Ukraine

Although the Ukrainian patent market has historically been less vulnerable to economic and political stresses than other practice areas, domestic filings have nonetheless taken a dip in the last few years amid geopolitical unrest. However, commentators are hopeful that a myriad of new reforms will improve the business environment and make the country more appealing to foreign investors. Meanwhile, IP-specific developments aim to create a more effective and transparent system of protection for intangible assets in Ukraine. While some have expressed concerns that the timeframes for these transitions are too long and uncertain, there is cause for optimism as the market is perceived to be heading in the right direction. Additionally, plans to open the country’s High IP Court later in the year mean that there is still much untapped potential in the Ukrainian IP market.

Firms

1
Doubinsky & Osharova
Pakharenko & Partners
2
AEQUO
Asters
Baker McKenzie – CIS Limited
Konnov & Sozanovsky
Mikhailyuk Sorokolat & Partners
PETOŠEVIĆ
Synergy Patent Law Agency
AEQUO
“Despite being relatively new on the market, AEQUO has already enjoyed much success and become a recognised name.” Proficient in all aspects of patent law, it “has a particularly strong and extensive practice in litigation”, and has handled many landmark cases at the Supreme Court and the Superior Commercial Court. The rapidly growing outfit has up-to-the-minute industry know-how, especially in the biotechnology and chemistry spheres; as proof of this, Oleksandr Mamunya recently secured a major victory for Dr Reddy’s in a trailblazing case involving a biosimilar medicinal product. Mamunya operates at the cutting edge of Ukrainian patent law: “Though there are many individuals worthy of recommendation, Mamunya stands out. Not only is he a great lawyer, but he contributes to legislation that is being drafted and has really tried to help develop the IP system as a whole.”
Asters
The team at Asters dispenses sage advice on all manner of patent mandates, from clearance and prosecution to complex licence agreements and critical litigation. At the heart of its practice is Julia Semeniy, a trusted and versatile IP all-rounder. “She is a qualified specialist who always gives comprehensive answers with short turnaround times. She is skilled at filing applications both locally and at foreign offices, and is also a solid negotiator.” Semeniy has been occupied of late assisting Biosphere Corporation and Formosa Saint Jose Crop – both major manufacturers – with cross-border briefs and patent registrations.
Baker McKenzie – CIS Limited
Renowned for its trademark offering, the Kiev branch of Baker McKenzie also performs admirably on the patent stage. Established in Ukraine over a quarter of a century ago, it is “a very active player in patent litigation” and has accrued years of valuable experience in the pharmaceuticals, alcoholic beverages and automobiles markets. All of these sectors fall under the purview of Ruslan Drobyazko, whose metier is the structuring of sophisticated IP and IT transactions. He was recently elected as the co-chair of the IP Rights Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine for 2017.
Doubinsky & Osharova
Doubinsky & Osharova has always been a name synonymous with quality in IP law. “One of the strongest in the market, it is capable in all areas of patent work, but is especially brilliant at non-contentious matters.” Name partners Michael Doubinsky and Irina Osharova make a formidable pair; supported by a professional and efficient band of savvy practitioners, they can make light work of any incoming IP instruction. Doubinsky “has a lot of experience in this line of work and is perhaps one of the most respected IP lawyers in the country”, while Osharova “has a deep understanding of patent filing and prosecution”. Venerable stalwart Gorodissky & Partners is a leader in the field by local filing numbers. A font of scientific, technological and legal knowledge, the Ukrainian branch collaborates seamlessly with the firm’s numerous Russian offices, granting it access to an extended reservoir of resources and expertise. Managing partner Nina Moshynska makes the most of this when administering her incisive strategic counsel on cross-border patent issues. She knows what it takes both to guide clients into the Commonwealth of Independent States market and to halt the production of infringing products in the region.
Konnov & Sozanovsky
In operation since 1992, Konnov & Sozanovsky is a mainstay on the Ukrainian legal landscape: “One of the longest-established IP-focused firms out there, it has helped to pioneer intellectual property in this market and today continues to maintain a significant number of portfolios under its care.” The full-service outfit has the necessary firepower to advise on all patent matters, from searches to enforcement and patent office appeals, and its industry knowledge is correspondingly diverse.
Mikhailyuk Sorokolat & Partners
To say that Mikhailyuk Sorokolat & Partners has helped to set the standard of patent practice in Ukraine is no exaggeration: its founding partner was the first registered patent attorney in the country and the firm has been recognised by the patent office for its significant contributions to the development of the IP regime. “Its main selling point is its regional strength. With bases throughout the post-Soviet space, it has a one-of-a-kind network at its disposal.” The firm is also home to a sizeable unit of translators who are specialised in over 30 fields of science and technology. It further excels at overcoming oppositions, as one foreign associate avers: “Its punctual and responsible team possesses a very high success rate when it comes to defending IP rights.” Patent chief Vadim Mikhailyuk has an academic background in mechanical engineering, but is also well versed in a plethora of technologies.
Pakharenko & Partners
“Historically, you would always have to compete with Pakharenko & Partners for IP work”, and “it is still one of the strongest contenders today”. “The firm has a particularly robust patent prosecution practice, but it also houses a number of good litigators”; bespoke strategies and solutions are hallmarks of its service. From biotechnology and pharmacology to electrical engineering and information technology, no domain is beyond the grasp of its tight-knit team of experts. Antonina Pakharenko-Anderson and Alexander Pakharenko are “both among the most visible figures in the market”. Managing partner Pakharenko-Anderson is “a big name” who is “well known for her work on governmental and policy reforms”. Anti-counterfeiting authority Pakharenko is also an astute defender of patent rights through administrative and judicial channels.
PETOŠEVIĆ
Although the Ukrainian arm of PETOŠEVIĆ was formed just over five years ago, its individual practitioners are all incredibly adept and seasoned professionals. The Kiev contingent can call upon the firm’s far-reaching web of offices across Central and Eastern Europe for additional support at a moment’s notice, meaning that there is never any shortage of resources or talent on offer. It has an especially close relationship with its Russian counterpart, making it a prime choice for patent owners looking to expand and enforce their rights regionally. Complex prosecution – particularly for drug companies – is the team’s bread and butter; with the masterful Dina Petošević keeping watch, the quality of its output is always first class.
Synergy Patent Law Agency
“Synergy has really impressed as one of the newer firms on the market. Capable in both prosecution and litigation, it is very client oriented and offers prompt, high-quality advice.” Making waves since its inception in 2005, the young and energetic ensemble adopts a modern approach that always places client priorities first, with a focus on obtaining practical, cost-effective results. On top of a wealth of IP knowledge, it has a nuanced appreciation of issues concerning information technology and the Internet.

Individuals

Highly recommended
Michael I Doubinsky - Doubinsky & Osharova
Oleksandr Mamunya - AEQUO
Alexander Pakharenko - Pakharenko & Partners
Antonina Pakharenko-Anderson - Pakharenko & Partners
Recommended
Daniel Benatov - Benatov & Partners Patent and TM Bureau
Ruslan V Drobyazko - Baker McKenzie – CIS Limited
Sergey Grenchuk - Fedorova & Partners
Vadim Mikhailyuk - Mikhailyuk Sorokolat & Partners
Nina Moshynska - Gorodissky & Partners (Ukraine)
Irina O Osharova - Doubinsky & Osharova
Dina Petošević - PETOŠEVIĆ
Julia N Semeniy - Asters
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Issue 85