Intellectual Property: Latvia
THE FIRM The IP practice of this firm is well established in litigation and trade mark infringement cases. It assists clients from a diverse range of sectors, including pharma, telecoms, technology and the creative industries. In one mandate the firm advised local company Grindeks on drafting an appeal on a court decision in the first instance for a trade mark infringement. In telecoms, it represented independent Latvian television provider LNT TV in a civil claim against an internet television provider for unauthorised retransmission of the channel. Other high-profile clients include SAMSUNG, Novartis and music publisher Guntars Racs, board member of MicRec.
Sources say: "The team is well informed and accurate in its work."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Agris Bitāns is particularly well reputed for his work in IP litigation. He recently advised Antons Valters, a former physics lecturer at the Riga Technical University, on proceedings relating to plagiarism and copyright infringement.
THE FIRM This pre-eminent independent boutique is widely considered to be the choice firm for IP issues in Latvia. Clients applaud its open, discursive and interested approach to the varied range of issues it handles. The firm renders advice on protection strategies, registration and contracts, as well as complicated disputes and litigation, which includes notable landmark cases. In trade mark infringement, the firm represented leading Baltic alcohol producer Latvijas Balzams in a case concerning infringement of the client’s well-known trade mark, Riga Black Balsam. Other high-calibre clients include Real Sound Lab, Nokia, Philip Morris and the National Theatre of Latvia.
Sources say: "The firm is not complicated. The team shows an interest and asks questions. From the first meeting, it already knew the right questions to ask." "One of the best, no debate."
KEY INDIVIDUALS With broad experience in the area of IP, Ineta Krodere-Imša gives advice which "you can rely on." Her approach is client-centred, with one interviewee saying: "She explains the law for us, and understands IP from our perspective – she tells us what, when, how and why, which helps us plan strategically."
THE FIRM This regional powerhouse has an impressive IP practice covering a range of important client services, such as patents, copyright, data protection and European and international trade marks, including associated litigation. It also advises on IT and life sciences issues. Attracting major domestic and international clients, the firm advises Hoffmann-La Roche, Abbott Laboratories and MTG Group. The team recently advised on an important case before the Constitutional Court concerning royalties, with Latvian creative industry associations requesting that Latvian law be updated to recognise new methods of data storage.
Sources say: "Great teamwork; it's really easy to work with the lawyers. I can always just pick up the phone to ask questions, and I always get an answer."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Liga Fjodorova impresses interviewees with her work in this sphere. She advises a number of high-profile clients, including Gedeon Richter and KRKA.
THE FIRM This team rises a tier thanks to the hire of a new partner with strong industry background and academic standing. The firm offers a broad range of services, including copyright, trade marks, online data protection and cross-border IP licensing, including before the US Patent & Trademark Office. The firm acts as counsel to clients in the telecoms, technology and start-up sectors, assisting the likes of Alcatel, Tilde and Tehnika. In pharma work, the team represents blue-chips such as Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Bayer.
Sources say: "The level of knowledge and understanding was very good. It provided a fast service, and I would definitely recommend the firm."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Dual-qualified in Latvia and the USA, dedicated IP lawyer Ingrida Karina-Berzina joins the team. Sources rate her high-quality work, saying she is "energetic, positive and great to talk to. She's really knowledgeable and very dynamic. I very much enjoy working with her."
THE FIRM This three-member team advises high-profile domestic and international names on complex copyright and trade mark issues. It has particular expertise in domain name disputes as well as data protection and patent litigation. It currently advises Coca-Cola Baltic Beverages, Google, Hesburger and Xerox. A recent highlight saw the team represent Baltcom TV in a copyright dispute against the Society of Collective Rights Management on the remuneration tariff for commercially published phonograms.
Sources say: "I found the team extremely prompt to respond to my queries. I felt that the lawyers were flexible and willing to work with both our needs and that of our clients."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Agris Repss is the key contact for the IP practice.
THE FIRM This full-service corporate law firm is praised by clients for its industry knowledge, attention to detail and client-centred approach to IP issues. The firm advises on copyright and trade marks for national and international clients, as well as pharma patent disputes, IT infrastructure, software technology and software licensing agreements. Clients include whiteCryption, Microsoft, BT and Clusterpoint.
Sources say: "Knowledgeable, easy to deal with and friendly, with a high level of client care."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Valters Kronbergs heads the department.
THE FIRM Newly added to this year's rankings as a result of excellent feedback and an impressive client roster, this firm is already well recognised for its corporate and competition practice, with key partners devoting time to the IP practice. The firm represents multi-channel e-commerce company Studio Moderna in actions against several third-party internet sites which infringe upon its IP rights, including domain name and content. The group continues to represent major clients such as Coca-Cola, Facebook, LVMH and Kirin-Amgen in copyright and trade mark infringements.
Sources say: "You not only need a lawyer who knows the book, but one who is surrounded by a good team who can creatively challenge the rules. That is certainly LAWIN."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Liga Merwin is the main contact for the practice.
THE FIRM This niche practice covers a broad scope of IP and related matters and takes great care of client interests. It provides support in all litigious proceedings, including those before the civil and administrative courts and the Constitutional Court.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Jānis Rozenfelds combines a stellar academic career with his practice, and individuals praise him as a "highly esteemed professor of IP law."
of Skudra & Udris handles an array of IP issues, including patents and trade marks, copyright, licensing and civil litigation.
16th May 2013: GC Seminar, London Sponsor-backed IPOs: IPO Exits of Portfolio Companies
21st May 2013: GC Seminar, New York Hackers Are After Your Data!: Practical Ways To Reduce Data Security Breach Exposure
23 May 2013: Chambers USA Awards for Excellence 2013, New York
24 May 2013: Launch of Chambers USA 2013, New York and online
29th May 2013: GC Seminar, New York Going Mobile: IP and Privacy Considerations
4th June 2013: GC Seminar, Houston Challenges in Creating An Effective and Coordinated Global Compliance Program
9 September 2013: Chambers Latin America Awards 2013, Miami
10 September 2013: Launch of Chambers Latin America 2014, online
3rd October 2013: Chambers Bar Awards 2013, London
10 May 2012: Chambers Europe Awards for Excellence, Amsterdam