Finland

Though the number of cases heard in Finland’s specialised market court since it opened its doors in 2013 has been lower than anticipated – in part due to the reduced opportunity for appeals – the technology-driven jurisdiction remains an important forum for patentees. With the country’s economy moving in the right direction, R&D institutes and their spin-offs are fuelling a steady stream of prosecution and transactional work. However, as potential clients continue to expect value-added services for lower prices, providers must be willing to adapt models and modernise processes to maintain their positions in this highly competitive arena.

Firms: prosecution

H
Berggren Oy
Boco IP
Espatent Oy
Eversheds Attorneys Ltd
Kolster Oy Ab
Papula-Nevinpat
Seppo Laine Oy

Firms: transactions

1
Borenius Attorneys Ltd
Roschier
2
Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd
Hannes Snellman Attorneys Ltd
3
Inventio Attorneys Ltd

Firms: litigation

1
Borenius Attorneys Ltd
Roschier
2
Backström & Co
Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd
3
Eversheds Attorneys Ltd
Inventio Attorneys Ltd
Backström & Co
Though Backström & Co is active in multiple legal areas, intellectual property remains of paramount importance to its offering. The set has an eminently international outlook, with the full suite of services provided in Swedish, German and English, as well as its mother tongue. “The senior statesman of Finnish IP”, Peter Backström has built the firm’s sterling reputation through decades of exemplary representation of innovative patentees. The contentious capabilities of Petri Eskola are also in no doubt; he has led the charge on many of the firm’s headline-grabbing cases.
Berggren Oy
Forward-looking IP heavyweight Berggren has seldom-matched capacity to meet and exceed the needs of companies seeking to shield and exploit their patent portfolios. Its resolutely commercial and proactive approach resonates with rights holders of all stripes and the firm continues to grow: its nine native offices are now supplemented by a newly opened Stateside outpost in Hoboken, New Jersey. Vice president of patents Kim Simelius is an electronics doyen whose ability to grasp pertinent case details is bolstered by valuable in-house and portfolio management experience. “One of the first whom clients turn to for filing and litigation assistance”, Sakari Värilä can identify value-adding opportunities throughout all stages of the patent lifecycle.
Boco IP
Boco IP consistently goes the extra mile for clients while keeping their business objectives front and centre of its thinking. Its technically gifted IP specialists thrive at a firm which is consistently voted as one of Finland’s best places to work. A growing client list comprises mainly domestic enterprises, though it is steadily expanding its presence in East Asia and the United States. Managing director Kari Leskinen adroitly advises players in the chemistry sector, while also ensuring that the set stays ahead of the curve through the implementation of pragmatic management strategies and practices such as its innovative IPR 360° concept – coordinated services to support every aspect of a client’s operations. Fellow chemistry cognoscente Annika Hakkila’s in-depth industry knowledge and pristine track record in oral proceedings are a boon for clients. “Fast, accurate and a solid professional”, Christian Westerholm handles everything from drafting to opposition proceedings and licensing with a strong focus on mechanical engineering: his tireless efforts have helped the set to significantly increase its market share in the mining sector. Honorary patent counsellor Pia Hjelt’s advice on patent strategy and expert input in litigation cases is of inestimable value.
Borenius Attorneys Ltd
The thriving IP practice at full-service operation Borenius continues to justify its gold-tier status in both litigation and transactions. The multifaceted team leads from the front on many of the jurisdiction’s most notable cases: significant wins at the Supreme Court for pharmaceutical giants Actavis and Krka showcased polished performances at the highest level. Heading the department and attracting praise from all angles for his considerate and knowledgeable approach, Ben Rapinoja is a star litigator and trusted adviser whose pharmaceutical nous recently helped Orifarm to prevail in a long-running infringement matter against Novartis. Lasse Laaksonen was instrumental in orchestrating the Supreme Court triumph for Actavis. “Highly competent and as sharp as a razor blade”, he marries contentious expertise with transactional wisdom. Vice president of the Finnish Association for Industrial Property Rights Åsa Krook debuts in the IAM Patent 1000 this year following her involvement in a slew of significant transactional matters – including the sale of dairy manufacturer Valio’s €73 million starter culture business. Also a transactional ace, Samuli Simojoki fronts the technology, media and telecommunications team and makes light work of briefs straddling IP, technology and privacy law. With over 40 years’ experience on his résumé, dispute resolution king Seppo Kemppinen is a font of knowledge on all things intellectual property.
Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd
“Hardworking professionals who are always easy to reach and fun to work with”, the IP squad at full-service commercial player Castrén & Snellman casts a long shadow on the patent landscape. A recently launched prosecution service has cemented its ability to provide A-to-Z solutions, while a robust Russian IP practice puts it in a uniquely strong position to advise clients on the intricacies of this market. Elected to the partnership in 2016, Sakari Salonen heads the practice and is a “rising star in the field of patents”; his contentious experience spans a multitude of sectors and his strategic nous puts him in high demand. Advanced technical insight helps life sciences head Hanna Paloheimo to go above and beyond for clients in the pharmaceutical, food and health technology industries. Pulp, paper and energy industry leader Valmet recently benefited from Salonen and Paloheimo’s proficiency, triumphing in a protracted battle over validity and infringement. The set also makes waves on transactional mandates: regular representation of Boehringer Ingelheim and Takeda Pharmaceuticals underlines its strength in this area. Noted for the astute counsel that he provides to players across the public and private sectors, Arto Linnervuo is a go-to for technology-driven deals. Head of the private equity and venture capital group Kimmo Rekola has seldom-matched experience coordinating high-value deals.
Espatent Oy
Ambitious patent boutique Espatent’s enviable technical prowess shines through on the gamut of prosecution and portfolio management instructions; it is also a trusted ally for law firms embroiled in complex, high-stakes litigation. Sampsa Söderholm is a skilled operator in the telecoms industry with a knack for identifying the most prescient route to patent protection. “The best patent agent in pharmaceuticals”, Kirsikka Etuaho’s background as a Market Court judge underlines her stellar technical credentials. Versatile CEO Sanna Kalliola never loses sight of clients’ commercial goals and deftly dovetails the technical and legal aspects of any case; while extensive in-house experience is a real asset for Samu Lamberg, whose client list spans the ICT, physics and mechanics sectors.
Eversheds Attorneys Ltd
It has been a busy year on the IP front for the Finnish arm of international major-leaguer Eversheds; most notably, it significantly strengthened its prosecution offering with the recent acquisition of esteemed outfit IPR Partners. Joining the set as part of the move, Juhani Kupiainen brings “extensive expertise in patents and utility models, as well as an ability to explain complex technology issues in plain language in courts”. Coupled with the firm’s fine reputation in the contentious arena, this development underlines its capacity to provide far-reaching, cradle-to-grave counsel for rights holders. At the vanguard of myriad high-value conflicts, Petteri Häkkänen is a seasoned litigator who relishes complex EU-wide and global disputes.
Hannes Snellman Attorneys Ltd
Hannes Snellman is a prime destination for domestic and international innovators seeking assistance with big-ticket transactions and fraught court battles. The firm has a solid regional footprint, with offices in Stockholm, Moscow and St Petersburg supporting its Helsinki headquarters. Though the redoubtable Kaisa Fahllund has now departed, clients continue to gravitate towards the squad for its exceptional responsiveness and sage guidance in all areas of technology. They particularly appreciate the “committed, hands-on approach to assignments” embraced by Panu Siitonen, who fronts the IP and technology practice. The transactional don also has contentious expertise and recently overturned an interim injunction in the Market Court on behalf of Novartis. “His contribution to important projects has been significant. He is easy to work with and gives timely, to-the-point advice.”
Inventio Attorneys Ltd
Inventio has made impressive progress since opening its doors in 2011 – the enterprising practitioners at this compact operation calmly steer clients through choppy waters when disputes arise and are trusted lieutenants on high-value commercialisation and licensing mandates. Transactional ace Topi Lusenius is a guiding light on R&D arrangements for native high-technology enterprises; Espotel has strengthened its position in the telecoms, medical and defence sectors under his watchful eye. The cleantech arena has become another happy hunting ground of late, with Lusenius and Henri Kaikkonen forging profitable paths through licensing negotiations for innovators. “An extremely fast learner who can quickly form connections between a product and what is important from an IP protection perspective”, Kaikkonen provides advice which is “priceless for internationally focused entrepreneurs”.
Kolster Oy Ab
Finland’s oldest boutique draws on over 140 years in the market to develop future-proofed patent protection strategies. Clients are ably served by over 100 employees across six Finnish locations, while the firm’s China desk provides an opportune platform for companies seeking to extend their reach into East Asia. Director of patents Tapio Äkräs is an electronics whizz who can shepherd patents all the way from application to oppositions at the European Patent Office (EPO). Pirta Tiiro brings over 15 years of in-house experience to the set, with patrons in the biotech and chemistry sectors queuing up for her commercially attuned guidance.
Papula-Nevinpat
Headquartered in Helsinki, Papula-Nevinpat boasts enviable coverage across Eastern Europe, with boots on the ground in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The firm’s progressive ethos is reflected in its appointment of a chief digital officer, whose input ensures it can swiftly adapt to the diverse systems and processes necessary to support its international clientele. Folke Johansson combines his role as patent department director with a client-centric practice encompassing prosecution, strategic advice, licensing and litigation support. He shines brightest in the telecommunications sector; as does managing director Markku Simmelvuo, a go-to guy for matters involving Russia and the Eurasian region.
Roschier
Retaining its position at the pinnacle of the Finnish market, Roschier’s IP team is regularly engaged on many of the most important patent cases to hit the jurisdiction. The results that the five-partner team routinely secures in must-win international litigation and high-rolling deal negotiations have made it a trusted partner for 24 of the 30 largest Finnish listed firms. Clients “could not ask for a better adviser” than department head Rainer Hilli. “He is amazing – very easygoing and easily approachable. He is just wonderful and is undoubtedly the best in Finland.” Hilli is currently representing Merck Sharp & Dohme in a landmark suit concerning the scope of protection and the infringement of numerous process patents. Assisting him in this fight is Mikael Segercrantz, whose pharmaceutical, food and cosmetics-focused practice encompasses a range of regulatory and marketing law issues. Fellow pharmaceuticals specialist Johanna Lilja secured a crucial victory in the Court of Appeals, also for Merck Sharp & Dohme, in a case concerning the doctrine of equivalents. “She works night and day – she is extremely intelligent and clients really enjoy working with her.” On the transactional side, the team recently acted as global counsel on a number of multibillion-dollar licensing deals for Nokia, with award-winning partner Mikko Manner taking the lead in the company’s €5.44 billion sale of its devices and services division to Microsoft. Another of the set’s rising stars, Johanna Flythström wins praise for her nuanced grasp of IP acquisition and commercialisation issues and facility for high-tech disputes.
Seppo Laine Oy
Following its 2015 acquisition of Jalo Ant-Wuorinen, prosecution shop Seppo Laine has continued to expand its operations and signed off 2016 by cutting the ribbon on a new office in Tampere. Already well known for its proficiency in the electronics, chemistry and biotech spaces, the new hub will further increase the firm’s presence in the ICT sphere. Captaining the chemistry team is Christoffer Sundman, a precision prosecutor and assured performer in oppositions both at home and at the EPO. Former Jalo Ant-Wuorinen man Tord Langenskiöld’s practice focuses on chemical processes; he brings valuable insight from a previous career in R&D and is a staunch ally in litigation. Assisting clients in the field of electronics, Jarkko Tiilikainen knows European patent law like the back of his hand; he and Sundman are both tutors at the Centre for International Intellectual Property Studies.

Luminaries

Peter Backström - Backström & Co
Pia Hjelt - Boco IP
Seppo Kemppinen - Borenius Attorneys Ltd
Marja Tommila - Properta Attorneys Ltd

Individuals: transactions

Johanna Flythström - Roschier
Bernt Juthström - Waselius & Wist
Esa Korkeamäki - HH Partners Attorneys-at-law
Åsa Krook - Borenius Attorneys Ltd
Jan Lindberg - Attorneys-at-Law TRUST Ltd
Arto Linnervuo - Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd
Topi Lusenius - Inventio Attorneys Ltd
Mikko Manner - Roschier
Ella Mikkola - Bird & Bird Attorneys Ltd
Kimmo Rekola - Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd
Panu Siitonen - Hannes Snellman Attorneys Ltd
Samuli Simojoki - Borenius Attorneys Ltd

Individuals: prosecution

Tapio Äkräs - Kolster Oy Ab
Kirsikka Etuaho - Espatent Oy
Annika Hakkila - Boco IP
Folke Johansson - Papula-Nevinpat
Sanna Kalliola - Espatent Oy
Toni Korelin - Primrose OY
Juhani Kupiainen - Eversheds Attorneys Ltd
Samu Lamberg - Espatent Oy
Tord Langenskiöld - Seppo Laine Oy
Karri Leskinen - Boco IP
Kim Simelius - Berggren Oy
Markku Simmelvuo - Papula-Nevinpat
Sampsa Söderholm - Espatent Oy
Christoffer Sundman - Seppo Laine Oy
Jarkko Tiilikainen - Seppo Laine Oy
Pirta Tiiro - Kolster Oy Ab
Sakari Värilä - Berggren Oy
Christian Westerholm - Boco IP

Individuals: litigation

Rainer Hilli - Roschier
Ben Rapinoja - Borenius Attorneys Ltd
Petri Eskola - Backström & Co
Lasse Laaksonen - Borenius Attorneys Ltd
Johanna Lilja - Roschier
Mikko Manner - Roschier
Hanna Paloheimo - Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd
Sakari Salonen - Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd
Mikael Segercrantz - Roschier
Petteri Häkkänen - Eversheds Attorneys Ltd
Henri Kaikkonen - Inventio Attorneys Ltd
Esa Korkeamäki - HH Partners Attorneys-at-law
Ella Mikkola - Bird & Bird Attorneys Ltd
Panu Siitonen - Hannes Snellman Attorneys Ltd
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Issue 84