Sweden

The sheer number of world-renowned tech companies that hail from Sweden is quite astounding; the country is a hotbed of innovation to rival Silicon Valley. It also has a strong and well-established engineering culture. The country’s high concentration of IP experts thus have plenty to crack on with: proportionate to its population, Sweden sees an exceptional number of patent filings; and while contentious activity slowed in 2014, it picked up again markedly in 2015.

Firms: prosecution

Highly recommended
98
Valea AB
Recommended
H
Bergenstrahle & Partners AB
Brann AB
Kransell & Wennborg AB
Ström & Gulliksson AB

Firms: transactions

H
Advokatfirman Delphi
Advokatfirman Lindahl
Advokatfirman Vinge KB
Mannheimer Swartling
Roschier
Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
Synch Advokat AB

Firms: litigation

1
Advokatfirman Vinge KB
Sandart&Partners Advokatbyrå KB
2
Mannheimer Swartling
Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
3
Advokatbyrån Gulliksson
Advokatfirman Lindahl
Roschier
Advokatbyrån Gulliksson
A pristine track record in patent litigation ensures that this celebrated commercial ensemble remains a prime pick for rights holders embroiled in high-stakes disputes. With grandee Jonas Gulliksson winding down his practice, the “thoughtful, calm and extraordinarily well-presented” Mattias Malmstedt has confidently stepped up to the mark and makes a deserved debut in the IAM Patent 1000. The cool-headed operator resolves disputes – he doesn’t just fight – and has represented prestigious Swedish companies such as IKEA and Tetra Pak with distinction. “Mattias is almost like a bloodhound in that he never gives up. He knows all the tricks in the book, so can’t easily be fooled. As one of the best in Sweden, he litigates with lethal precision and excels due to his natural understanding of technology.”
Advokatfirman Delphi
Brokering lucrative, multifaceted patent deals remains the primary focus of Delphi’s IP unit, which matches a keen interest in technology with strong business acumen. Having recently launched a data protection due diligence tool and snapped up prominent new recruits (including Setterwalls alumna Agnes Andersson Hammarstrand), this commercial set-up continues to develop in leaps and bounds. Henrik Bengtsson is a key contact.
Advokatfirman Lindahl
Notwithstanding a couple of notable departures, Advokatfirman Lindahl remains a potent force on the Swedish patent market. With a full-service support package at its back, the IP team has the expertise and resources to tackle any matter going. It shines with particular lustre in contentious proceedings, due largely to the incredibly experienced and able Jonas Westerberg. The versatile lawyer maintains a broad practice, but packs a particularly meaty punch in pharmaceutical disputes.
Advokatfirman Vinge KB
A perennial favourite of rights holders looking to optimise their portfolios and commercialise their patent rights, Vinge is also a destination of choice for bet-the-farm lawsuits. The hire of Håkan Borgenhäll in 2013 has proved a spur to phenomenal growth. The passionate technologist can master the technical details in next to no time; sources cite him as “exceptionally skilled” and “a legend”. That the government has called on him as an expert in connection with various legislative reviews speaks volumes about his standing on the market. He knows a great deal about supplementary protection certificates (SPC) and has recently handled a consequential SPC infringement matter for Merck. Ulf Dahlgren brings further gravitas; having joined in 2014 as senior counsel, he has also helped to consolidate Vinge’s market-leading patent division. “He is the best in Sweden and probably the most experienced person still active on the frontlines.” Transforming clients’ ideas and innovations into commercial assets is the metier of Awapatent. With 16 offices in five jurisdictions – including China and Hong Kong – the established international player is a smart choice for globetrotting businesses. It sets the benchmark for prosecution, effortlessly churning out applications which are “consistently of the highest quality”. Leading light Peter Kenamets has a flair for putting disputes to bed. “Peter always prepares exceptionally well, handles situations with composure and professionalism and shows great skill in making technical details understandable to the court.” Other contentious aces include the “extremely skilled” Urban Lind and Mikael Henriksson, “one of the best for Swedish and European oppositions and appeals”. For computer science matters, look no further than Julia Mannesson, an IAM Patent 1000 debutante this year: “Julia is superb. She is highly appreciated by everyone she encounters and can build great rapport with inventors. Highly diplomatic, she always seems to get the answers she needs and on time.” With just two months to get it done, she recently successfully processed five Patent Cooperation Treaties applications in 24 countries for premier construction group Skanska. Adroit portfolio manager and strategist Sören Giver “has a proven track record of doing things right” and pulls the strings on other key accounts. He is also responsible for much of Awapatent’s respected in-house training. Client favourite Niklas Mattsson enjoys a “great reputation in the life sciences field”, where he stands out for his sophisticated understanding of SPCs. Heading up the chemistry team in Stockholm is Inga-Lill Andersson. The former AstraZeneca analytical chemist knows the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries inside out.
Bergenstrahle & Partners AB
A synergised blend of legal, engineering and commercial insight cements this boutique’s status as a favourite for clients looking to fortify their IP portfolios. Its attorneys are drawn from a wide range of backgrounds, guaranteeing that Bergenstrahle & Partners has every angle covered when advising patrons. The firm is committed to the strategic objectives of clients and a professional, cost-efficient approach characterises its service. Lars Estreen is a key contact for all things patent-related.
Brann AB
Brann’s vital statistics are impressive: nearly three-quarters of its practitioners are qualified as European patent attorneys and one-quarter have PhDs (a fraction that rises to half in the life sciences division). Many also have industry experience on their résumés, giving them real empathy with clients and sensitivity to their needs. Department head Barry Franks is “a vastly experienced patent attorney who is extremely skilled at oral proceedings. He has a great understanding of complex technical issues and approaches every case from the applicant’s point of view. He is exceptionally sharp and strategic, in that he identifies potential future areas of contention hidden between the lines. He does a quality job and stands out from the crowd”. According to one source, “the most exceptional person at Brann is Annika Kilander. She is extremely knowledgeable in IP matters and has a fantastic understanding of the processes of and challenges faced by commercial enterprises”. “Fast, competitively priced, technically up to date, informative and service minded, Fenix Legal is “the best. The feedback and reports you get are clear and uniformly high quality, and the attorneys there know how to transform a new basic idea into a valuable asset”. CEO and prosecution strategy sage Maria Zamkova heads up the patent division: “She is very experienced and business minded, and takes a modern approach to prosecution. A real expert with European and international patents, she is always suggesting new strategies and innovative ways to handle applications.” Founded in 1869, the illustrious Groth & Co has committed to move with the times throughout its history, most lately exemplified by a consolidated push into China – it opened in Shanghai in 2014. The internationally minded set also has a presence in Munich, enabling it to swiftly and effectively manage interactions with the European Patent Office (EPO). Servicing patrons in a staggering 16 languages, the cosmopolitan squad can ably cater to all comers. Mathias Loqvist is a key point of contact.
Kransell & Wennborg AB
This boutique has blossomed into one of the country’s leading prosecution shops and makes its first appearance in the IAM Patent 1000 as a result. Its size and talent bench give it the flexibility to represent a diverse range of clients – from sole inventors to multinationals – with a personal touch. “Over the last five or six years it has attracted some fantastic practitioners. It’s not a big set-up, but it has a high proportion of European patent attorneys and a great deal of experience.” Peers are watching its ongoing recruitment efforts with interest. Rolf Fritzon is a name for the address book.
Mannheimer Swartling
“One of Sweden’s leading firms”, Mannheimer Swartling wins particular plaudits for its life sciences work, although the technically savvy set can operate across many different disciplines without breaking a sweat. Per Josefson keeps the firm in the headlines: “Per knows patent law inside out. He has taken the lead on a lot of pharmaceutical cases, including some especially complex ones. Very accomplished, he has also successfully negotiated some of the most significant IP transactions in recent memory.” Among his recent highlights, he represented Novartis against Orifarm in a pan-European tussle over blockbuster drug Exelon.
Roschier
Nordic powerhouse Roschier brings the heat in mission-critical patent infringement disputes, but can also cool things down at the negotiating table to secure the best settlement and licensing deals. It understands patents as commercial assets and knows just what to do with them to maximise their impact on the bottom line; clients come here when they are looking to steal a march on their rivals in business. Responsible for the day-to-day running of the practice is Erik Ficks: “He focuses on the key issues and gives clear recommendations on courses of action. He has an eye for detail, but keeps the big picture in mind.” He lately masterminded a rare inventor’s compensation suit and advised a client on global litigation strategy. The striking young lawyer was elected partner in February 2016.
Sandart&Partners Advokatbyrå KB
“Having tried an extensive number of cases with a great deal of success, Sandart&Partners is the one to call for the most serious contentious matters. Its lawyers are vastly experienced before the Swedish courts.” The renowned Peter Sande is a magnet for praise: “He is supremely intelligent and a true expert on patent law. His is a quick study in all fields of technology and has a thorough understanding of European case law, which is applied vigorously in the Swedish courts. His advice is very clear, so you always know where you stand.” Dag Sandart has a “wealth of experience” and is another potent weapon.
Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
Full-service titan Setterwalls houses one of Sweden’s largest and most formidable IP teams. Its life sciences practice is the jewel in a glittering crown, but other technologies are also ably covered; it has recently been building its capabilities in the burgeoning financial technology field. Head of life sciences Lennart Arvidson is the first name to note. “Highly experienced, pragmatic and to the point, he is a top-drawer litigator. He swiftly understands your products and takes a commercial view of things.” He is currently acting for Teva in a dispute with AstraZeneca over a blockbuster asthma care drug, and for Actavis in a spat with Eli Lilly and Company over a chemotherapy drug. Major pharmaceutical, biotechnology and food industry players find Per Lidman’s combination of transactional and litigation expertise to be a major boon. Together with his partners in the M&A department, he is architecting a crucial deal for private Swedish biotechnology concern Alligator Bioscience with Johnson & Johnson; at the same time, he is acting for Sandoz in a fight with AstraZeneca involving an anti-psychotic drug. High-technology companies find ace contract negotiator and drafter Joacim Johannesson to be a trusted running mate.
Ström & Gulliksson AB
Ström & Gulliksson has been sailing on calm seas since a 2011 management buy-out went down. The firm is adept at securing patent protection, but is also an astute player of the litigation game – uniting with sister set-up Advokatbyrån Gulliksson, it is a force to be reckoned with in the patent infringement stakes. Under the stewardship of Rikard Roos, the set has forged ahead. An accomplished sportsman, Roos knows what it takes to compete and win, and puts this knowledge to good use for clients. He is a master of the art of prosecution and a dab hand at EPO opposition and appeal proceedings. Also prominent is Björn Andersson, a perspicacious counsellor whose opinions on infringement matters carry great weight. While Roos concentrates on medical devices, pharmaceuticals and chemical engineering, Andersson focuses on everything high tech.
Synch Advokat AB
Synch’s laser focus on technology makes it unique on the market. Founded in 2014, the innovative outfit has been a breath of fresh air on the market; companies large and small have really taken to its clever service delivery tools, including WeSynch, which gives patrons easy, on-demand access to critical information and expertise. Sara Sparring has architected a new way of doing things: the former Bird & Bird lawyer has abundant commercial expertise and a deep well of knowledge on pharmaceutical matters.
Valea AB
Cost-effective and efficient, Valea is one of only two firms to be highly recommended for patent prosecution in Sweden. “It is serviced minded and open to discuss any item quickly and clearly. It works hard to please the customer and drafts nice patent applications. It makes it all simple, where other agents in Sweden tend to overcomplicate things. The group is very creative when it comes to claim language and when responding to office actions.” With acute foresight based on extensive experience, Andrew Hammond can accurately predict the outcome of a case, enabling companies to make well-founded business decisions. “He is one of the country’s top practitioners – excellent in all proceedings and the best before the EPO.”

Zacco is perhaps best known for its international capabilities, but it is a major presence locally too. The firm has offices dotted across the country, putting it within touching distance of emerging and established home-grown enterprises. Stockholm-based Jörgen Linde is a key contact for life sciences players. He previously worked as a research engineer and thus has technical nous in spades; over the course of his private practice career, he has built up a deep prosecution playbook, too. Michael Byström appears in the IAM Patent 1000 for the first time this year. He supports pharmaceutical, biotechnology and chemical companies in many different ways and is a versatile attorney proficient in prosecution, SPCs, IP due diligence and strategic counselling

Luminaries

Ulf Dahlgren - Advokatfirman Vinge KB
Giovanni Gozzo - GOZZO Advokater
Örjan Grundén - GOZZO Advokater
Ragnar Lundgren - GOZZO Advokater

Individuals: transactions

Erik Ficks - Roschier
Joacim Johannesson - Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
Per Josefson - Mannheimer Swartling
Per Lidman - Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
Urban Paulsson - NORDIA LAW
Dag Sandart - Sandart&Partners Advokatbyrå KB
Sara Sparring - Synch Advokat AB

Individuals: prosecution

Highly recommended
Barry Franks - Brann AB
Andrew Hammond - Valea AB
Maria Zamkova - Fenix Legal KB
Recommended
Björn E Andersson - Ström & Gulliksson AB
Sören Giver - Awapatent AB
Mikael Henriksson - Awapatent AB
Annika Kilander - Brann AB
Urban Lind - Awapatent AB
Julia Mannesson - Awapatent AB
Niklas Mattsson - Awapatent AB
Rikard Roos - Ström & Gulliksson AB

Individuals: litigation

Lennart Arvidson - Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
Håkan Borgenhäll - Advokatfirman Vinge KB
Dag Sandart - Sandart&Partners Advokatbyrå KB
Peter Sande - Sandart&Partners Advokatbyrå KB
Per Josefson - Mannheimer Swartling
Jonas Westerberg - Advokatfirman Lindahl
Erik Ficks - Roschier
Peter Kenamets - Awapatent AB
Per Lidman - Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
Mattias Malmstedt - Advokatbyrån Gulliksson
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Issue 82