Sweden

The Swedish IP market is undergoing a period of significant change, owing largely to the recent launch of the specialised Patent and Market Court in Stockholm. Practitioners have welcomed the establishment of the new venue, as the court’s increased expertise and lower costs will substantially benefit brand owners. As elsewhere in Scandinavia, commercial law set-ups continue to encroach on the territory of traditional IP consultancies, offering more extensive prosecution services and heightening competition on the market. Trademark operations of all sizes are also increasingly looking overseas, with many focusing on the Chinese market.

Firms: enforcement and litigation

1
Heidenstam Legal Advokat AB
Sandart&Partners Advokatbyrå KB
2
Advokatfirman Delphi
BRANN AB
Danowsky & Partners Advokatbyrå KB
GOZZO Advokater
Mannheimer Swartling
Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
Synch Advokat AB

Firms: prosecution and strategy

1
Groth & Co
Advokatfirman Delphi
The seasoned IP experts at commercial player Delphi secure watertight protection for brand owners’ crown-jewel assets and provides perceptive advice across the trademark spectrum. Best known for its contentious might, the continually expanding team can deftly navigate the intricacies of the Swedish court system to chalk up stunning victories for clients. A mainstay in the upper echelons of the market, crack litigator Henrik Bengtsson is a particularly strong presence in the IT field. With six offices across Sweden and a roster of over 40 IP lawyers, leading business law outfit Lindahl has all trademark bases covered. Its formidable contentious unit is married with a thriving prosecution practice that is the country’s top indigenous filer. “Experienced and business-oriented” Henrik Wistam is an enforcement maestro who recently prevailed for Daimler in a landmark case concerning design protection for car wheels. Wistam also leads the charge in the fight against fakes as president of the Swedish Anti-counterfeiting Group. The solutions-focused Johan Norderyd operates adroitly across the contentious/non-contentious divide, although he is a particularly effective portfolio manager. Recently taking the reins of the trademark and design team in the Stockholm office, Helena Wassén Öström is the driving force behind the prosecution operation; household names including H&M entrust her with the stewardship of their marquee brands. She is “always one step ahead and her advice is well drafted and easy to follow”. Seamlessly integrated with the firm’s other practice groups, the trademark team at full-service Vinge is a fan favourite for its clout in the courtroom and transactional know-how. Its prosecution arm has expanded rapidly since its 2014 inception, making it a premier one-stop shop for wide-ranging foreign and domestic briefs. Gold-tier regular and practice head Håkan Borgenhäll masterminds contentious efforts with aplomb; he is currently representing bed manufacturer Hästens in a pan-Nordic infringement dispute relating to a three-dimensional mark. Accomplished scholar and “brilliant lawyer” Richard Wessman wrote a key commentary on the Swedish Trademarks Act and assists Borgenhäll on thorny disputes. “His level of service has consistently been excellent – he shows a great understanding of your business and dispenses outstanding advice.” The recent arrival of former Von Lode man Pär Leander has significantly boosted the firm’s prosecution and strategic advisory operations; he also has a sparkling record in landmark enforcement cases. Matching top-quality work with a conscientious approach to fulfilling clients’ needs and counterparts, IP powerhouse Awapatent provides a polished A-to-Z offering, but dominates the Swedish prosecution scene in particular. Long a premium European destination, it has recently set its sights eastwards, opening offices in Beijing and Hong Kong in 2015. CEO Magnus Hallin brings broad expertise to the set, assisting countless clients with all manner of trademark briefs; he has astutely overseen the firm’s rapid growth in recent years. With extensive experience before the Swedish Supreme Court, Gothenburg-based Martin Tranälv is also a dab hand at managing complex cross-border portfolios and prosecution briefs.
BRANN AB
Smooth IP operator BRANN has been optimising intangible asset value for over half a century. With three other Swedish offices now supporting its Stockholm headquarters, it provides comprehensive nationwide coverage; while an extensive network of European contacts gives it substantial reach on the continent. Supported by the latest technologies, its erudite advocates provide incisive, cradle-to-grave advice. Head of legal Astrid Johnsson is a key contact.
Danowsky & Partners Advokatbyrå KB
Representing clients from a broad range of growth industries on both contentious and non-contentious matters, Danowsky & Partners has carved out a niche in the technology, media and entertainment spheres. Captaining the media and IP practice group, all-rounder Karin Nordborg wins plaudits for her energetic, sleeves-up approach to trademark issues. Her previous role as director of brand law at a leading design consultancy gives her immeasurable commercial insight. Peter Danowsky’s vast arbitration and dispute resolution know-how makes him a go-to for high-stakes contentious mandates. WTR 1000 newcomer Fenix Legal has wowed clients and peers alike with its commercially attuned approach to maximising brand value. With abundant internet and domain name expertise, it also adroitly manages the portfolios of entertainment industry heavyweights such as C More – Scandinavia’s leading pay television service – and Freemantle Media. Clients are attentively served by a crack team of forward-thinking practitioners: “They give us incredibly useful feedback on how to develop our ideas into IP-protectable items.” Heading the trademark department is the redoubtable Petter Rindforth – an “outstanding expert when it comes to all kinds of infringement disputes, business agreements and other trademark settlements, both in Scandinavia and worldwide”. Combining deep IP skills with killer entrepreneurial instincts, Maria Zamkova is a first port of call for Russia-related issues in particular; her pragmatic advice on protection, regulatory issues and opportunities has won her fans far and wide.
GOZZO Advokater
A business law firm specialising in intellectual property, GOZZO maintains a talented bench of lawyers whose tailored advice is infused with a distinctly international outlook, which resonates with embryonic start-ups and giant multinationals alike. Highly regarded in the contentious sphere, but with a robust prosecution practice to boot, it also shines brightly on anti-counterfeiting briefs, where its impact belies its compact size. Founder of the Swedish Anti-counterfeiting Group and co-founder of its global counterpart, Ann-Charlotte Söderlund Björk is a thought leader in the IP field. A stint in-house at one of Sweden’s largest clothing companies has given her vital insight on the client’s perspective and an enviable network of contacts.
Groth & Co
With garrisons across Europe and China, and the ability to operate in 16 languages, Groth & Co is a preferred choice for brand owners with cross-border concerns. Cycleurope – owner of the Bianchi brand – is just one of the global enterprises that benefit from the refined portfolio management capabilities of Scandinavia’s oldest IP firm. At the helm is Mats Lundberg, an authority on all things prosecution; his department remains one the most prolific filers in Sweden. Working in tandem with Lundberg on a number of crucial mandates is Helena Perneborg, who makes her WTR 1000 debut thanks to effusive client recommendations; they especially appreciate her approachable style and incisive commercial outlook.
Heidenstam Legal Advokat AB
Making its eighth straight appearance in the WTR 1000, boutique Heidenstam Legal continues to blaze a trail on infringement and other contentious briefs, and proves a particularly potent ally in the anti-counterfeiting arena. Peers sing the praises of managing partner Peter von Heidenstam for his star turns in the courtroom and efficient enforcement campaigns. “He is one of the most talented trademark lawyers in Sweden, especially when it comes to anti-counterfeiting. He has a very impressive track record,” notes one interviewee, with another confirming that “for many years, Heidenstam has been one of the most important litigators in the jurisdiction”.
Mannheimer Swartling
Nordic behemoth Mannheimer Swartling draws on the strength of a 400-plus team of lawyers positioned throughout 11 offices worldwide to offer comprehensive trademark solutions both regionally and globally. The IP department makes full use of this extraordinary capacity, collaborating closely with other practice groups to provide on-point counsel to brand owners looking to protect and monetise their intangible assets. In hot demand for his pharmaceutical, technology and IT know-how, Per Josefson is a level-headed yet agile litigator who places clients’ interests front and centre; competitors do not hesitate to recommend him when a conflict arises.
Sandart&Partners Advokatbyrå KB
This bijou Stockholm-based operation routinely notches up wins in complex infringement disputes; sage strategic advice, intelligent portfolio management and a flair for the fine print in licensing are further hallmarks of its service. Clients enjoy unfettered access to its partners, who operate under the watchful eye of highly analytical managing partner Anders Kylhammar – “an outstanding, extremely knowledgeable trademark practitioner with a stellar list of clients”. Competitors are more than happy to send referrals to entertainment guru Peter Sande: “He is always very helpful and you can trust him to be totally professional.” The versatile Karin Cederlund has valuable advertising law expertise, giving her a unique angle on the commercialisation of soft intellectual property.
Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
Intellectual property has long been a central pillar at leading full-service outfit Setterwalls; over 25 practitioners are positioned on the front lines to safeguard and commercialise intangible assets, while the standalone trademark department is entrusted with the stewardship of around 5,000 Scandinavian and EU trademarks. Boasting particular experience in the high-tech, pharmaceutical and medical fields – and with an in-house stint at a leading biotech firm on his CV – Per Lidman is hailed as “knowledgeable and helpful”. His longstanding relationship with worldwide brand leader Henkel and recent contentious work for confectionery giant Cloetta reflect the broad scope of his practice, as well as his aptitude for cross-border instructions.
Synch Advokat AB
Synch has made waves on the IP scene since its establishment in 2014, offering the full spectrum of trademark services in attractive, flexible packages and with razor-sharp attention to detail. The boutique continues to expand rapidly, with ambitions to become the ultimate one-stop shop for brand owners; it has already yielded impressive results for Swedish start-ups such as drinks company NOA Potions, which it has assisted with overall IP strategy since the company’s formative days. “Very clear in her analysis and advice”, co-founder Sara Sparring is a true all-rounder, as evidenced by her inclusion in all three tables – the only practitioner in the jurisdiction to achieve this feat. With a plethora of technically astute advocates spread across five domestic offices, Valea makes light work of multifaceted portfolio management and high-stakes disputes. It recently secured the registration of a trademark for Sale Nordic Group on appeal after its rejection by the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), and counts prestigious names such as Nestlé and Volvo among its long-term clientele. A dynamic practitioner with a nuanced grasp of the registration and prosecution angles of any case, Jesper Sellin has a 360-degree understanding of IP law, thanks to previous experience running his own consultancy and a spell in-house at Pfizer. The Swedish division of Zacco is an integral cog in this regional IP machine, which works seamlessly across borders in Scandinavia and further afield. A sophisticated “understanding not only of local issues but the truly global perspective” is a key selling point; it also wins praise for its “out-of-the-box thinking” and flair for realising brand owners’ long-term goals. The prosecution heavyweight has also expanded its contentious offering of late; it recently represented Mondelez in an infringement dispute with confectionery giants Mars. A former unit leader in the EUIPO’s opposition division, senior partner Claes Agnvall is the man to see for cases involving EU trademark law, oppositions and cancellations.

Individuals: anti-counterfeiting

Ann-Charlotte Söderlund Björk - GOZZO Advokater
Sara Sparring - Synch Advokat AB
Peter von Heidenstam - Heidenstam Legal Advokat AB
Henrik Wistam - Advokatfirman Lindahl

Individuals: enforcement and litigation

Henrik Bengtsson - Advokatfirman Delphi
Håkan Borgenhäll - Advokatfirman Vinge KB
Karin Cederlund - Sandart&Partners Advokatbyrå KB
Anders Kylhammar - Sandart&Partners Advokatbyrå KB
Peter Sande - Sandart&Partners Advokatbyrå KB
Ann-Charlotte Söderlund Björk - GOZZO Advokater
Peter von Heidenstam - Heidenstam Legal Advokat AB
Richard Wessman - Advokatfirman Vinge KB
Henrik Wistam - Advokatfirman Lindahl
Peter Danowsky - Danowsky & Partners Advokatbyrå KB
Per Josefson - Mannheimer Swartling
Pär Leander - Advokatfirman Vinge KB
Per Lidman - Setterwalls Advokatbyrå Malmö AB
Karin Nordborg - Danowsky & Partners Advokatbyrå KB
Johan Norderyd - Advokatfirman Lindahl
Jesper Sellin - Valea AB
Sara Sparring - Synch Advokat AB
Stefan Widmark - Kastell Advokatbyrå AB

Individuals: prosecution and strategy

Karin Cederlund - Sandart&Partners Advokatbyrå KB
Magnus Hallin - Awapatent
Pär Leander - Advokatfirman Vinge KB
Mats Lundberg - Groth & Co
Karin Nordborg - Danowsky & Partners Advokatbyrå KB
Johan Norderyd - Advokatfirman Lindahl
Helena Perneborg - Groth & Co
Fredrik Persson - NORDIA LAW
Petter Rindforth - Fenix Legal KB
Jesper Sellin - Valea AB
Sara Sparring - Synch Advokat AB
Martin Tranälv - Awapatent
Helena Wassén Öström - Advokatfirman Lindahl
Maria Zamkova - Fenix Legal KB
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Issue 68