Serbia

Trademark practitioners are full of praise for the Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Serbia; whereas two years ago it would take on average nine months before an application was examined, it now takes only four or five. This is an important development as local brand owners are showing ever more interest in protecting their IP rights, meaning there are plenty of applications to be dealt with. The economy is providing further positive news; it grew an impressive 4.5% year-on-year in the first quarter of 2018. There are, then, grounds for optimism in Serbian intellectual property.

Firms

Cabinet Pavlovic

Cabinet Pavlovic has an “excellent IP team” that provides stellar service across the contentious/non-contentious divide. Its lawyers’ assiduous drafting is always cleverly informed by lessons learnt in the courtroom. Founding partner Gordana Pavlovic leads by example; she is meticulous in her research and writes in the sort of simple, straightforward language that business executives love.

Law Office Miroslav Stojanović in cooperation with Wolf Theiss

Thanks to its cooperation with Wolf Theiss, Law Office Miroslav Stojanović has both local expertise and the resources to effectively handle multi-jurisdictional mandates. Recent activity includes advising Education Testing Service on the maintenance and renewal of its trademarks in Serbia and Montenegro, and helping Eckes-Granini in significant opposition proceedings. Both matters were handled by client favourite Nataša Lalović Marić. Marić complements a top-rate trademark practice with extensive experience working in corporate law, making her a fabulous choice for M&A activity with valuable IP threads.

Mikijelj Janković & Bogdanović 

“Mikijelj Janković & Bogdanović is one of the leading trademark law firms in Serbia. Its lawyers’ expertise and availability are great; their counsel is reliably professional and of the highest quality.” Anti-counterfeiting work is a forte; constant communication with the country’s border officials results in successful seizures time and again. Wearing the captain’s armband, Dejan Bogdanović is a “tremendous” IP litigator who has handled scores of landmark cases in his time, yet remains driven and determined to push the law forward. “He’s a highly respected member of the IP community.”

MSA IP

Headquartered in Belgrade, MSA IP offers cradle-to-grave branding support across southeast Europe from nine dynamic offices. As well as working intimately with brand owners to better understand their business needs and craft portfolio management strategies that will weather any storm, the team regularly lobbies government authorities for stronger anti-counterfeiting legislation and greater resources in the fight against forgers. Milan Milojevic and Vuk Sekulic form the nucleus of the practice. Milojevic is a pharmaceuticals whiz who knows the industry regulations inside out; Sekulic has a track record of precedential decisions on issues such as parallel imports and has lately been active in domain name disputes.

PETOŠEVIĆ

“PETOŠEVIĆ is a very well-established name on the market. Its lawyers do a lot of prosecution and enforcement work and really take the time to understand their clients’ needs. They are extremely reliable.” The 16-office powerhouse covers more than 30 jurisdictions in Central and Eastern Europe, making it a popular choice among major multinationals. Its regional manager for the Western Balkans, Mihajlo Zatezalo has a wealth of experience handling cross-border cases. His teammate Predrag Anokić possesses “vast IP knowledge and always takes an effective, business-oriented approach. On top of that, he’s extremely responsive, providing clear, well thought-out feedback in time-critical situations.” The firm’s illustrious founder Slobodan Petošević has been overseeing its operations for more than 25 years now; he is a venerated member of the IP community and an inspiration for up-and-coming practitioners.

POPOVIC POPOVIC & PARTNERS 

Founded in 1933, POPOVIC POPOVIC & PARTNERS is “one of the oldest and most respected full-service law firms in Serbia”. Alongside formidable commercial and corporate law practices, it maintains a comprehensive IP offering, with particular strength on the enforcement side. Katarina Kostic is a truly seasoned litigator, with the eloquence and composure to win any trademark case; her pleadings are a sight to behold.

Ristic & Malesevic

Ristic & Malesevic sees to local and international companies’ branding headaches across Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States with minimal fuss. Its cost-effective, commercially on-point and uniquely tailored counsel makes for successful product launches and expansion into new territories. Nothing is beyond this practical and pragmatic team.

Zivko Mijatovic & Partners 

Zivko Mijatovic & Partners’ Serbian trademark practice is distinguished by its multi-jurisdictional anti-counterfeiting programme, though which a single point of contact handles customs applications, seizures and the destruction of all fake goods flowing through the countries of the former Yugoslavia and Albania. Thanks to state-of-the-art cloud-based file sharing and an effective liaison post in Alicante, clients also benefit from frictionless information flow through the 15-office network. Djura Mijatovic holds the reins in Belgrade. He is as comfortable establishing new portfolios for emerging companies as he is enforcing the trademarks of well-known names. Another sophisticated all-rounder, Nikola Kliska provides “detailed guidance on the potential obstacles clients might have in overcoming confusing similarity issues and reaching favourable settlement agreements. His counsel is always extremely reliable.” Ivana Bajić is a diligent drafter who never loses sight of her clients’ long-term business interests. Make-or-break litigation is the province of Vladimir Marenović; he keeps his cool when the heat rises.

Other recommended experts

Bogdan Ivanišević helms the IP practice at BDK Advokati with a particular knowledge of media and entertainment and life sciences. Patent & Trade Mark Agency Mihailovic’s Mila Mihailovic offers top-notch branding support in Serbia, as well as in Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Slovenia. “Relja Mirkov at Karanović & Nikolić is an experienced IP professional with in-depth trademark knowledge. He’s very responsive and boasts an excellent track record.” Thanks to strong relationships with lawyers in Europe, China, Africa and the United States, Andrej Prekajski of Andrej Prekajski Law Office is a great choice for multinationals; his internationally minded portfolio management ticks all the right boxes.

Individuals