ELZABURU embarks on a new chapter, ready to maintain its leading position in the field of IP
Antonio Tavira has been appointed President of ELZABURU, a position that he will hold in addition to that of Managing Partner, which he has held since 2009. The position became vacant following the passing of Alberto Elzaburu in April of this year.
He has degrees in Law (Comillas University) and Business Studies (ICADE, Madrid), as well as a Master’s degree in Business Administration (IESE Business School, University of Navarra), and also holds positions in institutions and associations in the legal and IP fields, such as ASIPI, ECTA and AIPPI.
Antonio Tavira knows ELZABURU very well. He began working at the firm in 1998, and has forged a brilliant professional career, leading the transformation from a family firm with over 150 years of history to a modern firm specializing in IP and IT law. “ELZABURU has evolved from a family firm structure to a partnership model, and this transformation was supported and driven at all times by our dear Alberto de Elzaburu, an extremely important figure in the history of industrial property in Spain and worldwide”.
The firm, which was established in 1865, has renewed its corporate image this year, adopting a new corporate identity that reflects its commitment to adapt to the new demands of a marketplace that is subject to constant technological and social change. “We have successfully transformed from the traditional image of a trademark and patent agency, expanding our services to a diverse range of fields, such as artificial intelligence, data protection and trade secrets, anti-counterfeiting, valuation of intangible assets, and management of audiovisual projects, while also implementing new technological tools”.
Thanks to this technological renewal, the firm has been well positioned to respond positively to the upheaval caused by the pandemic: “From a technological standpoint, we are at the cutting edge in legaltech with tools such as “Elzacloud”, a platform which enables our clients to interact online in the management of their portfolios and which has played a key role over these months of lockdown and teleworking. We also have our own “chatbot”, which is capable of answering many questions and helps to filter initial enquiries from visitors to our website”.
How has the situation caused by the coronavirus affected the firm and how will this financial year look in terms of results?
Fortunately, our firm was well prepared and thanks to Elzacloud and other technological tools, our more than 160 employees have been able to continue working at full capacity from the first day of the state of alarm, without any adverse impact on our services. However, we have naturally been concerned by the delicate situation faced by many of our clients in a range of different sectors: tourism, restaurants, retail, audiovisual productions, industry, etc. This economic crisis will inevitably also affect law firms, although we have continued to have intense business activity, but we will logically notice an impact on our turnover at the end of the year.
It is too early to know how the year will end with regard to results, but there can be no doubt that we will have to tighten our belts. However, our business is highly diversified in terms of clients. In fact, we work for one in three of the IBEX-35 companies and, moreover, a significant proportion of our earnings comes from international business. Therefore, we hope to be able to close a difficult year with reasonable results.
What are Elzaburu’s clients seeking in terms of trademark protection in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic?
On the one hand, we have to ensure maximum protection for our clients’ portfolios, with the economic reality in mind, which requires us to be extremely efficient with top-level professional advice. It is essential to have an in-depth knowledge of our clients, who are the core of our business.
Moreover, one of the higher demand areas over the past few months has been cybersecurity. These months of lockdown have seen an increase in online intellectual property infringements. We have therefore expanded our monitoring services with a technological platform which, by means of big data processes and machine learning, as well as agreements with Google and social networks, enables us to detect and swiftly eliminate counterfeits and improper use of trademarks and thus protect our clients’ intangible assets.
How do you see the future economic outlook given the current situation?
It is clear that financial structures have to be strengthened in order to deal with all possible contingencies that the pandemic will bring. We will all also have to adapt to a new working model in which teleworking will play a key role. Any cost reductions and savings that we are able to make will be crucial. These are difficult times, and our objective is to ensure that we have sufficient financial muscle to withstand this period of uncertainty.
Companies will have to show responsibility, in the knowledge that society needs our help. CSR will therefore play a very important role in this new world that is taking shape. Only companies that are socially responsible will be able to survive: companies which are able to show solidarity with their clients; companies which contribute to society to help overcome this crisis. We have long been aware that we all have to work together to build a more sustainable world. Recently, together with more than 1,000 other CEOs from across the world, I signed the Statement for Renewed Global Cooperation of the UN Global Compact in support of institutions to guarantee peace and eradicate inequality.
I think that difficult times lie ahead and that there will be suffering, but I am sure that if companies and institutions demonstrate social responsibility, we will be able to overcome this crisis and create a better world for all.