Venezuela

The economic and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela worsened in 2018. Few IP lawyers remain in the country, limiting options for brand owners still interested in trying to protect and enforce IP rights there. The WTR 1000 listings have changed significantly for 2019; only firms with an ongoing and demonstrable commitment to the market are recommended.

Firms

Antequera Parilli & Rodríguez

Antequera Parilli & Rodríguez delivers on its promise of both quality and efficiency and has clearly established itself as “best in class” when it comes to IP protection and enforcement in Venezuela. Despite atrocious market conditions, the firm never stops moving forward; notable recent steps include enhancing its privacy and data protection practices, promoting trademark prosecution director and prosecution ace María Alejandra Castillo to the partnership ranks and merging with excellent trademark boutique Markven. The latter move brought on board Barbarita Guzmán, a noted expert on portfolio management and trademark commercialisation strategy. Bringing inspiring leadership to a squad now unparalleled in strength and depth are managing partner and head of trademarks Ricardo Alberto Antequera, IP litigation and enforcement supremo Manuel Antonio Rodríguez and life sciences chief Ricardo Enrique Antequera. They have added notable accomplishments to their CVs recently; Alberto Antequera and Rodríguez have scored major anti-counterfeiting wins for Chanel and Adidas as a result of meticulous investigations and excellent cooperation with Venezuela’s customs authorities; Enrique Antequera has successfully handled a domain name dispute for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and given essential data privacy advice to many.

Baker McKenzie SC 

Whatever business companies are conducting in Venezuela, Baker McKenzie is in pole position to provide support – to many, it is the best full-service outfit in the country. Over six decades it has cultivated a fine-tuned understanding of the local market and the complicated political and economic rules governing it, making the team as reliable as any native ensemble; of course, it can also bring the Baker McKenzie global support package into play to ensure that the strategies it maps out for Venezuela align neatly with clients’ international plans. On the IP side, perennial WTR 1000 gold-tier occupant Dianne Regina Phoebus takes charge. She brings legal certainty to clients while supporting their business development, and her deep experience brings comfort to those for whom Venezuela is uncharted territory. Another abundant source of insight on trademark law, practice and policy is Laura Rada, an IP specialist with over 20 years’ experience prosecuting trademark and patent applications through to grant.

Bolet & Terrero

Due to the political and economic situation in the country, many top Venezuelan lawyers now base themselves in other jurisdictions; as a sign of the firm’s deep and enduring commitment to patrons, however, Bolet & Terrero’s managing partner still lives and works locally. Having eyes and ears on the ground in Venezuela is incredibly valuable to brand owners that want to safeguard their rights and get things done, and the firm’s physical presence has been driving an increasing number of portfolios its way. The set’s technical sophistication and totally paperless system also creates demand for its efficiently rendered services and clearly communicated advice. Beacons of light in this most challenging jurisdiction are Manuel Polanco and María Elena Terrero. Polanco’s touch is incredibly deft, whether he is obtaining recognition of notoriety for marks, consolidating large portfolios or successfully dispatching oppositions. One of his recent highlights was a not-so-typical trademark case; acting on behalf of Hermés International, Polanco prevented a shipment of fake goods entering Venezuela, the containers for which also included a large quantity of illegal drugs. Terrero is a repository of trust for marquee international rights holders across multiple sectors; fluent in prosecution, enforcement and IP transactions, she is a triple-threat brands lawyer.

ECV & Asociados

ECV provides an A-to-Z trademark and IP service and earns particular commendation for the effective way in which it tailors solutions to each client; these satisfy both legal and business needs. Also impressive is the set’s international connectedness; the team participates extensively in INTA, the Inter-American Association of Intellectual Property and many other organisations, maintaining an excellent network and a well-rounded knowledge of international IP best practices to apply in Venezuela. Enrique Cheang Vera is the mastermind behind the firm’s success and impressive growth. An experienced lawyer and respected university professor, he gives advice that is both extremely rigorous and easy to apply in practice.

Other recommended experts

Rojas Gaona & Bandres partner Luis Arévalo has participated in free trade agreement negotiations, spent time at the Venezuelan trademark office and undertaken lots of IP association committee work. His broad experience shows in the perspicacity of his advice. Castor Gonzalez-Escobar “provides top-notch regional advice and has a superb team behind him” at GR LEX Americas. Ayala & Lopez managing partner Adolfo Lopez is well versed in trademark law but also brings to the table lots of experience in adjacent areas, such as advertising and competition law, which makes him a well-rounded brands expert. Rosa María Mejuto runs things at TEHAR, the IP-specialised affiliate of full-service firm Travieso Evans. She demonstrates outstanding communication skills and a comprehensive knowledge of Venezuelan and international trademark law.

Individuals

  • Ricardo Enrique Antequera - Antequera Parilli & Rodríguez
  • Ricardo Alberto Antequera H - Antequera Parilli & Rodríguez
  • Enrique Cheang Vera - ECV & Asociados
  • Dianne Regina Phoebus - Baker McKenzie SC
  • Manuel Polanco F - Bolet & Terrero
  • Luis G Arévalo - Rojas Gaona & Bandres
  • María Alejandra Castillo - Antequera Parilli & Rodríguez
  • Castor Gonzalez-Escobar - GR LEX Americas
  • Barbarita Guzmán - Antequera Parilli & Rodríguez
  • Adolfo Lopez - Ayala & Lopez Abogados
  • Rosa María Mejuto - TEHAR sc
  • Laura Rada - Baker McKenzie SC
  • Manuel Antonio Rodríguez - Antequera Parilli & Rodríguez
  • Maria Elena Terrero - Bolet & Terrero