Sweden

Rulings from the Swedish Patent and Market Court have become more uniform, which is a confidence booster for companies looking to enforce their rights. Practitioners are also welcoming the implementation of the EU Trademark Directive into national law. There is a general excitement for the removal of the graphical representation requirement, which will potentially open several new doors for trademark protection, especially in the field of three-dimensional marks. In addition, to crack down on infringers, politicians have suggested longer prison sentences of up to six years for gross infringement of trademark law. There has been a significant shake up in the law firm market with the Stockholm-based IP group at Lindahl departing to establish Westerberg & Partners.

Firms: enforcement and litigation

  • Heidenstam Legal Advokat AB
  • Sandart & Partners Advokatbyrå KB
  • Vinge
  • Advokatbyrån Gulliksson
  • Advokatfirman Delphi
  • AWA 
  • BRANN AB
  • GOZZO Advokater
  • Groth & Co
  • Mannheimer Swartling
  • Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
  • Synch Advokat AB
  • Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab

Firms: prosecution and strategy

  • AWA 
  • Groth & Co
  • Zacco 
  • Advokatbyrån Gulliksson
  • BRANN AB
  • Fenix Legal KB
  • GOZZO Advokater
  • Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Valea AB 
  • Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab

Advokatbyrån Gulliksson

Gulliksson debuts in the WTR 1000 this year thanks to emphatic recommendations. The firm has been described as “efficient, thorough and innovative, it has a great capacity for international work and impressive knowledge of EU trademark law”. Interviewees are quick to acknowledge the way the lawyers at the commercial outfit light up the courtroom: “They wrongfoot their counterparties with creative legal arguments all the time.” “Always a pleasure to work with, service-minded and precise” Mattias Malmstedt is “an extremely talented litigator. He is highly knowledgeable and keeps himself well informed on the latest developments. In view of his combination of analytical and rhetorical skills, it is hard to say there is a better-suited lawyer for complex IP disputes. His contribution is absolutely vital for victory.”

Advokatfirman Delphi

As one of Sweden’s top commercial law firms, Delphi boasts outstanding business knowledge, which marquee brands in Scandinavia, wider Europe and North America are keen to capitalise on. The IP team draws on the expertise of learned M&A colleagues to provide robust licensing and transactional advice and has carved out a niche in trade secrets. Praised for his cooperative nature, all-rounder Henrik Bengtsson is “a fantastic litigator, who always keeps track of the latest developments.” He reinforces his steadfast trademark advice with a fine-grained knowledge of data protection and privacy law.

AWA 

AWA offers brand protection services that are as broad as its geographical footprint. Based in 12 offices around Sweden, it also has a presence in Denmark and Germany as well as Hong Kong, Beijing and a representative office in the United States, making it a favourable choice for clients with international ambitions. The squad flourishes in non-contentious mandates and can also handle complex disputes with poise, especially in the biotech and optics sectors. CEO Magnus Hallin has a knack for creating seamless strategies. He knows how to use IP assets to maximise business opportunities – increasing profit and eradicating potential risks. Backing him are two “exceptional and client-oriented lawyers” Martin Tranälv and WTR 1000 newcomer Kristian Martinsson. Specialising in nanotech and medtech, Tranälv knows how to sew up a flawless licensing agreement and is just as nimble in the courtroom as he is out of it. Martinsson is a wizard when it comes to rebranding and portfolio management; he is also highly proficient when it comes to marketing law.

BRANN AB

Compact IP boutique BRANN – which celebrated its 70th anniversary this year – runs the gamut of IP services spectacularly. Its core strength lies in assisting patrons who want to establish their marks and expand their portfolios. Business-oriented and customer facing, BRANN’s bright practitioners have incredible foresight and give concise advice. They have an excellent track record in opposition and cancellation proceedings before the EUIPO and Swedish Patent and Registration Office (SPRO). Astrid Johnsson is a key contact for prospective clients.

Fenix Legal KB

“Fast and service-minded, Fenix Legal handles cases attentively and provides top-notch, professional support. It takes the time to understand its clients’ businesses and consistently finds ways to develop their intellectual property. It is a great choice for companies at the beginning of their journey.” The outfit “stays up to date with technology” and has a good understanding of AI and the Internet of Things. Managing partner Petter Rindforth is “an outstanding expert in infringement disputes and is always one step ahead when protecting trademarks. He also has fantastic experience in domain names and internet matters.” His colleague, Maria Zamkova dispenses “advice that connects practical brand protection with commercially sound business strategies. She handles IP portfolios in the best way possible, coming up with new and creative solutions in a quick, professional and personalised manner. She knows how to get strong and all-encompassing trademark protection, both domestically and worldwide.”

GOZZO Advokater

IP boutique GOZZO serves up holistic trademark counsel in Scandinavia. The commercially minded ensemble stops at nothing to get rights granted, then enforce them with panache and monetise them to the max. Striking fear into the hearts of infringers, Ann-Charlotte Söderlund Björk is a versatile practitioner and a force to be reckoned in the fight against fakes. A founding member of the Swedish Anti-Counterfeiting Group (SACG), her glittering reputation in this domain comes as no surprise. “She is a leader in the field and handles client work superbly – always giving thorough and pragmatic advice.”

Groth & Co

Venerable firm Groth & Co sees intellectual property through an international lens and supports clients with A-to-Z trademark services and teams in Alicante, Munich, Shanghai and Stockholm. “The firm demonstrates better internal cohesiveness than other Swedish firms. The team has excellent listening skills and shows a genuine interest in the business needs of clients – it really cares and builds long-term relationships as a result. The professionals are approachable and their service is excellent. They constantly keep clients in the loop, organising excellent seminars and updating them on the latest developments.” Proficient across all stages of the trademark lifecycle, “Mats Lundberg is the man in charge and is well known for his willingness to go the extra mile to execute solutions to the trickiest of matters. He gives brilliant, pragmatic and clear advice and his problem-solving abilities are most impressive. To top it all off, he is extremely easy to work with.” Flanking him is the incredibly efficient, responsive and commercially engaged Helena Perneborg. An astute strategist, “she often finds surprising solutions and is highly creative in her advice. She is careful around the issue of fees and legal costs and always takes care to estimate the possible advantages of any course of action.”

Heidenstam Legal Advokat AB

Niche IP firm Heidenstam Legal is “highly focused and does a great job enforcing well-known brands”. Bringing a solid 20 years of experience to the table, it has a lengthy track record successfully litigating disputes before domestic judges as well as at the European Court of Justice. Quick to nip emerging counterfeiting issues in the bud, it is also a trusted ally in misleading marketing instructions. The “highly trusted” Peter von Heidenstam is a crack litigator and a “go-to for piracy matters”.

Mannheimer Swartling

One of the largest full-service firms in Sweden, Mannheimer Swartling offers cradle-to-grave brand protection services but shines particularly bright in the transactional space. Thanks to additional bureaux in China, Russia and the United States, the team is the first to hear about emerging global developments and capitalises on this to protect clients from every angle. “It’s a pleasure working with Per Josefson and Oscar Björkman Possne – or even against them – because they come to each and every case thoroughly prepared.” Big-hitters in the pharmaceutical and technology sector seek out Josefson’s shrewd counsel. A fresh face in the WTR 1000 this year, all-rounder Björkman Possne has recently been made partner. Of late he assisted Sancast Holding and Gustavsberg Rörsystem in three parallel trademark and marketing disputes before the Swedish Patent and Market Court.

Roschier, Attorneys Ltd

With more than 40 IP specialists standing tall behind the Roschier name in Sweden and Finland, this full-service outfit has the strength and stamina to tackle branding disputes head on. The customer-focused troop delivers solutions that make business sense to any trademark problem thrown their way. Holding the reins is Erik Ficks, a “top-notch lawyer and an incredible asset to have on your side”. Showcasing equal adroitness on both sides of the contentious/non-contentious divide, he has grabbed the attention of major players such as Jack Daniels and Unilever. “A leading expert on all publishing-related matters” Ficks is trusted counsel for Moomin Characters – the company protecting the legacy of Tove Jansson’s creations – acting for it on infringement matters and managing its portfolio globally. He currently serves as president of the SACG. Prosecution ace Rebecca Huselius “is creative and pragmatic in her approach. She takes the time to explain her thought process and her advice is always concise and well-measured – the way she works is highly systematic.” Together with Ficks, they manage the global portfolio of Bonnier Books, applying its worldwide trademark strategy and defending the brand as and when infringements crop up.

Sandart & Partners Advokatbyrå KB

“Sandart & Partners has a longstanding reputation in intellectual property, with a team that is highly analytical and a pleasure to work with.” It is lauded by peers for its tremendous litigation expertise and sage strategic counsel. Head honcho “Anders Kylhammar is the go-to in Sweden for contentious trademark work. He is commercially savvy, service-minded, has an incredible eye for detail and is reasonably priced.” Kylhammar has an intimate understanding of the Swedish court system. His previous stints at the Svea Court of Appeal as an associate judge and as a legal adviser in the IP division at the Ministry of Justice gives him a competitive edge. Another tried-and-tested litigator, Karin Cederlund has a meticulous approach that has seen her emerge successful from many cross-border disputes. Advertising conundrums are another forte of hers. The sharpshooting Peter Sande completes the team’s trademark triumvirate with his deft handling of large-scale pan-European disputes.

Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB

Setterwalls eats, sleeps and breathes intellectual property – it is one of the most brand-focused full-service firms in the country. It has a self-contained trademark practice and is responsible for the protection of over 5,000 Scandinavian and EU trademarks. With liaison offices in France, China and Germany it is a perfect fit for multinational clients interested in protecting their assets globally. The “personable Per Lidman is really accomplished and super helpful”. The managing partner is notable for his precision when navigating through high-level proceedings. He recently showcased his talents when defending Orifarm in a ground-breaking dispute brought by the Merck Sharp & Dohme group concerning parallel imports. As a former general counsel at a biometrics company, he has a keen commercial sense which he applies to a diverse docket of instructions.

Synch Advokat AB

“Forward thinking and dynamic, Synch provides speedy responses and advice on matters across the trademark lifecycle.” The crew demonstrates a zeal for brand innovation and is in prime position to assist those establishing new and exciting business ventures. Pragmatic in its approach and transparent on costs, the set is “very easy to work with”. Sara Sparring and David Leffler channel their energies into furnishing new brands such as NOA Potions with fine-tuned strategies. As vice chair of the SACG, Sparring can conduct seizures of imitation products in a flash. She coordinates filings efficiently and negotiates IP-rich deals deftly. Leffler knows all about rights protection having been a legal adviser at both the EUIPO and SPRO. Important news coming out of the set concerns international expansion; the firm has recently established presences in Copenhagen, Oslo and San Francisco.

Valea AB 

Valea’s experienced legal squad is geared up to satisfy the needs of major Swedish and Nordic corporations with large IP portfolios. It frequently sends out attorneys to client in-house teams to ensure the efficient and cost-effective delivery of prosecution services and to facilitate quick and clear communication. The set has been going gangbusters on the litigation and enforcement front lately too. Legal team manager Linda Granstrand Füle and creative problem-solver Monika Colak are key contacts to note.

Vinge

Full-service powerhouse Vinge is the “top firm in Sweden”. It executes instructions flawlessly, whether they are domestic or cross-border in nature and has consistently been involved in some of the highest trademark work in the country. Most recently it acted on behalf of Orkla Foods in its landmark dispute against Nestlé concerning the well-known FELIX mark, prevailing on all motions at first instance at the District Court of Stockholm. Clients are full of praise for Håkan Borgenhäll who captains the squad: “One of Sweden’s most skilled litigators and a clear choice for all things IP-related. A very thorough lawyer, he penetrates into the detail of every case and knows how to deal with tricky three-dimensional questions successfully. Håkan has excellent listening skills and a long-term commitment to excellence. He is determined to serve clients to the fullest and understands their needs in a highly competitive environment. This makes him the very best in his field – no one comes close to him.” Borgenhäll has optimised a model solution for tackling large volumes of parallel infringements, recently deploying it on behalf of the Swedish Olympic Committee where he terminated breaches from over 35 counterparties. “The strength he possesses goes beyond expectations, always delivering and achieving great results.” Prudent tactician Anette Henrysson heads up the prosecution division. She is a regular in front of the EUIPO, representing the likes of Baby Björn, FAM and Trygg Hansa, whose IP assets she oversees on a global scale. Lending his advice to high-flying clients such as Apple, Pär Leander builds iron-clad strategies to enhance the largest of portfolios. He is the authority on licensing. “Incredibly responsive and an outstanding lawyer,” Richard Wessman has recently been elected to the partnership. “He establishes great client relationships with a solid understanding of their business and his level of service is consistently excellent.” He brings additional firepower to the team with his 20 years of experience in the anti-counterfeiting arena.

Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab

The recently established Westerberg & Partners is generating a real buzz on the Swedish IP market. The new IP-focused outfit is made up of former Lindahl heavy hitters from the Stockholm office with Henrik Wistam and Helena Wassén Öström taking centre stage. “An amazing enforcement lawyer, Henrik is the best choice.” Armed with 20 years of litigation experience, “he is technically skilled and analyses the case from all angles”. Wistam has been involved in numerous precedent-setting disputes and “always gives clear advice, replies quickly and has a way of thinking outside the box, which is highly appreciated”. Over on the non-contentious side, global strategies and portfolios are supremely managed by Wassén Öström. “Diligent and extremely professional,” she has a flair when it comes to cancellation actions and opposition proceedings, frequently representing clients at the EUIPO.

Zacco 

With 29 offices across six countries and a 360-degree perspective on intellectual property, Zacco has the wherewithal to mastermind major brand protection projects and seamlessly manage portfolios. It has recently broadened the scope of its offering, tackling new areas such as cybersecurity and software; this expansion has seen new recruits specialising in the digital field stepping in to provide counsel on online counterfeiting, generic top-level domains and keyword advertising. Trademark and designs virtuoso Claes Agnvall spearheads the division. The prolific filer can nail any opposition or cancellation proceeding and knows how to handle community trademark applications with verve.

Other recommended experts

Christina Berggren is greatly skilled in both filing and enforcing internationally renowned marks. She is lovely to work with and even pleasant to dispute against. Highly professional, Christina does right by her clients.” She can be found at MAQS. Lindahl is home to “top litigator Johan Norderyd, who possesses a wealth of knowledge and skills” in the trademark arena. The “skilled and efficient” tactician Fredrik Persson of NORDIA Law is unwaveringly focused on fulfilling the commercial goals of his clients and is described as being a “pleasure to work with”. Recently making a move from Valea over to Potter Clarkson, the “extremely strategic and well prepared” Jesper Sellin is an artful persuader in court and at the negotiating table.

Individuals: anti-counterfeiting

  • Anette Henrysson - Vinge
  • Ann-Charlotte Söderlund Björk - GOZZO Advokater
  • Sara Sparring - Synch Advokat AB
  • Peter von Heidenstam - Heidenstam Legal Advokat AB
  • Henrik Wistam - Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab

Individuals: enforcement and litigation

  • Henrik Bengtsson - Advokatfirman Delphi
  • Håkan Borgenhäll - Vinge
  • 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 - Vinge
  • Henrik Wistam - Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Christina Berggren - MAQS Law Firm
  • Oscar Björkman Possne - Mannheimer Swartling
  • Erik Ficks - Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Per Josefson - Mannheimer Swartling
  • Pär Leander - Vinge
  • Per Lidman - Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB 
  • Mattias Malmstedt - Advokatbyrån Gulliksson
  • Johan Norderyd - Advokatfirman Lindahl
  • Jesper Sellin - Potter Clarkson
  • Sara Sparring - Synch Advokat AB

Individuals: prosecution and strategy

  • Claes Agnvall - Zacco 
  • Karin Cederlund - Sandart & Partners Advokatbyrå KB
  • Magnus Hallin - AWA
  • Rebecca Huselius - Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Pär Leander - Vinge
  • David Leffler - Synch Advokat AB
  • Mats Lundberg - Groth & Co
  • Kristian Martinsson - AWA
  • Helena Perneborg - Groth & Co
  • Fredrik Persson - NORDIA LAW
  • Petter Rindforth - Fenix Legal KB
  • Jesper Sellin - Potter Clarkson
  • Sara Sparring - Synch Advokat AB
  • Martin Tranälv - AWA
  • Helena Wassén Öström - Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Maria Zamkova - Fenix Legal KB