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The senior EU official is set to join the Firm in October

João Paulo Miranda de Sousa, an official at the OHIM in Alicante, joins Garrigues as the partner in charge of the international IP practice

07/09/2008

The Portuguese jurist João Paulo Miranda de Sousa, currently Director of General Affairs and External Relations at the European Trademarks Office (OHIM – the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market), is set to join Garrigues in October as the partner in charge of the Firm’s international Intellectual and Industrial Property Department (IP).

The Portuguese jurist João Paulo Miranda de Sousa, currently Director of General Affairs and External Relations at the European Trademarks Office (OHIM – the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market), is set to join Garrigues in October as the partner in charge of the Firm’s international Intellectual and Industrial Property Department (IP).

João Paulo Miranda de Sousa will head a 60-strong multidisciplinary team made up of expert intellectual and industrial property lawyers from a range of countries, as well as biochemists and engineers, working out of various offices in the Garrigues network (Madrid, Lisbon, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao, Oviedo, Alicante, New York and Shanghai). Four partners are currently in charge of these teams: Carolina Pina and Dulce Miranda (Madrid), Mónica Aritzi (Bilbao) and Gonçalo da Cunha Ferreira (Lisbon).

The addition of Joao Miranda de Sousa as the overall head of Garrigues’ IP Department worldwide, implies a reorganization of this important practice area, which will also take in the Firm’s patents and trademarks agencies. The process got underway in 2006 when Garrigues integrated the specialized IP Portuguese firm “Cabral, Cunha Ferreira & Asociados”, founded and managed by Gonçalo da Cunha Ferreira, who continues to oversee the Departments operations in Portugal and is also set to take charge of some of the activities and teams in Spain.
 
Acknowledged international prestige
Before becoming an EU official, Joao Miranda de Sousa was assistant lecturer in Administrative Law and Economic and Market Law at Universidad Católica Portuguesa in Oporto, where he obtained his Degree in Law in 1984 (recognized in Spain by the Ministry of Education and Science).

João Paulo Miranda de Sousa began his professional career in the heart of the EU in 1991. That year, he joined the European Investment Bank (Luxembourg) as a Senior Lawyer, where his main duties were supervising and providing legal advice in relation to the EIB’s investments in Portugal and other Portuguese-speaking countries.

This aside, without doubt João Miranda de Sousa’s wealth of professional experience and considerable international standing are the fruit of his successful time as a lawyer and official at the European Union Office of Trademarks and Designs (OHIM - Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market), the Alicante-based EU institution.

This high-ranking officer played a key role at the OHIM from its very beginnings back in 1995. He joined the EU agency’s Legal Department as a lawyer that same year, shortly after completing an Executive MBA at ESADE. He was promoted to Head of the Service for Coordination and for Financial and Staff Affairs in 1998, before going on to hold office as Assistant to Dutchman Wubbo de Boer, President of the OHIM.

His career at the EU agency was given fresh impetus in 2002, when he was named a member of the OHIM Management Committee, taking charge of the General Affairs and External Relations Department (GAERD) and its 70 staff members, a position he holds to this day.

Noteworthy duties of the department include coordinating the agency’s relations with its counterparts in other countries (from those with other EU-member states to those with the US, Japan and China), acting as the “visible face” of the Office in its dealings with the other EU institutions (the European Commission, Parliament and Council of Ministers), the press, the Administrative Board, the business community and the world of industrial property professionals. He was also in charge of managing the Office’s relations with its vast community of users (250,000 companies worldwide), taking on board their proposals and claims and processing any complaints submitted, and, in short, ensuring that users’ demands are understood by the Office and communicating the progress made in this regard.

The OHIM has seen its international standing improve dramatically throughout its 12 years of activity. Only in 2007, the OHIM’s 650-odd employees from the 27 member-states received some 90,000 trademark registration applications, making it the EU’s largest Registry Office.

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  • João Paulo Miranda de Sousa will head a 60-strong multidisciplinary team made up of expert intellectual and industrial property lawyers