George Ballas

Ranked in Greece
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

“The first choice for trademark work in Greece”, Ballas, Pelecanos & Associates is “efficient, super-professional and attentive to the smallest details. The IP team is really friendly too”. The service on offer here is akin to that of a boutique in terms of its responsiveness, partner input and granular understanding of the subject matter; but thanks to the firm’s full-service set-up, its IP practitioners can join forces with colleagues in other departments to tackle inter-disciplinary briefs. At the forefront of the practice is George Ballas, a commercially savvy practitioner who makes it a priority to cultivate long-term relationships with clients, providing results-driven solutions in both contentious and non-contentious scenarios. He was recently instructed by Visa International Service Association to oversee its 50-plus mark Greek portfolio. A staunch protector of rights, George Moukas is behind many of the country’s highest-profile enforcement campaigns. He and Ballas recently linked up to represent Laboratoires La Prairie in a contentious matter which involved opposition and customs proceedings. Joining them in the guide this year is WTR 1000 newcomer “Vicky Xourafa, a “practical thinker and analytical lawyer” who provides prosecution services “of the highest quality”.

George Ballas's Profile

George Ballas is founding, managing and senior partner at Ballas, Pelecanos & Associates LPC, an Athens-based commercial and corporate law partnership, as well as head of the firm’s IP, IT and communications technology practice.

Mr Ballas read law at the Universities of Athens and Paris and was admitted to the Athens Bar in 1972.

He is a member of the Athens Bar Association, the International Bar Association, the International Trademark Association, the European Patent Institute and Lexing – an international network of lawyers specialised in digital and emerging technology law. He is an advocate before the civil and administrative Supreme Courts of Greece, as well as a qualified European patent attorney.

His diverse background includes working as secretary general of the Greek Parliament, chair of the Public Power Corporation Insurance Board and chair of the not-for-profit Association for the Establishment of Libraries for Children. He has also served as a member of the boards of directors of Public Power Corporation and Fiat Auto Athens SA, as well as general legal counsel at Fiat Auto Hellas SA and lead outside counsel for Greece at Microsoft Corporation and Microsoft Hellas SA.

In addition to heading the firm’s litigation practice in complex pharmaceutical patent and anti-counterfeiting cases, Mr Ballas routinely advises clients on developing and managing strategic initiatives for optimising intellectual assets protection, exploitation and enforcement.

He has authored articles and contributed country chapters to a variety of IP, IT and communications technology publications; he has also lectured on patent issues.

Mr Ballas is widely acclaimed as one of the best IP practitioners and litigators in Greece and is consistently identified as a Leading Individual, Recommended Lawyer and Highly Recommended Patent Practitioner by internationally recognised law firm reviewing organisations such as World Trademark Review and Intellectual Asset Management magazines.

He speaks Greek, English, French and Italian.
 

Firm Profile

Founded in 1930 as Simitis Law Offices, a boutique IP and competition law practice, Ballas, Pelecanos & Associates LPC is now an established full-service commercial law firm with a powerful offering in intellectual property. The firm combines the depth of expertise and experience of an IP boutique with the breadth of the practice of a full-service law firm.

The firm’s vast expertise in trademark, patent, utility model, design and copyright infringement litigation enables it to represent clients in business-critical matters involving some of the most renowned international trademarks and patents.

In addition, over the past two decades the firm has expanded its IP practice into the new areas of technology law, data protection, software protection, telecommunications law, consumer protection and media/advertising law.

The firm advises its clients on all aspects of trademark and patent work, ranging from highly contentious litigation to portfolio management and strategic advisory services (including risk assessment). Over the past 25 years, the firm has served as a lead litigator in over 700 anti-counterfeiting and anti-piracy trademark cases. It has a track record of litigating over 1,000 trademark disputes as a lead litigator in the past 45 years. In the context of anti-counterfeiting actions, it also pioneered practices such as customs interventions and ex parte temporary restraining orders.

The firm undertakes all regulatory aspects of trademark prosecution, including registrations, renewals, assignments, licences, oppositions and cancellation actions.

In addition to trademarks, the firm is a leader in patent litigation, acting for clients in high-value patent infringements and patent invalidations, especially in the pharmaceutical sector. From high-volume validation filings to high-profile technical appeals, the firm serves as a strategic adviser to its internationally minded clients in their Greek and cross-border operations.

The firm has acted as a trademark and patent agent and litigator for over 200 foreign and domestic clients. Its enviable client roster spans global leaders in key IP-oriented markets such as technology, fashion, automotive, cosmetics, transport and life sciences and includes Visa International, Delta Air Lines, Beiersdorf, La Prairie, Ericsson, Pharmathen, Daimler, Ford, Mazda, Landis+Gyr, Imperial Tobacco, Eli Lilly, Lafarge/Heracles Cement, Vamvalis Foods, Microsoft, Sunlight, GlaxoSmithKline, Levi Strauss, Nike, Harley-Davidson, Fiat and Philip Morris.

One of the firm’s niche areas of expertise is its contentious patent practice, particularly in the life sciences and pharmaceutical sectors. The firm represents drug manufacturers in courts of all instances, frequently in cases involving generic drugs; clients include Teva, Pharmathen, Sandoz, Stada, Dexcel, Arriani.

While trademarks and patents dominate the firm’s docket, it also assists high-profile clients with other business-critical IP matters, including implementation of the EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market (Spotify and Facebook), domain names and related disputes (Dyson Technology), IP licensing agreements (Facebook) and digital music copyright (Facebook).

The firm’s expertise is consistently recognised among the leading IP practices in Greece. World Trademark Review 1000 and IAM Patent 1000 ranked the firm’s IP practice in their first tier/gold band in their 2020 and 2021 editions (www.worldtrademarkreview.com/directories/wtr1000/rankings/greece and www.iam-media.com/directories/patent1000/rankings/greece). The European Legal 500 also lists the firm in its top tiers (www.legal500.com/firms/10049-ballas-pelecanos-associates-lpc/10049-athens-greece/).

Lawyers and paralegals 

The firm is home to 22 lawyers and seven paralegals and administrative/financial support assistants, including highly experienced IP lawyers, trademark agents, authorised European patent attorneys, as well as highly experienced certified IP paralegals.

They have between two and 45 years of experience.

Clients 

The firm counts 70 major active corporate clients on its roster, of which 65 are multinational companies.

IP practice group

Head 

  • George Ballas, senior and managing partner (complex litigation)

Members

  • George Moukas, senior associate (litigation, counterfeiting, infringements)
  • Anthony Mavrides, senior associate (litigation, Customs)
  • Vicky Xourafas, senior associate (litigation, risk assessment)
  • Theodore Konstantakopoulos, senior associate (information technology, e-commerce, data protection)
  • Nikolaos Papadopoulos, associate (information technology, e-commerce, data protection)
  • Elina Pontikakis, junior associate (litigation, risk assessment)
  • Apostolia Daskalos, junior associate (litigation)
  • Andromache Grammatopoulos, certified senior IP paralegal (prosecution)
  • Suzana Katsionis, IP paralegal (prosecution)
  • Alexandra Pangalos, IP paralegal (prosecution)

IP practice areas

  • Litigation
  • Regulatory/prosecution
  • Copyright
  • Infringements
  • Counterfeiting
  • Pirated goods/software
  • Databases
  • Data privacy
  • Cloud computing
  • Robotics
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Customs vigilance/intervention
     

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