Russia

The pending establishment of a Eurasian trademark system is undoubtedly one of the hottest topics on the Russian IP scene at the moment. It looks as if 2020 will be the year in which Russian businesses will be able to register a trademark covering Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Armenia – a development which should bring significant benefits in terms of both cost and simplicity. A recent change, meanwhile, is the increased efficiency of the Russia Patent and Trademark Office (Rospatent), which has managed to cut down the examination period from roughly 12 months to seven by promoting electronic filing. Following on from last year, parallel imports also continue to be a key topic. The Federal Anti-monopoly Service of Russia has prepared a draft law, which will be incorporated in 2021 to authorise parallel imports of certain types of good – a long-overdue measure in the eyes of many practitioners.

Firms: enforcement and litigation

Firms: prosecution and strategy

A Zalesov & Partners Patent & Law Firm LLC

Although known primarily for its contentious strength, A Zalesov & Partners has also developed its trademark prosecution offering lately. Having undertaken strategic work for longstanding client Ferrero, as well as the likes of IT service management company CSB-System AG, composer Christian Schneider and Paris Saint-Germain FC, the practice has taken its visibility in this area to the next level. “Professional and reliable, the team is well organised; all orders are handled with speed and efficiency. The firm is always eager to solve sophisticated legal issues and is able to meet some crazy deadlines. In addition to that, everyone who works there is accurate, polite and pleasant.” “The group’s adherence to the highest quality standards is outstanding. Responsive and smooth, the firm is a reliable partner and not just another external consultant.” Founder and name partner Aleksey Zalesov runs the show. “A great lawyer, he is one of the most reputable IP lawyers in Russia. His combination of trademark and pharmaceutical patent acumen may even make him unique. Client-oriented and professional, he is extremely adaptable to the task in hand.” His equally sought-after litigation partner Irina Ozolina has “a deep understanding of business needs”, which she combines with “flexibility, an easy-going communication style and a reasonable pricing policy”.

Alrud Law Firm

Alrud’s close connections with other leading law firms around the world allow it to operate seamlessly across continents – a capability that has attracted some top global innovators to its stable of clients. As the sole Russian member of the Global Advertising Lawyers’ Alliance, the partnership possesses considerable expertise in advertising law in addition to trademarks. Flexibility, consistency and attention to detail are three qualities that characterise both Alrud and its chief trademark talent, Maria Ostashenko. A first-rate portfolio manager and dispute resolver, she “helps clients from start to finish, leaving no question unanswered and reliably hitting deadlines across time zones”.

ARS-Patent

ARS-Patent services every single client individually and in the most cost-effective manner possible. “ARS-Patent is a very serious IP law firm, which takes into account its clients’ wishes and requests and consistently adapts to their needs – a highly recommendable practice.” The partnership is looking to keep the momentum of its litigation offering going in the coming years, to add to its already market-renowned prosecution arm. Trademark ace Anna Bogdanova heads up the team. “Absolutely reliable, she knows IP rules and regulations extremely well. Her impressive experience in trademark and design law has moulded an outstanding commercial and strategic mind.” Senior Partner Elena Solovyova has been a trademark attorney since 1995; her acuity stretches to cession, licence agreements and Madrid Protocol registrations. Multitalented physicist Tatiana Tarasova joined ARS-Patent in 2007 and was certified as a trademark attorney in 2012.

Baker McKenzie - CIS Limited 

“Famous for its truly outstanding Russian trademark practice, Baker McKenzie is always top of the tree.” Managing more than 35,000 marks on behalf of 5,000 clients worldwide, the firm acts as the go-to transactional counsel for many of the world’s largest rights holders. A particular strength in Russia is the registration of well-known marks, which are recognised in perpetuity; Baker McKenzie has, to date, obtained 33 of the 204 trademarks designated as such. The global giant’s offices in Moscow and St Petersburg certainly contain the level of talent which keeps world-leading rights holders coming back for more. On the enforcement side of the practice, Denis Khabarov executes complex IP litigation mandates with aplomb. The IP practice group head for Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) is a national thought leader on the topic of parallel imports. Senior Counsel Eugene Arievich continues to enhance Baker McKenzie’s practice. “The guru of Russian intellectual property, he is a true leader of the Russian scene. Eugene is simply the gold standard of practitioners – he has been doing it for so long.” His practice encompasses both trademark litigation and prosecution. Active on the transactional side of the practice is Margarita Divina. An international delegate of the Licensing Executives Society Russia, she exemplifies the “business-oriented approach, extensive expertise and understanding of global frameworks that make Baker McKenzie a valuable partner in complex transactions”. “A tough negotiator, she is also both pleasant and knowledgeable.” Trademark attorney and master strategist Pavel Gorokhov is known as “a dedicated professional with outstanding prosecution expertise”. Renowned for successfully advising Christian Louboutin on the brand’s iconic red sole mark, he has more recently been busy helping Russian steel and mining player Mechel PAO to extend its international trademark coverage.

Capital Legal Services LLC

One-stop shop Capital Legal Services is an ideal destination for those who need flawless CIS coverage and a team that cares deeply about their portfolios, 24/7. Equally adroit across the trademark litigation, licensing, prosecution, parallel imports and anti-counterfeiting spaces, the firm has been extremely busy of late. Major Moscow shopping centre Aviapark recently enlisted Capital to protect its cutting-edge positional trademark; international window systems developer VKR Holdings engaged the firm for a tricky post-coexistence agreement for the reduction of the number of goods trademarked under their brand; and Japanese conglomerate Ricoh required its guidance on a parallel imports snare. Irina Onikienko and Elena Berger are at the centre of the web. Head of dispute resolution Onikienko is “absolutely committed to the profession and her clients’ interests”. The hard-hitting litigator and strategist “makes efficient, clear recommendations and keeps to deadlines carefully – she is a true expert”. Berger, meanwhile, is “a collaborative, client-oriented professional who gives high-quality advice”. She is especially sought-after for cases concerning the early termination of trademarks.

Dentons

Highly regarded global giant Dentons has a team that is “among the best in Russia”. The practice specialises in litigation, meticulous transactional support and anti-counterfeiting coordination. Moscow-based veteran Denis Voevodin is “recognised as one of the top enforcement practitioners in Russia and the CIS”. His 25 years’ experience has given him the ability to craft crystalline arguments and winning case strategies.

DLA Piper RUS Limited

Global firm DLA Piper has bolstered its Russian litigation offering recently with its April 2019 pick-up of Julianna Tabastajewa. Her expertise complements other facets of the firm’s worldwide offering – namely, its superlative global network, bench strength and technical breadth – to make the Moscow office a real hub for IP litigation. On the non-contentious side, strategists Pavel Arievich and Michael Malloy spearhead the team. Trilingual Legal Director Arievich is a renowned domain name, trademark and unfair competition specialist, while Malloy is a transactional sage whose gimlet eye never misses a crucial detail.

Euromarkpat

European and Central Asian trademark strategist Euromarkpat continues to maintain the highest standards in its Moscow office. The venerable firm is a lock for complex trademark registration, searching, monitoring and portfolio management from Tashkent to Tallinn. Marina Grineva is “a great IP practitioner and professor with tonnes of experience”. “Highly professional and friendly, she is one of the very best. She is a brilliant practitioner and an honest person – clients trust her for good reason.” High-grade transactional specialist Veronika Odintsova “is distinguished by her profound knowledge of contract law”.

Gorodissky & Partners 

Gorodissky & Partners is “the best firm in Russia”, according to one top international affiliate. “It is a powerhouse that is frankly hard for others to match. Large clients still tend to choose Gorodissky because the outfit has some outstanding, highly specialised people. It was the first top company in the Russian IP field – and has held that market-leading position for many years. Everyone acknowledges its professionalism.” The partnership is home to counsellors, prosecutors and litigators “of the very highest quality and responsiveness”, which gives it the ability to work ably across both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide. Gorodissky’s chief courtroom enforcer is Vladimir Biriulin. He was formerly involved in a precedent-setting parallel import case on behalf of a large European automobile company, as well as in a criminal anti-counterfeiting case on behalf of a jewellery manufacturer. However, Gorodissky’s historic prosecution arm is the jewel in its crown. Senior partner Valery Medvedev leads the line – having studied in Paris, Russia and the United States, he has developed an international outlook which is a vital asset to the team. Head of trademarks Vladimir Trey has risen up the ranks quickly as a result of his superb grounding in non-traditional marks, appellations of origin and collective trademarks. His colleague Alexey Kratiuk has been ironing out superb protection strategies at Gorodissky since 1999, the same year that London-educated trademark attorney Natalia Nikolaeva joined the practice. She is a dab hand at cancelling out illegal registrations.

Gowling WLG 

IP all-rounder Gowling WLG has a superlative one-stop offering in Russia. The firm’s filing practice is in demand from patrons including Jaguar Land Rover, Starbucks and Volvo, while its litigation wing handles complex instructions from top global fashion houses, tech companies and luxury goods brands without breaking a sweat. Although it possesses undeniable quality on both sides of the practice, Gowling WLG’s Moscow office is especially sought-out for high-stakes briefs. Versatile litigator Alexander Christophoroff is “probably the best advocate in Russia – the genuine number-one option and a huge name”. Marina Drel is also an adroit enforcer. Her ability to give C-suite audiences exactly the right level of detail makes her an ideal partner to many of the world’s top innovators. Although technically qualified as a trademark attorney, Maria Aronikova is no stranger to the courtroom. Her experience as an expert witness is founded on “her desire to learn deeply about case law and to ask the right questions”. “She is skilled, caring, knowledgeable, personable and responsive.” Gowling WLG’s prosecution and strategy arm is led by Moscow managing partner and subtle strategist David Aylen. “He is a masterful strategist who pursues the trickiest issues deftly and capably. His advice is timely, thoughtful, direct and on target. He thinks outside the box and is always willing to go the extra mile.”

Hogan Lovells (CIS)

Hogan Lovells blends deep sector knowledge with outstanding name recognition, a combination which ensures a steady flow of elite trademark patrons. The Russian team has recently been kept busy stopping the dilution of the McDonald’s brand, cancelling opposing trademarks on behalf of Suzuki and stamping out counterfeiting at the request of key client LEGO. Leading by example is triple-threat Natalia Gulyaeva, whose practice spans litigation, prosecution and transactional matters. A go-to for the most complex matters, she runs her team in exemplary fashion.

Intellect

The young, ambitious team at Intellect knows when to settle and when to attack in order to give clients the best possible chance of winning their battles. The firm has “a tailor-made approach, understands its customers’ businesses innately” and has recently opened its seventh office, in St Petersburg, in order to be even closer to domestic clients. Working fluently across every arena of trademark practice, Intellect’s team also houses expertise in Patent Cooperation Treaty filings, authors’ rights and deceptive advertising for those who need more than the standard IP offering. Senior Partner Maxim Labzin spearheads the group’s litigation line-up. “He is one of the few people whose strategy is impossible to predict in court, which makes him extremely tough to face in a case. Professional, creative, charismatic – he is a really special IP litigator.” On the other side of the practice, trademark registration gurus Svetlana Veresova and Anna Kholobudovskaya are unimpeachable choices for prosecution matters. Both bring a refined blend of domestic and Madrid Protocol filing experience to the table.

Ivanov, Makarov & Partners

IP boutique Ivanov, Makarov & Partners is a litigation specialist, through and through. “Highly professional, cost-effective and friendly, the team is young, efficient and worthy of respect.” Co-founder Mark Chizhenok is an outstandingly versatile advocate whose varied experience stretches from internet-related trademark disputes to chemical patent briefs. Firm co-founder Dmitry Makarov is equally comfortable in the courtroom and the boardroom; his superb attention to detail serves him well in both environments.

KIAP Attorneys at Law

Full-service commercial outfit KIAP has seamlessly managed the transition of power between former IP practice head Daria Chernysh and new chief Elena Buranova, and, as a result, continues to provide sparkling all-around trademark counsel. The team puts patrons’ interests before profit every time, with one client praising the “classy” way in which the firm argued their case further against Rospatent, totally free of charge, when it felt that a charging decision was unfair. The firm’s recent client roster includes the joint-stock Russian Post Bank, houseware multinational Gleener Inc and international school network King’s College Schools. Buranova herself is active across the whole of the practice. “A talented strategist with particular skill in dealing with complex franchising arrangements, she is always available and business-friendly.”

Lidings Law Firm

Full-service player Lidings Law Firm is on a rocket ride, having built a redoubtable trademark practice from scratch over the past five years. The firm’s key strength is its litigation offering, though it is also proficient in Madrid Protocol filing and anti-counterfeiting matters. Managing Partner Andrey Zelenin is a hard-hitting litigator who knows when to push and when to settle. Pharmaceuticals sage Boris Malakhov oversees the IP practice. He is a dab hand at tracking down infringers, as he has been enlisted to do by Chinese electronics company Xiaomi Inc, and at portfolio management, which he carries out on behalf of key client Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd. Peers speak of his “bespoke approach to solving challenging IP issues”.

Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

Multipolar international player Morgan Lewis & Bockius plays host to a truly first-rate Russian transactional IP offering, which is capable of structuring the highest-stakes, most complex cross-border mandates going. The firm was engaged to clear the way in eight jurisdictions for the much-talked about, billion-dollar Yandex online marketplace joint venture with Sberbank – Russia’s largest reported transaction of 2018. Partner Ksenia Andreeva has also been instrumental in providing trademark portfolio restructuring work in connection with search giant Yandex’s 2018 ride-sharing joint venture with US disruptor giant Uber. She is trusted – with good reason – to deliver flawless support by a host of multinational giants.

Noerr LLP

European player Noerr has been busy expanding its Russian offering over the past two years, adding a trademark prosecution wing to its already established litigation and licensing practices. With more than 500 professionals spread across its 16 global offices, Noerr’s international capabilities are just one draw for Russian clients; another is the partnership’s outstanding track record of success in internet-related disputes. Noerr has recently acted for Procter & Gamble, Volvo and board game manufacturer Ravensburger in Russia – in addition to representing Shell with regard to complex enforcement of its colour trademark. Viktor Gerbutov “sits among the best IP litigators in Russia”; his ability to argue the most complex and controversial cases is first rate.

Patent & Law Firm YUS LLC

Patent & Law Firm YUS is a destination where quality, speed and price are combined to form an almost-irresistible all-around trademark offering. “Easy to work with, cost-effective and high quality”, the team is the first choice of heavyweights including Nestlé SA, Huawei Technologies, Suzuki Motor Corporation and Giorgio Armani. Firm Founder and Managing Partner Sergey Lovtsov is a physics major and law PhD with a track record of cutting-edge publishing on various IP topics. He heads up the firm’s non-contentious trademark practice. Over on the litigation side of the group, Maria Lovtsova is known as “extremely helpful, friendly and highly responsive”. Quadrilingual Russian trademark attorney Olesya Zakharova excels in reconciling complex legal detail with the broader picture. Clients are quick to point out her willingness to “go above and beyond” whenever required.

Pepeliaev Group

Pepeliaev Group is an inspired choice for trademark matters of all hues, ranging from prosecution to litigation, due diligence and domain name support. The team has excellent links with Asian clients, a focus underlined by the existence of its dedicated Chinese desk, which provides tailored support for Chinese clients navigating the Russian business landscape. “Well-respected” head of intellectual property Valentina Orlova is a former head of Rospatent’s legal department; her expertise in computer software trademarks second to none. Yuri Yahin exceeds clients’ expectations on a regular basis. His granular knowledge was instrumental in drafting Pepeliaev’s aforementioned computer program legislation.

Rouse & Co International

When it comes to protecting trademark rights in emerging markets, no firm does it better than Rouse, which maintains a strong presence in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Since its establishment in 2013, the Moscow team has performed superbly in brand enforcement and continues to tackle counterfeiters and other infringers swiftly and decisively. The set has also astutely expanded its prosecution and portfolio management offering and now safeguards the rights of leading brands in the IT, sportswear, luxury goods and hospitality industries, among others. Providing strong leadership to the group is Stuart Adams, a veteran global enforcer with exceptional strategic vision.

Sojuzpatent 

The “responsive and professional” Sojuzpatent is a giant on the Russian market. With extremely high filing numbers, impeccable personal connections to Rospatent and an impressive stable of clients to recommend it (including TEVA, Renault and Hasbro), the longstanding group is routinely inundated with mandates. Trademark attorneys and litigators work together closely, which results in both a high degree of filing success and a more refined courtroom offering. Head of trademarks Tatiana Petrova has been at the firm since 2010. Her practical experience of representing clients’ interests – both in Russia and abroad – has made her a seasoned pleader.

Vakhnina and Partners

“An IP boutique with decades of experience, Vakhnina and Partners is thorough in its efforts, friendly and professional. It delivers nothing but superb service, offering highly specialised assistance at a reasonable cost.” An elite trademark filer, the partnership prosecutes on behalf of top patrons Berlin Chemie, JCB, Under Armour, HTC and model Miranda Kerr. It also possesses considerable contentious acumen, having recently successfully opposed an attempt by internet giant Amazon.com to cancel a client’s existing trademark. IP stalwart Tatyana Vakhnina is the firm’s talisman and luminary.

Zuykov and partners

IP all-rounder Zuykov and partners provides exceptionally high-quality advice at a price point that attracts innovative clients in their droves. High on the firm’s to-do list this year has been a 15-year trademark bout between two tea giants, in which Zuykov’s client has finally won victory. Dual-threat Sergey Zuykov takes centre stage when the time comes to litigate. A prolific publisher on a wide range of patent and trademark topics, he never shies away from the opportunity to share his knowledge. Senior lawyer Alexandra Pelikh is cut from the same cloth as Zuykov. Also a patent attorney with a talent for trademark litigation, she has a particular knack for representing clients before the Federal Anti-monopoly Service.

Other recommended experts

The “friendly and helpful” Anton Bankovskiy of CMS is an enforcement ace with bags of anti-counterfeiting and parallel enforcement experience. Alexander Baranchikov, of the eponymous firm Baranchikov IP, is a filing and office action wizard with expertise in computer-related briefs. He has been instrumental in broadening his firm’s focus and winning it outstanding name recognition in China. “Diligent, knowledgeable and responsive, PETOŠEVIĆ’s Tatyana Kulikova is a wonderful expert who can handle the most complex matters and is good at thinking outside the box.” Recent recruit Larisa Lysenko is an excellent fit at Dennemeyer – her ability to deliver refined trademark counsel in four European languages complements the internationally focused IP firm perfectly. PATENTUS’ Managing Partner Dmitry Markanov is an elite Russian IP litigator. His extensive track record in the courtroom has given him a sixth sense for the most persuasive arguments. Trademark and design specialist Anna Mikhailyuk of Mikhailyuk Sorokolat & Partners ably manages a range of matters – from searching and filing to IP contracts and infringement litigation. Finnish partnership Papula-Nevinpat was the first foreign IP company to be established in Russia. Its current top representative, European trademark attorney Riikka Palmos, is a registration sage with valuable in-house experience at consumer goods giant Unilever. Pavel Sadovsky at Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners is a dual-qualified trademark maven who supplements his enforcement practice with substantial expertise in data protection law. Previous top-tier clients include Condé Nast Russia, Formula One Group and Sanofi. Former Gowling WLG Partner Anastassia Sinitsyna carries out sparkling trademark licensing, enforcement, management and franchising work from her desk at Dementiev, Kliukin & Partners in Moscow. Eversheds Sutherland’s Ekaterina Tilling is “a brilliant litigator with a business-oriented approach”. “Especially effective in pharmaceutical matters, she has a great reputation.” Elena Trusova at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is a “talented litigator who specialises in tackling the most difficult disputes”. Her varied experience includes representing General Motors in a trademark matter that went all the way to Russia’s highest court of arbitration.

Individuals: enforcement and litigation

  • Eugene A Arievich - Baker McKenzie - CIS Limited
  • Alexander Christophoroff - Gowling WLG
  • Natalia Gulyaeva - Hogan Lovells (CIS)
  • Denis I Khabarov - Baker McKenzie - CIS Limited
  • Denis Voevodin - Dentons
  • Stuart Adams - Rouse & Co International
  • Vladimir Biriulin - Gorodissky & Partners 
  • Mark Chizhenok - Ivanov, Makarov & Partners
  • Marina Drel - Gowling WLG
  • Tatyana Kulikova - PETOŠEVIĆ
  • Julianna Tabastajewa - DLA Piper Rus Limited
  • Ekaterina M Tilling - Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP
  • Elena Trusova - Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
  • Aleksey Zalesov - A Zalesov & Partners Patent & Law Firm LLC
  • Maria Aronikova - Gowling WLG
  • Anton Bankovskiy - CMS Russia
  • Elena Berger - Capital Legal Services LLC
  • Viktor Gerbutov - Noerr LLP
  • Maxim Labzin - Intellect
  • Larisa Lysenko - Dennemeyer & Associates SA
  • Boris Malakhov - Lidings Law Firm
  • Dmitry Markanov - PATENTUS
  • Irina Onikienko - Capital Legal Services LLC
  • Maria Ostashenko - Alrud Law Firm
  • Irina Ozolina - A Zalesov & Partners Patent & Law Firm LLC 
  • Alexandra Pelikh - Zuykov and partners
  • Pavel Sadovsky - Egorov Puginsky Afanasiev & Partners
  • Andrey Zelenin - Lidings Law Firm
  • Sergey Zuykov - Zuykov and partners

Individuals: prosecution and strategy

  • Eugene A Arievich - Baker McKenzie - CIS Limited
  • David Aylen - Gowling WLG
  • Margarita Divina - Baker McKenzie - CIS Limited
  • Marina Grineva - Euromarkpat
  • Natalia Gulyaeva - Hogan Lovells (CIS)
  • Valentina Orlova - Pepeliaev Group
  • Olesya Zakharova - Patent & Law Firm YUS LLC
  • Pavel Arievich - DLA Piper Rus Limited
  • Alexander Baranchikov - Baranchikov IP & IT Attorneys
  • Elena Berger - Capital Legal Services LLC
  • Vladimir Biriulin - Gorodissky & Partners 
  • Anna Bogdanova - ARS-Patent
  • Michael J Malloy - DLA Piper Rus Limited
  • Irina Onikienko - Capital Legal Services LLC
  • Tatiana Petrova - Sojuzpatent 
  • Anastassia Sinitsyna - Dementiev, Kliukin & Partners
  • Elena A Solovyova - ARS-Patent
  • Vladimir Trey - Gorodissky & Partners 
  • Ksenia Andreeva - Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
  • Elena Buranova - KIAP Attorneys at Law
  • Pavel Gorokhov - Baker McKenzie - CIS Limited
  • Anna Kholobudovskaya - Intellect
  • Alexey Kratiuk - Gorodissky & Partners 
  • Tatyana Kulikova - PETOŠEVIĆ
  • Sergey Lovtsov - Patent & Law Firm YUS LLC
  • Maria Lovtsova - Patent & Law Firm YUS LLC
  • Larisa Lysenko - Dennemeyer & Associates SA
  • Dmitry Makarov - Ivanov, Makarov & Partners
  • Valery Medvedev - Gorodissky & Partners 
  • Anna Mikhailyuk - Mikhailyuk Sorokolat & Partners
  • Natalia Nikolaeva - Gorodissky & Partners 
  • Veronika Odintsova - Euromarkpat
  • Maria Ostashenko - Alrud Law Firm
  • Riikka Palmos - Papula-Nevinpat
  • Tatiana Tarasova - ARS-Patent
  • Tatyana Vakhnina - Vakhnina and Partners
  • Svetlana Veresova - Intellect
  • Yuri Yahin - Pepeliaev Group