Greece enacted new legislation on 20 March 2020 which transposed the EU Trademark Directive into national law. Key changes include the removal of the graphical representation requirement, which opens the door to the registration of non-traditional marks; and the introduction of certification marks. On the contentious front, defendants can now claim non-genuine use as a defence in infringement proceedings and the minimum monetary penalty for non-compliance with a court decision has been increased from €10,000 to €100,000. Another amendment that has sparked much debate is the introduction of mediation in opposition, cancellation and invalidation proceedings. Most practitioners and brand owners have welcomed this, as it presents an opportunity to avoid lengthy proceedings and bring costs down.
- Ballas, Pelecanos & Associates LPC
- Dr Helen G Papaconstantinou and Partners Law Firm
- Drakopoulos Law Firm
- Prentoulis Gerakini Law Partnership
- Tsibanoulis & Partners Law Firm
- Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm
- Patrinos & Kilimiris
- Vayanos Kostopoulos
- Zepos & Yannopoulos
Ballas, Pelecanos & Associates LPC
“An ideal business partner, Ballas, Pelecanos & Associates has an eager, knowledgeable and resourceful team with global connections. Its support is reliable and invaluable for ambitious companies.” The full-service firm has practised trademark law since 1930 and acts for hundreds of domestic and international clients. Many of its relationships are long-standing ones: for example, it has prosecuted worldwide for Vamvalis Foods for 20 years and managed Beiersdorf’s Greek portfolio for 15. The set takes its cue from George Ballas, whose “commercial acumen and sophisticated work secure significant victories in litigation”; his “experience helps brands effectively design new additions to their portfolio, too”. Also recommended is WTR 1000 debutant George Moukas, who brings finely honed enforcement skills to the practice.
“A leading name on the market, Dr Helen G Papaconstantinou and Partners builds lasting relationships with patrons based on fruitful cooperation, mutual respect and trust. Its hardworking, responsive team focuses on creative problem solving achieved through intimate knowledge of clients’ business needs”. Managing partner Eva Yazitzoglou maintains international portfolios in tip-top shape and is a nimble mover in the courtroom. She contributes much to wider IP life, too; as does Miranda Theodoridou, who sits as a council member of the European Communities Trademark Association. Theodoridou immerses herself in the latest legal developments and is a confidante to several premier brands in the fashion industry, which value her poised performances before the higher administrative courts. For online enforcement matters and anti-counterfeiting, Fotini Kardiopoulis is the one to call: “When you look for external counsel, you need consistency, responsiveness as well as a great service, and Fotini delivers on all fronts.”
Drakopoulos Law Firm
Leveraging adroitly on its international presence, corporate law firm Drakopoulos provides 360-degree trademark protection across 11 jurisdictions in Southeast Europe through offices in Athens, Bucharest, Larnaca and Tirana. “In a league of its own when it comes to professionalism, legal knowledge and anti-counterfeiting expertise”, it serves as the official REACT representative for Albania, Cyprus and Greece, handling more than 300 customs cases and market actions per year. A driving force within the practice, Michalis Kosmopoulos is “one of the best lawyers in the country. Diligent and immensely knowledgeable, he can advise on different legislation around the world due to his extensive experience counselling international businesses. A remarkable litigator with an outstanding track record, he provides high-quality services and is a pleasure to collaborate with”. Kosmopoulos is a repository of trust for prestigious names such as Apple, Bulgari, Hyundai and Sony, to name just a few. The outfit also excels in prosecution, with special credit going to Panagiotis Drakopoulos: “He has a fantastic network of associates around the world and follows the most efficient and effective paths to trademark registrations globally. He advises perfectly on portfolio strategies and franchise matters, too.”
Kyriakides Georgopoulos Law Firm
Kyriakides Georgopolous partners closely with brand owners, putting at their disposal an accomplished trademark team with a big-picture view of the trademark lifecycle. Rather than just filing robotically under instruction, the professionals here dream up strategies to advance clients’ business objectives from the early stages of brand ideation all the way through to enforcement. The group has rich industry insight in the life sciences, entertainment and food sectors; and has forged strong ties with Greek authorities, external agencies and other stakeholders that help local companies to cement their presence domestically and further afield. Leading by example, Irene Kyriakides artfully crosses the contentious/non-contentious divide, but her dedication to quality and hawkish eye for detail are most apparent in her transactional work. Regulated industries are a forte. Recent recruit Maria Spanou has a thriving pharmaceutical patent practice, but can also unpick any branding challenge going. She has an inquisitive mind and an unerring ability to think outside the box.
Patrinos & Kilimiris
“One of the most dynamic firms in Greece, Patrinos & Kilimiris has a highly experienced, well-organised and client-focused trademark team. Its practitioners shine on complex disputes and show a high degree of specialisation in parallel import and counterfeiting cases. They manage expectations superbly and are fully transparent on costs, which are always reasonable, resulting in 100% customer satisfaction.” On the prosecution front, Electra Kilimiris conducts clearances and drafts opinions for household names such as Bristol Myers Squibb, Gilead and Imperial Tobacco. “The clarity of her advice and speed of response are excellent, making her one of the best agents in the country.” Tackling infringements side by side are Maria Kilimiris and Manolis Metaxakis who have more than 50 years in the game between them. “They make difficult situations much easier to understand and easily bring matters to a successful close. They are also super-attentive.” They have recently handled infringement matters for Hyundai and Kia partner MOBIS Parts Europe and Tupperware.
Prentoulis Gerakini Law Partnership
The innovative approach adopted by one-stop shop Prentoulis Gerakini resonates with its dynamic clientele. Capitalising on a lean set-up to provide a personalised service, it ensures “quick responses, optimum commercial solutions and fantastic overall results”. Demonstrating a refined knowledge of a wide range of industries, the ensemble attracts instructions from marquee clients such as Philip Morris and BMW; the former enjoys the full range of portfolio support from head of regulatory and competition Nancy Gerakini and IP chair Nikos Prentoulis; whereas the latter benefits from their robust enforcement capabilities. Coming in for special praise, Prentoulis gives “timely, accurate and constructive advice that takes every legal and business strategy into consideration. Having Nikos on board is really valuable – he is a true expert in his field”. He recently represented Wagamama – a new name on the client roster – in a cybersquatting dispute.
Tsibanoulis & Partners Law Firm
Tsibanoulis & Partners is a prime destination for both foreign companies seeking protection in Greece and local entities keen to enhance their brands regionally. “The firm is really professional and always follows up with additional and relevant information regarding trends and developments. Its communication style is clear, as is its pricing plan.” The likes of Starbucks, Massimo Dutti and Airbnb appreciate its adept portfolio management and strategic guidance. Also on a roll in litigation, the group is representing organic wine producer Domaine Paterianakis in a significant case before the Supreme Court on the issue of trademark registration immunity; and advising AVIA International in a multi-jurisdictional dispute against a major Greek oil industry player. Department lead Marina Perraki elicits high praise from peers: “Reliable, experienced, incredibly insightful and intelligent, and an excellent communicator with great language skills, Marina is simply one of the country’s best IP experts. Everyone who instructs her receives clear-cut advice based on profound legal knowledge. Taking care of clients’ needs is her passion – she does it with the utmost skill and provides first-class treatment.”
Vayanos Kostopolous tirelessly follows emerging industry trends and has state-of-the-art solutions for any trademark or brand issue at the ready. The esteemed IP boutique provides seamless prosecution assistance and staunch representation in conflict scenarios. It also brings the heat in the fight against fakes and extracts maximum value from intangible assets through meticulously drafted contractual agreements in English, German and Greek. Under the care of Supreme Court-admitted litigator Nikolaos Lyberis, all work passes through rigorous quality control, ensuring a consistently top-notch service.
Zepos & Yannopoulos
Sterling commercial outfit Zepos & Yannopoulos is a discerning choice for transactional IP mandates, but also acquits itself with distinction in cases of infringement and counterfeiting. With 170 professionals on deck, including lawyers and economists, the firm operates flawlessly in all major industry sectors, showcasing a sophisticated understanding of the local business environment. Spearheading the dispute resolution practice, Nikos Christoforidis boasts unfair competition, commercial and IP expertise and dispenses well-rounded advice.
Other recommended expertsCC & Partners founder Christos Chrissanthis engages extensively in academic life in Greece and has lectured on commercial law at the University of Athens for years. For both an academic and business-focused approach to IP matters, he is a good person to call. At AVK Legal, “Alexandros Koliothomas is a valuable contact for technology and IP-related advice. He works quickly and effectively, all while keeping costs low.” Based at his eponymous boutique, tenacious enforcer Konstantinos Logaras implements swift and decisive anti-counterfeiting strategies for a major French luxury fashion company, among others. The perspicacious counsel of litigator Thanos Masoulas is informed by five-plus decades of experience. He practises at Thanos Masoulas & Partners. A new face in the WTR 1000 this year, Stefanos Tsimikalis of Tsimikalis Kalonarou maintains a broad trademark practice and “is a joy to work with”; the “collaborative and highly skilled lawyer brings high-level knowledge to the table”. At Voelkel Kataliakos Roussou, oppositions ace Anna Roussou is a frequent flyer before the EUIPO and WIPO; while colleague Henning Voelkel is in his element protecting rights from online infringement and doing battle in court.
- George A Ballas - Ballas, Pelecanos & Associates LPC
- Michalis Kosmopoulos - Drakopoulos Law Firm
- Marina A Perraki - Tsibanoulis & Partners Law Firm
- Nikos Prentoulis - Prentoulis Gerakini Law Partnership
- Christos Chrissanthis - Christos Chrissanthis & Partners
- Nikos J Christoforidis - Zepos & Yannopoulos
- Panagiotis Drakopoulos - Drakopoulos Law Firm
- Maria Kilimiris - Patrinos & Kilimiris
- Alexandros Koliothomas - AVK Legal
- Nikolaos Lyberis - Vayanos Kostopoulos
- Manolis Metaxakis - Patrinos & Kilimiris
- Nancy Gerakini - Prentoulis Gerakini Law Partnership
- Fotini Kardiopoulis - Dr Helen G Papaconstantinou and Partners Law Firm
- Electra Kilimiris - Patrinos & Kilimiris
- Irene C Kyriakides - KYRIAKIDES GEORGOPOULOS Law Firm
- Konstantinos Logaras - Logaras & Associates
- Thanos Masoulas - Law Firm Thanos Masoulas
- George Ch Moukas - Ballas, Pelecanos & Associates LPC
- Anna Roussou - Voelkel Kataliakos Roussou Law Office
- Maria Spanou - KYRIAKIDES GEORGOPOULOS Law Firm
- Miranda Theodoridou - Dr Helen G Papaconstantinou and Partners Law Firm
- Stefanos Tsimikalis - Tsimikalis Kalonarou
- Henning Voelkel - Voelkel Kataliakos Roussou Law Office
- Eva Yazitzoglou - Dr Helen G Papaconstantinou and Partners Law Firm