recently started using AI for due diligence processes, utilising the Luminance platform and appear keen to continue pioneering other legal tech solutions. Carri Ginter, Kaupo Lepasepp, Mihkel Miidla and Olivia Kranich band together to dole out 360-degree brand protection to clients such as Google, NASCAR and Eesti 200, a newly established Estonian political party. Elite litigator Ginter has claimed victories in ground-breaking disputes; he performs extremely well under pressure and leaves his peers in awe. Lepasepp fuses his branding knowledge with his expertise in competition and regulatory issues; he is often sought out for his perceptive franchising advice. Miidla is the resident computer guru and go-to counsel on pre-launch strategies for innovative services and products. Kranich has granular understanding of the life sciences sector and is a dab hand at portfolio management. “Together, all of them know the answers to the most complicated questions and adapt quickly to new situations. It is a pleasure to work with them, their cooperation results in success and they never let clients down.”

Other recommended experts

Operating out of Patendibüroo TURVAJA Urmas Kauler drafts applications that he knows will fly with the examiners at the EPA. He currently serves as president of the Estonian national group of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property. Priit Lätt is no stranger to the issues that arise at the confluence of IP and IT law and has gained valuable expertise in cryptocurrencies, as well as the Internet of Things; he can be found heading up the IP, IT, tax and public procurement practices at PwC Legal. Also plying her trade out of Patendibüroo TURVAJA, Olga Treufeldt is a font of insight and analysis when it comes to prosecution and strategy.

Individuals: enforcement and litigation

  • Indrek Eelmets - Patendibüroo KÄOSAAR
  • Carri Ginter - SORAINEN
  • Viive Kaur - COBALT Legal
  • Priit Lätt - Advokaadibüroo PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal OÜ
  • Ants Nõmper - Ellex Raidla
  • Almar Sehver - AAA Legal Services
  • Toomas Taube - Derling
  • Liina Jents - COBALT Legal
  • Kalev Käosaar - Patendibüroo KÄOSAAR
  • Urmas Kauler - Patendibüroo TURVAJA OÜ
  • Mikas Miniotas - AAA Legal Services
  • Mari Must - Ellex Raidla
  • Riina Pärn - INTELS

Individuals: prosecution and strategy

  • Aivo Arula - Patendibüroo KÄOSAAR
  • Indrek Eelmets - Patendibüroo KÄOSAAR
  • Jüri Käosaar - Patendibüroo KÄOSAAR
  • Kalev Käosaar - Patendibüroo KÄOSAAR
  • Urmas Kauler - Patendibüroo TURVAJA OÜ
  • Olivia Kranich - SORAINEN
  • Kaupo Lepasepp - SORAINEN
  • Mihkel Miidla - SORAINEN
  • Mari Must - Ellex Raidla
  • Riina Pärn - INTELS
  • Villu Pavelts - LASVET Patendibüroo OÜ
  • Almar Sehver - AAA Legal Services
  • Olga Treufeldt - Patendibüroo TURVAJA OÜ