Groth & Co
As managing director and head of the law and trademark department, what does effective leadership in the field of IP law look like to you?
The most important task is to form successful teams from a group of very experienced and skilled senior attorneys and paralegals and to provide the best possible conditions to maximise their competence. Further, it is crucial to communicate a clear vision, allow mistakes in order to support innovation and attract – then transfer knowledge to – the top talent.
How have your roles at the European Communities Trademark Association (ECTA), the Association of Intellectual Property Law Firms in Sweden (SEPAF) and the Stockholm IP Law Review helped your professional development and why are these organisations important?
ECTA has taught me a lot about the cultural similarities and differences in the European Union, as well as the need to create a clear and unified voice to promote knowledge of – and professionalism in – IP law there. I also see how important personal commitment and individual enthusiasm is to an organisation that is built on volunteering.
As former chair of SEPAF, I believe that I have developed a better understanding of our industry in general, my listening skills and the ability to find and reach consensus while still getting things done.
It is a true joy to be a part of the board for the Stockholm IP Law Review, based at Stockholm University. The professors and students that contribute to the magazine are vital stakeholders – both now and in the future. As a practitioner, it is great to meet with and get new perspectives from academic peers and the next generation of IP lawyers.
You are also a board member of Skriptor AB and Markify AB. How have you seen trademark name clearance and search services evolve in recent years and what advice do you have for brand owners undertaking these tasks?
With more than 50 million active trademark registrations globally and a continued annual rise in new applications, clearance and search services have become more difficult to perform, yet also more important than ever. Groth & Co has an in-house team that has specialised in these services for the past 25 years.
From my experience, demand has increased for a fast, reliable, flexible and cost-effective service. The need for a search strategy that takes all of these factors into account, together with tailor-made solutions for each project, is increasing. For this, the right tools and experience are key.
Markify is a great start-up company, which accelerates the digitalisation of searches and watches for trademarks and domain names.
Founded in 1990, the naming consultants at Skriptor and their global network of linguists can assist with cultural and language matters, which is an important factor in this global age. It is inspiring to cooperate with Skriptor and combine marketing, naming, linguistics and legal skills to support patrons to create and launch new brands worldwide.
What would you say are the top three requirements for a successful cross-border IP strategy?
- Connect and mirror your IP strategy with your business plan and implement a global strategy early.
- Understand how the national and international systems work together. Use a global network of trusted local partners and conduct recurring portfolio optimisation to manage costs and time.
- Be ready to enforce your IP rights. Use the right tools and actions from a legal and cost perspective and set up a policy on where and when to act.
What are some of the biggest enforcement challenges facing brand owners in Europe at the moment and how can these be overcome?
In 2019 worldwide e-commerce sales surpassed $3.5 trillion and are projected to grow to $6.5 trillion in 2022. Given this rapid rise and overall digitalisation, the biggest enforcement challenges have now moved online. Brand owners must find new and faster strategies and actions to tackle piracy and counterfeiters in e-commerce, IP infringement on social media, phishing and cybersquatting, among other issues.
The covid-19 pandemic and quarantine measures have increased internet use and created a number of challenges that brand owners must address. For example, they must update competitive analysis to fit the new landscape, conduct portfolio optimisation, manage costs and ensure that know-how is not lost through remote working and job cuts.
Mats Lundberg is the managing director of Groth & Co and a senior attorney specialising in trademarks, design and copyright, as well as the implementation of IP strategies. Since 2001 he has been heading the firm’s law and trademark department. Mr Lundberg has many years’ experience in IP law, risk analysis, name choice, preliminary surveys, trademark valuations, licensing agreements and due diligence both within the European Union and globally.