Estonia

One of the most innovative nations in Europe, Estonia consistently strives to provide a positive and stimulating environment for rights holders. The Tax and Customs Board is playing a more vigilant role in tackling counterfeits, and a recent court decision in favour of Daimler outlines how companies can protect their rights by seeking its help. Practitioners have also noted an uptick in local entities registering ‘audio logos’ and taking advantage of the ability to protect sound marks. This has been made possible by the elimination of the graphical representation requirement by the transposition of the EU Trademark Directive into national law in April 2019.

Firms: enforcement and litigation

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

Firms: prosecution and strategy

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

AAA Legal Services

AAA Law has generated a real buzz through its merger with one of Estonia’s most renowned trademark agencies, LASVET. The move has significantly expanded its offering and strengthened its market position on both the contentious and non-contentious fronts. In Almar Sehver, the group has a “superb leader and one of the best professionals in the country. He can be counted on to deal with complex disputes – for example, in the pharmaceutical industry – with great skill and efficiency”. Versatile litigators Mikas Miniotas and Ingrid Matsina also draw praise – the former as a “swift and successful handler of infringement and customs proceedings”, and the latter as a “helpful and responsive attorney who excels at explaining procedural intricacies”. Both have held esteemed positions: Miniotas as a lawyer to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania and Matsina as deputy head of the trademark department at the Estonian Patent Office. Coming from the LASVET side, Villu Pavelts is a “prominent expert on strategy and highly reputed agent” with more than four decades of experience.

COBALT Legal

With outposts across the Baltic states and in Belarus, full-service COBALT Legal has rich resources for its dedicated IP division to draw on. The team, comprising trademark attorneys and lawyers, dispatches the full range of brand protection instructions on behalf of household names such as The Absolut Company and Starbucks. Recently joining forces to successfully represent the latter at the county court and the Court of Appeal were Viive Kaur and Liina Jents. “A real fighter in court, Viive is smart and tough, but someone you can have reasonable and productive discussions with. She is absolutely brilliant.” Fellow senior associate Jents has extensive knowledge of advertising law and pharmaceutical regulations, and provides well-rounded counsel in her capacity as a lawyer and agent.

Derling

Celebrating its fifth anniversary in 2021, Derling Primus is home to one of the most talented and seasoned trademark groups in the country. The unit secures crucial support in complex anti-counterfeiting scenarios and sensitive infringement disputes; its practitioners are also called on to advise on licensing and other transactional IP matters – something they do very effectively in close collaboration with their M&A colleagues. Taking the reins is Toomas Taube, whose blend of corporate and IP expertise ensures satisfying commercial outcomes for clients. He recently went out to bat for Hewlett Packard in connection with border enforcement measures and settled a multi-jurisdictional dispute for AS Liviko, one of the largest alcoholic beverage producers in the region. He and his team also partner up with some of the world’s leading trademark firms, such as Baker McKenzie and Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, when assistance is required in Estonia.

Ellex Raidla

“Exceptionally strong in intellectual property”, Ellex Raidla “operates at the highest level” and has become the go-to for even the most challenging of trademark problems. Recent highlights include representing Brave Capital against Arco Vara in one of the few domain name disputes that has gone all the way up to the Supreme Court. Acting for the investment company were practice head Ants Nõmper and “amazing professional” Mari Must. Nõmper thrives in cross-border contentions and has keen commercial IP instincts. Must litigates and prosecutes with aplomb and has several prominent local clients under her care, including Saku Läte and All Media Eesti – two of the country’s largest beverage and television companies respectively.

INTELS

Astutely leveraging on its regional presence, INTELS makes light work of enforcement and anti-counterfeiting tasks, but stands out in particular for its proficiency in prosecution for heavyweights such as Amazon.com and Sanofi. Making the firm a compelling destination for cast-iron brand protection, Riina Pärn is warmly endorsed: “She always reports with clarity on the developments of each case and provides suitable recommendations. Dedicated and prompt, she produces flawless prosecution and enforcement work.” One source enthuses: “If you asked me to choose the best trademark agent in the Baltics, my first pick would be Riina Pärn.”

Patendibüroo KÄOSAAR

KÄOSAAR has amassed deep experience and know-how since it emerged in 1992 as one of Estonia’s first IP boutiques. Its “highly responsive and efficient” agents and lawyers have occupied prominent positions in the trademark community and helped to shape the national IP regime, making them invaluable guides for brand owners. For prosecution tasks, Kalev Käosaar and Aivo Arula are the ones to call. Executive manager Käosaar trained at Danish and US patent agencies and has a vibrant international practice and an extensive network; while Arula has spent more than 20 years at the coalface and is something of a search guru. On the contentious front, Indrek Eelmets has played a crucial role in precedent-setting disputes. “A fantastic litigator with immense knowledge of the law”, he also specialises in domain name proceedings and sits as a panellist on the ‘.ee’ Domain Disputes Committee.

Patendibüroo TURVAJA OÜ

Prosecution powerhouse TURVAJA has everything it needs in its toolkit to protect trademarks to the fullest. Non-contentious matters are a forte, but the outfit also comes through on enforcement and licensing mandates. Instrumental to many of its successes are Olga Treufeldt and Urmas Kauler. Portfolio management ace Treufeldt stays abreast of all the latest legislative developments at a local and European level, dispensing cutting-edge advice that is always alive to business concerns. The versatile Kauler takes swift, decisive action and recently masterminded the complete rejection of a cancellation action filed against client Goodpoint Chemicals.

SORAINEN

Premier full-service firm SORAINEN has a wealth of selling points, including a fully integrated team operating from four offices across the Baltics; vast experience across the entire brand lifecycle; state-of-the-art systems and processes; and a prestigious international clientele. Its all-star trademark line-up comprises Carri Ginter, Kaupo Lepasepp, Mihkel Miidla, and Olivia Kranich. Consummate litigator Ginter leads the disputes and risk management practice; his trademark and EU law cases frequently break new ground. Lepasepp is best known for his competition law prowess, but has a solid foundation in technology and intellectual property. Resident data protection expert Miidla fuses his trademark knowledge with an understanding of new technologies and is a favourite among those seeking to launch innovative products and services in creative ways. For superior portfolio management, domain name services and life sciences expertise, Kranich is a discerning choice.

Other recommended experts

At PwL Legal, lawyer and technology maven Priit Lätt is not afraid to push the envelope, tackling novel issues arising at the intersection of intellectual property and information technology with brio.

Individuals: enforcement and litigation

  • Indrek Eelmets - Patendibüroo KÄOSAAR
  • Carri Ginter - SORAINEN
  • Viive Kaur - COBALT Legal
  • Priit Lätt - Advokaadibüroo PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal OÜ
  • Mari Must - Ellex Raidla
  • 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
  • Ingrid Matsina - AAA Legal Services
  • Mikas Miniotas - AAA Legal Services
  • Riina Pärn - INTELS

Individuals: prosecution and strategy

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