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Central America: Intellectual Property 2017

In this chapter, we feature 55 of the region’s leading IP lawyers. The practitioners listed in the following pages specialise in all areas of IP law, including trademark, patent and copyright enforcement, and anti-counterfeiting, as well as for the commercialisation of IP rights. Below we list the most highly regarded individuals and firms. 

Most Highly Regarded
1. Julian Bendaña-Aragón Guy Jose Bendaña-Guerrero & Asociados, Managua
2. José Roberto Romero Romero Pineda & Asociados, San Salvador
3. María del Pilar López Zurcher Odio & Raven, San José
4. María del Pilar Troncoso Troncoso Leroux, Santo Domingo
5. Ramon Benedetti Benedetti & Benedetti, Panama City

Belize

BARROW & WILLIAMS’ Tania Moody remains the country’s leading IP practitioner in our research. Respondents were quick to praise her “efficient, responsive manner”.

Costa Rica

At ZURCHER ODIO & RAVEN, IP practice head María del Pilar López is described as a “wonderful lawyer” who stands out thanks to her significant expertise in both the patent and trademark spheres.

Milagro Chaves at FACIO & CAÑAS is considered one of the best-known IP specialists in the country. She is a well-established figure in the market with over 26 years’ experience in the Costa Rican IP space.

BLP’s Giselle Reuben heads the firm’s IP department. She is a notable specialist with a well-developed practice that sees her advise clients on the registration, protection and defence of IP rights. According to one market commentator, “She is personable, responsive and knowledgeable.”

Dominican Republic

IP expertise forms one of the core competencies at JORGE MERA & VILLEGAS. The firm’s experience across all areas of IP is highlighted by its two nominations in the following pages.
Orlando Jorge Mera is a longstanding fixture in the Dominican IP space known for his wealth of experience in complex IP matters.
The “excellent” Carmen Prieto Villegas is recommended for her trademark and copyright law expertise.

María del Pilar Troncoso, co-founder of TRONCOSO LEROUX, is a highly rated IP specialist who “deserves recognition” for her considerable expertise in both trademark and patent law. She also boasts substantial experience handling IP due diligence in relation to corporate transactions and licensing agreements.

At TRONCOSO Y CACERES, department head María Josefina Félix Troncoso is recognised for her proficiency in both contentious and non-contentious IP matters. She is particularly well versed in trademark issues advising on portfolio management, protection and enforcement, as well as handling related IP litigation.

MINIÑO ABOGADOS’ Urko Ochoa is described as “one of the best IP lawyers in Latin America” by one respondent who praises his encyclopaedic knowledge of IP legislation. He heads the firm’s IP group, regularly assisting clients with a broad array of issues including cross-border litigation, patent and trademark protection, enforcement and management.

At newly formed IT/IP boutique ANGELES PONS, Wallis Pons Cardi is described by sources as “one of the country’s main players.” She and the firm are known for offering top-notch brand protection and enforcement advice.

Managing partner and IP department head at CASTILLO Y CASTILLO, Tania Castillo comes highly recommended for her significant experience handling high-profile, complex IP matters.

BIAGGI & MESSINA’s Ana Isabel Messina is a prominent figure in the market known for her distinguished trademarks practice.

El Salvador

ESPINO NIETO & ASOCIADOS is a leading player in the Salvadorean IP space with a strong track record handling complex matters for both domestic and international clients, particularly in the pharmaceutical sector.
Practice head Danilo Rodríguez Villamil is considered “one of the best attorneys in Central America” by one respondent. He regularly advises Fortune 500 clients on significant IP matters.
Elena Patricia Puente is also recognised as one of the country’s leading practitioners.

José Roberto Romero at ROMERO PINEDA & ASOCIADOS is an eminent practitioner in the Salvadorean market. A consummate IP specialist, his highly regarded practice sees him counsel an enviable roster of clients.

At leading IP boutique DE LA GASCA & CIA, name partner Giancarlo de la Gasca advises domestic and international clients on the prosecution and enforcement of trademarks, patents and copyrights. According to one market source, “He is very efficient. He has great communication skills, conveying analysis and transmitting recommendations with ease, and really understands local practice."

At ARIAS, IP and life sciences department head Morena Zavaleta is a market-leading practitioner known for advising a number of major pharmaceutical clients on patent protection issues.

CONSORTIUM LEGAL’s Suzanne Julieta Berrios De Tablas heads the firm’s IP practice in San Salvador and is a seasoned practitioner with over 25 years’ experience in the field.

Guatemala

At PALACIOS & ASOCIADOS SERCOMI, Marco Antonio Palacios draws widespread praise from market commentators thanks to his “exceptional trademark infringement practice” that sees him handle most of the significant cases before the Guatemalan courts.

Guillermo Lopez Davis at BUFELCO – BUFETE LOPEZ CORDERO is a major name in the Guatemalan IP space. Sources consider him an excellent lawyer who “really knows his IP law”.

Respondents describe VITERI & VITERI’s Ernesto Viteri as “one of the best IP lawyers in Guatemala.” Another sources claims, “He is well respected and his experience speaks for itself.”

In CONSORTIUM LEGAL’s Guatemala office, the “fantastic” Ninoshka Urrutia is a recognised trademarks specialist known for handling both domestic and regional high-profile cases.

Honduras

MELARA & ASOCIADOS’ founder and managing partner Oscar Armando Melara Facussé is described as “the first port of call in Honduras” by one interviewee.

Ricardo Mejia is considered “simply the best choice in Honduras” by certain market commentators. He heads the IP department at renowned Honduran boutique BUFETE MEJIA & ASOCIADOS and his expertise spans contentious and non-contentious trademark and patent law.

BLP’s Tegucigalpa office is home to the “industrious” Fernando Godoy whose practice covers the registration, protection and enforcement of IP rights, as well as portfolio management and advisory matters.

Nicaragua

At GUY JOSE BENDAÑA-GUERRERO & ASOCIADOS, Julian Bendaña-Aragón is recognised as one of the country’s premier IP specialists. Respondents were quick to describe him as “a responsive and impressive practitioner.”

In CONSORTIUM LEGAL’s Managua office, practice head Darliss Gordon is a well-known figure in the market with a strong track record handling complex trademarks issues for both domestic and international clients.

Panama

BENEDETTI & BENEDETTI is a leading firm with an impressive IP department. The firm sees three practitioners highlighted in this chapter.
Founding partner Ramón Benedetti is an eminent practitioner who sources deem a “pioneer in the Panamanian IP space.”
Audrey Williams co-heads the department and is highly regarded for her expertise handling infringement cases.
The “excellent” Diana Leandro impresses peers with her broad IP practice covering trademark oppositions, prosecution, infringements, cancellation and annulments actions.

Leading Panamanian full service firm ICAZA GONZÁLEZ-RUIZ ALEMÁN also boasts an excellent reputation in this field and is home to three nominees.
Practice co-head Gabriela Tejada de Britton is a prominent practitioner in the market. One peer notes, “I wouldn’t hesitate to refer any work to her. She is professional, ethical and has a strong roster of clients.”
The “superb” Hugo Morán draws praise for his expertise in counterfeiting and anti-piracy matters.
Name partner Francisco González-Ruiz is also highlighted for his longstanding practice in this area.

ALFARO FERRER & RAMÍREZ’s IP practice is a strong choice for a number of multinational clients such as PepsiCo and Ebbro Foods. In this chapter, two practitioners are selected for inclusion.
Marissa Lasso de la Vega leads the firm’s IP team and is commended for her wide-ranging practice covering IP litigation, consumer protection and IP-related antitrust issues.
Monique Ferrer is considered “an obvious inclusion” by one respondent. She regularly advises domestic and international corporates on trademark and patent prosecution and protection, as well as represents clients before the Panamanian Courts of Justice.

At FÁBREGA MOLINO & MULINO, Farah Molino leads the IP and copyright department and is described by one source as “one of the country’s up-and-coming stars.”

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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