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People and places

In-depth features

There are few IP practices on the ground in Díli or elsewhere in East Timor – and little in the way of intellectual property protection, aside from the country’s general civil and criminal laws, which often provide unsatisfactory results for IP rights owners. Lawyers in the region recommend that, while awaiting IP protection to come into force in the country, IP rights owners advertise cautionary notices twice a year. In addition to the firms below, law firms in Jakarta may also be able to provide advice on East Timor matters. 

East Timor is also known by its Portuguese name, Timor-Leste. 


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Acemark is a Jakarta-based boutique firm established in 1999, focusing on IP both domestically and internationally. Clients range from MNCs to SMEs across industries. The IP team consists of partners, consultants and engineers with backgrounds in chemistry, biology, pharmaceutical, electronic and mechanical engineering.  

AFFA Intellectual Property Rights provides advice on trademarks, patents, industrial designs, copyright and geographical indications in Indonesia, East Timor and throughout the Pacific Islands. The firm can also assist with establishing a limited liability company, registering internet domains, working with Indonesia’s National Agency and Food and Drug Control, conducting IP investigations and creating and renewing license and franchise agreements. 

Macau-based C&C Lawyers & Notaries has had a joint office in Díli with Lisbon-based Abreu Advogados since 2012, where the firms operate as Abreu & C&C Advogados – Timor-Leste. A resident team of lawyers provide legal services to local and international clients with business interests in East Timor, primarily in the areas of energy and natural resources. The firm is led by Nuno Sardinha da Mata from C&C and Manuel Andrade Neves and Inês Sequeira Mendes from Abreu. 

Díli-based CRA Timor has an intellectual property practice designed to work within the constraints of the country’s IP laws (or lack thereof). The firm has extensive experience in cautionary notices and related processes designed to secure future protection when IP legislation comes into place. Managing partner Duarte Simões Carneiro is a key contact. 

Da Silva Teixeira & Associados is a Díli-based firm capable of handling most corporate and commercial, foreign investment and other legal matters. The firm advises international investors, start-ups, established operators, government authorities and NGOs; its lawyers have extensive knowledge of the economic, political, historical and cultural factors that shape East Timor. Sahe da Silva is a partner who was previously a corporate, banking and finance lawyer with Corrs Chambers Westgarth.  

Inventa International has an office in Díli, and representatives in Macau as well as many other jurisdictions with former colonial ties to Portugal. With over 45 years of experience serving thousands of clients across the fields of F&B, communications, IT, manufacturing, oil & gas, finance and business services, the firm is a full-service IP company providing all kinds of IP services including registration and enforcement of trademark, patent, industrial design, copyright and domain names.  

Lisbon-based Miranda & Associados has operated a permanent office in Díli since 2007, from which it provides international clients and investors with a full-service practice. The firm’s lawyers are active in all the jurisdiction’s key industries, including most notably the oil and gas and banking sectors, but also in IP and IT as well as data protection. The office is part of the Miranda Alliance, which offers services in former Portuguese colonies and other countries. It offers IP registration, licensing, R&D contracts, auditing, due diligence and policy drafting services for both MNCs and SMEs, as well as entrepreneurs. The firm was previously known as Miranda Correia Amendoeira & Associados. 

Spruson & Ferguson is a good bet for advice in East Timor, as the firm has built a network of lawyers with unique experience across the Pacific. Lawyers in the firm’s offices in Australia and in Southeast Asia should be able to point you towards the best contact inside the firm. Spruson & Ferguson can also provide advice on matters in other Pacific island nations, including Papua New Guinea, the Marshall Islands, Palau, Samoa, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati and Vanuatu. Spruson & Ferguson is part of IPH Limited, the IP company holding company.