Sandart Partners Advokatbyrå KB
"It is important to evaluate how the adverse party is likely to act before the court"
You previously served as an associate judge at the Svea Court of Appeal and as a legal adviser at the Ministry of Justice’s IP division. How has this experience benefited your trademark practice?
My earlier years in court – serving initially as a law clerk and later as an associate judge of appeal – gave me a thorough experience of many fields of law, particularly procedural law in commercial litigation. This experience has been helpful in my practice, representing clients in various IP disputes. I have also served as a legal adviser at the Swedish Ministry of Justice. I have represented Sweden in various EU Council working parties, preparing EU IP legislation. I have also been appointed as an expert in several Swedish legislative committees, preparing national legislation on trademark, design and copyright law. My experience from these tasks has given me a greater understanding of how national legislation and EU legislation interact.
You have also been actively involved in several industry associations. In terms of professional development, why is such engagement important for law firm practitioners?
This is important for me as a lawyer because I get to meet people from various industries and learn more about how commercial realities relate to the IP legal framework. It is also rewarding to participate in debates on current issues at industry associations. Further, it is important to be part of a network of professionals working in different fields of law and business.
What are the top qualities that clients should look for when seeking world-class trademark advisers?
A trademark adviser must have in-depth knowledge of trademark law and a clear understanding of how it affects the business of a company or organisation. In addition, clients should look for an adviser with vast experience of various trademark and IP-related issues in an international environment. Further, for many clients it is important that an adviser is available for discussions and provides advice quickly.
What is the key to maximising your chances of success in trademark litigation disputes?
To be successful in trademark litigation, it is of course important to be an expert in trademark legislation and case law. Further, you must be thorough when it comes to finding facts and evidence. While some data and evidence may be available from the client, other evidence may need to be obtained (eg, carrying out market surveys regarding trademark awareness among the relevant public). In preparing a complaint there may also be a need to engage experts to be heard in court (eg, regarding compensation from the defendant for the infringement). These and many other aspects need to be planned as early as possible, by formulating an action plan with the client. In addition, it is important to evaluate how the adverse party is likely to act before the court, including making a prognosis of which facts and evidence the adverse party will rely on.
What trademark challenges are being raised by clients most frequently at the moment and how can these be tackled?
Many clients offer their products or services – partly or as a whole – online. This means that they meet many challenges in the online environment, especially when it comes to cross-border IP aspects. In general, our clients focus on how best to create exclusive trademark rights in several countries, while also ensuring that there is the freedom to operate without infringing the trademark rights of other undertakings. In order to implement these steps, we help our clients to set up a strategy, step by step. Further, many clients need advice on how to deal with trademarks in relation to domain names, company names and trade names.
Anders Kylhammar has extensive experience in commercial litigation and provides legal advice with a focus on intellectual property, unfair competition and the protection of trade secrets. Before joining Sandart & Partners Advokatbyrå KB, he was an associate judge of appeal and a legal adviser at the Swedish Ministry of Justice’s IP division. He has been an expert in several Swedish legislative committees on intellectual property. He lectures at Uppsala University and Lund University.