Finland

There is a positive and vibrant atmosphere in Finland at present; its economic status is healthy and trademark lawyers are enjoying an uptick in brand owners looking to solidify their presence in both the domestic and international markets. On 1 May 2019 the new Trademarks Act came into force, bringing with it significant changes. The legislative amendments should align the country’s laws with those of the European Union and introduce clear, modern processes to ensure that rights holders enjoy maximum protection. One change that practitioners were quick to note is the introduction of administrative revocation and invalidation procedures for trademarks and trade names. Brand owners should also be wary of the fact that applications filed in greyscale after the new act came into force will cover only black and white versions of the mark, while existing marks filed before the 1 May will continue to cover all colour variations. Finnish practitioners are busy helping clients to review their portfolios in order to safeguard their valuable IP rights in light of the recent changes.

Firms: enforcement and litigation

  • Borenius Attorneys Ltd
  • Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Bird & Bird Attorneys Ltd
  • Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd
  • Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP
  • Krogerus
  • Properta Attorneys Ltd
  • Backström & Co
  • Hannes Snellman Attorneys Ltd
  • Kolster Oy Ab
  • Merilampi Attorneys Ltd
  • Waselius & Wist

Firms: prosecution and strategy

  • Berggren Oy
  • Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd
  • Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Boco IP
  • Borenius Attorneys Ltd
  • Dottir Attorneys
  • Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP
  • Kolster Oy Ab
  • Krogerus
  • Properta Attorneys Ltd

Backström & Co

“Not just a law firm but a business partner, you can count on Backström & Co to deliver in high-stakes litigation. You need not think twice about instructing the group – it omits legal jargon and work quickly and efficiently.” As a member of Eurojuris International, the firm is globally connected and has access to 6,000 foreign associates across 50 countries. Showcasing adroitness in multi-jurisdictional disputes is head honcho Petri Eskola. “Flexible and easy to reach, Petri’s responsiveness is highly valued. Whether it is an urgent matter or not, he will always get back to you in a short turnaround time. Petri goes above and beyond for his clients.”

Berggren Oy

“One of the best for prosecution work in Finland,” Berggren has optimised its filing processes over the course of 90 years. The past 10 have seen its dispute resolution practice flourish, bringing its active IP assignments up to 75,000. A strong contender in the market, “you receive robust support from all angles; matters are handled instantly and the team is super proactive in its guidance”.  Starbucks’ reliable counsel Paula Sailas “brings her vast and up-to-the-minute knowledge of trademarks to the table. She has a no-nonsense approach and provides real added value to any mandate.” The trademark service manager “communicates effectively and argues persuasively in court”. Another versatile figure, Hannu Halmetoja nips infringements in the bud and confects branding strategies that maximise asset value.

Bird & Bird Attorneys Ltd

Synonymous with quality, Bird & Bird leaves little to be desired. From an international reach to an offering that spans the trademark lifecycle, the Helsinki squad delivers in every kind of instruction. Heading up the IP division, Ella Mikkola is a repository of trust for Monster Energy and lends her ear to multinational corporations as well as to start-ups. “Awesome” is the word to describe the all-rounder. “She is a thrill to work with and provides a service that is 10 out of 10 on all counts.”

Boco IP

In the words of one client: “A go-to for EU and international instructions, Boco IP is our favourite firm to instruct. The group has certainly gained our trust through its diligence, responsiveness and complete understanding of our products. On top of that, the lawyers are friendly too.” Peter Åkerlund, Elina Heikkilä, Laura Roselius and Pamela Lönnqvist are the pillars of the practice. Instilling the set with robust leadership, Åkerlund’s advice is comprehensive and bespoke; a prudent strategist, he conducts risk analyses and fights infringement threats as they crop up. A frequent face before the EUIPO, Heikkilä is a master at navigating trademark processes across a multitude of jurisdictions. Her colleague Roselius strikes fear into the hearts of counterfeiters with her cast-iron strategies – the WTR 1000 newcomer’s flair for negotiation is put to good use in IP-rich deals. In pharmaceutical scenarios, Lönnqvist is a smart choice; she is a force to be reckoned with in the courtroom and knows how to seal a licensing deal with finesse.

Borenius Attorneys Ltd

A haven for globally renowned brands that need 360-degree protection, Borenius comes through with “outstanding legal advice, a deep knowledge base and responsive practitioners”. Publicly listed companies Ahlstrom-Munksjö and CapMan seek out the talents of Lasse Laaksonen, who marries his prosecution prowess with a refined understanding of marketing law. “Bright and helpful,” he always keeps an eye out for licensing opportunities to rake in maximum return on investments. Ben Rapinoja is the anchor when it comes to heavy-duty litigation; he recently enjoyed a victory on behalf of Orifam in relation to its pharmaceutical product packaging, which went all the way to the Helsinki Court of Appeal. Along with Åsa Krook, they saw a successful outcome on behalf of L-Fashion Group in a dispute concerning consumer marketing. “Quick on her feet, precise, practical and brilliant, there is no doubt to what she can achieve. Åsa is one of Finland’s best.” She tackles imitation products and gets deals done for Pernod Ricard.

Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd

Full-service firm Castrén & Snellman’s IP department is incredible. “It has quickly become a strong player on the market and the buzz that it generates has turned the heads of Finland’s biggest corporations.” The unit’s non-contentious instructions are executed flawlessly by Nina Mikander. “She gets straight to the point and counsels swiftly as well as comprehensively, all while being a joy to work with,” enthuses one client. Mikander oversees the global portfolio of Alma Media, the country’s largest media company, without a hiccup. “A bold and vibrant personality, Sakari Salonen always brings a positive attitude. Very solution driven and reliable – you gain a lot from having him by your side.” Often working with Kim Parviainen on multifaceted disputes, the dynamic duo have stamped out counterfeits for Pop Sockets and enforced Croc’s 3D marks. The pair view intellectual property through a commercial lens and assist Google in its marketing law and technology matters.

Dottir Attorneys

Innovation sits at the heart of Dottir Attorneys, whose clients are just as creative as the service offered. The technology driven set hit the ground running when it opened its doors in 2016 and now operates out of Helsinki, Berlin and San Francisco. Antti Innanen is crucial to the smooth operation of its A-to-Z offering. He guides Flow Festival – Helsinki’s urban music and arts festival, which brings in more than 60,000 visitors – through all of its branding conundrums and licensing ventures. Innanen also crafts watertight enforcement strategies, acting on these for renowned furniture designer Eero Aarnio, the creator of the Ball Chair.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

One-stop shop Eversheds Sutherland “has one of the finest teams in the country”. Capitalising on the network of its global powerhouse, the Finnish contingent joins forces with subsidiary Heinonen & Co, which registers tens of thousands of marks, to dish up holistic counsel that serves the international aims of its customer base. “Top dog” Petteri Häkkänen finesses every brief that crosses his desk. He shrewdly navigates Posti Group Oyj, the national Post Office, in its design and trademark prosecution efforts and recently obtained a favourable result for Procter & Gamble at the Market Court.

Hannes Snellman Attorneys Ltd

Full-service outfit Hannes Snellman coordinates with its counterparts in Stockholm to allow for seamless cross-border protection in the Nordics. The Helsinki branch is home to over a dozen experts who operate at the confluence of intellectual property and technology, while still delivering wall-to-wall brand protection whatever the sector. Practice helmsman Panu Siitonen keeps a conscientious eye on the National Hockey League’s portfolio. A litigator by trade, he also gets results in enforcement proceedings that are deserving of the Stanley Cup. He and Sarita Schröder have been putting the graft in on behalf of DNA, one of Finland’s largest telecoms groups, in a dispute concerning a magenta colour mark. “Sarita actively seeks the best solutions for her clients, whether it involves portfolio management or litigation proceedings. She is someone you can rely on and her advice is top notch.”

Kolster Oy Ab

“You will benefit from Kolster’s valuable services tremendously. Responsive and pragmatic, the team also follows its fee schedule to the letter and keeps clients looped in on any updates.” Having celebrated its 145th birthday this year, the set has polished its ability to juggle a plethora of mandates without ever dropping the ball. In the past year, it filed more than 1,000 meticulously drafted applications, a lot of which were due to squad captain Joose Kilpimaa, whose “deep knowledge and professional attitude” has landed him a spot on the INTA non-traditional marks committee. With its Kolster Market Watch offering, spearheaded by Jani Kaulo, anti-counterfeiting is another strong suit at the firm. Kaulo thrives in an international setting and, through the China desk, shines when crafting strategies for western brands looking to cement themselves in Asia. “Jani has a solution to any problem – his rich experience, effective communication and practical advice set him apart from other attorneys.”

Krogerus

Nestled at the core of business law firm Krogerus, the “seasoned and proficient” IP unit has the wherewithal to grapple with even the trickiest of briefs. Its technology know-how and mastery of marketing, consumer and unfair competition law allow for truly comprehensive assistance. St1, a leading Finnish energy company, and Rabbit Films, the country’s largest television production entity, are first in line to instruct Kalle Hynönen and Henri Kaikkonen. “The quality you get is second to none. Helpful, concise and clear – Kalle and Henri are counsel you can depend on for any trademark matter,” gushes one patron. “They take care of trademark portfolios with utmost care and great strategic vision. The pair are also excellent negotiators who understand business needs and act accordingly.”

Merilampi Attorneys Ltd

Since Henrik af Ursin’s arrival at Merilampi Attorneys, the IP practice has been making waves on the legal scene. Working in tandem with the M&A team, patrons such as Burberry and Daniel Wellington receive all-encompassing support. “Henrik is the go-to guy in Finland for brand protection and enforcement. Prosecution, anti-counterfeiting or cross-border litigation, he can do it all and with great success. He gives sharp, business-oriented advice and is on top of everything all the time.”

Properta Attorneys Ltd

“If you entrust Properta Attorneys with your marks, you will be working with the best in the country. Its approach is customer oriented and cost efficient, and displays the highest degrees of professionalism.” The squad’s in-depth knowledge is obvious, especially when it dazzles in complex registration processes and turns unwinnable cases around. Department co-leads Hanna-Maija Elo and Kukka Tommila come highly praised. “Hanna-Maija’s advice is uncomplicated, precise and shows vast industry expertise. Kukka’s commercial understanding ensures her guidance is in line with the tone that companies wish to convey. Both are stellar lawyers and shrewd negotiators who are easy to get along with – which always bears fruitful results.” adidas, Sony Interactive Entertainment and Luhta Sportswear Company are some of their regulars. Marja Tommila completes the triumvirate; with over four decades of experience under her belt, she is a fount of wisdom not only to her colleagues but to those seeking iron-clad enforcement strategies.

Roschier, Attorneys Ltd

“The ultimate trademark protection practice in the Nordics belongs to Roschier. Its experts have a talent for problem solving and are all leaders within their respective fields.” It is impossible to speak of litigation without mentioning Rainer Hilli’s name in the same breath. “An absolute star,” the IP division captain is on every high-profile case that crosses the courts. “Exceptionally responsive and attentive, Rainer is the number one choice for disputes. His track record is excellent and the service is great value for money too.” Heading up the marketing and consumer practice, Mikael Segercrantz is another litigation ace who has a penchant for combating counterfeits. He knows regulatory law like the back of his hand and gets imitation products off the market for Nokia, Juventus and Carlsberg. Meanwhile, “Markku Tuominen has built an excellent brand protection team”. Tuominen navigates the contentious/non-contentious divide with aplomb and proves invaluable to any rights holder. “Talented, thoughtful and creative, he performs superbly in court. Markku has a great head on his shoulders and always manages client expectations; he conducts thorough risk analyses and fights in their best interests.” Filings, prosecution and global portfolio management are all in a day’s work for Kaisu Korpua. “A true professional, she has an outside-the-box approach, which is of vital importance to huge companies. She understands the most complex of business challenges and meets them head on. Solid and trustworthy, as well as flexible and responsive, there is no issue Kaisu cannot resolve.”

Waselius & Wist

At Waselius & Wist, IP rights are commercialised for maximum value and infringement fires extinguished at rapid pace. It keeps the intentions and commercial interests of its customer base at the forefront of any move that it makes. Bernt Juthström sits at the top of the IP and IT totem pole. “A brilliant litigator, he is thorough, diligent and intelligent. It is great to have him on the other side, even when embroiled in a dispute, he is always charming.” He has a unique industry insight thanks to his previous stint as in-house counsel at Nokia.

Other recommended experts

At Dittmar & Indrenius, Gabrielle Dannberg sews up transaction agreements flawlessly; a smooth negotiator, she specialises in cross-border deals. Also operating out of Dittmar & Indrenius, Inari Kinnunen serves up holistic strategic counsel thanks to her knowledge of ancillary disciplines, including marketing, consumer and regulatory law. Papula-Nevinpat’s European trademark attorney Jussi Mikkola is equally savvy on both the contentious and non-contentious hemispheres.

Individuals

  • Henrik af Ursin - Merilampi Attorneys Ltd
  • Hanna-Maija Elo - Properta Attorneys Ltd
  • Petteri Häkkänen - Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP
  • Rainer Hilli - Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Åsa Krook - Borenius Attorneys Ltd
  • Sakari Salonen - Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd
  • Markku Tuominen - Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Kalle Hynönen - Krogerus
  • Bernt Juthström - Waselius & Wist
  • Henri Kaikkonen - Krogerus
  • Jani Kaulo - Kolster Oy Ab
  • Kaisu Korpua - Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Lasse Laaksonen - Borenius Attorneys Ltd
  • Nina Mikander - Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd
  • Ella Mikkola - Bird & Bird Attorneys Ltd
  • Ben Rapinoja - Borenius Attorneys Ltd
  • Sarita Schröder - Hannes Snellman Attorneys Ltd
  • Mikael Segercrantz - Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Panu Siitonen - Hannes Snellman Attorneys Ltd
  • Kukka Tommila - Properta Attorneys Ltd
  • Peter Åkerlund - Boco IP
  • Gabrielle Dannberg - Dittmar & Indrenius
  • Petri Eskola - Backström & Co
  • Hannu Halmetoja - Berggren Oy
  • Elina Heikkilä - Boco IP
  • Antti Innanen - Dottir Attorneys
  • Joose Kilpimaa - Kolster Oy Ab
  • Inari Kinnunen - Dittmar & Indrenius
  • Pamela Lönnqvist - Boco IP
  • Jussi Mikkola - Papula-Nevinpat
  • Kim Parviainen - Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd
  • Laura Roselius - Boco IP
  • Paula Sailas - Berggren Oy

Individuals: anti-counterfeiting

  • Henrik af Ursin - Merilampi Attorneys Ltd
  • Hanna-Maija Elo - Properta Attorneys Ltd
  • Bernt Juthström - Waselius & Wist
  • Jani Kaulo - Kolster Oy Ab
  • Åsa Krook - Borenius Attorneys Ltd
  • Ella Mikkola - Bird & Bird Attorneys Ltd
  • Sakari Salonen - Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd

Luminaries

  • Marja Tommila - Properta Attorneys Ltd