Prior to the global pandemic, which has caused a severe recession in Colombia as in other markets, strong economic development gave rise to new ambitions and fuelled desire to turn Colombia into the Silicon Valley of Latin America. The “Orange Economy” incentivised domestic entrepreneurialism and creativity, presenting new opportunities for overseas investors, prompting a general uptick in patenting activity. Added to that, the country’s IP and enforceability systems have improved greatly, particularly in comparison with those in nearby jurisdictions. As is clear in the accompanying lists and descriptions, there are plenty of high-quality firms to partner with, including many that have successfully styled themselves as regional hubs.
- Cavelier Abogados
- Lloreda Camacho & Co
- Brigard Castro
- Castellanos & Co
- Posse Herrera Ruiz
- Baker McKenzie
- Cuesta & Asociados Ltd
- Pons Colombia
- Raisbeck & Castro
- Triana Uribe & Michelsen
A prestige name globally and throughout Latin America, Baker McKenzie is the go-to for complex patent and IP matters that need to be sewn up across borders. Its team in Colombia has excellent technical credentials and acute business-sense, making it a compelling proposition for dynamic companies as they evolve, navigate diverse patent regimes and keep competitors at arm’s length. Juan Pablo Concha Delgado, an advisory and enforcement ace whose regional coordination of matters is seamless, provides excellent leadership. He is a repository of trust for several top pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as is María Ximena Guavita, a chemical engineer with precision prosecution skills.
An IP reference in Colombia for decades, Brigard Castro is unwavering in its commitment to quality, manifested in armoured patent protection for clients’ crown-jewel assets, and a thorough and responsive service. Recent developments for the set include increased international filing activity and the addition of Juan Pablo Cadena to the IAM Patent 1000 rankings for 2021. Recommended by overseas associates for his hands-on support throughout all phases of patent prosecution, Cadena is also an expert litigator across the IP rights spectrum. He forms an excellent pairing with patent agent and pharmacist Julián Ricardo Diaz, a distinguished prosecutor, opinion giver and strategist. Together they have handled important matters for Rhizen Pharmaceuticals and Nippon Soda, persuasively overcoming examiner objections at the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce.
Castellanos & Co
Boasting an incredible success rate in prosecuting patent applications through to grant, multilingual Castellanos & Co is the first choice of prestigious companies and law firms from all over the world. It’s not just the results that are appreciated – so, too, is the service, which is characterised by close senior-level attention, efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Practice growth has been the big story in recent years – the percentage of patent applications it files in Colombia is steadily increasing. Notably, the team’s mastery of the life sciences has attracted new instructions from biotechnology innovators, for whom Margarita Castellanos has shown great proficiency in securing patents that are broad in scope and enforceable. Margarita heads the patent and legal departments and is a deft prosecutor and portfolio manager with a global view. Managing partner Ximena Castellanos focuses predominantly on brands but takes advantage of broad IP expertise to help those with diverse portfolios.
When it comes to substantive patent expertise and its timely, consistent and innovative delivery, Cavelier knocks it out of the park. A well-specced team of in-house technical experts prepares and prosecutes patents across a kaleidoscopic range of technologies. The set acts for a diverse clientele consisting of domestic businesses – both start-ups or established outfits – academic institutions and elite international companies. Clients benefit from the cultivated regional know-how built up by Andrés Rincón and his colleagues, and look to the firm to guide strategy in and outside Colombia. Rincón has strived to refine Cavelier’s patent practice and been immensely successful. A superb all-rounder, he prosecutes, litigates and advises with alacrity and is endorsed by contemporaries as “a pragmatic, clear-sighted partner with great experience”. Senior associate Carolina Vargas supervises the technical team. She comes from a chemistry background and does a flawless job managing portfolios in multiple jurisdictions, many of which present unique challenges.
ClarkeModet Colombia is ideally situated to assist rights holders with intangible asset protection and management across multiple territories – the whole Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world, in fact. The firm’s capacity to handle the largest portfolios is hard to match. The local team gives meticulous advice to the healthcare sector but works across many industries for international companies and Colombian innovators, academic and commercial, with a knack for drafting clear, concise claims and responding to office actions with all the right detail. The team also goes the extra mile conducting IP training for clients and placing new technical tools at their disposal. Key contacts include prosecution manager Juliana González and technical lead Norberto Rodríguez Acosta.
Cuesta & Asociados Ltd
Intellectual property is a central plank of Cuesta & Asociados’ well-rounded business legal service – it launched its patent practice when it set up shop nearly 35 years ago. The team lends vital expertise and produces error-free work through all phases of the prosecution process, taking care of pharmaceutical, chemical, mechanical engineering and communications briefs with the minimum of fuss. Diana Romero captains the IP department and sets a high standard for her team of patent attorneys and engineers.
Gómez-Pinzón drafts and prosecutes national patents in Colombia with precision and efficiently and successfully shepherding PCT applications to a close domestically and internationally. Its support of domestic innovators stands out; the group draws entrepreneurial clients not only from Bogotá and Medellín but also from a host of other Colombian cities, which gives a vibrant look to its practice. Gómez-Pinzón also impresses with its pro bono work and has teamed up with WIPO’s Inventor Assistance Progam to assist those with limited means to protect their intellectual property. Recent high notes include securing instruction from Ecopetrol, Colombia’s largest petroleum company, to manage its international portfolio, prompting the firm to expand its already far-reaching network of high-calibre foreign associates. In charge of this is Juanita Pérez, a newly-minted partner who debuts in the listings this year in recognition of her prosecution and litigation expertise and client commitment. She oversees the patent practice with formal group head Maurico Jaramillo Campuzano, an experienced partner with a deft touch procuring and commercialising patents.
Lloreda Camacho & Co
Lloreda Camacho has perfected the art of managing, developing and optimising patent portfolios on a regional basis in Latin America and the Caribbean. This is hugely appreciated by prestigious international patrons such as Gilead Sciences, for whom the team – drawing on its expert knowledge of patent legislation and policy in 18 jurisdictions – manages around 1000 patent applications. For this key client – one of many who seek out its exacting services – 2020 was a vintage year successfully obtaining critical patent protection for blockbuster HIV and HCV drugs in Colombia and elsewhere. Taking the lead for Gilead and others are head of the patent and life sciences department Ana Maria Castro and technical director Nestor Bejarano Pérez, who both bring special qualities to the practice. Castro blends prosecution and litigation expertise and has an exceptional command of life sciences industry issues. Pérez knows how to press his case effectively at patent offices across the region. Putting some focus on the litigation offering, Lloreda Camacho has an enviable hit rate obtaining preliminary injunctions and doing so timeously.
Equally adept at obtaining, litigating and monetising patents, OlarteMoure is an essential ally throughout the business lifecycle. At the partner and associate level, it has professionals with dual legal and scientific backgrounds, giving it an ideal toolkit for holistic problem solving. It engages in this throughout Latin America and is entrusted with regional portfolios by major players in the pharmaceutical industry such as Novartis, for which it has been successful in accelerating prosecution in the region using Patent Prosecution Highways. Spearheading campaigns and initiatives for Novartis, alongside Merck & Co, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer and Bristol Myers Squibb are Alexander Agudelo and Carlos Olarte, two partners around whom the practice revolves. As patent director, Agudelo keeps a cross-disciplinary team of 40 legal and technical professionals and paralegals well drilled. Cross-border patent protection and enforcement work is his forte. Olarte is the director of innovation, protection and technology transfer and has developed an excellent international reputation as a strategist. Before attending law school in the United States, he obtained a degree in biomedical and mechanical engineering. Joining his colleagues in the listings this year, Carlos Parra produces sterling results across the contentious/non-contentious divide for Colombian companies, universities, and research and development institutions. His unique selling points include concentrated licensing and IP commercialisation expertise and excellent connections in Japan, where he has worked previously – he leads the firm’s office in Tokyo.
Headquartered in Spain, PONS IP is now well-established in Colombia, having cut the ribbon on its Bogotá office seven years ago. Its team supervises the local patent activities of a cosmopolitan client base that includes technology companies from Europe, Asia, North America and Latin America while steadily making inroads with Colombian commercial entities and important universities. Making all the right plays at the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce, it unassumingly and successfully prosecutes applications while giving clients the benefit of astute strategic advice. Claudia Caro Ramirez is the office director and Nicolas Carvajal Reyes is head of the technical department.
Posse Herrera Ruiz
Garnering enthusiastic reviews from the market, Posse Herrera Ruiz is “unrivalled in its mastery of Colombian IP law and highly qualified to take care of all kinds of patent work”. “Prioritising its clients’ needs, it does an exceptional job protecting patents in a way that delivers a competitive edge.” Its service is “highly flexible”, too. “Diligent, reliable and focused”, Helena Camargo chairs an IP department that is highly prized for its one-stop regional patent and IP service. She and the team maintain close relationships with top-tier providers across Latin America – and further afield – enabling the swift and fruitful completion of assignments. This includes cross-border patent infringement briefs, such as a recent one for a software company grappling with problems in the United States, Mexico and Colombia. She and Monica Bonnett, the senior attorney in charge of the patent practice, collaborate constantly to support prominent US law firms (Bozicevic, Field & Francis being a notable one in the biotechnology space) and direct clients in the most meaningful way. The passion they have for their craft is plainly evident, not least in the quality of their work.
Raisbeck & Castro
The practitioners at Raisbeck & Castro relish digging into the smallest technical details of inventions but also see the bigger commercial picture; in this way, they provide robust protection that addresses clients’ needs in competitive markets. The firm’s strong litigation practice accurately gauges chances of success and honestly presents opportunities and risks so that clients can choose the right path. Hands-on lead partner Ian Raisbeck impresses with his technical fluency – he has an electrical engineering and biomedical engineering background – and experienced-based practical counsel. His patrons include Syngenta, for which he undertakes complex prosecution.
Triana Uribe & Michelsen
Triana Uribe & Michelsen is a respected boutique with a well-integrated, multidisciplinary team that conducts thorough analyses of patent issues and designs and promptly implements well thought-out solutions. Au fait with innovation in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and mechanical engineering domains, its team of seven patent lawyers is capably led by top strategist and litigator Fernando Triana and patent prosecution specialist Andrés Medina.
Other recommended expertsLuz Helena Adarve anchors the IP and technology and privacy and cybersecurity groups at Dentons in Bogotá. One of the country’s most seasoned IP experts, she puts her refined portfolio management and transactional skills to good use in satisfying clients’ business needs. Andres Marquez is an expert on matters at the intersection of intellectual property and competition law and leads Contexto’s practices in each area. He’s an excellent manager of high-value intellectual assets and a deft negotiator. Flying the flag of Spanish firm H&A, Adriana Peñaranda is a valued on-the-ground contact for clients engaged in IP matters in Latin America. She has a mature understanding of the innovation process and expertise on technology transfer that make her a hot commodity for universities. Andrea Tobos debuts in the IAM Patent 1000 for 2021 following endorsement by foreign associates for biotechnology patent prosecution. The former Cavelier and Baker McKenzie practitioner runs Tobos Intellectual Property, a quality-focused boutique whose business has grown through constant referrals through word of mouth.
- Ana Maria Castro - Lloreda Camacho & Co
- Carlos R Olarte - OlarteMoure
- Andrés Rincón - Cavelier Abogados
- Luz Helena Adarve - Dentons Cardenas & Cardenas
- Alexander Agudelo - OlarteMoure
- Nestor Bejarano Pérez - Lloreda Camacho & Co
- Mónica Bonnett - Posse Herrera Ruiz
- Juan Pablo Cadena - Brigard Castro
- Helena Camargo - Posse Herrera Ruiz
- Margarita Castellanos - Castellanos & Co
- Ximena Castellanos - Castellanos & Co
- Juan Pablo Concha Delgado - Baker McKenzie (Colombia)
- Julián Ricardo Díaz - Brigard Castro
- Juliana González - ClarkeModet
- Maria Ximena Guavita - Baker McKenzie
- Mauricio Jaramillo Campuzano - Gómez-Pinzón
- Andres Marquez - Contexto Legal
- Andrés Medina - Triana Uribe & Michelsen
- Carlos A Parra - OlarteMoure
- Adriana Peñaranda - H&A
- Juanita Perez - Gómez-Pinzón Zuleta Abogados Sa
- Ian Raisbeck - Raisbeck & Castro
- Norberto Rodríguez Acosta - ClarkeModet
- Diana Romero - Cuesta & Asociados Ltd
- Andrea Tobos - Tobos Abogados
- Fernando Triana - Triana Uribe & Michelsen
- Carolina Vargas - Cavelier Abogados