Hosting the world’s largest annual tech conference, Web Summit, in 2016 and 2017 has been a real fillip for Portugal’s start-up scene; it has not only brought hundreds of millions of euros to the economy, but has also prompted the government to create enticing new funding opportunities, which in turn have led to exciting companies from across Europe and the United States establishing bases in Lisbon. As they vie for stewardship of these cutting-edge IP portfolios, law firms are having to ensure that their customer service is as sharp and modern as possible. The market remains dominated by local and Iberia-wide outfits with longstanding roots in the country.
AG da Cunha Ferreira Lda
AG da Cunha Ferreira has been on the scene since 1880 and its rich history manifests itself in the sophistication and seamlessness of its counsel; complex legal concepts are clearly communicated in easy-to-read reports and queries are responded to with alacrity. Domain name matters are a strong suit – the team has registered all manner of extensions in recent years – as are anti-counterfeiting seizures. Dina Pereira is the first port of call for interested parties.
Baptista Monteverde & Associados
Baptista Monteverde & Associados is best known for its hard-hitting enforcement practice, as attested by the string of victories it has notched up in landmark cases, although it also maintains a robust prosecution practice, leveraging its contentious experience to draw up unassailable strategies. Vice president of the Portuguese Association of Consultants in Intellectual Property, Paulo Monteverde enjoys a formidable reputation among his peers. Not shy of entering uncharted territory, he plies his trade at the frontier of trademark law; geographical indication issues are a particular interest. His enterprising spirit is shared by teammate Cláudia Tomás Pedro, who relishes the challenge of safeguarding non-traditional trademarks in court.
CMS Rui Pena & Arnaut
The “high-profile” CMS Rui Pena & Arnaut serves up “top-quality” support to a panoply of national and international brand owners. Because the trademark team is part of a full-service offering, it can pick the brains of corporate and tax partners at any time – something that start-ups really value. Comprehensive coverage across Europe is another significant selling point. José Luís Arnaut and Miguel Quintans form the heart of the practice. Bringing a magic touch to negotiations, Arnaut drafts consistently favourable licensing contracts; he misses nothing that could benefit a client. Fluent in English, French and Spanish, Quintans is a favourite among foreign companies; portfolios placed in his trust are dexterously exploited.
With 27 offices worldwide, Cuatrecasas has the footprint to support multinationals in cross-border cases and assist ambitious new companies to expand their operations overseas. The firm’s backbone runs from Barcelona through Madrid to Lisbon, and Leonor Chastre is central to its reputation. She is a superb litigator with the technical knowledge, equanimity and powers of recall to prevail in the most nail-biting cases.
“J Pereira da Cruz has historic roots in Portuguese intellectual property and an impressive client base; its lawyers are very experienced in both prosecution and litigation.” In the 60 years since it opened its doors, the firm has never veered from its guiding principles of quality, close communication and attention to detail. Founding partner Jorge Cruz embodies these principles in everything he does. He has singular experience under his belt and has well earned his position as the only luminary in the WTR 1000 for 2018. An honorary president of the Union of European Practitioners in Intellectual Property, João Pereira da Cruz is also looked up to by the next generation of trademark stars. Filing non-traditional marks and standing up to infringers in court is all in a day’s work for him. Alternative dispute resolution is a speciality of skilled negotiator Nuno Cruz; he serves as an arbitrator at the World Intellectual Property Office’s domain name administrative panel. Maria Cruz Garcia’s perspicacious insights put clients on a sure footing; she has a scholarly mind but never loses sight of their business objectives.
Alive to the importance of anticipating problems rather than simply reacting to them, Garrigues’s “proactive and professional” lawyers monitor their clients’ markets closely and keep communication channels open at all times. Robust strategies are mapped out with an emphasis on long-term commercial objectives and infringement flames are extinguished with minimal fuss. “The firm offers the best possible combination, which is significant experience and close attention to clients’ needs.” João Paulo Miranda de Sousa is the star of the practice. “He’s an outstanding professional who always goes over and above in terms of his willingness to help – his availability and dedication are remarkable.” The nimble-witted, versatile Isabel Bairrão regularly teams up with him on contentious and non-contentious matters. Recently they have been advising Novo Banco on the restructuring and rebranding of its worldwide portfolio, and supporting Brazilian entity Companhia Muller De Bebidas in a tricky proceeding before the National Industrial Property Institute. “João and Isabel are extremely knowledgeable and always provide sound, well thought-out counsel, as well as being easy to work with.” Francisca Ferreira Pinto is another multi-talented, results-oriented trademark sage. Razor-sharp analysis and creativity characterise her work.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados handles the full spectrum of trademark matters adroitly, but it shows its best form in complex cases that have an international dimension; a network of close partners in Brazil, Angola, Mozambique and Macau gives it a definitive advantage in these areas, while exclusive membership in Portugal of Lex Mundi means that nowhere is out of reach. Cristiano Ronaldo is one famous patron of the firm’s comprehensive service, with leading light Vasco Stilwell d’Andrade enforcing his CR7 brand against counterfeiters worldwide. “Vasco’s legal, cultural and language skills are outstanding and he always deals with matters in a professional, timely and strategic manner while still effectively managing costs.” His other loyal fans include Esporão, Arcádia and Pernod Ricard.
PLMJ - Sociedade de Advogados
Over the past half-century, PLMJ has established itself as one of the top law firms in Portugal and brand owners continue to flock its way. Its trademark aces work hand in hand with those from the corporate offering to provide holistic, commercially minded counsel and ensure that pressure is cleverly applied in enforcement battles. Ably captaining the IP team, Manuel Lopes Rocha is a reliable choice with a formidable reputation.
Making waves in Portuguese intellectual property with modern, unstuffy, cost-effective support, RCF has broken into the WTR 1000 for 2018. Whatever the issue – prosecution, licensing or enforcement – this versatile team has the skillset and resources to iron it out. Its percipient lawyers have an acute sense for what will fly in the courtroom, while sophisticated internal software renders portfolio management effortless. Interested parties should contact Pedro Alves Moreira, whose creativity and commitment is well known.
The secret of Simões, Garcia, Corte-Real & Associados’ long-term relationships with clients is simple: exemplary customer service. Its lawyers go the extra mile for every patron, regardless of size, making themselves available round the clock and coming up with flexible, uniquely tailored billing plans. Co-heading the trademark department, João Luís Garcia and António Corte-Real are fantastic options. Garcia is uniquely adept at arbitration matters – especially those dealing with domain names – while Corte-Real has aggregated impressive geographical indications expertise. “He’s one of the most experienced trademark attorneys around.” Both are regulars in Portuguese courtrooms. José Raúl Simões comes into his own combating counterfeiters; he has organised countless seizures.
Other recommended experts
Having served as president of the national group of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property and played a role in drafting the current Industrial Property Code, Abreu Advogados’ César Bessa Monteiro brings a wealth of experience to the table. “His is a name everyone knows. He’s always attentive to his clients’ wishes and offers the best possible support on anything that requires immediate attention.” VdA’s enforcement hotshot António de Magalhães Cardoso scrutinises documents, hones in on the relevant material and then puts forward his client’s position in a compelling, concise way. Ricardo Henriques at Abreu Advogados is a dedicated and diligent enforcement expert who is always available for his clients. The scholarly, commercially astute, multilingual Manuel Oehen Mendes at Yolanda Busse Oehen Mendes & Associados is “one of the stars of intellectual property in Portugal. You hear his name everywhere.” He is adept at alternative dispute resolution.
- José Luís Arnaut - CMS Rui Pena & Arnaut
- César Bessa Monteiro Sr - Abreu Advogados
- João Luís Garcia - Simões, Garcia, Corte-Real & Associados
- João Paulo Miranda de Sousa - J&A Garrigues SLP
- Paulo Monteverde - Baptista Monteverde & Associados
- Manuel Oehen Mendes - Yolanda Busse Oehen Mendes & Associados
- João Pereira Da Cruz - J Pereira da Cruz SA
- Vasco Stilwell d’Andrade - Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados
- Isabel Bairrão - J&A Garrigues SLP
- Leonor Chastre - Cuatrecasas
- António Corte-Real - Simões, Garcia, Corte-Real & Associados
- Nuno Cruz - J Pereira da Cruz SA
- Maria Cruz Garcia - J Pereira da Cruz SA
- António de Magalhães Cardoso - VdA
- Francisca Ferreira Pinto - J&A Garrigues SLP
- Ricardo Henriques - Abreu Advogados
- Cláudia Tomás Pedro - Baptista Monteverde & Associados
- Miguel Quintans - CMS Rui Pena & Arnaut
- José Raúl Simões - Simões, Garcia, Corte-Real & Associados