Alexander Christophoroff

Partner at Gowling WLG
Ranked in Russia
WTR Research

The WTR 1000 focuses exclusively on trademark practice and has firmly established itself as the definitive 'go-to' resource for those seeking world-class legal trademark expertise

Gold - Individuals: enforcement and litigation

The Russian outpost of worldwide juggernaut Gowling WLG is distinguished by its total dedication to IP. Its success in prosecution, litigation and transactions prompts competitors to highlight it as “a group of quality lawyers who can deal with the most extraordinary requests and provide practical and scrupulous advice”. The Moscow team – under the leadership of Canadian-born David Aylen – assists the likes of Jaguar Land Rover, Starbucks and Volvo with trademark issues not just in Russia, but across the whole CIS region. Polished litigator Aylen earns effusive plaudits from clients: “Having worked with David on a challenging trademark litigation that went to appeal, he was thorough, understood the big picture, communicated options and strategies well, and was ultimately victorious. I think he is outstanding.” Assisting Aylen on Starbucks’ dispute with One Bucks Coffee, as well as on the Jaguar Land Rover brief – which has involved a high volume of trademark filings as well as customs enforcement actions and cancellation proceedings – is Alexander Christophoroff. He has appeared in more administrative proceedings than he can count and is the sitting president of the Russian Chamber of Patent Attorneys. Maria Aronikova has also been doing battle for patrons at Rospatent and the courts for 16 years in trademark, domain name, copyright and unfair competition proceedings. The versatile Maria Stadnik is a Swiss army knife of a practitioner who deals with issues of every flavour – from prosecution to litigation and licensing. Marina Drel and Yulia Yarnykh are both well versed in advertising and e-commerce issues, and act as a formidable strike force against counterfeiters.

Alexander Christophoroff's Profile

Alexander Christophoroff is a partner in Gowling WLG's Moscow office, specialising in the areas of IP litigation and prosecution.

His practice includes, in particular, representing clients in patent and trademark trials before the general and commercial courts, where he has been involved in many precedent-setting cases, as well as the Board of Patent Disputes of the Russian Patent and Trademark Office and anti-monopoly authorities. He has been an attorney in private practice since 1997, admitted as an attorney at law (advocate), Russian trademark attorney, and Eurasian and Russian patent attorney. Prior to this, he worked for the Russian Patent and Trademark Office as general counsel and as a member of its board.

He is the president of the Russian Chamber of Patent Attorneys and associate professor at HSE University.

He is recognised as a leading Russian IP litigator by, among others, Chambers, IAM Patent 1000, WTR 1000, The Best Lawyers (including three times as Lawyer of the Year), Managing Intellectual Property and Who’s Who Legal.

Representative work

  • Successfully litigating hundreds of cases in the Russian commercial and general courts, including precedent-setting cases in the highest instances
  • Negotiating the acquisition of Russian businesses and their IP assets by foreign companies
  • Negotiating the settlement of commercial and IP disputes
  • Providing IP-related advice to Russian and foreign companies
Firm Profile

With more than 1,500 legal professionals in offices worldwide, Gowling WLG is an international law firm offering clients a comprehensive suite of legal services across multiple jurisdictions and industry sectors.

The firm is widely regarded as a global leader in IP law, with significant strength in prosecution, enforcement and litigation, and transactional work.

Global reach

Gowling WLG is home to top IP practices in Canada, Russia, the United Kingdom and throughout Europe, as well as across an arc of challenging jurisdictions that include the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and China. Our exclusive association with JurisAsia in Singapore — along with a robust network of established relationships with leading IP practitioners worldwide — ensures our clients have access to the very best in trademark services, wherever their business takes them.

With a view to serving our clients better, we continue to grow our global platform each year. Most recently, in September 2021, we announced a significant expansion of our IP practice and relationships in China. This expansion includes:

  • the transfer of Clyde & Co’s Chinese IP practice to Gowling WLG, giving Gowling WLG clients access to a broader range of IP services’
  • an exclusive referral arrangement with Chongqing Aquila Law Firm (Aquila Law). This arrangement will allow Gowling WLG to provide clients with enhanced, seamless access to the Chinese courts and IP offices; and
  • a new office in Shanghai, an extension of Gowling WLG’s IP agency in Beijing. This office will complement the firm's existing locations in Beijing and Guangzhou, as well as Aquila Law's office in Chongqing.


Directly through our offices in Canada, Russia, China and the UAE — as well as through our extensive network of trusted international associates — we offer clients a full range of trademark prosecution services. From filing to managing large international portfolios to supporting complex transactions, our professionals deliver practical, cost-effective legal advice to help commercialise and maximise your IP assets.

Enforcement and litigation

Our prosecution services are matched by formidable enforcement capabilities spanning all our global offices. Our services encompass opposition proceedings, infringement, cancellations and invalidations, passing off, dilution, anti-counterfeiting, trans-shipping and parallel import matters.

We regularly appear before all levels of court in the United Kingdom, Europe, Russia and Canada, and manage and coordinate litigation in other jurisdictions. Members of our team have represented clients successfully in a wide range of matters, including with respect to trademark validity, the misappropriation of confidential information and theft of trade secrets, defamation, and IP licensing disputes. From ‘bet the company’ litigation to the smallest skirmish, we work tirelessly to ensure we achieve optimal outcomes for our international clientele.


Our global IP transactions team has a rich track record advising on a breadth of IP transactional and cross-border matters, including with respect to transfers, coexistence, joint ownership, licensing and recordals, securitisation of intellectual property, brand clearance and franchise contracts — as well as the IP aspects of corporate transactions (including M&A, joint venture and hive offs). Our team also has particular experience in life sciences, IT, competition/antitrust and employment transactions.

Full-service offering

Outside our IP practice, Gowling WLG is equipped to advise clients in virtually every area of law relevant to business. This comprehensive offering gives our team the ability to seamlessly harmonise our clients’ IP interests with other facets of their organisation, and in turn develop a more holistic picture of their business objectives. This is one of our core strengths and a key differentiator from other IP service providers — whether they are full-service firms or boutiques.


Our IP practice and the professionals who comprise it are routinely recognised by the world’s foremost IP publications. In 2021 alone, our team received multiple distinctions:

  • World Trademark Review selected 11 Gowling WLG professionals across four countries, more than any other firm in the world, for inclusion in the 2021 edition of WTR Global Leaders; and
  • Gowling WLG was named among the top 26 international trademark firms in the 2021 edition of WTR 1000. The guide also recognised 39 Gowling WLG trademark professionals around the world who together earned a total of 47 listings across multiple areas.



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