Sweden

While there have been no further revisions to Sweden’s trademark regime since its laws were updated in 2019 to align them with the EU Trademark Directive, the country remains an entrepreneurial hub, as evidenced by its position near the apex of WIPO’s Global Innovation Index. Digitalisation is the prevailing trend and a growing number of firms are seeking creative new ways to help brands expand their web presence. However, rights holders must also consider how best to effectively safeguard their assets on e-commerce and other platforms, as instances of cybersquatting and other online infringements continue to increase. There has also been some interesting movement on the legal landscape, as new players endeavour to establish a foothold in the market, prompting traditional outfits to up their game in a bid to maintain market share.

Firms: enforcement and litigation

  • Sandart & Partners Advokatbyrå KB 
  • Vinge
  • Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Advokatbyrån Gulliksson
  • AWA
  • GOZZO Advokater
  • Groth & Co 
  • Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
  • Advokatfirman Lindahl
  • Cirio Advokatbyrå AB
  • MAQS Law Firm
  • Next Advokater KB
  • Synch Advokat AB

Firms: prosecution and strategy

  • AWA
  • Groth & Co 
  • Valea AB 
  • Zacco 
  • Advokatbyrån Gulliksson
  • Advokatfirman Lindahl
  • GOZZO Advokater
  • Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
  • Vinge
  • Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • BRANN AB 
  • Cirio Advokatbyrå AB
  • MAQS Law Firm
  • Next Advokater KB
  • Synch Advokat AB

Advokatbyrån Gulliksson

IP and commercial law are the twin pillars upon which Gulliksson has built its practice. Impressing with its “thoroughness and quick responses”, the highly integrated team is one of the most prolific filers at the EUIPO; although its capabilities also encompass litigation, enforcement and commercialisation. Running the prosecution division is Cecilia Tholse Rogmark, “a skilled and open-minded lawyer who readily makes herself available and listens to clients’ needs and wishes”. She has recently been devising strategies and getting multi-jurisdictional trademark licences inked for DUX Design, a company that creates dynamic user interfaces. East Import is another client of Rogmark’s; while colleague Mattias Malmstedt takes care of all things contentious on its behalf, recently representing it in 3D trademark invalidity proceedings in the national courts and at the EUIPO. Another notable highlight for Malmstedt was the favourable conclusion of a three-year high-stakes arbitration on behalf of Svenska Ostklassiker, a cheese company owned by conglomerate Arla. “A perfect legal partner, Per Ericsson has a profound understanding of the law and always proposes different solutions as well as their potential consequences. He is clear in his advice and has a great understanding of the business world.” Fellow litigator Hans-Anders Odh breaks into the WTR 1000 this year on a wave of praise: “Hands-on, pragmatic and persistent, Hans-Anders is a great lawyer with deep-rooted legal knowledge and an ability to relay that into a commercial context. He can be counted on to deliver high-quality work in a timely manner.”

Advokatfirman Lindahl

“A great choice for any kind of trademark instruction, Lindahl works quickly and bases its advice on solid facts and a great legal background. Its lawyers are super-skilled, open, honest, and have succeeded in every case they have been involved in.” Its 360-degree brand protection services are enlisted by companies such as Axis Communications, which trusts the group with its worldwide portfolio and relies on main man Johan Norderyd to deliver. “A stand-up guy and one of the best trademark lawyers in town, he has a fantastic reputation and an enviable clientele.” No stranger to the cut and thrust of multi-jurisdictional litigation, he relishes instructions with an international scope. Also worthy of special mention are senior associates and rising stars Christian Sundén, Lukas Jönsson and Tobias Carlsson. “Christian always starts off in the highest gear and has the stamina, perseverance and determination to achieve his goals. Tobias and Lukas do a great job of aligning their knowledge with local practices in different jurisdictions and are always on hand to answer questions and provide pragmatic solutions.”

AWA

A major player on the global IP landscape, AWA possesses incredible strength in depth and enviable geographical reach: the titan maintains a presence in every corner of the world through 19 offices and has recently opened a branch in Norway to further cement its foothold in the Nordic market. Its all-star trademark line-up comprises Gustav Melander, Kristian Martinsson, Lars Pettersson and Ted Hagman, who can cover every stage of trademark protection between them. AWA strengthened its prosecution offering when it signed on Melander: this former senior legal adviser at the Designs and Trademarks Department of the Swedish Patent Office knows how to lay down the foundations of a strong brand. Companies keen to supercharge their portfolios or freshen up their image are in safe hands with Martinsson; while Pettersson has all the tools needed to tenaciously defend and enforce their rights. “He is easy to work with and solves problems effectively” – qualities also shared by WTR 1000 newcomer Hagman, who attracts vocal praise this year. “His ability to collaborate and engage with evolving business goals enables him to work well with in-house legal teams – so much so that he becomes part of the group. Ted also makes sure that communication lines are open and keeps clients looped in at every stage, while remaining transparent on costs.

BRANN AB 

“One of the top prosecution firms in the country”, BRANN has more than seven decades of experience getting rights on the register and a 50-strong squad to get the job done. Over the years, it has continuously refined its offering and added new service lines to become a one-stop shop that serves rights holders both at home and further afield. Managing partner Omar Baki oversees the litigation division, where he runs a tight ship. This “great and well-respected lawyer” is “authoritative, calm and sharp”; an eminent figure on the trademark scene, he is also vice president of the Swedish Anti-Counterfeiting Group (SACG).

Cirio Advokatbyrå AB

Full-service Cirio set up shop in 2019 and has quickly gained the unshakeable loyalty of a slew of high-profile clients and foreign associates through its well-rounded, flexible and accessible service. For example, sustainable sunglasses label Monokel Eyewear has engaged David Leffler to devise global strategies, settle disputes and negotiate co-existence agreements. The head of brand protection is hailed by peers as a “highly skilled lawyer with a deep knowledge base and a passion for trademarks”. He regularly teams up with IP department lead Sanna Wolk on multi-faceted briefs; for example, the pair handle all the IP needs of Binogi, a flourishing technology and digital learning provider that operates in Sweden, Germany, Canada and Tanzania. “A very energetic and ambitious lawyer, Sanna is a well-respected member of the community with great ideas.”

GOZZO Advokater

The lawyers at business law firm GOZZO take pride in their exceptional IP skills. They intuitively find the best routes to acquire, protect and leverage intangible assets in a way that enhances their value in a business context. The side has a stellar reputation and track record in the fight against fakes too, courtesy of Ann-Charlotte Söderlund Björk, who is “undoubtedly absolutely brilliant in anti-counterfeiting matters. She is an excellent, tough and brilliant counterparty”. The SACG founder regularly advises international clients in the entertainment industry and has been counsel to a worldwide fashion brand for over two decades.

Groth & Co 

“Its professionalism, timeliness and the high quality of its advice make Groth & Co a pleasure to work with. Its practitioners are hands-on, cost-conscious and able to answer questions on the spot. They appreciate what businesses need to run smoothly; they are also super-attentive and take time to educate their clients on IP-related issues.” As Scandinavia’s first boutique, Groth & Co has deep roots in the local IP scene; while a carefully cultivated network of foreign associates enables it to execute instructions on a global scale. For instance, it is the Swedish representative for Yum! Brands, one of the world’s largest fast-food restaurant companies with eateries in 135 countries; and it has started preparations for extensive worldwide trademark filings for leading tech multinational SKF. Acting on the latter is Mats Lundberg, “one of the finest and most personable lawyers the country has to offer”. The managing director also links up with WTR 1000 newcomer Carl Wendt to take care of Jacobs Douwe Egberts 40-brand portfolio. Of Wendt, one rights holder enthuses: “He has immensely valuable industry experience and knows exactly what a company does – and more importantly, does not – need. He is humble, pragmatic and will not let you waste money on worthless applications, but always has great solutions and proposals on how to tackle matters.” On the contentious front, Helena Perneborg takes centre stage. Managing a busy litigation caseload with flair, her advice is always commercially sensitive and her clients rarely end up in court as a result.

MAQS Law Firm

Smooth operator MAQS has been incredibly busy of late, strengthening its market presence through new offices in Stockholm and Sundsvall, as well as signing on life sciences whizz Wendela Hårdemark and perceptive strategist Daniel Thorbjörnsson in a move that has bolstered its already robust wall-to-wall offering. The group, helmed by Christina Berggren, is a favourite among prestigious brands such as fashion company Lindex and the Coca Cola Company. Berggren also recently appeared in the Patent & Market Court to represent a prominent luxury brand in infringement and unfair marketing proceedings. “A brilliant litigator, she is really skilled, well respected and overall a joy to work with.”

Next Advokater KB

In the words of one foreign associate: “Recommending local counsel in Sweden is never a challenge, as the answer is always immediately Next.” The commercial set breaks into the WTR 1000 this year as “a high-class provider of IP services, from prosecution to complex litigation and everything in between”. Department co-leads Magnus Tonell and Tom Kronhöffer set the tone for the troop. Thanks to his knowledge in ancillary disciplines such as IT and marketing law and trade secrets, Magnus “has made a name for himself as a fantastic litigator and one of the leading experts in the country”. Fellow all-rounder Kronhöffer “has a great business sense, is quick to respond and offers creative solutions to various problems. Anti-counterfeiting is one of his core specialities and his clients all love him as he is super-friendly, great to work with and achieves superb results at a reasonable cost”.

Roschier, Attorneys Ltd

“Roschier Attorneys is an instrumental partner to any company looking to create brand protection strategies and execute them worldwide.” The Nordic player has over 50 dedicated IP specialists on deck in its Swedish and Finnish offices, making it one of the largest firms on the ground and a first port of call for holistic counsel. Listening carefully to patrons, understanding their needs, optimising their dossiers and settling scores in court is what group spearhead Erik Ficks does best. He provides the gamut of services for The Astrid Lindgren Company (of Pippi Longstocking fame), including managing its portfolio globally – a task he shares with senior trademark attorney Rebecca Huselius. “She has a unique skill of translating legal issues into advice that is both practicable and easy to understand, which gives rights holders a better appreciation of the trademarks they own. She genuinely cares about clients’ businesses and takes a proactive, creative, cost-conscious and effective approach to all matters.”

Sandart & Partners Advokatbyrå KB 

“Sandart & Partners epitomises quality and excellence,” enthuses one peer. “In litigation, no other firm comes close to its capabilities. Its lawyers are incredible, tough and can turn a dispute around to secure a win. They know the facts of each case inside out and understand the strengths and weaknesses of each party to create unbeatable arguments.” In charge is one of Sweden’s most august practitioners, Anders Kylhammar – “a super-compelling, skilled and service-minded litigator who can keep costs reasonable”. Contentious matters interwoven with advertising law threads are the metier of Karin Cederlund. Always on top and head of developments, she never gets caught off guard. Rounding off the squad, Peter Sande maintains a cracking patents practice, but is equally brilliant at navigating trademark disputes with significant commercial ramifications.

Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB

“Accurate, proactive and friendly” is the verdict on full-service Setterwalls. “It truly shines at the overlap between trademarks, media and technology, where the team is hands-on, energetic and always ready to go at a moment’s notice. They also prosecute with a steady hand and readily make themselves available, regardless of what time it is.” Recently, it has been advising Nasdaq-listed Cloetta on streamlining its entire global portfolio following its acquisitions of Nutisal, CandyKing and The Jelly Bean Factory. Taking the lead on this were Per Lidman and Lovisa Dahl Nelson. Managing partner Lidman has spent two decades navigating the ins and outs of the regulated industries; while IP and regulatory manager and WTR 1000 debutant Dahl Nelson thrives in the FMCG sector. For complex domain name and brand enforcement matters, Sophia Spala is the one to call: “She is responsive, practical, efficient and, most importantly, effective. She provides thorough and commercially minded but concise analysis that takes into account her clients’ wider goals. Sophia is a delight to work with, with a warm and friendly personality.”

Synch Advokat AB

Commercial outfit Synch combines the best of both worlds: it is deeply embedded in the trademark space, while its team is technology driven and forward thinking. It constantly looks to innovate and recently received a grant from Vinnova, a government agency operating under the Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation, for a bespoke artificial intelligence tool that streamlines and simplifies legal processes. Dynamic duo Mathilda Nordmark and Sara Sparring bounce off of each other to superb effect: together, they oversee the portfolio of Apotek Produktion & Laboratorier, one of Europe’s largest manufacturers of extemporaneous medicines. Equally adept in contentious matters, Mathilda “has a solid understanding of legal frameworks, understands her clients’ business models and raises relevant questions – all of which makes her recommendations super-useful and reliable”. “Bright, efficient and lovely to work with”, Sparring also has a knack for removing counterfeits from the market and benefits from up-to-the-minute industry insight in her role as president of the SACG.

Valea AB 

“When it comes to orchestrating global design protection and worldwide brand launches, the Valea group has proven itself to be invaluable.” Resolutely focused on intellectual property, the squad provides an A-to-Z offering to major Scandinavian entities, which also benefit from seamless cooperation between the firm’s Gothenburg, Malmo and Stockholm offices. Another major advantage is that practitioners are also often seconded to clients’ in-house teams and thus have an insider perspective on all angles. All-stars Magnus Johansson, Linda Granstrand Füle and Richard Wolff handle the full spectrum of brand protection between them. “Magnus consistently strikes the balance between thoroughness, cost-sensitivity and maintaining impeccable standards. He collaborates well with other legal teams in the truest sense, bringing valuable advice and suggestions to the table, while always accepting and incorporating feedback.” From filings to litigation, Granstrand Füle has it covered: “Brilliant at prosecution, she knows which elements are worth protecting and has in-depth knowledge of various country requirements, all of which she takes into consideration at the early stages of drafting. Her digital brand enforcement expertise is an asset too, where her agility and proactivity are much appreciated.” Senior partner and WTR 1000 debutant Wolff attracts effusive praise: “His ability to see the overall picture, solid understanding of the key business drivers and ability to broker mutual understanding between two organisations make him excellent to work with.”

Vinge

“The top firm in Sweden”, Vinge has “a brilliant, reliable and well-connected team which acts on the most influential matters the country”. The full-service powerhouse has everything going for it, including a bustling prosecution practice that serves a litany of heavyweights, such as the Absolut Company, Pernod Ricard and Baby Björn. Its non-contentious offering is led by Anette Henrysson, a perspicacious strategist who often appears before the EUIPO on behalf of Swedish Match Industries and coordinates its assets worldwide. A repository of trust for Apple, Pär Leander “manages portfolios efficiently and collaborates with associates worldwide to provide the best possible service. He has a great understanding of legal and business perspectives, while always remaining willing to learn more”. The versatile Sofia Ljungblad deftly traverses the spectrum of brand protection, but her forte lies in commercialising assets and sewing up the tightest of licensing agreements. Turning to litigation, Håkan Borgenhäll is an indomitable force in the courtroom and a significant player on the market. He recently represented the Swedish Olympic Committee on its Olympic rings and devised a successful model for the handling of parallel infringement cases, stopping 35 infringing counterparties in their tracks. Another dyed-in-the-wool litigator, Richard Wessman “is a great asset to have on your side when things get difficult. His background as an esteemed professor and educator is a real strength and you can always count on him for dynamic and creative solutions in the trickiest of cases”.

Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab

“Sophisticated, efficient and reliable”, Westerberg & Partners “is a strong, commercially driven firm that is always willing to go the extra mile for clients”. The market is unanimous in its praise for the outfit, which provides gold-standard guidance to a glittering clientele, including H&M, Permobil and listed publisher Storytel. The set takes its cue from Helena Wassén Öström and Henrik Wistam, both of whom have been on sparkling form lately. Trademark, design and prosecution head Helena “is a great leader. She knows her customers and their businesses extremely well – it is always a pleasure to work with someone as bright, ambitious and diligent as she is”. In the words of one peer: “If I wanted to track down counterfeits, the man I would run to is Henrik Wistam. He has a keen eye for enforcement strategies and is brilliant at making them cost-effective too. Henrik’s work is always top of the line and he never fails to impress with his strategic mind and negotiation capabilities.” Joining them in the guide this year is charming all-rounder Ludvig Holm. He has lately been managing the late Swedish DJ Avicii’s global portfolio with Öström and acting for GlaxoSmithKline with Wistam in an infringement case concerning unregistered 3D marks.

Zacco 

Celebrating its 150th birthday in 2020, Zacco is fully immersed in the world of intellectual property, as its 360-degree offering bears out. It has more than 500 employees providing full-bodied branding support from 30 offices across six countries and a can-do attitude that keeps it constantly innovating. Most recently, it upgraded its case management systems to streamline internal processes and complement its cybersecurity, tech and software service lines. “Trustworthy and deeply experienced”, Claes Agnvall is the resident oppositions maestro. Having served as an examiner at the Swedish Patent Office and as head of the opposition division at the EUIPO, he brings unique insight to the table. One of Martin Tranälv’s specialties is optimising companies’ IP positions and brokering lucrative deals, all of which results in active portfolio growth.

Other recommended experts

At Advokatfirman Delphi, the “super-talented” Henrik Bengtsson is as versatile as trademark lawyers come. Working fluently across all phases of a brand’s lifecycle, he also has a complete command of data protection, privacy and advertising law issues. Recently swapping Valea for Danish outfit Aera, the solutions-driven Monika Colak has been appointed as head of legal at its newly established Stockholm branch. Also setting up a base in Sweden, Barker Brettel has enlisted the talents of Liselott Enström to take the lead on its operations. “A consummate and meticulous professional, Liselott always has her clients in focus. She is an extremely clever attorney and understands both their business and strategic needs, which translates into strategic, incisive and invaluable recommendations.” Operating from his eponymous firm is “brilliant litigator and anti-counterfeiting specialist” Peter von Heidenstam. Flying the flag at Mannheimer Swartling, Oscar Björkman Possne “has a firm grasp of a company’s long-term commercial goals and provides superb advice, even under immense time pressures”. Over at NORDIA Law, Fredrik Persson “is a practical thinker who works towards results and never complicates things unnecessarily. He is a go-to for cross-border litigation and EUIPO matters too”. At Potter Clarkson, protean IP all-rounder Jesper Sellin knows patents, trademarks, designs and copyrights like the back of his hand and counsels holistically across all four.

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

  • 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
  • Henrik Bengtsson - Advokatfirman Delphi
  • Christina Berggren - MAQS Law Firm
  • Oscar Björkman Possne - Mannheimer Swartling
  • Per Ericsson - Advokatbyrån Gulliksson
  • Erik Ficks - Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Linda Granstrand Füle - Valea AB 
  • Ludvig Holm - Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Magnus Johansson - Valea AB
  • Tom Kronhöffer - Next Advokater KB
  • Pär Leander - Vinge
  • Per Lidman - Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB 
  • Mattias Malmstedt - Advokatbyrån Gulliksson
  • Johan Norderyd - Advokatfirman Lindahl
  • Mathilda Nordmark - Synch Advokat AB
  • Hans-Anders Odh - Advokatbyrån Gulliksson
  • Lars Pettersson - AWA
  • Jesper Sellin - Potter Clarkson
  • Sophia Spala - Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
  • Sara Sparring - Synch Advokat AB
  • Magnus Tonell - Next Advokater KB

Individuals: prosecution and strategy