Managing IP Awards interview: Elena Martini
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Managing IP Awards interview: Elena Martini

Elena Martini.jpg

The managing partner of Martini Manna & Partners explains the key factors that contributed to the firm being recognised in the Managing IP EMEA Awards 2024 and considers the latest intellectual property trends

Managing IP EMEA Awards 2024

Italian Copyright & Design Firm of the Year:
Martini Manna & Partners

Read the firm's IP Stars profile here

Awards success

Please tell us about your firm.

We are a boutique and client-focused law firm providing individually tailored advice according to the highest international standards.

We offer specialised legal assistance with a business-oriented mind and clear communication, with the utmost transparency and ethics, and paying attention to the client's budget.

Our practice covers intellectual property, unfair competition, passing off, information technology, trade secrets, data protection, advertising, and commercial law. In all these areas, we assist clients both in non-contentious and in contentious matters, including cross-border proceedings and arbitrations, and procedures before independent authorities and juries.

Our experience covers almost any industry sector, including entertainment, media, art, IT, automotive, electronics, life science, chemical, plant varieties, food and beverage, design, fashion, and clothing.

Our clients range from SMEs to multinational groups and come from different countries in the world. Indeed, we have a solid network of foreign colleagues and we are used to working in English, Spanish, and French, further than, of course, Italian.

What distinguishes Martini Manna & Partners from other companies? How do you maintain quality of service offerings to clients?

In a nutshell, we quickly provide clients with clear advice, always with a problem-solving attitude and based on a thorough knowledge of the client's business.

In particular, what mainly distinguishes us are:

  • Communication skills and business mindset – we provide easy-to-read, straightforward, and practical advice, based on a thorough knowledge of the client's market and always keeping in mind its business needs;

  • Speed and proactivity – we are at hand and quick, we try to identify problems before they arise and we suggest ways to avoid them;

  • Value – we offer reasonable rates corresponding to the value of the work we perform, without any increases due to organisational costs from which the client does not get real benefits;

  • Budget – we pay great attention to respecting the client's budget;

  • Transparency – we allow clients to access all their files and our relevant timesheets online;

  • Technology – we use any newly available technology which may make our work more efficient and less expensive for the client;

  • Ethics – we take pride in being able to offer top-quality services while maintaining the highest ethical standards.

Are there any particular cases you would like to note in the design and copyright field?

We are very active in litigation in cases of infringement of design rights and copyrights over design works, particularly in the field of furniture design.

In copyright matters, we regularly run anti-piracy programmes against pirate IPTVs [Internet Protocol television] and intermediaries in the distribution of infringing content, as well as enforcement programmes against unauthorised use of software.

We also very often deal with infringements of database rights. 

Are you active in other intellectual property (IP) fields, besides those (copyright and design) for which you were granted the award?

Sure, we are active in any field of IP. Specifically, we have large experience in the assessment, protection, enforcement, exploitation, and prosecution of all IP rights: patents, trademarks, designs, copyrights, trade secrets, geographical indications, new plant varieties, and topographies of semiconductor products.

We also assist clients in all instances of unfair competition, such as deceptive trade practices meant to confuse the public as to the source of a product (including unauthorised use of distinctive signs and slavish imitation of products), trade libel, passing off, misappropriation, any other unfair conducts.

Furthermore, we regularly assist clients in cases relating to unfair trade practices, advertising law, image rights, sport rights, art law, data protection, and commercial agreements.

Do you have a blog dealing with IP issues?

Yes, we have a blog on our website where we describe the latest case-law precedents and law developments, in Italian and in English. This has many readers, both from Italy and from foreign countries. Its address is https://www.martinimanna.com/blog.

Strategy

Looking back, how would you describe the firm’s growth over the past five years?

We have constantly been growing since our establishment in 2011, in terms of our size, the size of our clients, and the relevance of the cases in which we are involved.

What are the key challenges being raised by clients at the moment in IP?

If we are talking of ‘hot topics’, then certainly the unitary patent and Unified Patent Court are the most relevant issues these days.

Speaking of legal assistance in general, clients require lawyers to be always more business minded and to pay particular attention to the way we communicate with them. They don’t have the time to read lengthy opinions; they want an executive summary with straightforward advice and possibly a solution to their problem.

What are the IP areas that have developed the most in recent years?

Probably trade secret litigation, anti-piracy, and anti-counterfeiting activities. We have also experienced an increase in trademark litigation and in conflicts between trademarks and protected geographical indications.

Have you adopted an ESG initiative?

Yes, in 2022 we adopted an ESG policy, which is published on our website. We are extremely attentive to environmental and gender equality issues and strongly believe that a good work-life balance makes us better lawyers.

Clients are always highly attentive to budgets. How do you handle this?

We care about our clients’ budgets and we do not want our clients to have any unpleasant surprises. Therefore, we always agree our fees in advance: as soon as we receive a request for assistance, we provide cost estimates as clear and as accurate as possible, and together with the client we go through the various options available, working out the strategy that best combines the goals we have set and the resources available.

We have standards in place that enable us to minimise costs in the interests of our clients: we take advantage of any cost-saving technology, we avoid duplication of fees when different professionals work on the same file, we save on travel expenses.

Trends

AI has continued to be a defining topic in the area of copyright over the past five years. What impact do you feel it will have on your practice?

It will probably bring more transactional work, linked to the new AIs that are being developed, but also more litigation work, as AI is often used to infringe IP rights (not only copyrights).

It is also changing our way of working: we are still able to use it for some basic work, such as case-law searches and summaries, and we will surely be able to use it for more complex work in the future. This will, of course, not replace the work of a lawyer, but it can nevertheless be used to the benefit of the clients.

Click here to see all the winners from the Managing IP EMEA Awards 2024, and photos from the event.

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