Argentina

Argentina is one of the few countries yet to ratify the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) – but there may be an end in sight to its isolation from the international patent community. The matter has reached the top of the country’s to-do list, and there are clear signs that the jurisdiction is looking to bring its regime into line with international standards elsewhere too. Argentina’s IP authorities have recently moved to adopt the Cooperative Patent Classification, effective from 1 January 2019, which will bring Argentina into line with Europe, streamline search processes and improve the timeliness of patent granting. This move has been met with enthusiasm by most practitioners, who feel confident that it will encourage applicants to protect their inventions and increase overall filing numbers in the long run. Additionally, the recently implemented government resolutions aimed at reducing state bureaucracy are bearing fruit at the National Institute of Industrial Technology, which is making a concerted effort to become paperless. Its new online filing system will mean that all applications are prosecuted electronically, with digital signatures now accepted as legally binding. Although the transition has not been seamless and some fine tuning is still required, hopes for the future of patenting in Argentina are bright.

Firms: litigation and transactions

  • Marval O´Farrell & Mairal
  • G Breuer
  • Berken IP
  • Berton Moreno + Ojam
  • Hausheer Belgrano & Fernández
  • Mitrani, Caballero & Ruiz Moreno
  • Palacio & Asociados

Firms: prosecution

  • Marval O´Farrell & Mairal
  • Berken IP
  • G Breuer
  • Obligado & Cia
  • Berton Moreno + Ojam
  • Hausheer Belgrano & Fernández
  • Mitrani, Caballero & Ruiz Moreno
  • Moeller IP Advisors
  • Palacio & Asociados
  • Richelet & Richelet

Berken IP

Patent and technology-focused Buenos Aires boutique Berken IP acquits itself with distinction in the life sciences, with a multi-talented and integrated team of highly trained patent attorneys and lawyers providing rigorous commercial support to the industry’s innovators. The well-connected firm garners plaudits for its “proactive approach and rapid responses” from its many foreign associates in Latin America and is an excellent option for those seeking a regional hub. Head of the legal department Pedro Berkenwald and captain of the prosecution practice Alicia Alvarez Berkenwald earn excellent references: Of Berkenwald, one enthuses: “He has helped us to develop our IP procedures and strategies and done an excellent job of it. The things he has put in place are forming the basis of our rapid progress.” Alvarez Berkenwald “is always ready to assist with respect to prosecution and patent analysis locally and further afield. Her commitment to reducing risk and advancing her clients’ objectives is highly commendable”. Rising star Federico Ulled, who links up with Berkenwald on transactional and litigation assignments, also has his fair share of admirers: “He is an outstanding member of the Berken IP team and showcases an exceptional knowledge of national and international IP law. The support he provides on commercial IP matters is invaluable.”

Berton Moreno + Ojam

One of the most well-rounded IP firms in Argentina, Berton Moreno + Ojam is equally proficient when it comes to patents and trademarks. Modern, dynamic and innovative, it partners effectively with emerging and established technology businesses alike and renders vital support at the international level with respect to preparation and prosecution, licensing and litigation. Juan Carlos Ojam, Marcelo García Sellart, Mercedes Bullrich, and María del Rosario Mauro form a close-knit team capable of solving any patent problem. Two of the market’s top IP minds, Ojam and García Sellart are known for their strategic perspicacity. With a deft mastery of administrative procedure, Bullrich ensures that all prosecution efforts proceed smoothly. Unlike her broader-based colleagues, Mauro focuses on patents, designs and plant variety rights; her specialisation ensures crisp delivery of all files.

G Breuer

“Undoubtedly one of the leading IP firms in Argentina”, venerable G Breuer is richly knowledgeable and experienced in the patent field; “it has been representing elite clients on innovation matters for decades.” The very definition of a thought leader, Jorge Otamendi is a “distinguished professional and academic”. Through his extensive teaching activities and engagement at the highest levels of domestic and international IP associations, he has contributed much to the development of Argentine IP law and the advancement of industry practice. A deft handler of electrical technologies, Martin Guerrico is the prestigious set’s go-to for prosecution.

Hausheer Belgrano & Fernández

IP specialist Hausheer Belgrano & Fernández has witnessed and driven the evolution of industrial property law in Argentina for well over a century, making it hard to beat in terms of substantive legal knowledge and practical experience. Making it a destination practice in the modern era is the “meticulous, hard-working and brilliant” practitioner Graciela Claudia Pérez de Inzaurraga, who ascends to the IAM Patent 1000 gold tier this year. A doyenne of patent and trademark law, she is a guiding light on IP protection for many domestic and international rights holders.

Marval O´Farrell & Mairal

In the international legal and business community, Marval is synonymous with IP excellence. It handles the largest portfolio of patents – and trademarks for that matter – and dominates contentious practice in Argentina thanks to its involvement in nearly half of the market’s litigations and administrative appeals. Replete with a team of six in-house technical specialists and the same number of full-time patent attorneys, there is nothing it cannot do. Operating at the forefront of innovation in the life sciences, Martín Bensadon holds the reins of the patent practice. “The quality he consistently produces is incredibly high” and his insight on regional strategy and advocacy in complex disputes are like gold dust for top drug companies. He forms a first-rate team with biology PhD Cristian Bittel, a force to be reckoned with in the biotechnology and agribusiness sectors, and Ignacio Sánchez Echagüe, a lawyer unafraid of breaking new ground in pharmaceutical and chemical cases. Serving as of counsel, Iván Alfredo Poli dispenses pearls of wisdom on developments in patent law, practice, policy and procedure and is a vital sounding board for colleagues and clients.

Mitrani, Caballero & Ruiz Moreno

Never one to stand still, Mitrani significantly bolstered its energy, mining and commercial practices in 2018 through astute hiring; it also rejigged its IP practice following departures to Berton Moreno + Ojam. Expanding on the latter, Ignacio Bérèterbide has taken on leadership of the practice and, judging from the enthusiastic and plentiful endorsements he received during the research process this edition, is doing a fantastic job of it. One source comments: “Ignacio’s guidance has been fundamental in helping us understand the importance of patent protection. He is an excellent communicator with refined technical and commercial expertise.” Another adds: “He is committed to quality, responsive, smart and easy to work with.” Tenaris is a major client and consults with him on worldwide patent protection matters.

Moeller IP Advisors

Moeller IP’s “dynamic prosecution practice” turns heads in Argentina. “The firm stands out for the professionalism of its highly trained staff and provision of exceptional support and in-depth technical analysis on all matters.” Prosecution forms the bedrock of the practice – the set efficiently sees applications through to successful grant not just in Argentina, but throughout Latin America – though well-calibrated services encompassing plant varieties, regulatory law, unfair competition and litigation are also on offer. Being well connected internationally and effective at pulling strings internally, Mariano Municoy excels in his role as the main relationship partner for many patrons. Leader of the patent department Verónica Vater is another key contact, particularly when contentious matters arise.

Obligado & Cia

Cited as a “fantastic firm” with a “substantial filing practice”, Obligado & Cia continues to set IP benchmarks in Argentina – something it has done for a remarkable 130 years. Analysing patent problems with a gimlet eye and solving them creatively, the ensemble is a repository of trust for those looking to protect, enforce and monetise their intangible assets. Daniel Zuccherino and Carlos Octavio Mitelman are the names interested parties should have on speed dial.

Palacio & Asociados

By partnering closely with clients through all phases of the patent lifecycle, Palacio & Asociados supports business development in many meaningful ways. The firm has had ample interesting instructions to get stuck into lately and has successfully prosecuted applications relating to chemical, pharmaceutical, medical and mechanical inventions, showcasing its impressive technical range. It has also acted for Samsung Electronics on commercial IP matters and carried the day in several litigations. Mingo Palacio – who captains the legal, litigation and patent departments – and Diego Palacio “render a high-quality service and handle routine and unusual tasks with great skill and speed”.

Richelet & Richelet

Fast and efficient, but uncompromising on quality, Richelet & Richelet has an excellent reputation in Argentina and abroad. The practitioners here are unwilling to circle around problems, but instead tell it like it is; clients appreciate their honest, upfront and transparent advice and find that it always leads to better outcomes. “Serious and intensely focused on achieving his clients’ goals”, Gastón Richelet commands the respect of his peers. His savvy use of expedited examination procedures guarantees rapid protection for those he represents.

Other recommended experts

Mariana Bullrich leads Noetinger & Armando’s patent and technology practice. A master of regional patent prosecution and strategy, she adds a lot of value for clients beyond Argentina’s borders. Life sciences and medical technology are her focused industries. Another distinguished partner of the firm is Fernando Noetinger, a vastly experienced lawyer with many impressive scholastic attainments on his résumé. Santiago Ferrer Reyes oversees FRTB’s patent prosecution practice with a hawk’s eye for quality. His knowledge of innovation in the energy industry is second to none. The inclusion of John Ryan-Lussich in this year’s IAM Patent 1000 is predicated on his extensive knowledge of pharmaceutical patent law. However, he also stands out for his unusual blend of expertise and is an authority on criminal, customs and foreign exchange law. He serves as managing partner of his own self-titled firm. Claudia Serritelli is a “fine lawyer and effective patent litigator” at Estudio Chaloupka.

Individuals

  • Alicia Alvarez Berkenwald - Berken IP
  • Martín Bensadon - Marval O’Farrell & Mairal
  • Cristian Bittel - Marval O’Farrell & Mairal
  • Martin Guerrico - G Breuer
  • Fernando Noetinger - Noetinger & Armando
  • Jorge Otamendi - G Breuer
  • Graciela Claudia Pérez de Inzaurraga - Hausheer Belgrano & Fernández
  • Iván Alfredo Poli - Marval O’Farrell & Mairal
  • Ignacio Sánchez Echagüe - Marval O’Farrell & Mairal
  • Ignacio Bérèterbide - Mitrani, Caballero & Ruiz Moreno
  • Pedro S Berkenwald - Berken IP
  • Mariana Bullrich - Noetinger & Armando
  • Mercedes Bullrich - Berton Moreno + Ojam
  • Santiago Ferrer Reyes - FRTB - Ferrer Reyes, Tellechea & Bouché
  • Marcelo García Sellart - Berton Moreno + Ojam
  • María del Rosario Mauro - Berton Moreno + Ojam
  • Mariano Municoy - Moeller IP Advisors
  • Juan Carlos Ojam - Berton Moreno + Ojam
  • Diego F Palacio - Palacio & Asociados
  • Mingo Palacio - Palacio & Asociados
  • Gastón Richelet - Richelet & Richelet
  • John Ryan-Lussich - Ryan-Lussich & Asociados
  • Claudia Serritelli - Estudio Chaloupka
  • Federico Ulled - Berken IP
  • Verónica Vater - Moeller IP Advisors