Latvia’s new Trademark Law came into force on 6 March 2020. The legislation transposes the EU Trademark Directive into national law and brings with it some additional changes too. One significant revision is that revocation and cancellation actions will now be heard by the Industrial Property Board of Appeal instead of the courts; the range of marks that can constitute trademarks has also been expanded and the registration of certification marks is not possible. Brand owners and practitioners have welcomed these new developments and look forward to seeing the results. Domain names are another hot topic: many professionals have expressed concern over the current dispute resolution method, which involves protracted court proceedings. There is hope for an amendment to the governing rules or perhaps a switch to WIPO’s dispute resolution services, which would provide a more streamlined, cost-effective solution to cybersquatting and similar online infringements.
- COBALT Legal
- Ellex Klavins
- Petersona Patents
- Agency Tria Robit
- FORAL Patent Law Office
Agency Tria Robit
“A mighty force in prosecution” and a prime pick when it comes to oppositions and enforcement, Latvia’s largest patent and trademark agency Tria Robit is commended for its “excellent Eastern European network, efficient organisation and quick invoicing”. Spearheading the practice is Bronislavs Baltrumovics, who receives effusive praise from all corners of the market: “Bronislavs works quickly and effectively in pressing cases with short deadlines and his ability to coordinate matters over several territories is an asset for large-scale global projects. His understanding of the law and his courtroom manner are also impeccable.” Lately, he has been assisting Apple and Fashion TV. A new face in the WTR 1000 this year, Inese Polaka “represents brand owners in opposition proceedings exquisitely. She is one of the smartest attorneys in town, with a perfect recollection of legal precedent and case law”. Leveraging three decades of experience, Polaka has been providing on-point counsel to Hyundai and Lukoil. The firm would not be where it is today without founding partner Vladimir Anohin, an authority on trademark law in the food and beverage space.
“A go-to for all types of trademark matters, COBALT works seamlessly across the Baltic states. The group provides solutions quickly and in an easily digestible manner, bills modestly and makes you feel protected.” Adept at handling the most sophisticated briefs, the full-service outfit recently went out to bat for MGI, a subsidiary of global genomics company BGI, in a novel multi-jurisdictional branding dispute in the field of DNA sequencing. Perfect in her execution, top litigator Līga Fjodorova never misses a detail: “Līga performs at the highest level and is someone you can trust completely to bring complex cases to a successful close.” Furthermore, “she replies promptly and is flexible in her approach”.
A member of Baltic network Ellex, Latvia’s Ellex Klavins provides a sterling regional trademark service. Since its establishment nearly 30 years ago, the firm has consistently made IP litigation headlines through a litany of impressive wins. It also provides sage advice on trademark protection strategy to some of the biggest brands from the United States in the food and drink and energy sectors, alongside many major European entities. Mārtiņš Gailis captains the ship and takes point on all contentious matters. “A brilliant lawyer with a professional and gentlemanly demeanour, Gailis consistently stays up to date on all legal developments and always serves clients’ best commercial interests.” He often pairs up with Edvijs Zandars, whose well-rounded practice encompasses competition and regulatory law; he shines particularly brightly in enforcement and licensing scenarios. The duo recently represented Amber Beverages Group as holder of the EUTM figurative mark ROOSTER ROJO in EUIPO opposition proceedings and handled oppositions for ExxonMobil.
FORAL Patent Law Office
IP specialist FORAL Patent Law Office is a premier destination for those looking to acquire, protect and enforce trademark rights. It is highly proficient at developing brand and IP strategies and executing them out across multiple jurisdictions, working collaboratively with foreign associates. Taking the reins is Jevgenijs Fortuna, an exceptionally capable professional with a high profile in the community: “Jevgenijs is vastly experienced in the art of developing registration strategies and in dispute resolution both locally and in the EU. He works accurately and promptly while maintaining a reasonable pricing policy. There are no surprises with him – he is definitely someone you can count on.” He serves as president of the Association of Patent and Trademark Attorneys of Latvia and assisted the government in the drafting of the new trademark legislation.
“A significant market player with immense trademark expertise and a fantastic team” is the consensus on AAA Law – Petersona Patents. The firm dispenses A-to-Z advice across the Baltic states to companies such as Orkla Confectionery and Snacks, whose regional portfolio it manages; industry leaders such as BMW also rely on it for swift, decisive customs enforcement and are never left wanting. Taking the lead is Gatis Meržvinskis, “one of the best and brightest litigators in the country”: “He puts forward persuasive arguments and acts courteously as well as fairly towards opponents.” He is joined in the WTR 1000 this year by non-contentious ace Kristīne Ostrovska, who represents Chanel and the local official distributor of Nike, among others. Ostrovska has a distinguished pedigree: before entering private practice, she served as deputy director at the Patent Office of the Republic of Latvia (LRPV) and in-house at a leading pharmaceutical company.
At the cutting edge of trademark practice, SORAINEN is a highly sophisticated operator: its state-of-the-art knowledge management systems and AI solutions significantly enhance its seamless service. Operating out of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Belarus as a single integrated unit, it provides total support to companies across the brand lifecycle. The engines of the team are Ieva Andersone and Andris Tauriņš. Andersone is a big-picture thinker who heads up the competition and regulatory division and is a preferred choice for multifaceted disputes. “Super-energised and proactive, Tauriņš is definitely on an upswing and has gracefully made the transition from promising senior associate to fantastic partner.”
The compact IP unit at full-service VILGERTS serves up a comprehensive menu of trademark services, but really hits its stride in complex disputes. Frequently appearing before the domestic courts and the LRPV, Brigita Tērauda and Ineta Krodere assist multinational corporations such as Omega Pharma and Red Bull in safeguarding their most valuable intangible assets. The pair recently took on Mars Inc, successfully invalidating and cancelling its TREETS mark on behalf of client Piasten GmBH. “A strong representative in disputes”, Tērauda has fought and won cases up to the highest level. Krodere is a Latvian IP litigation pioneer who is always up to speed on legal and policy developments.
Other recommended expertsOne of the country’s most formidable litigators, Agris Bitāns of Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns has spent the past two decades teasing out the intricacies of cross-border cases. At METIDA, Ruta Olmane specialises in filings, oppositions and appeals before the LRPV and EUIPO, but knocks it out of the park in court too. Having recently departed SORAINEN to set up Repšs & Kvēps, Agris Repšs is a staunch enforcer who serves clients with a personal touch. Lawyer and trademark attorney Ilmārs Šatovs at Šatovs Attorneys-at-Law “offers solid advice in complex brand scenarios and is extensively knowledgeable in all aspects of intellectual property. He is reliable, quick and a pleasure to work with”.
- Jevgenijs Fortuna - FORAL Patent Law Office
- Mārtiņš Gailis - Ellex Klavins
- Gatis Meržvinskis - Petersona Patents
- Ieva Andersone - SORAINEN
- Vladimir Anohin - Agency Tria Robit
- Bronislavs Baltrumovics - Agency Tria Robit
- Līga Fjodorova - COBALT Legal
- Ineta Krodere - VILGERTS
- Inese Polaka - Agency Tria Robit
- Andris Tauriņš - SORAINEN
- Brigita Tērauda - VILGERTS
- Agris Bitāns - Eversheds Sutherland Bitāns
- Ruta Olmane - METIDA
- Kristīne Ostrovska - Petersona Patents
- Agris Repšs - Repšs & Kvēps
- Ilmars Satovs - Šatovs Attorneys-at-Law
- Edvijs Zandars - Ellex Klavins