Slovenia

Fake goods are still rife in Slovenia; the Slovenian Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) recently reported that counterfeiting and piracy causes losses of approximately €215 million annually. However, recently there have been some increasingly high-value seizures taking place as officials collaborate with Slovenian IP practitioners to tackle the issue. Local brand owners are placing a greater importance on IP rights and, thanks to an improving economy, are showing more initiative in protecting their marks; this can be seen in  an uptick in EU trademark applications from Slovenian entities. The litigation and enforcement environment is also evolving; in 2018, for example, the Slovenian courts granted trade dress protection based on unfair competition for the first time, thus providing companies with new avenues through which to enforce their rights.

Firms

ITEM doo

“ITEM sets the standard for trademark work in Slovenia. Its punctual, precise and totally reliable practitioners provide superb advice and demonstrate excellent initiative and a willingness to adapt to clients’ needs flexibly. When you work with ITEM you feel completely at ease. The firm is simply the best!” As testament to the depth of the team, no less than five ITEM practitioners have been recommended in the WTR 1000 this year. Managing partner Gregor Maček is hailed as a “top-notch litigator”, he and fellow dispute ace Jasna Habič “perform extremely well under pressure and deliver timely advice on complex issues”. While Katja Kovačič “shows total professionalism and dedication” and is “an indispensable guide” to her clients with respect to all manner of trademark issues and Igor Šetinc has hit his stride in trademark and copyright litigation in recent years, leveraging his tort and damages law background. Finally debuting in the rankings this year is prosecution-focused Lea Kravos, who is described as being “conscientious and rapid in his responses” and demonstrates “up-to-the-minute knowledge of Slovenian, international and EU trademark law”.

Patentna pisarna doo

Patentna pisarna “delivers impeccable work and results” and has been doing so for over six decades. The firm has finely honed its A-to-Z trademark offering and is home to a set of “reliable lawyers who go above and beyond to protect their clients”. Gold-rated Vesna Kovič has a highly nuanced knowledge of IP protection procedure in Slovenia having worked at SIPO for eight years before her arrival at the firm; she is absolutely in her element handling oppositions, court cases and enforcement matters. Irena Kadunc resolves disputes with poise too; the pair are “always well prepared and quick to get down to the nub of each case”.

PETOŠEVIĆ

Having recently opened a new office in Minsk, PETOŠEVIĆ now operates out of 17 bases across Eastern Europe and offers a level of cross-border coverage that few, if any firms in the region can match. Although smooth operators in all areas of trademark practice, the side excels when it comes to managing the portfolios of international brands and handling oppositions. Barbara Mencin recently became head of the Ljublana office following the departure of Tatjana Simović.

Šelih & Partnerji op doo

“A fantastic and influential firm” is the verdict on Šelih. In intellectual property, the commercial outfit’s touch is deft especially when it comes to licensing and other transactions, although rights protection and enforcement mandates are swiftly and confidently handled too. Making up a dynamic duo are versatile lawyers Nina Šelih and Nataša Pipan Nahtigal, who are hailed for their collaborative approach and keen eye for detail. “They put the client first at all times and are highly experienced and knowledgeable.”

Wolf Theiss

Wolf Theiss’s trademark practice has been experiencing significant growth of late and the team in Ljublana have had a major role to play in this narrative. Although best known for its trademark licensing expertise, the local crew undertakes a broad range of contentious matters and can cover all the bases for clients seeking to protect, enforce and monetise their brands. Spearheading the practice is Klara Miletič, a “calm, thoughtful and devoted lawyer who gives pragmatic and constructive advice”. One of her key clients is Crocs, with whom she has a longstanding relationship.

Zivko Mijatovic & Partners 

For a “fast, accurate and high-quality trademark service” with a presence throughout the Balkans and Eastern Europe, look no further than Zivko. Operating with incredible efficiency and standout cross-border strategic savvy, the outfit acts on behalf of many household brands and top-ranked foreign associates. Its Ljubljana team makes particularly light work of major anti-counterfeiting efforts and offers customs applications, seizures and counterfeit destruction services as a neat single package. Key contacts include trademark attorney Metka Malis Furlan and “responsive, reliable and organised” lawyer Alejandra Rosero.

Other recommended experts

Andrej Bukovnik recently left PETOŠEVIĆ to set up his own eponymous practice operating out of Brussels. Bukovnik dishes up valuable enforcement and anti-counterfeiting advice for those with branding issues in Central and Eastern Europe.

Individuals

  • Vesna Kovič - Patentna pisarna doo
  • Gregor Maček - ITEM doo
  • Nataša Pipan Nahtigal - Šelih & Partnerji op doo
  • Andrej Bukovnik - Bukovnik IP Consulting
  • Jasna Habič - ITEM doo
  • Irena Kadunc - Patentna pisarna doo
  • Katja Kovačič - ITEM doo
  • Lea Kravos - ITEM doo
  • Klara Miletič - Wolf Theiss
  • Nina Šelih - Šelih & Partnerji op doo
  • Igor Šetinc - ITEM doo