It is business as usual in the Portuguese patent market. The specialised IP Court is a relatively important battleground for multi-jurisdictional conflicts between pharmaceutical heavyweights – although the country has a unique requirement for arbitration in disputes between generics and innovators established by Decree-Law 62/2011. Prosecution work persists despite a distinct division between European patent validation and outbound international work, with only a modest number of new applications filed at Portugal’s National Institute of Industrial Property every year.
AVA - Anselmo Vaz Afra & Associados
Anselmo Vaz Afra & Associados offers a full suite of IP services to a diverse clientele, but really hits its stride representing life sciences companies in the contentious realm. One unique selling point is its close relationship with Bird & Bird, which enables it to provide seamless cross-border support across Europe and Asia. Founding partner Teresa Anselmo Vaz leads by example. She is an energetic, enthusiastic and ever-prepared steward of worldwide portfolios.
Baptista Monteverde & Associados
“Baptista Monteverde & Associados is preeminent in Portugal for patent matters.” This muscular firm makes a fine one-stop shop for any rights holder seeking holistic support; its seasoned lawyers know the lay of the land in both the backroom and the courtroom. Vice president of the Portuguese Consultants IP Association, Paulo Monteverde embodies the set’s versatility, with a wealth of experience across the board. His sage guidance has been shown to stand the test of time.
CMS Rui Pena & Arnaut
Business law firm CMS Rui Pena & Arnaut dispenses finely calibrated filing counsel and courtroom representation. Knowing that patent battles can be life-or-death situations for clients – especially start-ups – its steadfast IP lawyers go the extra mile; they immerse themselves in their clients’ industries and communicate regularly with their corporate colleagues to ensure that all counsel is commercially watertight. This is as well-oiled a machine as any. José Luís Arnaut is the first port of call for interested parties.
“Garrigues’ IP team is extremely professional, responsive, cost-effective, commercial and thorough in everything it does; it also has the network and resources needed to help clients shape their strategies globally – which is hugely important, as it allows them to make well-informed business decisions. Overall, the service is outstanding – mission-critical issues are handled impeccably.” Such glowing client feedback shows how appreciated the team’s internationally minded support is. João Miranda De Sousa and Isabel Bairrão make up the spine of the practice. Dual-qualified in Portugal and Spain, De Sousa is a cosmopolitan, outward-looking practitioner whose combination of technical acuity and keen trial craft make him the complete package: “His unique insights, experience, availability, technical skills and personable nature mean he’s a pleasure to work with.” Bairrão is great at communicating technical concepts clearly in the courtroom. The pair have been teaming up to represent Vorweck & Co on an infringement case against Modelo Continente Hipermercados and Worten; requiring knowledge of a wide range of technical areas – including magnetic flux, temperature sensors and mechanical rigidity – so as to evaluate state-of-the-art legal issues, the case is regarded as one of the most complex matters the IP Court has seen so far.
For over 60 years J Pereira da Cruz has been furnishing local and international rights holders with 24-carat patent counsel. Its versatile, hands-on partners place a premium on the personal touch, conducting regular face-to-face meetings with clients. They are “highly experienced and show great attention to detail” on the prosecution side – but they are not the sort to be pigeonholed, having secured victory in the courtroom on plenty of occasions. Maria Cruz Garcia has honed her tactical advice to a razor’s edge. She has an excellent feel for how best to respond when one of her clients’ patents is infringed – whether that is with full force or a lighter touch.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados
The manpower at full-service sensation Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados is an inarguable advantage; home to over 200 lawyers, it has the wherewithal to handle expansive, inter-practice matters in a way that most firms simply cannot. Of course, size and quantity without quality mean nothing; ultimately it is the calibre of the drafting, negotiating and courtroom representation that keeps clients such as Teva and Pfizer coming back. Representing both, Vasco Stilwell d’Andrade is an IP all-rounder with tremendous business nous and an enterprising spirit. “His strategic analysis is invaluable because it takes into consideration all aspects of his clients’ businesses. He ensures differing shareholders’ interests are adequately managed, and structures licensing deals to deliver great long-term results.” As well as the pharmaceutical titans, he represents some of the country’s most exciting new start-ups.
Delivering well-wrought, straightforward IP counsel on budget and on time, PATENTREE is a fine choice for rights holders of all stripes. Its legion of technical specialists have a complete command of the telecoms, biotech, chemistry and mechanical engineering areas, and prosecute with flair and finesse. Luís Ferreira and Anabela Carvalho are two leading lights. Fluent in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish, the multilingual Ferreira is a popular choice among foreign entities. Appreciating that context is king, the resourceful Carvalho stays abreast of developments in her clients’ markets so that nothing lies outside her field of vision. Her deeply analytical approach reaps superb results time and again.
High-value IP transactions are bread and butter for Portuguese full-service giant VdA. Its ingenious, quick-thinking lawyers have the commercial savvy and communication skills to wrap up lucrative licensing contracts – on top of that, they never stop searching for new monetisation opportunities. Strong ties with law firms in Africa and Asia give a valuable international dimension to the practice as well. António de Magalhães Cardoso is the go-to practitioner for many pharmaceutical titans. He complements his impressive transactional practice with a strong track record in contentious matters, not to mention adeptness at arbitration.
Other recommended expertsAntónio Corte-Real and João Luís Garcia at Simões, Garcia, Corte-Real & Associados are “impressive, highly experienced patent attorneys who routinely update clients on how new legislative developments might affect them”. Corte-Real is a masterful mediator; Garcia brings the thunder in courts of all levels. Linklaters’ Raquel Galvão Silva is “fantastic at everything, from signing license agreements to enforcing patents” and has intimate knowledge of pharmaceutical regulations. The “highly respected” Manuel Oehen Mendes of Yolanda Busse Oehen Mendes & Associados always provides “excellent” service. His straight-up, pragmatic portfolio management advice gets the job done.
- António de Magalhães Cardoso - VdA
- João Miranda De Sousa - Garrigues
- Paulo Monteverde - Baptista Monteverde & Associados
- Vasco Stilwell d’Andrade - Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados
- Teresa Anselmo Vaz - AVA - Anselmo Vaz Afra & Associados
- Isabel Bairrão - Garrigues
- Anabela Carvalho - PATENTREE
- António Corte-Real - Simões, Garcia, Corte-Real & Associados
- Maria Cruz Garcia - J Pereira da Cruz SA
- Luís Ferreira - PATENTREE
- Raquel Galvão Silva - Linklaters LLP
- João Luís Garcia - Simões, Garcia, Corte-Real & Associados
- Manuel Oehen Mendes - Yolanda Busse Oehen Mendes & Associados