Finland

The effects of the global financial crisis linger in Finland’s IP market, where consolidation among smaller firms and an increased willingness among larger players to expand their offerings are still common. Yet while the scars of an extended recession remain visible, green shoots of recovery are now tentatively pushing through the economic topsoil – good news for IP practitioners, who stand to benefit from brand owners’ increased interest in protecting their intangible assets in the country. The Market Court continues to encourage competitiveness and win acclaim for its expertise and efficiency, although a dramatic hike in the cost of challenging Patent and Registration Office decisions has reduced the number of appeals reaching the court. This development could diminish the ability of rights holders to file and consequently cut workloads for firms heavily focused on this area.

Firms: enforcement and litigation

1
Borenius Attorneys Ltd
Eversheds Attorneys Ltd
Roschier
2
Backström & Co
Bird & Bird Attorneys Ltd
Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd
Dittmar & Indrenius Attorneys Ltd
Krogerus
Waselius & Wist

Firms: prosecution and strategy

1
Berggren Oy
Eversheds Attorneys Ltd
Roschier
2
Boco IP
Borenius Attorneys Ltd
Kolster Oy Ab
Krogerus
Papula-Nevinpat
Backström & Co
This business law ensemble offers a wide array of services, but its IP practice is the flagship operation. Since its establishment in 1993, Backström has built an enviable reputation across the trademark spectrum, dispensing astute advice and flexing its contentious muscle on behalf of Finnish enterprises and multinationals alike. A trailblazer with decades of experience, practice lynchpin Peter Backström is hailed as the jurisdiction’s “father of IP advocacy”. Alongside Backström, Petri Eskola adds real clout when it comes to litigation and arbitration.
Berggren Oy
Internationally focused boutique Berggren has ably assisted clients with their trademark issues for 80 years from its Helsinki home base, with a US outpost in New Jersey further underpinning its global outlook. Trademark service manager Paula Sailas handles the portfolios of start-ups, multinationals and every market player in between with a deft touch, while also proving an invaluable advocate in disputes and contractual matters. Matching Sailas’s levels of all-round expertise, Hannu Halmetoja wins plaudits from peers as an “excellent trademark attorney”; his solutions-oriented approach and in-depth legal knowledge translate into ironclad protection of clients’ crown-jewel intellectual assets.
Bird & Bird Attorneys Ltd
The Finnish arm of IP titan Bird & Bird draws on the firm’s formidable worldwide network to supply clients with a practical cross-border service and internationally attuned advice. While litigation is its primary focus, its offering is comprehensive. Ella Mikkola heads the IP and life sciences groups. Her globe-trotting background gives her a deep understanding of clients’ ambitions; an LLM from George Washington University Law School makes her a particularly attractive option for US brands, with energy drink giant Monster Energy among those seeking out her sage counsel. Acclaimed for her contentious know-how, she maintains a broad practice that also includes transactional work and customs seizures.
Boco IP
A specialist consultancy with a pan-continental focus, Boco IP concentrates a significant proportion of its efforts on domestic clients with international ambitions, which look to it for guidance on registering, protecting and monetising their marks in key jurisdictions throughout the European Union and in China. Competitors happily send conflict work to its skilled set of professionals, who are equally adept at handling the requests of embryonic start-ups and industry-leading behemoths alike. Peter Åkerlund is a dab hand at oppositions and excels at all aspects of prosecution.
Borenius Attorneys Ltd
Borenius is undisputedly one of Finland’s top destinations for contentious instructions; recent wins for Scanoffice in a comparative advertising clash and Nordpeis in a domain name dispute have kept it flying high. However, it is also devoting increased resources to its prosecution practice, with new hires bolstering the forces advising international heavyweights such as Pernod Ricard and Karl Fazer on all manner of strategic decisions. The multifaceted Asa Krook brings inimitable experience and is a go-to adviser on anti-counterfeiting matters. “Asa provides outstanding advice and really gets to know your business; she is very responsive, friendly and service minded.” Heading the IP and commercial team is Lasse Laaksonen, a “practical lawyer who listens carefully to customers’ needs” and comes warmly recommended for his mastery of disputes. Highly regarded for his shrewd counsel in patent spats, Ben Rapinoja also packs a punch in soft IP matters, as evidenced by his stellar work for Orifarm in a case concerning repackaging and parallel imports. He is equally at home in the pharmaceutical and high-tech industries.
Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd
Satisfied patrons hail the team at Castrén & Snellman, which “acts without delay to halt the illegal use of your trademarks. It also has a great network encompassing many important markets”. Deep international expertise across the full suite of trademark services is a calling card for this commercial law firm, whose Moscow and St Petersburg offices bridge the gap between Russia and the European Union. Helming the IP practice and exemplifying the group’s contentious might – while also bringing abundant anti-counterfeiting experience to the table – Sakari Salonen is a commercially astute advocate who can quickly get to grips with clients’ needs and concerns. Salonen acts for a swathe of major brands and recently took the lead on a precedent-setting infringement case on behalf of BMW, successfully arguing that car rims do not constitute spare parts under design law.
Dittmar & Indrenius Attorneys Ltd
Seamless integration with the firm’s commercial practice divisions is the modus operandi of the Dittmar & Indrenius IP department. The group is in expansion mode, with top-flight talent continually being added to service a host of new clients attracted by its laser business focus and comprehensive coverage of all trademark matters. Dispensing astute advice across the contentious/non-contentious divide, Henrik af Ursin spearheads the IP offering; his successful defences of Tristar and New Era in high-stakes customs cases underline his prowess in the anti-counterfeiting sphere. Peers affirm that his work for global brands has “significantly increased the status of the firm’s trademark practice”; while clients appreciate his incisive input and innovative responses to pressing issues, with one adding that “the solutions offered took into account our budget constraints, but also remained proactive and efficient”. Longstanding relationships with global players such as Colgate-Palmolive pay testament to the trust placed in the team; senior attorney Inari Kinnunen plays a leading role in managing Colgate’s multinational portfolio. Rising star Gabrielle Dannberg draws on expertise across intellectual property, M&A and private equity to devise highly effective strategies that dot every I and cross every T.
Eversheds Attorneys Ltd
“Eversheds is an invaluable partner and asset that promotes the success of your business.” With five locations throughout the country and IP specialist subsidiary Heinonen managing prosecution briefs, the outfit can dispatch any trademark mandate with ease – as evidenced by its top-tier ranking in the enforcement and litigation as well as prosecution and strategy tables. Heading up the practice, Hanna-Maija Elo wins praise from clients and peers alike for her “proactive, professional and approachable” style. A founding member of the Finnish Anti-counterfeiting Group and an expert on infringement and contentious issues, she also counts adidas and leading jewellery manufacturer Kalevala Koru among those seeking her advice on prosecution tactics. Daunting courtroom opponent Petteri Häkkänen works alongside Elo to defend many of Procter & Gamble’s famous marks; he is an accomplished author in the IP field and “very likely Finland’s number-one trademark litigator”. The erudite Kukka Tommila is in charge of Heinonen’s operations and excels at developing and implementing protection and defence strategies, both domestically and internationally.
Kolster Oy Ab
Alongside the fifth generation of the Kolster family, 140 staff across seven offices continue to uphold the proud history of Finland’s oldest IP firm; it revamped its strategy this year to align itself even more closely with client goals and increase the value of its already on-point advice. As Finland’s React anti-counterfeiting partner, the ensemble is also a crucial ally in the fight against fakes, assisting more than 200 brand owners in customs matters and defensive initiatives. Taking the lead on this is new head of trademarks Joose Kilpimaa, a seasoned litigator with ample experience representing clients in various national courts; and Jani Kaulo, an authority on protecting intellectual property in East Asia where clients value his “rich experience, smart communication and prompt responses”. Working alongside them in the Helsinki office, brand expert Ari-Pekka Launne is “one of a kind – he is reliable, efficient, provides excellent-quality services at a reasonable cost” and is vaunted for his detailed understanding of the industry.
Krogerus
Business law heavyweight Krogerus’s team of 29 partners makes it one of Finland’s largest commercial operations. The IP group is an integral cog in the machine and, as one of the first in the country to establish a dedicated prosecution practice, has long dispensed highly practical advice on all conceivable trademark-related issues. Its coverage of the media and communications sectors is particularly strong; Finnish telecoms giant DNA is among the elite companies that benefit from its perceptive guidance in both strategic planning and litigation. “One of the best in the country with large international trademark portfolios”, rainmaker Tuukka Airaksinen has “clearly raised the profile” of his trademark practice with the outstanding quality of his work.
Papula-Nevinpat
With offices in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan supporting its Helsinki headquarters, IP agency Papula-Nevinpat is a prime destination for those seeking brand protection and exploitation services in Eastern Europe and the Eurasian transcontinental region. Having chalked up over 40 years’ experience in the field, it is a preferred choice for surveillance, registration, anti-counterfeiting and domain name issues. Former Finnish Anti-counterfeiting Group chair Jussi Mikkola provides sage guidance on international brand protection, oppositions and appeals, and represents clients before all forums in the jurisdiction.
Roschier
Nordic powerhouse Roschier maintains its leading position in the contentious sphere and stands “head and shoulders above the rest” when it comes to prosecution and strategy – an area in which it has enjoyed significant growth of late. The 40-strong IP team “consistently provides smart and practical solutions”, with a premier one-stop offering underpinned by smooth international coordination and deep commercial understanding. Chair of the board and head of the IP practice Rainer Hilli is widely recognised throughout Scandinavia as a pre-eminent expert in the field, held in the highest esteem by clients and peers alike for his redoubtable knowledge of all things trademark. Securing numerous courtroom victories alongside Hilli is Mikael Segercrantz, a go-to guy for transactional briefs and international brand enforcement. Shrewd strategist Markku Tuominen heads the brand protection practice, safeguarding owners’ intangible assets in brand-heavy industries such as fashion, design and entertainment. A name synonymous with the astute management of international portfolios, Kaisu Korpua brings extensive in-house experience and universal knowledge of protection strategies to the set.
Waselius & Wist
A commercial law firm with a penchant for dispatching the trickiest of business transactions, Waselius & Wist dispenses tailored cross-border services to longstanding clients across a multitude of industries. Contentious and licensing ace Bernt Juthström is the IP department’s flagbearer. An in-house stint at Nokia has given him valuable 360-degree insight, while his successful recent defence against a complex non-traditional mark infringement claim for key manufacturer Abloy emphasises the comprehensive scope of his skill set.

Individuals

Henrik af Ursin - Dittmar & Indrenius Attorneys Ltd
Tuukka Airaksinen - Krogerus
Hanna-Maija Elo - Eversheds Attorneys Ltd
Petteri Häkkänen - Eversheds Attorneys Ltd
Rainer Hilli - Roschier
Asa Krook - Borenius Attorneys Ltd
Markku Tuominen - Roschier
Peter Backström - Backström & Co
Bernt Juthström - Waselius & Wist
Esa Korkeamäki - HH Partners Attorneys-at-law
Lasse Laaksonen - Borenius Attorneys Ltd
Ella Mikkola - Bird & Bird Attorneys Ltd
Ben Rapinoja - Borenius Attorneys Ltd
Sakari Salonen - Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd
Mikael Segercrantz - Roschier
Peter Åkerlund - Boco IP
Gabrielle Dannberg - Dittmar & Indrenius Attorneys Ltd
Petri Eskola - Backström & Co
Hannu Halmetoja - Berggren Oy
Erkki Holmila - Ipriq Oy
Henri Kaikkonen - Inventio Attorneys Ltd
Joose Kilpimaa - Kolster Oy Ab
Inari Kinnunen - Dittmar & Indrenius Attorneys Ltd
Kaisu Korpua - Roschier
Ari-Pekka Launne - Kolster Oy Ab
Jussi Mikkola - Papula-Nevinpat
Paula Sailas - Berggren Oy
Panu Siitonen - Hannes Snellman Attorneys Ltd
Kukka Tommila - Eversheds Attorneys Ltd

Individuals: anti-counterfeiting

Henrik af Ursin - Dittmar & Indrenius Attorneys Ltd
Hanna-Maija Elo - Eversheds Attorneys Ltd
Bernt Juthström - Waselius & Wist
Jani Kaulo - Kolster Oy Ab
Esa Korkeamäki - HH Partners Attorneys-at-law
Asa Krook - Borenius Attorneys Ltd
Ella Mikkola - Bird & Bird Attorneys Ltd
Sakari Salonen - Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd
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Issue 70