Franchise is a popular business model in Central America. The most populous franchise systems are fast food, full-service restaurants and car rental companies. As well as home grown franchises, Central America sees many US brands and European concepts. Following the CAFTA and the improved investment climate throughout the region, the franchising sector is expanding at a strong rate. The agreement has provided improved trademark protection and lowered the cost of importing equipment.
Following the introduction of both the Dominican Republic-Central America FTA with the US and the region’s partnership agreement with the European Union, Central America has seen a marked influx of foreign investment. According to the World Bank, Panama received over $5 billion in investment from foreign sources in 2014, with Costa Rica gaining over $2 billion. It is therefore no surprise that these two countries are at the forefront of our research, garnering over 50 per cent of the total inclusions in the chapter between them. The financial service sector is particularly well developed in Panama, meeting international standards and employing strict banking laws. However, most countries in the region can lay claim to expanding financial markets, including the growing use of equity, loans and bonds.
While firms in Central America often have a broad offering, dispute resolution has emerged in recent years as an area of heightened activity and as such a premium has been placed on these skills in the market.
As the Central American region begins to open up more and more to international investments, its corporate legal market must too expand to meet demand. With 103 lawyers recommended in the field, it is the largest single practice area in our research, highlighting the need, both my local and foreign clients, for high-quality legal counsel.
Our lastest research into the global trademark legal marketplace reveals a total of almost 1,000 listings from 579 law firms across 82 countries. In this section, we highlight the law firms that stand out in the market, as well as the most highly regarded individuals across the major jurisdictions in our research.
For the second time we take a look at the legal professionals qualified to advise on the protection and enforcement of trademark rights. In this section, we highlight the firms that stand out in the market, as well as the most highly regarded attorneys in the market. The following individuals will focus on filing and prosecuting applications to register trademarks, as well as advising on the use and registration of trademarks, handling trademark oppositions, revocations, invalidations and assignments, carry out searches, and advising on trademarks infringement matters.
The latest edition of Who’s Who Legal: Patents is a comprehensive guide to the world’s leading patent lawyers, comprising 880 practitioners from 418 firms across 66 countries.
We are pleased to feature, for the second time, a list of the world’s leading patent agents. We recognise 319 agents from 145 firms across 30 countries who handle the preparation and filing of patent applications, in addition to prosecuting patents with the relevant patent offices. Gowling WLG, Marks & Clerk, Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonhaugh, D Young & Co and Bird & Bird are among the most highly rated firms in our research.
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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.