After a period of stability on the Guatemalan IP scene, 2020 saw a change in government and thus a change at the IP authorities. While the effects remain to be seen, there is an air of optimism for the future. Practitioners speak warmly of the receptive, open-minded approach of the new trademark office director: the hope is that this will result in improved office efficiency and modernisation, with a push for an online filing system a top priority.
- Consortium Legal
- Palomo Abogados
- Viteri & Viteri
- Central Law
- Mayora & Mayora
- Palacios & Asociados/Sercomi
- AD Sosa & Soto
- Bermejo & Bermejo
- Bufelco Bufete
- Carrillo & Asociados
- QIL + 4 Abogados
AD Sosa & Soto
The IP team at innovation-centric AD Sosa & Soto leverages on the expertise of the firm’s litigation, corporate and transactional units to ensure that every brand and trademark question receives a big-picture, business-guided response. IP, corporate and technology maven Juan Sebastián Soto keeps everything running smoothly. The department head and founding partner never misses a detail when procuring and maintaining brand rights, and has put the firm in the international spotlight in his role as president of the Guatemalan chapter of the International Chamber of Commerce Commission on Intellectual Property.
Adopting an integrated approach to practice across six jurisdictions, Arias “stays attuned to the latest regional trends and legal regulations”, and maintains powerful brand identities and solid market positions for clients across Central America. Keeping the firm in a healthy groove in Guatemala is esteemed IP director Ivón Hernández, “a respected, smart and committed professional”. “Demonstrating strong ethical values and deep market knowledge, she gives clear-cut advice in complex contentious cases and produces great results.” Hernández is also “constantly active in associations and works hard towards the betterment of the country’s legislation”.
Bermejo & Bermejo
WTR 1000 debutant Bermejo & Bermejo partners closely with clients to enhance its customised counsel and service efficiency. The team excels at designing far-sighted prosecution and brand strategies, thanks to a refined understanding of litigation risk; as a result, the number and size of portfolios under its care have increased consistently throughout its 10-year history. Proficiency in trademark protection across Latin America is another selling point and one which foreign associates find particularly appealing. Leading a tight-knit team is Luis Fernando Bermejo, “a very smart lawyer whose tireless work ethic achieves favourable results in complicated disputes and transactions”. He safeguards brands in Guatemala’s key sectors, including agrochemical and pharmaceuticals, while also showcasing broad industry insight.
Highly regarded for the breadth and depth of its IP expertise, BLP is an assured choice for blue-chip brands seeking robust brand protection throughout Central and Latin America. Steering the ship in Guatemala are Luis Ruiz and Pamela López. Local founding partner Ruiz brings abundant business, IP and litigation know-how to the table and keeps patrons satisfied with poised performances in portfolio management and dispute settings. Sources call him “extremely reliable and one of the best practitioners in the region”. López directs the IP division and is considered one of the market’s rising stars. Making her WTR 1000 debut this year, she handles technically intricate trademark briefs with aplomb.
When it comes to complex litigation and anti-counterfeiting, Bufelco Bufete carries the day thanks to its deep IP specialisation and experience. Consistently scoring court wins for prestigious clients such as Unilever, Google, Walmart, Abbott Laboratories and GlaxoSmithKline, the set knows what levers to pull to sway decision makers. Managing partner Guillermo López Davis is often the difference maker. He has lately come up trumps for Victoria’s Secret in nullity actions and anti-counterfeiting proceedings, and prevailed for HSBC at the Administrative Court.
Carrillo & Asociados
Since 1947, general practice firm Carrillo & Asociados has stayed true to its client-centric values. Its IP unit is a beacon of this approach and speaks the language of rights holders, ensuring that all risk and cost analyses are mutually agreed on before taking courses of action –whether enforcing, defending or monetising assets. Potential suitors should first turn to department head Analucía Carrillo.
With offices dotted around Central America, the full-service Central Law is a superb one-stop shop for brand owners with regional needs. Capitalising on the firm’s extensive network, the collaborative team in Guatemala provides effective strategic solutions for expansive portfolios with great efficiency, saving clients time, money and stress. Recent growth has been focused on its anti-counterfeiting practice, as multinationals including safety science company UL engage it to coordinate important raids. Taking the reins is Gustavo Noyola, “a great leader who is dedicated, specialised and assertive when making crucial decisions. Well versed in all aspects of intellectual property, he works quickly while remaining attentive to detail”.
Consortium Legal is a beacon for superior trademark management and prosecution across Central America. Its various branches dovetail neatly together to help clients navigate trademark rules and regulations at both a domestic and international level, while also delivering vital strategic brand advice. Under the wing of gold-rated Ninoshka Urrutia, the Guatemalan team stands out for “establishing productive IP dialogues with Europe”. “Urrutia benefits from far-reaching market visibility and has driven Consortium’s growth. She is fully devoted to her clients and deserves her recognition.”
Dentons Muñoz has the complete toolkit to secure cast-iron trademark protection for rights holders across Central and Latin America, and is a preferred choice for foreign law firms, international brand owners and domestic companies with ambitions of expansion. Silky-smooth communication both between its various regional offices and with clients translates into cogent, coherent advice and a seamless service. With Gabriela Gandara at the helm, the local IP team has lately been taking on new recruits, giving it extra bite on the contentious side; also worth noting is the superb quality of its prosecution offering. Gandara’s stint as a former legal adviser to Guatemala’s IP registry gives her an insider’s advantage in prosecution. The dynamic and respected professional is a magnet for clients from across the Americas.
A go-to for companies in the IT, high-technology and financial sectors, Legalsa’s versatile, lightning-fast trademark team handles instructions with minimum fuss and maximum impact. Drawing strength from the firm’s disputes and other practice groups, it performs well on complex litigation and transactional matters, while also seeing to the smart and swift handling of registrations. Well equipped to meet the demands of famous names such as Samsung Electronics, PayPal, Total and H&M, the ensemble is also a popular choice for entrepreneurs and start-ups, to which it provides essential training and mentoring. Keeping things firing on all cylinders is popular department head Karina Calderón. “Distinguished and experienced, she possesses some of the deepest IP knowledge in the country. Simply seeing how she operates is enriching – she is someone young lawyers should aspire to be like.”
Mayora & Mayora
Well-reputed firm Mayora & Mayora makes light work of the administration of large trademark portfolios, thanks to its astute use of proven IP management systems and seasoned, highly trained staff. The set also has a keen facility for litigation and excels in technically challenging disputes requiring shrewd tactics, a hawkish eye for detail and courage in breaking new ground. On the frontlines of numerous noteworthy cases is venerable legal professional Eduardo Alvarado Mayora. Colleague Santiago Mayora brings great energy to the practice; the IP doyen is extremely well organised and never less than fully dedicated to clients.
Palacios & Asociados/Sercomi
Relative newcomer Palacios & Asociados/Sercomi has quickly established itself as a safe pair of hands in Guatemala for IP infringement and unfair competition matters. The efforts of founding partner Marco Antonio Palacios and IP team captain Hilda Monterroso have been fundamental to its success. Palacios is a committed and respected professional who is regarded as a reference in the field; while Monterroso previously served as a technical officer in the IP registry and has an insider’s view of its workings.
“Efficient, thorough and cost effective” is the verdict on Palomo Abogados. The firm has helped to advance the development of the Guatemalan IP scene and has been selected to provide training to the Secretariat of Central American Integration on the subject. It is also the country’s exclusive partner to anti-counterfeiting organisation REACT, through which it protects the rights of many global titans, including Apple, FIFA, Philips and Samsung. Department co-leads Sandra Iriarte and Héctor Palomo form the backbone of the practice. Iriarte takes a “detail-oriented and pragmatic approach” to portfolio management and is an influential voice on the market who served as a consultant to the European Union on the Free Trade Agreement with Central America. On the contentious front, Palomo’s resonant arguments in court secure favourable results for Starbucks and others.
QIL + 4 Abogados
Making its WTR 1000 debut this year, QIL + 4 Abogados is enthusiastically endorsed as “one of the top law firms in Guatemala and in Central America”. “It can be relied on for high-quality work and an excellent service in a number of areas of legal practice.” Specifically in intellectual property, it works “pragmatically and efficiently” and “has innovative ideas on IP approaches”. The diverse legal expertise of department head Alejandro del Valle promotes holistic thinking around brands, giving clients instant access to 360-degree solutions encompassing not just trademarks, but also trade secrets, data privacy and much more.
Viteri & Viteri
“Viteri & Viteri is one of the market’s premier firms, and in Ernesto Jose Viteri Echeverria it has its most respected practitioner. With over 50 years of experience, he is a true trailblazer.” The boutique has a rich IP tradition and deep subject-matter knowledge, which it deploys to “produce exceptional client outcomes”. Another “wonderful lawyer” on deck is Ernesto Jose Viteri Arriola; the widely endorsed practitioner deftly manages, protects and enforces intangible assets with verve.
Other recommended expertsA new name in the WTR 1000, “highly professional” Carina Fernandez “looks after significant brands” and acquits herself with distinction across the trademark lifecycle. She serves as managing partner of IP boutique Fernandez & Fernandez. At Marroquin Perez & Asociados, founding partner María Mercedes Marroquín de Pemueller blends insight into corporate and procedural law with IP know-how to dispense thorough, well-rounded advice. “Knowledgeable and experienced, Cristina Umaña brings a lot to the table as both a practitioner and educator.” The Umaña & Asociados IP head doubles up as a professor at Universidad Francisco Marroquín.
- Karina Calderón - Legalsa
- Ivón Hernández - Arias
- Sandra Iriarte - Palomo Abogados
- Marco Antonio Palacios - Palacios & Asociados/Sercomi
- Héctor Palomo - Palomo Abogados
- Ninoshka Urrutia - Consortium Legal
- Eduardo Alvarado Mayora - Mayora & Mayora
- Luis Fernando Bermejo - Bermejo & Bermejo
- Guillermo López Davis - Bufelco Bufete
- María Mercedes Marroquín de Pemueller - Marroquin Perez & Asociados
- Carina Fernandez - Fernandez & Fernandez
- Gabriela Gandara - Dentons
- Pamela López - BLP
- Santiago Mayora - Mayora & Mayora
- Hilda Monterroso - Palacios & Asociados/Sercomi
- Gustavo Noyola - Central Law
- Luis F Ruiz - BLP
- Juan Sebastián Soto L - AD Sosa & Soto
- Cristina Umaña - Umana & Asociados
- Ernesto Jose Viteri Arriola - Viteri & Viteri