Portugal

Pharmaceutical patent litigation is a key area of practice for many of Portugal’s leading IP firms. The system within which they work has evolved significantly, with the removal of the mandatory arbitration regime at the start of 2019 being the most notable recent change. This has increased the burden on the country’s IP court, which has a limited number of judges relative to the volume of cases brought before it.

Firms

Abreu Advogados

Newly featured in the IAM Patent 1000 for 2021, Abreu is not only a prime destination for dynamic brands in need of trademark support, but also a discerning choice for technology and life sciences innovators seeking premier patent services. Infringement litigation in the pharmaceutical sector is its metier, but there’s diversity to be seen in its hard IP work, which encompasses prosecution and general counselling. The practice got a shot in the arm in December 2019 when António Andrade joined from VdA. His advice on enforcement tactics always hits the mark; as do his presentations in court and arbitral proceedings. The most experienced professional in the fold is IP and IT group co-head Manuel Durães Rocha, whose insight in the health and pharmaceutical industries runs deep.

BMA

“Simply the best” is the resounding verdict on BMA – a firm known for its IP litigation firepower and outstanding track record both in court and at the negotiating table. Recommendations come thick and fast for its “professional and approachable” team, which “focuses on what’s important and provides fast support at a very competitive price point”. First among equals is Paulo Monteverde, a “deeply knowledgeable lawyer and clever strategist who understands his clients from a commercial, technology and regulatory perspective”. “Paulo has great short, medium and long-term vision, and demonstrates total dedication and commitment. His knowledge goes beyond local laws and he coordinates smoothly with his contacts worldwide.” Colleague Filipe Baptista is a “pragmatic and commercial lawyer who provides excellent support in complex, high-stakes IP litigation and arbitration matters”. “He is quick to act and provides accurate advice along with viable solutions.” Baptista partners closely with Petra Fernandes, who is fast emerging as a pharmaceutical patent litigation star in Portugal.

ClarkeModet 

With a well-trained, highly qualified squad of nearly 30 professionals, including lawyers and engineers, ClarkeModet Portugal is ideally placed to provide comprehensive legal advice and technical support on patent matters, of which it manages many thousands. As part of the ClarkeModet Group, one of the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world’s top IP boutiques, the local contingent offers patrons instant access to rich international resources, the firm’s central management of which ensures a seamless service. Quick to read market trends and design solutions with them in mind, the team – fronted by Ricardo Abrantes – offers immense value. Technical and legal director Abrantes has made quality and timely, cost-effective delivery his mission. Having frequently served as a court-appointed technical expert in patent litigation, he has a fine-tuned sense of the strengths and weaknesses of patents, which informs his approach to protecting them. He was joined in January 2020 by senior global account manager Maria Cruz Garcia, who brings with her a treasure trove of knowledge and an international perspective on patent protection and enforcement.

Garrigues

Garrigues fields IP practitioners in Portugal, Spain and China, who pool resources and collaborate to assist clients on all aspects of the protection, enforcement and commercialisation of patents in those jurisdictions and beyond. The firm adopts an innovative mindset and deploys advanced technologies to drive efficiencies in the practice and reduce client costs, reflecting its resolutely customer-focused approach. Recent work highlights on the non-contentious side include advising Portuguese pharmaceutical group Tecnimede on the filing of patents in 30-plus countries and acting for the Portuguese Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology on prosecution in areas such as oncology and neurobiology. Contentious activities of note, meanwhile, include successfully representing Ceva Animal Health in a patent infringement dispute with Bayer over a veterinarian vaccine. Running point on these matters, João Miranda de Sousa provides inspiring leadership to the group: “He is a meticulous and very clever thinker who has a gift for anticipating the strategies of opposing parties. He provides detailed and accurate legal opinions and is extremely results oriented. A confident lawyer who keeps his feet on the ground, he also commands huge respect in the IP community and has a long list of professional contacts who are always ready to assist.” He draws on first-rate support from principal associate Francisca Ferreira Pinto, an enforcement specialist who also manages prosecution and licensing mandates with dexterity.

J Pereira da Cruz SA 

A “longstanding, highly respected firm with a rich tradition”, J Pereira da Cruz is a destination of choice for patent prosecution. Its line-up of high-calibre agents and consultants can be relied on to dot the Is and cross the Ts when filing applications and securing registrations that afford cast-iron protection. The key contacts for interested parties are smart legal and strategic counsellor Cláudia Freixinho Serrano and Patricia Marques, who makes her debut in the IAM Patent 1000 for 2021 following peer recommendations for the quality of her output. A former examiner at the Portuguese Institute of Industrial Property, Marques knows what levers to pull through all phases of the prosecution process.

Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados

When it comes to intellectual property, patent litigation is the forte of Morais Leitão, which represents numerous Big Pharma players in battles over blockbuster drugs. Its internationally trained contingent of patent agents and lawyers undertakes extremely thorough work in the preparation phase, putting itself in pole position to execute on strategy as cases develop. This early diligence has contributed to the success of Vasco Stilwell d’Andrade and Ricardo do Nascimento Ferreira – two seasoned lawyers who never buckle when the pressure mounts. Together they represent Teva, Dipharma, Fucoli-Somepal, Ericsson and many others.

PATENTREE 

Competitors award full marks to PATENTREE, a “modern, high-quality boutique led by two of the very few qualified European patent attorneys in Portugal”. “The team handles its clients and work with exceptional care, while also showing commitment to raising IP awareness in the country.” Anabela Carvalho earns credit for her “ability to deliver complex information with great concision and clarity”. She comes from a bioengineering background and has lab and project management experience that stands her in good stead. Luís Ferreira anchors the high-technology practice and capitalises on his training in electrical and computer engineering. Both practitioners excel at the nuts and bolts of patent prosecution, but are also big-picture thinkers on strategy.

Sérvulo & Associados

Prestigious pharmaceutical, biotechnology and other clients look to SÉRVULO to implement smart patent protection programmes and evaluate product launch risk, but also gravitate towards it when the patent litigation threat level rises: its blend of legal, regulatory and advocacy skills inspires total confidence. The firm is also enviably well connected among high-ranking foreign associates, which further reflects its status as an unerringly reliable service provider. Head of the practice Ana Rita Painho has spent two decades teasing out the knots of cutting-edge, often multi-jurisdictional IP matters for the likes of Teva, among others. She draws invaluable support from Mariana Costa Pinto, a senior associate who is taking on increasing responsibilities in all areas of IP practice.

Simões, Garcia, Corte-Real & Associados

Esteemed boutique Simões, Garcia, Corte-Real & Associados leverages on its all-encompassing patent prosecution and litigation skillset to deliver a flexible, cost-effective, high-quality service. Meeting and anticipating the needs of a discerning clientele, including many major European patent holders, is a well-specced group of legal and technical professionals fronted by partners João Luís Garcia and António Corte-Real. Coming in for special praise, Garcia is “extremely approachable, prompt and practical”, providing “thoughtful, thorough counsel that enables you to proceed with your plans efficiently and economically”. He handles prosecution and litigation assignments with equal dexterity and works across the IP spectrum. Corte-Real thrives in the cut and thrust of litigation and any scenario in which he can showcase his potent powers of persuasion.

VdA

Gold-ranked VdA garners superlative feedback from the market, which speaks to its high-level understanding of the life sciences sector and incredible hit rate in patent litigation. “The firm has a rare depth of knowledge regarding the idiosyncrasies of Portuguese pharmaceutical regulatory law and practice, and is diligent and agile in navigating an ever-changing landscape.” “The team has handled a great many cases over the years and offers smart, experienced-based advice that is instrumental in strengthening clients’ market positions.” Taking the reins, António de Magalhães Cardoso advocates with poise for the likes of Novartis and Bayer: “António is a leader in his field and the go-to for anyone needing a life sciences litigator in Portugal.” Sources also hail the quality of the associates he manages so effectively and appreciate their skills and know-how, as well as lower billing rates. One of the best among them is managing associate Sara Nazaré, who is becoming a leader in her own right and spearheading important campaigns for Gilead Sciences, among others. “Sara never fails to impress with her professionalism, dedication and responsiveness. As well as being technically excellent, she has a strategic and international mindset that makes her a very safe pair of hands for multi-jurisdictional litigation.” Joining her colleagues in the IAM Patent 1000 for the first time this year, Marta Alves Vieira is another high-functioning managing associate; she plays a vital role in enforcing the patent rights of Merck Sharp & Dohme.

Other recommended experts

Patent practice in Portugal is largely dominated by life sciences professionals, but one of the best in the IT realm is Eduardo Cruz of Gastão da Cunha Ferreira. Hugo Monteiro de Queirós recently took on the mantle of IP group captain at PLMJ following a four-year stint at Baptista Monteverde & Associados. Focused on litigation, he acquits himself with distinction in cases arising in all categories of IP rights. A lawyer and European trademark attorney, Gonçalo de Sampaio has the qualifications and insight to handle wide-ranging patent matters and give well-considered legal and technical advice. He is based at J E Dias Costa. A managing associate at Linklaters in Lisbon, Raquel Galvão Silva deftly handles patent matters as part of a broader dispute resolution practice, including crucial infringement cases for Pfizer. Vitor Moreira coordinates the patent department at Inventa International. Applying his chemical engineering expertise and drawing on his background as a patent examiner, he undertakes prosecution with rare precision. He extensively represents the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Lisbon. The Lisbon office of Cuatrecasas is home to Sónia Queiróz Vaz, who manages the local IP, media and IT practices. She has an affinity for transactional IP work and is currently acting for Champalimaud Foundation in licensing negotiations, as well as in connection with the filing of patents.

Individuals

  • António Andrade - Abreu Advogados
  • Filipe Baptista - BMA
  • António de Magalhães Cardoso - VdA
  • João Miranda de Sousa - Garrigues
  • Paulo Monteverde - BMA
  • Vasco Stilwell d’Andrade - Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados
  • Ricardo Abrantes - ClarkeModet 
  • Anabela Carvalho - PATENTREE 
  • António Corte-Real - Simões, Garcia, Corte-Real & Associados
  • Mariana Costa Pinto - Sérvulo & Associados
  • Eduardo Cruz - Gastão da Cunha Ferreira
  • Maria Cruz Garcia - ClarkeModet 
  • Hugo Monteiro de Queirós - PLMJ
  • Gonçalo de Sampaio - JE Dias Costa Lda
  • Ricardo do Nascimento Ferreira - Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados
  • Manuel Durães Rocha - Abreu Advogados
  • Petra Fernandez - BMA
  • Luís Ferreira - PATENTREE 
  • Francisca Ferreira Pinto - Garrigues
  • Cláudia Freixinho Serrano - J Pereira da Cruz SA 
  • Raquel Galvão Silva - Linklaters LLP
  • João Luís Garcia - Simões, Garcia, Corte-Real & Associados
  • Patricia Marques -  
  • Vitor Moreira - Inventa International
  • Sara Nazaré - VdA
  • Ana Rita Painho - Sérvulo & Associados
  • Sónia Queiroz Vaz - Cuatrecasas
  • Marta Alves Vieira - VdA