Despite a relatively low patents per capita ratio for an EU member state, Portugal is making tangible efforts towards establishing a more innovation-friendly climate for start-ups and universities. Events such as the Web Summit in Lisbon, combined with Portugal 2020 programmes and other public funds and incentives have been key in attracting investors and may well positively affect the country’s patent market. Key changes are also awaited on the litigation side, as the country strives to blend in with its European counterparts and works to scrap its unique compulsory arbitration requirement in disputes between generics and innovators under Decree-Law 62/2011. With Decree-Law 132/XIII coming into force later this year to implement the new Industrial Property codes and EU Directives 2015/2436 and 2016/943, partners in pharmaceutical disputes will soon be able to choose between voluntary arbitration and pursuing judicial action at the Intellectual Property Tribunal (IPT). The likely effect of such changes remains unclear, but it is believed that these developments will speed up client cases. However, some worry that the IPT might lack the accuracy and technical capability necessary to deal with pharmaceutical patent matters satisfactorily.
AVA – Anselmo Vaz Afra & Associados
The client-centric Anselmo Vaz Afra & Associados maintains “an extremely strong and vibrant patent practice” as part of its comprehensive IP offering. The boutique’s distinct international flavour, which has made it a popular choice among overseas clients, owes itself to the work of its founding partner Teresa Anselmo Vaz, who is described as being “a veteran lawyer with a lot of experience and many litigation wins on her résumé”. Anselmo Vaz is consistently praised by colleagues and competitors alike for her fantastic contentious and non-contentious skills and is a favourite among pharmaceutical clients.
Baptista Monteverde & Associados
Paulo Monteverde and Filipe Baptista take the lead of the impressive IP and pharmaceutical law practice at their full-service commercial and civil firm Baptista Monteverde & Associados. Backed by a “young, agile and very dedicated team”, Monteverde and Baptista flex their “extensive experience in patent litigation and arbitration proceedings” on behalf of clients in the pharmaceutical space. The pair’s ability to handle multi-jurisdictional disputes and cross-border transactions, combined with their frequent high-level participation in national and international conferences, has made them one of the most respected duos in the Portuguese IP market. Providing vital assistance is Hugo Monteiro de Queirós, a real smooth courtroom operator whose gentleman-like precision and politeness come through even when he is in battle.
Commercial law powerhouse Garrigues has an impressive practice in the areas of patent prosecution, litigation and transactions. The outfit’s success in handling highly complex patent litigation cases before the Portuguese Court of Justice and its retention of strategic advisory services for top innovators are fitting testaments to João Miranda De Sousa’s legal superpowers. The head of Garrigues’ Iberian IP practice, De Sousa is a dual-qualified lawyer in Portugal and Spain and a talented linguist who speaks six languages, including English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. His “know-how, availability, technical skills and warm nature” are a major magnet and make him a favourite among high-profile clients like Tecnimede, Instituto de Medicina Molecular and Novadelta, the third-largest patent filler in Portugal. Also looking after these brands is senior associate Francisca Ferreira Pinto, a “capable, organised and highly skilled” professional and “an excellent choice for those seeking to defend and maximise the efficiency of their portfolios”.
As one of the oldest and largest IP consultancy firms in the country, J Pereira da Cruz’s patent prosecution skills have aged like a fine wine. The high volume of European patents it files each year is only made possible by a proactive team of more than 80 staff who use the most up-to-date technologies to deliver high-quality services. Additionally, it has a sprawling network of international contacts it can rely on to execute matters on a global scale. The best port of call for prospective clients is managing partner João Pereira da Cruz.
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados
Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva & Associados is a titan of the Portuguese legal scene. The firm’s more than 200 lawyers collaborate seamlessly, which enables it to provide satisfyingly complete solutions to legal problems of all stripes; in line with this, the IP group can handle any challenge, from a European patent validation to major pharmaceutical litigation. Leading the way is Vasco Stilwell D’Andrade, who oversees a growing prosecution practice supported by excellent paralegals and tech systems and brings the heat in the court for companies such as Teva. Sources laud him as being an “insightful and extremely capable lawyer’” with a “far-reaching business vision”. The versatile lawyer has a “clear grasp of the often-unpredictable demands of start-up management” and is as popular with up-and-coming innovators as he is with industry leaders.
Offering precise, high-quality patent prosecution work that is fully aligned with client business strategies, PATENTREE has been turning heads in the Portuguese patent world. Having increased its specialised staff by 40% in the last year alone, the firm is growing fast and performing at a high level in all technical disciplines. The set has an impressive record at the EPO, with credit due to the outstanding work carried out by Luís Ferreira and Anabela Carvalho; two experts frequently requested by some of the heftiest Portuguese companies. Ferreira is particularly keen on taking inventors’ patents to the next level and elevating them to the European market, while Carvalho likes to sit down with inventors as often as necessary to ensure that every single aspect of their creations and businesses is understood. Alongside their prosecution work, the couple also support litigation and dispute resolution efforts as court experts, arbitrators and technical assistants; they possess a fine-grained understanding of what it takes for patents to survive the scrutiny of courts.
Simões, Garcia, Corte-Real & Associados
With client business interests front of mind, Simões, Garcia, Corte-Real & Associados works across all Lusophone jurisdictions delivering quality results in both contentious and non-contentious IP mandates. Innovators confidently place their trust in João Luís Garcia and António Corte-Real who co-lead the practice to much acclaim: “João Luís is an experienced and sensible attorney with great communication skills” who “meets deadlines very precisely” and is “always available to provide support whenever you have questions”. Described as being “extremely knowledgeable and experienced”, Corte-Real is “an influential voice in the Portuguese IP community”. The dynamic duo are well supported by a diverse team of lawyers and technical consultants in the pharmaceutical, chemical engineering and energy and environmental engineering fields.
One of the largest and most renowned full-service law firms in Portugal, VdA is a leading light on the Portuguese patent market; its “quality, detail-oriented and meticulous, well-managed approach” ensures its reputation as “the most relevant player in pharmaceutical patent litigation in the country”. Both António de Magalhães Cardoso, a “well-respected senior lawyer” and his partner António Andrade, a “great patent litigator”, have “fantastic capabilities” and “extensive practices” in the life sciences field. They are the go-to guys for a large share of big pharmaceutical companies, who regularly and faithfully use them for the resolution of hotly contentious proceedings. Joana Santos, a consultant in the IP practice with a pharmaceutical science background, also impresses with her professionalism and enthusiasm.
Other recommended expertsJosé Luís Arnaut, managing partner at the giant CMS Rui Pena & Arnaut, is esteemed for his extensive experience in patents, trademarks and new technologies. Mathematician Eduardo Cruz, the head of patents at Gastão da Cunha Ferreira, has a “very logical way of understanding technical concepts”. A responsible, cautious and methodical individual who never misses a deadline, Cruz works night and day to ensure that only high-quality patent applications are filed for his clients. At Linklaters, the IP dispute resolution skills of associate Raquel Galvão Silva continue to attract effusive feedback from international clients, who are particularly impressed with her thoroughness and deep-understanding of patent enforcement procedures. Manuel Oehen Mendes is the king of intellectual property in Northern Portugal. Combining his partnership at the boutique Yolanda Busse Oehen Mendes & Associados with a prominent academic career, Oehen Mendes’s eloquence shines through in the court as well as in the classroom.
- Teresa Anselmo Vaz - AVA – Anselmo Vaz Afra & Associados
- 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
- António Andrade - VdA
- José Luís Arnaut - CMS Rui Pena & Arnaut
- Filipe Baptista - Baptista Monteverde & Associados
- Anabela Carvalho - PATENTREE
- António Corte-Real - Simões, Garcia, Corte-Real & Associados
- Eduardo Cruz - Gastão da Cunha Ferreira
- Maria Cruz Garcia - ClarkeModet
- Luís Ferreira - PATENTREE
- Francisca Ferreira Pinto - Garrigues
- Raquel Galvão Silva - Linklaters LLP
- João Luís Garcia - Simões, Garcia, Corte-Real & Associados
- Manuel Oehen Mendes - Yolanda Busse Oehen Mendes & Associados