Finland

Finland has a robust economy and a flourishing start-up scene; domestic businesses are eyeing international expansion and looking to Finnish IP professionals to help guide them on brand development. There is a healthy competitive atmosphere among IP service providers and everyone is raising their game. Also, new firms are coming on to the market and quickly establishing a name; Dottir Attorneys was established in 2016 and makes its first appearance in the WTR 1000 rankings this year. Practitioners look forward to seeing positive reforms as Finland implements the EU Trademark Directive into its national law. The change should allow for a unified practice across EU member states, as well as simpler and more cost-effective cancellation proceedings. In addition, the Criminal Code will be amended in light of this to address current loopholes relating to counterfeit products ensuring greater protection in the future.

Firms: enforcement and litigation

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

Firms: prosecution and strategy

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

Backström & Co

Optimising its contentious offering for 26 years, Backström & Co dazzles in disputes and is “often seen in high-profile IP cases”. The man behind the success of this dynamic business law firm is Peter Backström. The deeply experienced practitioner is always willing to share the wisdom he has acquired over decades of licensing, arbitration and litigation instructions. Petri Eskola gains an edge by utilising an incisive knowledge of disciplines adjacent to trademarks, such as competition and marketing law.

Berggren Oy

“One of the strongest players on the market,” Berggren has been a top prosecution performer for over 80 years. Excelling not only on filing, the outfit also has the keys to unlock brand value for its clients. “The team can manoeuvre through tricky situations and always has documents clearly prepared to ensure successful results.” Trademark service manager and versatile practitioner Paula Sailas juggles a plethora of instructions without ever dropping the ball. As a trusted adviser to Starbucks for 10 years, she has been managing the company’s Finnish portfolio meticulously. Simultaneously she also fights the good fight in court for other marquee clients. Her colleague Hannu Halmetoja dives into the nitty gritty of each case to help clients cement solid brands and stop infringers in their tracks.

Bird & Bird Attorneys Ltd

Global reach and impressive in-depth local knowledge are the hallmarks of Bird & Bird in Finland. The ensemble has the wherewithal to protect brands in complex cross-border spats and finely tuned sector know how resulting in rigorously commercial advice. Ella Mikkola leads clients to victory with her outstanding advocacy skills. She is excellent when it comes to the negotiation of commercial contracts.

Boco IP

“Efficient and professional, the team at Boco IP goes the extra mile to understand clients’ businesses and deftly adapts its service to align with their commercial needs.” “It is extremely well connected and collaborates with top local trademark players in several jurisdictions” and as a result, handles cross-border instructions with finesse. All-rounder Peter Åkerlund is a top-rate leader of the practice. Strategic in his approach, he conducts thorough risk analyses before firing warning shots in dispute proceedings. His colleague Elina Heikkilä has a sixth sense for “understanding commercial goals and basing smart proposals and strategies around them, she is really proactive and provides documentation well in advance, which saves time when running a business”. Her fluency in English, Finnish, French and Swedish really come in handy when taking responsibility for the international operations of the firm. WTR 1000 debutant and compelling litigator Pamela Lönnqvist “operates in a highly effective and timely manner, she responds to questions quickly yet thoroughly and proactively communicates with her clients regarding the next step. In addition, she has a relaxed vibe and a top sense of humour which makes her great to be around.”

Borenius Attorneys Ltd

“Well-established IP player” Borenius offers a cradle-to-grave brand protection service which international industry leaders such as Pernod Ricard flock to. Lasse Laaksonen has played a crucial role in developing the prosecution practice at the firm; he manages Karl Frazer’s portfolio which consists of over 1,000 marks globally. “Pragmatic and solutions-oriented,” Laaksonen also has a keen eye for IP commercialisation opportunities. In the courtroom Ben Rapinoja never fails to put in a strong performance. The mainstay litigator has been busy this year battling on behalf of L-Fashion Group in addition to defending Orifarm Group on a matter regarding the packaging of pharmaceutical products. “Åsa Krook demonstrates professional skills and is truly customer-focused.” She is a favourite of big hitters such as Essity, Nestlé and Provio, which rely on her to stamp out counterfeiting. Krook is a nimble deal negotiator too, and recently assisted LänsiAuto in a franchise agreement with Enterprise Holdings.

Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd

Castrén & Snellman has taken Finland by storm with its A-to-Z trademark offering and peers are full of praise for engines of the practice Sakari Salonen and WTR 1000 newcomer Nina Mikander. “Since taking the helm of the IP division, they have quickly developed it into one of the leading practices in Finland. In addition to being very active in litigation, the firm has also recently won over a number of major portfolio clients.” Hard-hitting litigator Salonen “examines cases from all angles and his advice is always clear, thoughtful and prompt”. He recently enjoyed a success at the Market Court on behalf of BBS, where he protected the stylised 885 symbol on hubcaps. Global portfolio management is meat and drink for Mikander who oversees the entirety of Alma Media’s marks, in addition to handling the portfolio of OP Financial Group, the largest financial services group in the country. The head of the prosecution department also creates watertight strategies to bring coherency and commercial impetus to portfolios. The dynamic duo is backed by a “solid team of hardworking and efficient professionals who are always available and give really business-oriented and extremely practical advice”.

Dittmar & Indrenius

Complex transactional and litigation instructions are bread and butter to Dittmar & Indrenius. The full-service commercial outfit has been in expansion mode over the past year and has taken on several high-level anti-counterfeiting matters, as well as acting on behalf of Fonecta in domain name arbitration proceedings. It has also added to its client roster, with Adam Opel, Calvin Klein and Ferring joining the long list of multinationals it advises. Standing out in this “extremely hands on and cost-sensitive team” are Inari Kinnunen and Gabrielle Dannberg. Kinnunen is a portfolio management superstar often sought out by household brands such as Colgate-Palmolive. Thanks to expertise in marketing, consumer and regulatory law she dishes up holistic counsel. Dannberg is frequently on the other side of complex cross-border M&A deals and recently assisted leading Finnish taxi services business Kovanen.

Dottir Attorneys

Since its establishment in January 2016 Dottir Attorneys has been the “one to watch”. The full-service business law firm comes highly recommended to anyone looking for brand protection in the digital domain and therefore features on the WTR 1000 prosecution table for the first time this year. The tech-savvy outfit generated a lot of media buzz when it developed its own free-to-use search engine called ‘Search-a-brand’ to help start-ups find names for their products and services. Managing partner Antti Innanen “heads up the trademark practice with prowess” and has a real entrepreneurial spirit. Innanen has recently been carving out strategies for Flow Festival and helping M Room break into the US market through a massive franchising deal.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

“Eversheds Sutherland has one of the strongest IP practices in Finland” but is not resting on its laurels. The internationally minded firm has recently acquired offices in Moscow and Saint Petersburg to tend to trademark matters in Russia. The Finnish ensemble works together with subsidiary Heinonen & Co, which administers around 22,000 registrations; together they form a 30-strong team that is ready for anything. A former examiner at the EUIPO Tuukka Airaksinen applies his diligently cultivated skills to “manage large international portfolios with proficiency” and has emerged victorious from many branding skirmishes. Petteri Häkkänen loves to get stuck into complicated trademark infringement matters. Having authored several textbooks, he has an outstanding theoretical knowledge, which grounds his persuasive advocacy in court.

Kolster Oy Ab

Kolster is one of the longest-standing IP firms in Finland and is a go-to for clients with overseas interests; for example, it demonstrates impeccable expertise facilitating the localisation of Western brands in the Chinese market. Anti-counterfeiting proficiency is another claim to fame; its Kolster Market Watch service detects infringements for more than 220 global entities. The man in charge, Joose Kilpimaa provides complete protection to luxury goods clients. “If there is any possible solution to a branding issue, Jani Kaulo will find it.” Responsible for the Asian affairs of the firm, Kaulo is a favourite among international clients. “He is one of the most professional and responsible colleagues I have worked with,” enthuses one. “Jani always replies to emails and keeps you informed, it really makes you feel secure. Creative and analytical, he is also very practical and efficient.” Someone who shines when it comes to brand management and anti-counterfeiting is Ari-Pekka Launne whose strategies always fit the bill perfectly. A new addition to the WTR 1000 this year, Miia Hirvonen “does absolutely outstanding work” when it comes to IP commercialisation. The legal director “is both resourceful and reliable and all together a great asset to her clients”.

Krogerus

Intellectual property is a central plank of the business law practice at Krogerus. At its best in the media and entertainment sector, its dedicated IP team hits the target, whether devising protection strategies or enforcing marks. Proficient in adjacent marketing and consumer law matters, as well as unfair competition, the experienced line-up provides exceptionally well-rounded counsel. Kalle Hynönen leads the department with verve. Hynönen has in-house counsel experience at a leading European media and a learning solutions corporation on his résumé and is absolutely in sync with his clients, such as St1, a leading Finnish energy company and developer of renewable fuels. In January 2019 the firm made a smart move by recruiting Henri Kaikkonen from Inventio. The “sharp and forward-looking lawyer” provides “practical and beneficial legal guidance”. “He is precise and reliable and his work is of excellent quality.”

Papula-Nevinpat

With strategically placed offices around Finland as well as in Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan among others, Papula-Nevinpat is a gateway for Finnish brand owners into Russia and Eurasia. Nothing gets past Jussi Mikkola; he can do it all, from registrations and oppositions to litigation proceedings and anti-counterfeiting.

Properta Attorneys Ltd

“Properta is exceptional for complex and hard-to-obtain registrations as well as trademark disputes.” Although the department is compact, it really packs a punch with Hanna-Maija Elo leading the charge. “She provides accurate and straightforward legal advice. Her service level and industry knowledge are excellent – she is a fantastic negotiator and a skilled lawyer.” Clients love her and stay loyal; adidas has instructed her for decades. Department co-head Kukka Tommilla is a force to be reckoned with in disputes. “She makes complex issues easy to understand and is highly efficient and quick on her feet. She always exceeds expectations.” The team would not be complete without Marja Tommila who brings infinite wisdom accumulated over the course of more than four decades in intellectual property to the table. These all-stars “perform every task with the utmost professionalism and their in-depth knowledge is apparent and obvious”.

Roschier, Attorneys Ltd

“Roschier has one of the biggest and best trademark protection practices in Finland. Its team is really experienced and forward thinking and always finds a way to get an excellent result.” The lawyer at the forefront of many of the high-profile disputes that the full-service firm is involved in is Rainer Hilli, “a legend in the field”. Leading the marketing and consumer law practice, Mikael Segercrantz is “diligent and super pragmatic. He has a deep understanding of his clients’ business needs”. He puts his worldly wisdom to good use when stamping out counterfeits for blue-chip clients such as Eli Lilly and Michael Kors. Chief of the brand protection practice Markku Tuominen is “highly intelligent as a strategist, as well as a delight to work with”. Another non-contentious maven is Kaisu Korpua, “a true trademark prosecution expert who resolves the most challenging matters. She has a great attitude and is always available and responsive. Most importantly, she has excellent strategic knowledge and can be highly recommended as a top practitioner not only in Finland but globally as well.”

Waselius & Wist

Adept at advising discerning brand owners at every stage of the trademark lifecycle, commercial law outfit Waselius & Wist stands tall in intellectual property. It frequently takes on the toughest of disputes and sparkles in IP rich deals. Head honcho “Bernt Juthström always has his facts straight. Incredibly smart and highly experienced, he hones in on the most relevant issues. Bernt is a pleasure to work with or even against.” The consummate litigator is also finely attuned to business needs thanks to his previous experience as in-house counsel at Nokia.

Other recommended experts

Recently making a move to Merilampi Attorneys, Henrik af Ursin “is a top-notch lawyer and a great prosecutor. He has unique strategic skills, is easy to work with and always obtains excellent results. A mastermind with tons of experience, Henrik is a great person and his client care and contact is second to none.” Erkki Holmila views brand protection through a commercial lens. A former Berggren lawyer who established his own firm, Ipriq, he advises clients of all shapes and sizes from start-ups to global giants. Licensing maven Esa Korkeamäki is a “well-known figure in the market and highly trusted”. The HH Partners lawyer is also a cogent litigator. “Really solid and very bright”, Sarita Schröder can be counted on in complex infringement proceedings. Equally adroit at handling large scale portfolios, the former in-house counsel at DNA has recently moved her trade from Krogerus to Hannes Snellman.

Individuals

  • Henrik af Ursin - Merilampi Attorneys Ltd
  • Tuukka Airaksinen - Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP
  • 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
  • Bernt Juthström - Waselius & Wist
  • Henri Kaikkonen - Krogerus
  • Jani Kaulo - Kolster Oy Ab
  • Esa Korkeamäki - HH Partners Attorneys-at-law
  • 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
  • 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
  • Miia Hirvonen - Kolster Oy Ab
  • Erkki Holmila - Ipriq Oy
  • Kalle Hynönen - Krogerus
  • Antti Innanen - Dottir Attorneys
  • Joose Kilpimaa - Kolster Oy Ab
  • Inari Kinnunen - Dittmar & Indrenius
  • Ari-Pekka Launne - Kolster Oy Ab
  • Pamela Lönnqvist - Boco IP
  • Jussi Mikkola - Papula-Nevinpat
  • 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
  • Esa Korkeamäki - HH Partners Attorneys-at-law
  • Åsa Krook - Borenius Attorneys Ltd
  • Ella Mikkola - Bird & Bird Attorneys Ltd
  • Sakari Salonen - Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd

Luminaries

  • Peter Backström - Backström & Co
  • Marja Tommila - Properta Attorneys Ltd