Founded in 1923, Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal, started out as an IP firm and later evolved into a general practice firm, headquartered in Buenos Aires and with a second office in Cordoba, Argentina. Its IP practice is still a key part of the firm, accounting for about 30% of total revenue and employing 28 IP attorneys, six of whom are partners. Marval also has a team of nine technical experts specialising in engineering, chemistry, biotechnology and pharmacology.
The firm's clients are companies from a variety of sectors such as entertainment, pharmaceuticals and consumer goods. One such client is Google, for whom Marval recently secured a win. The internet company filed a trade mark application for GMAIL , which was opposed by a defendant who had filed for the mark two months earlier. Google had opposed the application at that time. The court of appeals decided that Google had better rights to the mark despite the defendant's earlier filing.
In another case, Marval represented Syngenta Participations AG in the first biotech patent infringement case against local seed companies. One case was settled with one of the defendants publicly acknowledging patent infringement, paying damages and obtaining a licence.
Peers recognise Marval's leading position in the Argentine market and praise Martín Bensandon for his work in patents. Gustavo P Giay is also recognised for his track record in trade mark litigation. The firm lost Santiago O'Conor, a partner in the trade mark group, when he left in December to set up his own firm. Senior attorney Marcelo O García-Sellart also left to join Berton Moreno & Asociados as partner in May 2012.