The deepening political and economic crisis in Venezuela makes it one of the toughest jurisdictions in the world in which to conduct business and protect and enforce IP rights. The ordeal regarding the official fees to be paid to the country’s Autonomous Service of Intellectual Property (SAPI) continues to go from bad to worse: following an astronomic fee hike in 2015, recent tax adjustments to fees paid to public entities are causing costs to rise even further. To make matters worse, SAPI requests that overseas trademark owners pay in foreign currency, to which an onerous official exchange rate is applied.
- Antequera Parilli & Rodríguez
- Baker McKenzie SC
- Bentata Abogados
- Bolet & Terrero
- De Sola Pate & Brown
- ECV & Asociados
- Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque
- Rojas Gaona & Bandres
- Ayala & Lopez Abogados
- Markven Propiedad Intelectual SC
- Marquez Henriquez Ortin & Valedon
- TEHAR sc
Antequera Parilli & Rodríguez
Antequera Parilli & Rodríguez sets the IP benchmark which all other firms in Venezuela aspire to – under the management of Ricardo Alberto Antequera, it is simply “the best in class”. The security situation in the country has affected all law firms, but Antequera has done its utmost to minimise the impact; its dedication to the practice is an inspiration to the myriad blue-chip brand owners and top-tier foreign correspondents who call here. While some competitors can prosecute a trademark just as well as this group, no other outfit adds as much value beyond filing; the team’s wealth of consumer protection, advertising and regulatory know-how – not to mention its whetted contentious and anti-counterfeiting skills – enables it to represent clients in a truly holistic fashion. A deep bench of hands-on senior experts is another distinguishing feature. María Alejandra Castillo coordinates and manages prosecution work with a rare degree of efficiency, while also advising extensively on advertising matters. Representing adidas, Puma, Chanel, Calvin Klein and many others, Manuel Antonio Rodríguez takes the reins of the enforcement practice and proves himself a master strategist with a creative streak. He trains many of the jurisdiction’s customs officials on IP matters, giving him a level of access to the authorities that others can only envy. Ricardo Enrique Antequera captains the patent and life sciences practice, but brings in-depth trademark and copyright expertise to the table, too.
Ayala & Lopez Abogados
Passionate and proactive, IP boutique Ayala & Lopez delivers a highly personalised service that always keeps clients standing in good stead, whatever issues arise. Managing partner Adolfo Lopez receives enthusiastic acclaim from those he represents: “Adolfo provides clear and concise advice and recommendations, and is always timely in reporting developments in the application process. He is an experienced, highly capable and responsive trademark practitioner who can be recommended without hesitation.”
Baker McKenzie SC
Baker McKenzie combines 60-plus years of IP operations on the ground in Venezuela with incredible global experience, making it the complete package for multinationals. Adept leadership is supplied by Dianne Regina Phoebus, one of the best trademark experts anywhere in Latin America. “She has many accomplishments and years of practice on her résumé and is always well prepared. She understands the way that US companies want to do business, and provides extremely robust advice.” An all-around IP strategist and source of abundant insight on unfair competition, advertising and regulatory law, she is a great choice for anything that touches brands. By her side is senior associate Laura Rada, whose intimate knowledge of the trademark registry’s inner workings is a major boon to rights holders. No aspect of trademark practice falls outside her wheelhouse – she is a commercially savvy portfolio manager, judicious enforcer and transactional maven.
Intellectual property is a pillar of the commercial law practice at Bentata. Deploying a versatile team of assistants, technicians and support staff in addition to its eminently experienced lawyers, the firm manages search, prosecution, maintenance, licensing and litigation tasks with utmost efficiency and against all odds. The set’s impressive language capabilities – spanning English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Portuguese – allow it to communicate clearly with international brand owners wherever they are based, which helps to explain the remarkable diversity of its clientele. Interested parties should make IP head Dana Bentata and managing partner Karel Bentata their first port of call.
Bolet & Terrero
Bolet & Terrero is a longstanding IP player with more than 100 years of practice under its belt, but the side does not rest on its laurels; it invests its earnings back into the firm in order to provide the most modern and commercial support to its clients. As testament to its forward-looking mindset, it recently launched a new website which includes an informative blog arming clients with knowledge and insight as they navigate the many challenges presented by the Venezuelan market. No aspect of trademark practice is off limits for the well-organised crew, which has a knack for speeding up the prosecution process and keeping costs low by facilitating early dispute resolution wins. Management duties rest on Manuel Polanco’s shoulders; he inspires his team to exceed expectations at every turn, but also provides rigorous advice directly to patrons. He recently negotiated the resolution of an opposition filed against an application made by his client Millicom International Cellular; he obtained a favourable outcome without involving the Venezuelan Trademark Office, allowing Millicom to move forward unobstructed. Another senior figure is chief operations officer Maria Elena Terrero, who makes her first appearance in the WTR 1000 this year.
De Sola Pate & Brown
De Sola Pate & Brown has long been acknowledged as one of the most reliable IP service providers in Venezuela. The commercial law outfit has a talented cadre of exceptionally experienced professionals who are dedicated to intellectual property. With the organisation since 1982, Irene De Sola co-chairs the group alongside international IP consultant Richard Brown, who has worked here since 1985 following a stint as a New York trademark lawyer. A younger professional who has nonetheless seen just about everything in the brands space, José Gutierrez is another valuable member of the squad. He blends extensive transactional expertise into his well-rounded trademark protection and rights defence practice.
ECV & Asociados
ECV rides into the silver tier of the WTR 1000 for 2018 on a wave of positive client feedback. The 21-year-old ensemble and top-three filer offers a tailored service, “replies to any query with exceptional speed” and “provides clear advice and lots of information, which is essential when you are dealing with the trademark office and the delays and costs that can entail”. The face of the firm, Enrique Cheang Vera is “a connoisseur when it comes the registration of trademarks and patents in Venezuela”. “Whenever there are any problems, Enrique quickly solves them.”
Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque
A top full-service firm in Venezuela, Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque has been at the cutting edge of the law for over 70 years. Throughout this time, it has truly excelled in IP practice – getting to know the wider industry issues and business objectives of clients has been one of the keys to its success. The nation’s first IP outfit to obtain ISO 9001:2008 certification, it provides a quality service at all stages of the trademark lifecycle. María Milagros Nebreda keeps a steady hand on the tiller of the IP division. She has a gift for making the most effective use of all available protection and commercialisation tools, and is a reliable ally to have on side.
Markven Propiedad Intelectual SC
Markven has been steadily building its reputation as a go-to boutique in Venezuela; since it entered the market in 2005, it has worked tirelessly to develop its offering and expertise, and now showcases a “complete understanding of the trademark system”. The firm’s compact size makes it nimble and responsive, and allows the partners to personally roll up their sleeves to dispatch mandates to the exact specifications of a wide array of patrons. Founding partner Barbarita Guzmán has “an excellent touch with clients, and is a leader within a new generation of trademark stars in Venezuela”. The prosecution ace has been acting for Franceschi Chocolate on the registration of trademarks internationally, and protecting the rights of high-end cycling componentry manufacturer SRAM domestically. New to the WTR 1000 this year is Pedro Jedlicka, who has been taking the dispute resolution and anti-counterfeiting practice to the next level. He frequently supports React Latin America on sweeping investigations.
Marquez Henriquez Ortin & Valedon
Recommended by regional foreign associates for its copyright and trademarks expertise, MHOV continues to stand out as a cost-effective – yet quality and service-focused – option for rights holders with interests in Venezuela. It processes trademark applications with finesse and its ongoing market surveillance activities give clients peace of mind in the long run. When it comes to litigation, the team has the skills and experience to triumph in the face of considerable obstacles. Luis Alejandro Henriquez earned his LLM in intellectual property from John Marshall Law School in Chicago in 2016, adding to his already impressive curriculum vitae. Serving as a partner here for over a decade, he knows how to get the best out of his team and deliver innovative branding solutions.
Rojas Gaona & Bandres
IP and corporate outfit Rojas Gaona & Bandres matches academic excellence with a practical and commercially attuned approach to brand protection. Its eminently qualified team dispenses all manner of trademark instructions with alacrity, from searching and registration through to oppositions, civil infringement litigation and criminal enforcement. Taking the lead on many of these activities is Luis Arévalo, who has earned the respect of the market as a result of his extensive involvement in various associations, including the Venezuelan Association of Intellectual Property Agents (COVAPI) and the IP committee of the Venezuelan-American Chamber of Commerce. He has seriously invested himself in working towards the improvement of the country’s IP environment.
Travieso Evans Arria Rengel runs its IP practice through an affiliated organisation going by the name TEHAR; this has allowed it to maximise the efficiency and flexibility with which it can perform trademark work. Running the show is Rosa María Mejuto, an outstanding English and Spanish translator and all-around IP protection whizz. She comes to the practice with an excellent education – having completed a master’s in intellectual property at the Franklin Pierce Law Centre in the United States and studied branding and trademarks at top Venezuelan management school IESA – and has flourished in leadership roles at every stage of her exemplary career.
Other recommended experts
Citemark International patent and trademark attorney Sebastián González Yanes operates a well-rounded branding practice that extends well beyond Venezuela’s borders – he offers a sterling regional Latin American service. Castor Gonzalez-Escobar is the partner in charge at GR LEX Americas and leads the firm’s New York representative office. Brand owners seek him out for his pan-Latin American anti-counterfeiting expertise. The founding partner of Moreau González & Asociados, Jacqueline Moreau Aymard is a seasoned trademark portfolio manager. She serves as vice president of COVAPI.
- Ricardo Enrique Antequera - Antequera Parilli & Rodríguez
- Ricardo Alberto Antequera H - Antequera Parilli & Rodríguez
- Luis G Arévalo - Rojas Gaona & Bandres
- Enrique Cheang Vera - ECV & Asociados
- Dianne Regina Phoebus - Baker McKenzie SC
- Laura Rada - Baker McKenzie SC
- Dana Bentata - Bentata Abogados
- Karel Bentata - Bentata Abogados
- Richard Brown - De Sola Pate & Brown
- María Alejandra Castillo - Antequera Parilli & Rodríguez
- Irene De Sola - De Sola Pate & Brown
- Sebastián González Yanes - Citemark International IP
- Castor Gonzalez-Escobar - GR LEX Americas
- José Gutierrez - De Sola Pate & Brown
- Barbarita Guzmán - Markven Propiedad Intelectual SC
- Luis Alejandro Henriquez - Marquez Henriquez Ortin & Valedon
- Pedro A Jedlicka - Markven Propiedad Intelectual SC
- Adolfo Lopez - Ayala & Lopez Abogados
- Rosa María Mejuto - TEHAR sc
- Jacqueline Moreau Aymard - Moreau González & Asociados
- María Milagros Nebreda - Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque
- Manuel Polanco F - Bolet & Terrero
- Manuel Antonio Rodríguez - Antequera Parilli & Rodríguez
- Maria Elena Terrero - Bolet & Terrero