Norway

Times have got tougher in Norway of late, due to the slowdown in the oil and gas sector that is so crucial to its fortunes. While this may have prompted some companies to tighten their belts, others are keener than ever to secure IP protection to shore up their economic advantage. As elsewhere in the Nordic region, the line between agencies and law firms has become increasingly fine, intensifying competition for prosecution work. In a relatively stable trademark market, it remains to be seen who is best placed to capitalise on the growing stream of instructions from technology and software companies and the ‘new oil’ industry of commercial fisheries.

Firms: enforcement and litigation

1
Advokatfirmaet Grette DA
2
Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS
BA-HR
3
Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS
Bull & Co Advokatfirma AS
Kvale Advokatfirma DA
Schjødt

Firms: prosecution and strategy

1
Protector Intellectual Property Consultants as
2
Advokatfirmaet Grette DA
3
Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS
Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS
Kvale Advokatfirma DA
Advokatfirmaet Grette DA
When it comes to IP litigation, peers attest that Grette is “clearly the firm which has distinguished itself from the rest”. Its crack squad of seasoned lawyers has a formidable international profile and wins many fans for its client-focused, pragmatic approach to disputes. The firm also continues to develop its prosecution practice, handling a significant volume of non-contentious briefs. “Excellent lawyer” and “brilliant” litigator Ida Gjessing is an adroit advocate whatever the trademark issue. Noteworthy recent successes for fellow all-rounder Felix Reimers include his representation of dairy cooperative TINE in a dispute over the JARSLBERG trademark. Clients say that the practice head is “someone who we will always go to when we have problems of the more difficult kind in Norway”. The vastly experienced Amund Brede Svendsen brings further clout to the contentious crew.
Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS
Despite the departures of Anne Marie Sejersted and Marie Vaale-Hallberg to Kvale, Haavind continues to provide a premier offering across the trademark spectrum. A new generation of talent is fast making its way up the ranks, while an elite team of Supreme Court-qualified counsel reflects enviable strength in depth on the contentious side. Domestic and international brands alike place their faith in its dexterous management of complex portfolios; the erudite ensemble counts Nestlé and major Norwegian food and drink player the Scandza Group among its valued clients. Associated partner and litigation specialist Vebjørn Krag Iversen is a key point of contact.
Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS
Commercial firm Thommessen can draw on the skills of the IP litigators based in its Oslo and Bergen offices to provide the necessary firepower for all manner of briefs. This expertise, added to its deft handling of trademark portfolios for global brands such as Telenor, underlines its status as a persuasive one-stop shop for brand owners. Camilla Vislie helms the IP, media and marketing law practice and is a prominent figure on the trademark scene, acting for clients across a range of industries including pharmaceuticals, oil and gas and consumer goods. Boasting extensive contentious experience, Andreas Nordby also ably manages his fair share of prosecution briefs.
BA-HR
Specialising in the high-technology, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and energy industries, forward-thinking full-service outfit BA-HR provides business-savvy solutions to global brand owners. The close-knit IP team has an enviable track record in the courtroom. Patents may be the forte of Are Stenvik, but he still packs a powerful punch in the trademark arena. His reputation as one of the greats of the IP field stems not only from his astute litigation strategies, but also from previous prestigious engagements as a professor at the University of Oslo and a member of the Norwegian Industrial Property Office (NIPO) Board of Appeal. Peers hail Bryn Aarflot as a firm they “can trust in any conflict scenario”; it is a preferred choice due to its “outstanding dedication” to clients. An accomplished operation with an international focus, once again features more ranked individuals this year than any other firm in the jurisdiction. Head of legal Anne Wildeng runs bulletproof practices on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide; her commercial nous has seen her appointed as chair of the board of the International Chamber of Commerce Norway. A “real pleasure to work with”, senior partner Pål Tonna “knows exactly what he is doing with trademarks. He is extremely quick – you can just give him stuff and let him get on with it”. “Capable, efficient and responsive”, Astrid Solberg and fellow strategic star Trine Greaker Herzog come highly recommended for their sage counsel across the full suite of prosecution briefs; Herzog also brings valuable anti-counterfeiting experience to the table.
Bull & Co Advokatfirma AS
Continually adapting to technological advancements with a resolutely business-focused approach, the IP team at Bull & Co has every trademark instruction imaginable on lock. Shrewd protection strategies, expedient licensing advice and indomitable courtroom performances are all par for the course for its well-rounded advocates. Litigator Bente Holmvang, who boasts particular expertise in domain name and design assignments, is a key point of contact.
Kvale Advokatfirma DA

Kvale has cultivated a sterling reputation across a range of practice areas since its establishment in 1998, but this year marks its inaugural appearance in the WTR 1000. While it was already home to a number of partners with deep IP know-how, the recent arrival of Anne Marie Sejersted and Marie Vaale-Hallberg has raised its trademark capabilities to the next level. Heading the department and pushing to increase its visibility in the market, the “competent, committed and perfectly organised” Sejersted divides her time between disputes and regulatory advice. “She has a fantastic feeling for the wording of documents filed. She is a good team player and a responsible person – very proactive. I am 100% relaxed working with her and she has everything under control,” noted one impressed peer. Vaale-Hallberg brings particular expertise in the food and drinks industry to the table: “She has, on every occasion, been a joy to work with. Her advice and assistance have always been of the highest quality, taking into consideration the client’s legal as well as commercial interests. You won’t find her performance wanting in any respect.”

With a significant domestic presence, stellar full-service operation Onsagers has more lately been working tirelessly to develop its international offering; Harley-Davidson is among the global players to be enticed by its seamless portfolio management and uncompromising approach to counterfeiting. A number of new hires from NIPO facilitate the smooth progress of applications to registration, while the recent opening of an office in Bergen will help the team to carve a niche in the burgeoning commercial fisheries sector. Eirik Rødsand guides clients from a variety of industries through choppy waters in prosecution, strategy and litigation, both domestically and overseas. The commercially minded Ann-Cathrin Hoel has inimitable portfolio management and strategic planning expertise; she can take a view from both sides of the fence thanks to her extensive in-house experience.
Protector Intellectual Property Consultants as
While the contentious arm of this boutique consultancy continues to develop, proficiency in all aspects of prosecution is its real calling card; it is a “hidden gem” with a depth of knowledge that belies its relatively small size. A proactive, solutions-oriented business model based on long-term relationships with leading domestic companies is now reaping dividends for the firm beyond Norwegian shores. “Absolutely one of the best”, managing partner Eli-Ann Evensen is an esteemed authority on infringements, strategic planning and IP due diligence. Head of legal and trademarks Tom Tysbo “finds pragmatic solutions that fit your needs in almost all cases. He responds quickly and professionally to inquiries, and provides precise advice.” Brand owners find Christoffer Vedal “extremely approachable and friendly, clearly very knowledgeable and technically very good. His service levels are outstanding – he is very responsive and his communication is clear and prompt.” His anti-counterfeiting insight – evidenced by his role as president of the Norwegian Anti-counterfeit Group – adds another string to the Protector bow.
Schjødt
A commercial outfit with four offices located in Norway’s key business hubs, Schjødt has cultivated a reputation for extracting maximum value from clients’ intellectual property through its on-point strategic advice and no-nonsense dispatching of disputes. Its lawyers are veteran performers before the courts at all levels, whose acumen and tenacity play well with concerns in the oil and gas, pharmaceutical and fishing industries both at home and abroad. Seasoned litigator Halvor Manshaus leads the dispute resolution department as well as the IP and media practice.

Its efficient, effective handling of mandates across the Nordics and Baltics attracts all manner of international clients to the Norwegian arm of Northern European powerhouse Zacco. Consistently ranked among the top filers in the jurisdiction, its trademark practice is a central pillar of its offering; superior prosecution prowess ensures that close connections with brand owners are forged and maintained. Captaining the trademark and legal team, Kristin Kjærheim Astrup has a real affinity for clients’ businesses and is “clear and to the point in her advice”. The operation has increased its contentious clout with the recent arrivals of Steinar Lie and Kristine Snyder from Bryn Aarflot. Small enterprises and global corporations alike are in safe hands with the “dedicated” Lie, while Snyder brings wide-ranging litigation experience and intricate knowledge of the Norwegian Marketing Control Act to the set.

Individuals: enforcement and litigation

Ida Gjessing - Advokatfirmaet Grette DA
Are Stenvik - BA-HR
Halvor Manshaus - Schjødt
Gunnar Meyer - Wikborg Rein
Felix Reimers - Advokatfirmaet Grette DA
Anne Marie Sejersted - Kvale Advokatfirma DA
Camilla S Vislie - Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS
Ingvild Hanssen-Bauer - Wikborg Rein
Steinar Lie - Zacco
Rune Opdahl - Advokatfirmaet Wiersholm AS
Amund Brede Svendsen - Advokatfirmaet Grette DA
Anne Wildeng - Bryn Aarflot AS

Individuals: prosecution and strategy

Eli-Ann Evensen - Protector Intellectual Property Consultants as
Solvår Winnie Finnanger - Tandbergs Patentkontor AS
Trine Greaker Herzog - Bryn Aarflot AS
Ann-Cathrin Hoel - Onsagers AS
Steinar Lie - Zacco
Andreas Nordby - Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS
Felix Reimers - Advokatfirmaet Grette DA
Eirik Rødsand - Onsagers AS
Astrid Solberg - Bryn Aarflot AS
Pål Tonna - Bryn Aarflot AS
Tom Tysbo - Protector Intellectual Property Consultants as
Marie Vaale-Hallberg - Kvale Advokatfirma DA
Christoffer Vedal - Protector Intellectual Property Consultants as
Anne Wildeng - Bryn Aarflot AS
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Issue 68