Serbia

Thanks to a string of favourable free trade agreements, Serbia’s once-rocky economy is now on the ascendant. Economic ties with neighbouring countries are steadily being strengthened, while investment in local businesses is increasing. Multinationals are spending significantly on brand protection, but the enforcement of their rights through the judicial system remains slow.

Firms

Cabinet Pavlovic

Cabinet Pavlovic combines extensive local knowledge and experience handling matters before the Intellectual Property Office of the Republic of Serbia (IPO) with a modern, cosmopolitan outlook and a strong business focus. With an A-to-Z suite of services, it maps out watertight portfolio management strategies and never fails to come to the rescue when infringement trouble is brewing. Name partner Gordana Pavlovic captains the squad with a steady hand. She is widely respected in the trademark community and lets nothing escape her penetrating eye.

Mikijelj Janković & Bogdanović

Agile business law firm Mikijelj Janković & Bogdanović is resolutely outward looking. It is based in Belgrade but has a strong network of correspondents throughout the former Yugoslavia, and can advise clients in Serbian, English, German and French. A host of multinationals have taken advantage of its comprehensive IP offering; cross-border cases and arbitrations weigh heavily in its workload. Hallmarks of its service are its responsiveness and a uniquely personal touch. For complex trademark matters, Dejan Bogdanović is the man to call. “He’s a real expert when it comes to trademark infringement – he has handled a lot of landmark cases before the Serbian courts. Peers recognise that he is one of the top IP practitioners out there.”

MSA IP

Delivering a sophisticated, timely and pragmatic service at a fair price point, MSA IP has found the magic formula and is now winning mandates left, right and centre. Its lawyers realise the importance of in-person meetings and travel across the continent to meet clients whenever is convenient for them. Another distinct advantage is the outfit’s comprehensive coverage of Southeast Europe – from Albania through Serbia to Slovenia – meaning that all trademark issues in the region can be consolidated and safely consigned to a single pair of hands. Founding partners Milan Milojevic and Vuk Sekulic are the first names on the team sheet. World-wise Milojevic comfortably manages every stage of the trademark lifecycle; he serves as vice chair of the International Trademark Association’s enforcement committee. Sekulic has built up significant expertise in the internet sphere and is a member of the arbitration board that settles disputes concerning top-level ‘.rs’ domains.

PETOŠEVIĆ

With a 15-strong network of offices, PETOŠEVIĆ has the critical mass and footprint needed to support even the most trademark-rich multinationals. “Its skilled professionals adapt to each client’s needs and provide detailed, practical and realistic counsel fast. When one of them is handling your case, you can rest assured that it will be in safe hands.” Executive chairman and IP maven Slobodan Petošević has a ton of experience under his belt. He straddles the contentious/non-contentious divide with flair. Having worked at the IPO, Predrag Anokić brings a unique understanding of formal and substantive application procedures to the table. “Clients think the world of his advice and prompt attention to their matters. He handles everything deftly, efficiently and effectively.” Stewarding the firm’s offices in non-EU Balkan countries, Mihajlo Zatezalo is alive to the subtle differences in IP protection that exist across these jurisdictions. He is at his best in the courtroom, but also leverages his enforcement expertise to put together inviolable applications.

POPOVIC POPOVIC & PARTNERS 

The creative, business-savvy IP team at POPOVIC POPOVIC & PARTNERS works around the clock to further its clients’ interests. With the know-how and experience to successfully navigate uncharted territory, it manages to make headway where others would simply sink in the mud. Thanks to firm-wide banking and finance and M&A expertise, it sews up licensing contracts with minimal fuss and ensures that no monetisation opportunities are passed over. Katarina Kostic is an all-rounder with fluency in English and French and a broad understanding of media law.

Ristic & Malesevic

The time and effort that Ristic & Malesevic has put into honing its customer service over half a century shows in its expansive client catalogue; domestic and foreign entities alike have entrusted it with their IP portfolios. It files astutely and sets about extinguishing infringement flames as soon as they flare up.

Wolf Theiss

Businesses seeking to entrust a single team with all of their IP issues across Central and Eastern Europe would be well advised to consider the sagacious, commercially on-point Wolf Theiss. The firm has 13 outposts replete with trademark talent and a plenitude of knowledge regarding the Internet and new technologies. It wraps up cross-border transactions in the blink of an eye on account of its nifty negotiation skills and never stops looking for opportunities to exploit potentially lucrative rights. In Serbia, the key contact is Nataša Lalović Marić.

Zivko Mijatovic & Partners 

Zivko Mijatovic & Partners is renowned continent-wide for its “phenomenal” trademark prosecution practice. Its indefatigable IP professionals consider things from all angles before devising watertight applications and precision-targeted strategies that reap short and long-term benefits. The trio of Djura Mijatovic, Vladimir Marenović and Ivana Bajić rule the roost in Belgrade. Managing partner Mijatovic takes a bird’s-eye view of operations, overseeing the 15-office spread. His familiarity with the idiosyncrasies of so many countries makes him a deft steward of portfolios and a dab hand at multi-jurisdictional litigation. Having handled scores of contentious matters, Marenović knows exactly what will cut the mustard in a complex case. Prosecution star Bajić sedulously studies materials, unfailingly separating the wheat from the chaff before putting pen to paper.

Other recommended experts

Creative trademark practitioner Bogdan Ivaniševic helms the IP practice at BDK Advokati AOD, and boasts ancillary expertise in data protection and privacy law. His choice sectors are life sciences and media and entertainment. The family law firm Patent & Trade Mark Agency Mihailovic is shepherded by Mila Mihailovic, a razor-sharp IP lawyer with a striking academic record. She is thorough and precise in everything she does, and pragmatic to the last. Andrej Prekajski at his own eponymous firm is a battle-hardened litigator sensitive to clients’ budgetary constraints. He never averts his eyes from the prize at the end of the road.

Individuals