Firm / Organisation

Palacios & Asociados / Sercomi

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This content is provided by Palacios & Asociados / Sercomi.

Managing Partner: Marco Antonio Palacios
Number of partners: 4
Number of other lawyers: 15
Number of engineers and chemists: 2
Number of CPA: 1

Firm Overview:
Established in 1994, the firm’s reputation and excellence is acknowledge in several areas of practice, among which intellectual property, pharmaceutical law, acquisitions and corporate law, banking, advertisement law and regulatory affairs are relevant. The firm’s reputation has been also developed through its Litigation Practice (with specialised services in IP enforcement and landmark cases in trademarks, patents, test data protection, constitutional and tax matters) and its expertise in Central American Economic Integration legislation (Central American market operation) and trade agreements administration. Headquarted in Guatemala City, it holds formal professional ties with offices in all Central America, Mexico and the Dominican, allowing it to coordinate services in several jurisdictions. Its client list is composed of top regional and multinational companies. The firm’s professionals, combined with a highly qualified support staff, offer clients an integral service to suitably respond to the dynamics of today’s economic and business frameworks. Firm members participate year round in education activities and are actively engaged in global and regional organisations such as the International Trade Mark Association (INTA), the Global Advertisement Law Association (GALA), the Inter American Industrial Property Association (ASIPI), the Inter American Copyright Institute (IIDA) and the Central American Lawyers Associations for the Integration (ACAI). The firm also actively supports social responsibility programs. Members of the firm have been locally and internationally acknowledge for their commitment and expertise. Marco Palacios, director-partner, has been an invited lecturer on IP, international trade relations and economic integration law in various events under the auspices of WIPO, USPTO, the UNDP, US Chamber of Commerce, the Central American Economic Integration Secretariat (SIECA), the Interamerican Industrial Property Association (ASIPI), and Universities in Central America, Mexico, South America, and the United States of America. He acted as editor on intellectual property publications and several of his works have been included in books on IP in Central America and Mexico.

Main Areas of Practice:
Intellectual property, pharmaceutical law, regulatory matters; acquisitions, corporate and contractual law, banking, advertisement law, franchising, contracts, litigations and Central America Economic Integration legal framework and trade agreements administrations.

Partners of the firm have led several capacity building programs in Central America and the Dominican Republic in the areas of IP (including enforcement) and international trade agreements; investments and have served as consultants in programs funded by organisations such as WIPO, IBD, World Bank, SIECA, the European Mission and USAID.

Intellectual Property:
Counseling, filing, prosecution and portfolio administration in the Central American region and the Dominican Republic. Palacios & Asociados is one of the very few firms in the region with permanent technical professionals within its IP team (chemists, engineers), providing technical support in the patent, design and licensing areas. The firm was pioneer in enforcing test data protection, patent linkage and patent term restoration and in providing regional counseling related to these matters. This area coordinates with the litigation area of the firm, for IP enforcement services with regulatory affairs regarding market access and advertisement law, including promotional campaigns.

Acquisitions, Corporate Law, Banking:
The firm has participated in acquisition processes in the Central American countries and the Dominican Republic which ad more than US$ 500 million. It handles a large scale of corporate services, including incorporation, management and registration of companies and corporate governance; banking law, international commercial transactions, distribution, licenses, franchises, corporate structures, transfer pricing studies and tax counselling. The firm offers complete notary services in both civil and commercial issues. Immigration services are rendered for corporations’ executives through a specialised, competent team. Labour law and advisory is coordinated under the corporate area.

Litigation & Arbitration:
Civil, commercial, criminal (including counterfeit cases), constitutional, administrative, government procurement, labour and tax litigation is covered under this area. Its practice is known for landmark cases in tax, constitutional and IP matters and as pioneer in bringing to courts IP matters in the patent, test data protection and trademark areas. Litigation practice includes arbitration.

Economic Integration Law & Trade Agreements Administration:
The firm was pioneer in providing multinational, regional and local companies with legal services regarding Central American Integration process, under which there are specific regulations governing intra Central American trade of good and services. It advises companies in their interest regarding trade agreement negotiation and further administration of trade agreements, which includes, among other matters, rules of origin, unfair trade, trade barriers and other matters that impact companies trading and investment environment.

Regulatory Affairs, Advertisement Law, Promotions:
The firm has a specialised section devoted to assist companies with market entry regulations in the Central American countries. It provides services in areas such as labeling and market approval/market access for regulated products and technical and legal advice in sanitary and technical standardisation regulations. The area assists clients with legal and technical analysis regarding sourcing or raw material and other imports taking advantage of rules of origin and market access with those countries with the ones Central America has trade agreements in force (i.e. USA, Mexico, Europe). The regulatory affairs team advises on advertisement of regulated products and promotions and sweepstakes; the team members actively participate in the regional regulatory negotiations.

English, Spanish.

Industries/services in which relevant clients operate: Consumer products, pharmaceutical, banking, food and beverages, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, insurance, entertainment, medical devices, printing equipment, chemicals.