Norway

Norway’s economy is starting to make a serious comeback as a result of the increase in oil and natural gas prices which is fuelling consumer and business confidence; also, with an eye to the future, the Norwegian government is intensifying its focus on innovation outside the energy sector and, concomitantly on IP protection. All of this is good news for the market’s IP experts. In trademark circles, non-traditional marks have been a hot topic of discussion recently; in January 2018 the Supreme Court found that GlaxoSmithKline’s purple colouring on inhalers has not acquired distinctiveness as a trademark in Norway. The decision should sharpen the minds of brand owners on well-thought-out trademark strategies and increase their vigilance in terms of monitoring potential infringement.

Firms: enforcement and litigation

  • Advokatfirmaet Grette AS
  • Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS
  • BAHR
  • Kvale Advokatfirma
  • Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS
  • Bryn Aarflot AS 
  • Onsagers AS
  • Schjødt

Firms: prosecution and strategy

  • Bryn Aarflot AS 
  • Protector IP Consultants AS
  • Advokatfirmaet Grette AS
  • Kvale Advokatfirma
  • Onsagers AS
  • Zacco 
  • Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS
  • Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS

Advokatfirmaet Grette AS

Grette is “the leading firm on the market”. Peers unanimously praise its “incredibly strong trademark litigation practice and long track record of success in court”. Two of its top performers Ida Gjessing and Felix Reimers have immense technical abilities and “are simply excellent to work with”. “Gjessing is thorough, knowledgeable and really structured in her approach – she is one of the best opponents I have come across”, effervesces one interviewee. Reimers is a “real presence in the courtroom and is an outstanding legal adviser”.

Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS

Intellectual property is one of the main pillars at full-service outfit Haavind. Full to the brim with experienced practitioners, the squad is relied on by a long list of marquee brands for the cradle-to-grave trademark service it offers. Captain of the side Vebjørn Krag Iversen “can answer any trademark question thrown his way”. A perceptive strategist, he flourishes when grappling with complex contentious and licensing mandates. Another individual who can always be counted on to do a “fantastic job” in enforcement is Håkon Bleken. The hard-hitting litigator was the talk of the town after his success at the Supreme Court on behalf of Addcon against Solberg, which clarified the effect of EU trademark law on the concept of ‘use’ in Norwegian law.

Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS

“Top firm” Thommessen is well positioned to counsel clients at every stage of the trademark lifecycle. The commercial law outfit is a member of LexMundi and has a further two offices in Norway as well as a base in London, giving it impressive international reach. As a result, it handles cross-border transactions seamlessly and dazzles in multijurisdictional disputes. Practice spearhead and former general counsel of the Legislation Department at the Ministry of Justice Camilla Vislie operates flawlessly in the life sciences, technology and media arenas. “Analytical and experienced, she is a fierce and super-focused litigator.”

BAHR

One of the best IP transactional firms in the country, BAHR is also not afraid to enforce marks where necessary; whatever the matter at hand, it gets results while demonstrating total commitment to clients. The outfit stands at the forefront of technological advancements and has recently established BAHRLEAP – a new initiative focused on identifying, creating and developing new technology to enhance knowledge management. “IP guru” Are Stenvik stands out from the crowd. “A tremendously good lawyer and a fantastic litigator”, Stenvik has authored several books on intellectual property and applies his knowledge to great effect to gain an upper hand in disputes.

Bryn Aarflot AS 

Bryn Aarflot has one of the largest IP teams in the country, which comprises both trademark attorneys and lawyers; this setup gives it the ability to execute all brand-related tasks with finesse. The firm has been making waves in the life sciences sector lately, establishing a focus group that contributes to innovation within the sector. Anne Wildeng sits at the helm of the practice. A remarkable all-rounder and experienced arbitrator, she knows when to turn up the heat in enforcement proceedings and when to dial it back. Astrid Solberg “is among the best counsel in Norway. She has refined prosecution expertise and often comes up with effective and creative approaches to office actions. Astrid is uber responsive and provides clear, business-savvy analyses; she is a delight to work with too.” Dynamic professionals Trine Greaker Herzog and Pål Tonna work well together. Greaker Herzog has trademark clearance and filing down to a tee, while Tonna devises and executes optimal brand protection strategies. “Dependable” WTR 1000 newcomer Celine Varmann JØrgensen strengthens the bench in prosecution and handles numerous large-scale portfolios without ever dropping the ball.

Kvale Advokatfirma

The IP practice at business law firm Kvale is booming – it continues to build on its comprehensive suite of services and is in hot demand for its expertise in regulated industries. Star litigator Anne Marie Sejersted has been at the forefront of IP practice in Norway for 20 years, advising an assortment of well-known clients. Not one to shy away from a complex case, Ingvild Hanssen-Bauer is a pharmaceuticals expert who presents resonantly in the courtroom. She is a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Board for domain names. Armed with knowledge in ancillary disciplines such as regulatory and marketing law, “Marie Vaale-Hallberg provides highly valuable services on all fronts. She is extremely thorough, and her work is delivered on time – it is always first-rate in terms of quality too.” She frequently works with Kaia Bugge Fougner, who makes her well-deserved debut in the WTR 1000 this year. A former deputy district court judge, Norwegian Board of Appeal for Industrial Property Rights legal examiner and general counsel for a multinational, she has an impressive résumé to say the least. Her expertise, like Vaale-Hallberg’s, is broad and encompasses marketing and competition law as well as trademarks, design rights and copyright law. Lars Trygve Jenssen is a trademark titan. His exhaustive experience in corporate law and M&A makes him a key contact for all transaction-related matters.

Onsagers AS

On the scene for over 70 years, Onsagers is a vision of “reliability, creativity and high standards”. Heading up the legal department, Ann-Cathrin Hoel runs a tight ship. The portfolio management ace has a finely tuned commercial sense which she has cultivated through previous stints as head of intellectual property at an international pharmaceutical corporation and a telecoms company. Conducting “outstanding legal analysis” of any matter, Eirik Rødsand has a particular affinity for licensing and commercialisation issues. He has become a household name for his clients thanks to his “pragmatic proposals and strategic approach”. Thomas Gaarder-Olsen “is a pre-eminent practitioner who simply gets it. He is equally proficient in both enforcement and prosecution. Pragmatic, knowledgeable and highly responsive, Thomas is a pleasure to work with.” He recently showcased his talents on behalf of Sandoz in a Supreme Court case concerning the colour purple used on inhalers.

Protector IP Consultants AS

Vibrant boutique Protector IP “provides high-quality brand protection services” but is also developing a growing presence in litigation. Recently, the forward-thinking outfit established its presence Trondheim, putting it in the heart of Norway’s technology capital. “The team responds to client needs swiftly and knows how to partner effectively with foreign counsel”. In charge of the litigation division and president of the Norwegian Anti-Counterfeit Group Christoffer Vedal can get the better of even the most cunning of infringers. “The words that come to mind when describing him are: trustworthy, pragmatic, quick and professional.” For an ironclad protection strategy, “Tom Tysbo is the first person to call”. “He knows the fine details of his clients’ businesses and always keeps an eye on the challenges they face. His work will always be detailed without the unnecessary bills – he is the perfect partner to come up with a plan of action.”

Schjødt

Schjødt has an outpost in every corner of Norway – Oslo, Stavanger, Bergen and Alesund. The IP team at the full-service firm has toughened litigators who also shine in the transactional space. On deals, IP specialists work hand in hand with colleagues in other departments to assist major players in oil and gas and the technology sector. The “brilliant” Halvor Manshaus “does not leave you wanting more. The breadth of his expertise is vast and he’s a smart tactician and excellent negotiator. He provides support from every angle and fulfils his clients’ legal goals as well as business objectives. Halvor is not only the best trademark lawyer in Norway – he’s the best lawyer in any discipline.”

Zacco 

With 28 additional offices strategically located across six countries, Zacco has a panoramic perspective on the regional IP landscape. The outfit has been busy this year, bringing on IT and cybersecurity specialists to enhance the comprehensiveness of its IP service, which also encompasses digital brand and online monitoring services. “The first choice for trademark protection, Kristine Snyder is bright, smart, incisive and extremely practical. A fearless litigator with a brilliant legal mind, she dissects her cases and represents clients with passion and intensity.” She works alongside versatile practitioner Steinar Lie. “Highly experienced and really service-minded, he is always available to answer questions.” Lie has recently represented FishVet group in a convoluted case that was heard over seven days at the Borgating Appeal Court. General manager Kristin Kjærheim Astrup provides “robust, timely and business-oriented practical advice, she combines her thorough professional knowledge of applicable law with a strong understanding of business”.

Other recommended experts

Over at Advokatfirmaet Selmer, Martin Rove brings a “fresh approach to trademark law”. Incredibly eloquent, he performs well in negotiations and defends marks with vigour. As one respondent enthuses: “Martin is highly skilled and a pleasure to work with, or even against.”

Individuals: enforcement and litigation

  • Ida Gjessing - Advokatfirmaet Grette AS
  • Are Stenvik - BAHR
  • Camilla Vislie - Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS
  • Kristin Kjærheim Astrup - Zacco 
  • Thomas Gaarder-Olsen - Onsagers AS
  • Halvor Manshaus - Schjødt
  • Felix Reimers - Advokatfirmaet Grette AS
  • Anne Marie Sejersted - Kvale Advokatfirma
  • Kristine Snyder - Zacco 
  • Håkon Bleken - Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS
  • Ingvild Hanssen-Bauer - Kvale Advokatfirma
  • Vebjørn K Iversen - Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS
  • Steinar Lie - Zacco 
  • Martin B. Rove - Advokatfirmaet Selmer DA
  • Anne Wildeng - Bryn Aarflot AS

Individuals: prosecution and strategy

  • Kristin Kjærheim Astrup - Zacco 
  • Kaia Bugge Fougner - Kvale Advokatfirma
  • Thomas Gaarder-Olsen - Onsagers AS
  • Trine Greaker Herzog - Bryn Aarflot AS
  • Ann-Cathrin Hoel - Onsagers AS
  • Lars Trygve Jenssen - Kvale Advokatfirma
  • Celine Varmann Jørgensen - Bryn Aarflot AS
  • Steinar Lie - Zacco 
  • Felix Reimers - Advokatfirmaet Grette AS
  • Eirik Rødsand - Onsagers AS
  • Astrid Solberg - Bryn Aarflot AS
  • Pål Tonna - Bryn Aarflot AS
  • Tom Tysbo - Protector IP Consultants AS
  • Marie Vaale-Hallberg - Kvale Advokatfirma
  • Christoffer Vedal - Protector IP Consultants AS
  • Anne Wildeng - Bryn Aarflot AS