Slovakia

Three years have passed since Slovakia implemented the EU Trademark Directive into national law and the new regime has already had a favourable impact on brand protection in the country. A more recent talking point has been the election of Zuzana Čaputová as president and how that may affect the IP scene. The new administration is adopting a completely different stance from its predecessor and seeking ways to advance with digitalisation on a national level; Čaputová is also working hard to maximise efficiency at the courts and strengthen international ties. Enhanced IP awareness locally is another positive note to sound about the Slovak market.

Firms

  • Allen & Overy LLP
  • Brichta & Partners
  • Taylor Wessing
  • Bird & Bird LLP
  • Bukovinsky & Chlipala
  • Černejová & Hrbek
  • FAJNOR IP sro
  • Rott, Růžička & Guttmann
  • Zivko Mijatovic & Partners 

Allen & Overy LLP

The first international firm to set up shop in Slovakia, Allen & Overy has cemented itself as a top IP service provider in the country; its lawyers have an outstanding track record in litigation and enforcement proceedings. Recent highlights include a victory in a six-year-long skirmish for Horphag Research Management, secured by senior associate Zuzana Hečko. The case involved infringement and unfair competition issues and resulted in monetary damages as well as a public apology – both rare outcomes. Hečko is also a dab hand in the transactional space and recently assisted WAG Payment Solutions on its acquisition of Sygic, a leading smartphone app developed in the Czech Republic.

Bird & Bird LLP

Global powerhouse Bird & Bird is the perfect choice for companies seeking to protect their brands across the Czech Republic and Slovakia, while also benefiting from an incredible international network and full-service capabilities. The renowned Prague-based Vojtěch Chloupek leads the local group, which has lately been busy registering marks for German luxury hotel company Steigenberger Hotels and representing Lacoste and Gant.

Brichta & Partners

“Proactive and passionate about its work, Brichta & Partners can always be counted to go the distance for clients.” “One of the best firms in the country”, the ensemble delivers comprehensive trademark services to some of the world’s biggest brands in the fashion and technology industries. It also partners up with start-up incubators, co-working centres and the Slovak Alliance for Innovative Economy to help get the country’s entrepreneurs off to the best IP start possible. Peter Kružliak and Tatiana Brichtová are central pillars of the practice. Crack litigator Kružliak “communicates smoothly, is sound in his assessments and persistent” in his pursuit of success. Brichtová has forged strong relationships with customs authorities and coordinates multifaceted enforcement matters with a steady hand: “She exemplifies professionalism and works extremely hard to defend the best interests of the companies she represents.” Another fierce advocate in the fight against fakes is Maroš Ožvald who splits his time between enforcement and transactional activities. Making her debut in the WTR 1000, Zuzana Kulčárová executes proficiently on domestic and international prosecution instructions.

Bukovinsky & Chlipala

A superb fit for innovators and high-technology start-ups, Bukovinský & Chlipala is completely at home in the digital world. It teams up with brand owners to guide them through all stages of the trademark lifecycle and advance their business objectives. One of its core specialties is conflict resolution, thanks to the leadership shown by Slovak Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre panellist Tomáš Klinka. He has a refined understanding of the law, having co-authored a commentary on the national trademark act and served as director of legal and international affairs at the Industrial Property Office of the Slovak Republic (IPO SR). “Tomáš does his part to make the importance of intellectual property within the business world. He truly does an excellent job and is a pleasure to work with.”

Černejová & Hrbek

Černejová & Hrbek’s sterling domestic reputation among rights holders and associates alike stems from its quality and efficiency. It does a bang-up job in enforcement proceedings, but its forte lies in intangible asset licensing and commercialisation. As an IP, IT and unfair competition law expert, senior partner Peter Stavrovský has a panoramic view of brand protection issues and gives holistic counsel as a result.

FAJNOR IP sro

“An excellent business partner, FAJNOR IP has maintained a great market position and provides an excellent service.” The ensemble is best known for its meticulously drafted trademark applications and thoughtful portfolio management, though it does not back away from asserting rights either. The outfit has also carefully built up meaningful relationships with firms and foreign contacts worldwide, so multi-jurisdictional mandates are dealt with quickly and efficiently. Mária Fajnorová is a key name for the address book.

Rott, Růžička & Guttmann

Rott, Růžička & Guttmann is a superb match for brand owners keen to safeguard their interests in both the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The nimble boutique provides services in English, French, German, Japanese and Russian to an impressively cosmopolitan clientele, in such a way that nothing is lost in translation. Managing director Martin Guttmann has a stellar success rate in court and tackles the most complex enforcement matters with verve.

Taylor Wessing

When it comes to trademark protection, Taylor Wessing’s Slovakian outpost provides a sophisticated offering focused on high-end portfolio management, enforcement and licensing. The group’s strategic counsel is always value additive for clients such as SK-NIC, the administrator of the ‘.sk’ domain, and Orange Brand Services, one of the largest telecommunications providers in the region. Led by Ján Lazur, it is also representing DIPLOMAT-DENTAL in one of the country’s highest-profile brand disputes. “A top lawyer, Lazur proves his legal skills and in-depth trademark knowledge through his creative thinking. He works from a rock-solid theoretical base, but takes a pragmatic, customer-centric approach.”

Zivko Mijatovic & Partners 

For seamless branding services across the Balkans and Eastern Europe, ZMP has it covered. The IP-driven firm has a presence in 15 countries and a long list of connections to call upon when instructions require deft cross-border coordination. Often praised for its anti-counterfeiting capabilities, the Slovakian team also excels in tricky opposition proceedings concerning novel marks. Overseeing the local practice is Michaela Handrejchova.

Other recommended experts

“One of Slovakia’s IP law gurus”, Zuzana Adamová of Petkov & Co makes her first appearance in the WTR 1000 this year. The versatile lawyer has carved out a niche in domain name and cyberspace law. At Inpartners, Romana Záthurecká has a first-rate command of trademark law and practice, having held several positions at the IPO SR. Her colleague Eugen Záthurecký has also served as a district court judge – valuable experience which he draws upon in litigation.

Individuals

  • Zuzana Adamova - Petkov & Co
  • Tatiana Brichtová - Brichta & Partners
  • Martin Guttmann - Rott, Růžička & Guttmann
  • Zuzana Hečko - Allen & Overy LLP
  • Tomas Klinka - Bukovinsky & Chlipala
  • Peter Kruzliak - Brichta & Partners
  • Zuzana Kulcarova - Brichta & Partners
  • Jan Lazur - Taylor Wessing
  • Maroš Ožvald - Brichta & Partners
  • Peter Stavrovský - Černejová & Hrbek
  • Romana Záthurecká - Inpartners Group
  • Eugen Záthurecký - Inpartners Group