Colombia

One of the most economically stable countries in the region, Colombia also leads by example when it comes to intellectual property. Over a short span of roughly five years, the patent office has undergone a substantial upgrade in standards and processes, making it one of the quickest in the world for patent filing. Filing in Colombia has thus become an increasingly attractive prospect for foreign rights holders and local entities alike. Additionally, though national applications represent a small share of the market, the government has continued to push for growth in technology and innovation; as such, the forecast for domestic patent work also looks bright.

Firms

1
Brigard & Castro
Cavelier Abogados
Lloreda Camacho & Co
OlarteMoure
2
Baker McKenzie Colombia SA
Castellanos & Co
Clarke Modet & Co
Posse Herrera Ruiz
3
Raisbeck & Castro
Triana Uribe & Michelsen
Baker McKenzie Colombia SA
“The Baker McKenzie name carries much weight and understandably so – it’s a very solid choice for trademark and patent work here.” “With many years of experience and a good knowledge base in its practitioners, the firm has one of the most reliable practices for patent prosecution in the country.” Its vast international network makes light work of multi-jurisdictional transactions; IP group leader Juan Pablo Concha Delgado takes full advantage of this when juggling numerous cross-border portfolios and enforcement actions.
Brigard & Castro
Delivering “excellent counsel with incredibly fast turnaround times”, Brigard & Castro “impresses on both its willingness and ability to quickly take on difficult cases.” Thanks to a close working relation with sister company Brigard & Urrutia, the top-tier boutique has access to a rare level of corporate knowledge that grants it a glinted commercial edge in all transactions and boasts an outstanding success rate for patent applications. Breaking new ground in the electronic engineering field, the group recently acquired a patent on behalf of Tencent by getting software features acknowledged as an essential element of the invention. This success was due in no small part to team head Julián Ricardo Díaz, who “stands out for his comprehensive knowledge of patent matters”. The “exceptional patent lawyer” is a life sciences doyen; other key local industries are covered by Santiago Mejía López, a mechanics and electronics whizz who excels at drafting and defending patents.
Castellanos & Co
“Committed and experienced, the team at Castellanos & Co gives prompt and detailed answers, enabling you to protect your inventions in Colombia in the best possible way.” The firm serves a number of global leaders across the non-contentious/contentious divide and is especially proficient in biotechnology and life sciences. “A key contact for patent prosecution and litigation, Margarita Castellanos is very knowledgeable and accessible, and is well aware of current trends and of court decisions on IP issues. Backed by an efficient docketing system, working with her and her team is a simple process, as you get timely responses and reminders for any pending deadlines.” Acting on behalf of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, Castellanos and her team recently overcame an objection to the inventive step of a patent application with an especially savvy tactic that melded the legal knowledge of its attorneys with the technical know-how of its engineers.
Cavelier Abogados
“One of the most important law firms in Colombia”, “Cavelier has a historical track record in filings and prosecution". Adept in all fields of technology, the capable shop houses a sizeable crew of engineers, chemists and other technical experts, giving it an enviable level of percipience into patent matters, both locally and regionally. The addition of “sharp prosecutor” Andrés Rincón in 2015 – who made partner in early 2016 – has “further improved the quality of the patent services of his firm, which were already great”. “A very organised and affable fellow, he is fantastic in litigation.” “Rincón is definitely a reference in the region”; he is “responsible, attentive and always looking for the best legal solutions and alternatives”. He and his team made headlines last year representing Qualcomm in a landmark decision that saw the patent office change its standard for the grant of product claims characterised through functional features in the domain of software-implemented inventions.
Clarke Modet & Co
Clarke Modet & Co has a sprawling network of offices across Latin America, with additional bases in Spain and Portugal, which gifts the Colombian unit considerable regional and global firepower. “The firm has a very good track record for patent filings” and is “a solid option for prosecution”. With “possibly the most robust filing practice in Colombia”, it has a proactive team that is especially adept at drafting watertight applications for international clients. Patent chief Norberto Rodríguez Acosta is a pharmaceuticals and biotechnology maven who “gets how things are done at the patent office”.
Lloreda Camacho & Co
“Lloreda Camacho is incredibly strong when it comes to life sciences and definitely deserves its position in gold.” Central to this narrative is Ana Maria Castro, who captains the patent department with finesse. She is praised for “her disciplined approach to clients’ portfolios”; peers label her “a strong competitor in this field”. “She has been advising the pharmaceuticals industry for many years and really knows the business”, and she and her team have acquired a strong following of leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. She is also adept at handling high-profile cases and infringement actions. Chemistry sage Nestor Bejarano Pérez offers critical support – “he is extremely good at patent prosecution”.
OlarteMoure
With a keen focus on patents, OlarteMoure is home to a squad of talented practitioners with dual technical and legal backgrounds. “Extremely reliable for prosecution”, the esteemed outfit has established a glowing reputation for itself both at home and throughout Latin America. It always has its finger on the pulse in the pharmaceutical world and regularly partners up with industry heavyweights, to superb effect. Led by the “well-prepared” Carlos Olarte, the set has recently been making headlines through its handling of a compulsory licence request on behalf of Novartis; the impact of this case will be felt regionally and beyond. “Olarte jumps to mind for patents and excels at both prosecution and litigation”; he is “at the top of the market for life sciences work”. Former examiner Alexander Agudelo “is very keen in prosecution, but has also been gathering more and more experience in litigation – his practice has been doing very well as of late”. He has provided robust support to Novartis concerning the prosecution of its regional patent applications.
Posse Herrera Ruiz
Well known for its litigation and tax departments, Posse Herrera Ruiz also renders top-notch IP services; in particular, it comes “strongly recommended for its filing capabilities” and operates a one-stop shop service for patent filings and searches in several Latin American and Caribbean jurisdictions. However, the general practice is also highly active in infringement actions; plus its corporate background helps it to dispatch tricky regulatory issues with ease. The “serious, competent and professional” Helena Camargo fronts the IP practice and is “an experienced trademark and patent practitioner”. Spearheading the patent division, Mónica Bonnett is “a go-to attorney for filing in South America and very knowledgeable”. The “prompt and professional” Bonnett is “a special talent for converting your expectations into legal objectives that can be met in a timely manner without exaggeration”.
Raisbeck & Castro
The modest size of Raisbeck & Castro belies its potency in the IP domain. This is manifested in founder Ian Raisbeck, who – in addition to his soft IP expertise – is skilled at prosecution and all manner of administrative, civil and criminal litigation for patent matters. “Liked by his clients, Raisbeck has a dual technical and legal background that makes him worthy of recommendation.”
Triana Uribe & Michelsen
Triana Uribe & Michelsen’s trademark practice may make the most noise, but the firm is a persuasive option for all manner of mandates, including patent work. Its versatile attorneys are keenly aware of all the issues across the spectrum of intellectual property, and its customised approach and internationally attuned outlook have won over many global clients. The diligent and committed Fernando Triana sits at the top of the totem pole; he performs splendidly on all manner of patent-related prosecution. He is admirably supported by Andrés Medina, who helped to found the patent department.

Individuals

Ana Maria Castro - Lloreda Camacho & Co
Carlos R Olarte - OlarteMoure
Andrés Rincón - Cavelier Abogados
Alexander Agudelo - OlarteMoure
Nestor Bejarano Pérez - Lloreda Camacho & Co
Mónica Bonnett - Posse Herrera Ruiz
Helena Camargo - Posse Herrera Ruiz
Margarita Castellanos - Castellanos & Co
Juan Pablo Concha Delgado - Baker McKenzie Colombia SA
Julián Ricardo Díaz - Brigard & Castro
Andrés Medina - Triana Uribe & Michelsen
Santiago Mejía López - Brigard & Castro
Ian Raisbeck - Raisbeck & Castro
Norberto Rodríguez Acosta - Clarke Modet & Co
Fernando Triana - Triana Uribe & Michelsen
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Issue 86