Denmark

The Danish patent market remains healthy, with plentiful activity in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and mechanical engineering – though the ongoing quest to cut costs means that firms must stay sharp to win work. Companies are increasingly bringing routine mandates in-house, leaving the highly complex work to those firms with niche expertise. The prosecution scene has shifted markedly in recent years; members of the old guard have modernised and streamlined their services to ensure they are not left behind by the dynamic new players in the market.

Firms: litigation and transactions

1
Bech-Bruun
Horten Law Firm
Kromann Reumert
Plesner Advokatpartnerselskab
2
Accura Advokatpartnerselskab
Gorrissen Federspiel
3
Lundgrens

Firms: prosecution

Highly recommended
98
Guardian IP Consulting I/S
Inspicos P/S
Recommended
H
Budde Schou A/S
Chas Hude A/S
Nordic Patent Service
Accura Advokatpartnerselskab
A commitment to understanding the commercial concerns of clients typifies business law firm Accura’s approach to patent litigation. Standing out on the Danish market for its representation of both innovator and generic pharmaceutical companies, it boasts comprehensive proficiency in the life sciences, covering everything from biotechnology to medical devices and food. The practice was weakened by the recent departure of leading light Jeppe Brinck-Jensen and it remains to be seen how it will respond to maintain its position on the market. Assisting a substantial proportion of Europe’s top patent filers, Awapatent has a stellar reputation for handling complex matters on an international platform. The Danish squad has continued to grow in both size and quality, and has “a fantastic common appreciation of clients’ products and business goals”. Peter Indahl and Eva Carlsson make this a premier destination for cutting-edge mechanical engineering briefs. Indahl “has a very high reputation in the field”; while Carlsson is “dedicated, to the point, careful with details and works tirelessly to secure the best protection possible”. She recently fought the corner of manufacturing outfit GEA Process Engineering and chemical engineering company Union Engineering in a number of hotly contested oppositions, acting together with Sidsel Hauge – a vastly experienced authority on pharmaceuticals, biochemistry and biotechnology.
Bech-Bruun
An integral cog in one of Denmark’s largest commercial law firms, the IP department at Bech-Brunn continues to expand its reach. It focuses on forging close personal relationships with clients, which flock to its doors for its superb success rate in patent litigation and facility for IP transactions and licensing. Praise abounds for the “strategically strong and legally accomplished” Klaus Ewald Madsen: “A clever and sympathetic guy, he is great at the soft things and quick to get up to speed on the details of any case. He is a first choice in Denmark.” A pharmaceutical and biotechnology expert who recently guided Teva through a tricky validity and infringement case against AstraZeneca, Madsen is also a dab hand at mechanical briefs. He is currently acting alongside fellow prize fighter Johnny Petersen for Hedensted Gruppen in a case relating to apparatus and methods for the treatment of mink furs. “Outstanding” IAM Patent 1000 newcomer Dan Bjerg Geary succeeds in delivering pragmatic and to-the-point legal services, reflecting his in-depth theoretical knowledge”; he has been instrumental in the development of the firm’s burgeoning operations in Aarhus. A recent arrival from Horten, Martin Dræbye Gantzhorn brings with him specialist knowledge of the pharmaceutical, medical devices, foodstuffs and cosmetics sectors, and is a prolific author on IP issues.
Budde Schou A/S
Budde Schou’s roots extend back as far as 1901, making it one of Scandinavia’s oldest IP attorney firms. Its core business of patent drafting and prosecution is supplemented by a healthy contentious practice, with its attorneys regularly representing rights holders in oppositions and appeals, and providing support in litigation. “A preferred choice of patent agent for complex life sciences litigation”, chief operating operator Steen Wadskov-Hansen is “alert, easy to work with and always willing to go the extra mile for clients. He is one of the very best in Denmark in his field”. Leif Rørbøl, who has niche expertise in structural engineering, has been with the firm since 1974. A court-appointed expert, he provides invaluable insight on patent infringement and validity issues.
Chas Hude A/S
A long-established player in the prosecution space, Chas Hude employs novel approaches to IP protection to deliver value without ever stinting on quality. The forward-looking firm’s meticulous approach ensures that no stone is left unturned in the defence of intellectual assets. Providing astute commercial guidance to mechanical engineering, electronics and software clients, Jesper Mark Wenzel takes charge of oppositions and appeals before the European Patent Office (EPO) and the US Patent and Trademark Office. CEO and pharmaceutical sciences PhD Marianne Johansen has seldom-rivalled IP strategy experience; she maintains close client relations while also helping to nurture the skills of a cohort of rising patent stars. Still a relatively new arrival on the market – having only cut the ribbon in 2012 – dynamic patent agency COPA excels at all things prosecution. Handling life sciences, cleantech, mechanics and electronics mandates with meticulous care, the group makes particularly light work of hotly contested oppositions and appeals. These are a specialty of tactical sage Steven Richard Kitchen, who recently oversaw a streak of nine consecutive opposition and appeal wins on behalf of LM Wind Power. Mechanical engineering authority Peter Kim Jensen has a similarly pre-eminent standing in this field and shares almost 30 years of wisdom as a teacher at the Danish Institute for IPR Training. Students at the institute also benefit from the insight of Anders Sandgaard, whose commercial acumen is a boon for telecommunications, medical device and renewable energy players. Founder Mikkel Bender fronts the life sciences team and has a flair for devising bulletproof patent strategies and providing stellar litigation support. The driving force behind an influx of new prosecution and opinion instructions in the life sciences, IAM Patent 1000 debutant Nicka Kirstejn has a keen appreciation of the needs of universities and early-stage ventures.
Gorrissen Federspiel
With 46 fee earners servicing clients in 170 countries, Gorrissen Federspiel’s IP practice has one of the most extensive global footprints in Denmark. Its service is comprehensive, although it earns particular acclaim for its prowess in life sciences litigation. It recently represented Chemgene Holding against biotech competitor Nuevolution in a matter concerning the binding effect of a patent settlement agreement and the burden of proof in cases where patent ownership is challenged. Jacob Ørndrup took the lead on this; the robust litigator also has a nuanced grasp of regulatory affairs. A “trusted adviser with impressive clients”, Kenneth Kvistgaard-Aaholm “can explain technical matters in a way that allows for simple understanding of the core issues. His constant availability makes for excellent and easy collaboration; he really represents the next generation”. He recently broke new ground in Danish case law by convincing the Maritime and Commercial High Court to reject a request for a preliminary injunction against GN ReSound based on lack of proportionality, despite the court finding it likely that his client’s product infringed a competitor’s rights.
Guardian IP Consulting I/S
With its “client-focused and pragmatic” line-up of technically sharp attorneys ensuring that rights are soundly protected from inception, this compact consultancy is “definitely on the rise”. Life sciences doyen Lars Pallisgaard Olsen knows what it takes to prevail in EPO proceedings; while technology and software rights holders are in safe hands with Holm Schwarze and Henrik Bagger Olsen. Schwarze “really stands out from the crowd” and peers “would not hesitate a second recommending him in the event of a conflict”. Bagger Olsen is a masterful strategist who is sought after by companies keen to streamline patent policies and procedures. IP agency HØIBERG is a dominant force in the life sciences and continues to grow its presence in the electronics and mechanics spheres. Its attorneys operate at the cutting edge of technological development and are a first port of call for many leading universities and research institutions; it recently expanded its operations across the border in Lund, Sweden, to further capitalise on this market. Founder Susanne Høiberg keeps commercial considerations front and centre when developing IP strategy and is an ace up the sleeve of rights holders in complicated opposition proceedings. “Highly experienced and highly qualified” mechanics maestro Claus Elmeros has been in the game for over 25 years and acts for technology-rich clients of all stripes.
Horten Law Firm
Top-tier operation Horten effortlessly dispatches mandates across the IP spectrum and also has a sophisticated take on related regulatory affairs. The firm’s creatively commercial approach and extensive global network are boons for domestic and international players alike. Having played a pivotal role in precedent-setting IP litigation, Ole Damsbo has seen and done it all; nothing fazes this technologically versatile advocate, for whom life sciences is a forte. Likewise for “the hands-on and efficient” Anders Valentin, who is “doing a great job – his prowess in patent litigation is widely acknowledged”.
Inspicos P/S
Prosecution powerhouse Inspicos blazes a trail in oppositions, appeals and contentious support. Its percipient attorneys – whose work is “always at the highest level of quality” – also dispense sage advice on filing strategies and portfolio optimisation. The thriving firm has recently taken on new staff to cope with a torrent of new briefs hitting its desks in Copenhagen and Aarhus. Mechanics and medical devices are happy hunting grounds for Jakob Pade Frederiksen, whom peers describe as “second to none. He has a very pleasant demeanour and exudes knowledge”. Ulla Klinge is a contentious ace with over 25 years of experience guiding pharmaceutical companies through difficult disputes. Former in-house counsel Peter Koefoed and chemistry PhD Jesper Thorsen also stand out on the life sciences side, and run busy opposition and appeals practices before the EPO.
Kromann Reumert
The IP division at Kromann Reumert leverages on the business law heavyweight’s enviable strength across the board, to superb effect. The trusted partner of a slew of domestic A-listers, it has also developed a comprehensive international network and is Denmark’s exclusive member of the Lex Mundi alliance – factors which underline its global credentials. Patent litigation is a bastion of strength and Nicolai Lindgreen mans the parapets with his sights trained on pharmaceutical and healthcare conflicts. “Always a pleasure to work with, Lindgreen is extremely reliable, sensible and thorough; he does a splendid job.”
Lundgrens
Regularly engaged in high-stakes disputes, Lundgrens’ IP squad is “professional, proactive and keen to provide useful contextual business advice alongside IP expertise”. This approach resonates with rights holders and is embodied by rainmaker Jakob Krag Nielsen. Acting across a range of technology-rich industries, he leaves clients feeling “extremely impressed. He is an excellent listener, has a first-class business understanding and is dedicated, inspiring and works to solve problems in a constructive and efficient way”. A recent addition to the Lundgrens crew, Rasmus Vang adds further power to its patent punch through his experience in complex disputes.
Nordic Patent Service
Nordic Patent Service consistently meets and exceeds the most exacting standards on prosecution briefs; its acute business acumen and capacity to serve clients in six different languages are further draws which attract innovators from far and wide. The recent addition of further technically skilled attorneys has boosted its capabilities in the life sciences and mechanical engineering fields. Flying the flag is managing partner Gerard van Walstijn. “Highly skilled in drafting and prosecuting complicated applications”, the mechanics maven is also a court-appointed expert and a frequent fixture in contentious clashes.
Plesner Advokatpartnerselskab
A giant of the Danish market, full-service Plesner is home to a crack squad of do-or-die litigators whose polished performances in multi-jurisdictional spats have made the firm a premier destination for pharmaceutical originators in particular. The firm recently assisted AstraZeneca in a case relating to the marketing of Krka’s Esomeprazole product and in patent infringement disputes against five separate opponents centring on its Seroquel XR drug. Masterminding these actions is “Mr Patent Litigation in Denmark”, Peter-Ulrik Plesner. The seasoned campaigner is “very sharp in court and it goes without saying that he is still the obvious choice for thorny disputes”. Able support is provided by newly minted partner Kasper Frahm, who continues to make a name for himself across the IP spectrum. Smooth operator Sture Rygaard relishes the most technically demanding briefs; his strategic oversight and meticulous case management make him a formidable courtroom foe. Mikkel Vittrup marries indisputable contentious credentials with a resolutely commercial outlook – a match which is evident in his slick handling of high-value transactional matters. The outfit’s firepower was increased even further with the March 2017 arrival of Jeppe Brinck-Jensen from Accura; his deft touch on multi-jurisdictional mandates makes him the perfect fit. Plougmann Vingtoft’s client-centric IP experts are “extremely thorough – their systematic processes ensure that no issues are left unresolved”. With offices in Oslo, Munich and Madrid supplementing its two domestic bases, the set ensures that rights holders with ambitions of expansion are expertly catered for. It has an exemplary track record in contentious matters, thanks in large part to the efforts of head of opposition and litigation Kim Wagner: “A supremely well-organised attorney, his open-minded approach makes him easy to share ideas with. Clients are always pleased with his quality of work.” He recently represented Nestec, Bayer Pharma and Arla Foods in various opposition proceedings. Assisting Wagner for Arla, food, agriculture and chemistry specialist Katja Sørensen has a robust contentious practice and also advises on strategy and broader IP commercialisation briefs. The group also has extensive know-how outside the life sciences in the form of Aarhus-based Peter Sørensen: “He feels like a natural part of an in-house team and his understanding of the market ensures his advice is always tailored and up to date,” enthuses one client. A leader in acoustics and sound technology, Michael Friis Sørensen “is well ahead of the curve, exceptionally intelligent and you feel very confident in his advice. He is an extremely pleasant person to work with.”

While Zacco may stand out for its sheer weight of numbers, the Scandinavian titan takes a personalised approach and never compromises on quality. The group has revamped its internal platforms and processes to ensure seamless integration of services across its 25 locations. The diverse clientele of its Danish contingent includes a host of elite local players, while significant progress is also being made in the US market. Zacco stalwart Ejvind Christiansen – who has notched up almost 50 years of service at the firm – and Thomas Sundien are both intimately familiar with US patent procedures. Christiansen also heads the Danish litigation support team, while mechanics ace Sundien is a technical judge at the Copenhagen Commercial and Maritime Court and at Denmark’s Eastern Appeal Court. Camilla Rendal Nielsen translates her abundant international experience both in private practice and as an in-house attorney into sage strategic counsel across a range of technology-rich fields. Michael Schandorf Sorensen and Pernille Thorsboe both enter the IAM Patent 1000 for the first time this year. Sorensen is “creative, meticulous and obtains results that others are unable to obtain. His mastery of the science behind the biotechnology inventions he works on, as well as the intricacies of European practice, separates him from most practitioners. He has sound judgement, is able to forecast accurately how the EPO will respond to certain arguments and has excellent rapport with clients”. Thorsboe’s extensive life sciences practice covers supplementary protection certificates, infringement and validity opinions and litigation support.

Luminaries

Ole Damsbo - Horten Law Firm

Individuals: transactions

Jeppe Brinck-Jensen - Plesner Advokatpartnerselskab
Kenneth Kvistgaard-Aaholm - Gorrissen Federspiel
Nicolai Lindgreen - Kromann Reumert
Klaus Ewald Madsen - Bech-Bruun
Jacob Ørndrup - Gorrissen Federspiel
Anders Valentin - Horten Law Firm
Mikkel Vittrup - Plesner Advokatpartnerselskab

Individuals: prosecution

Henrik Bagger Olsen - Guardian IP Consulting I/S
Mikkel Bender - COPA Copenhagen Patents
Eva Carlsson - Awapatent A/S
Claus Elmeros - HØIBERG
Jakob Pade Frederiksen - Inspicos P/S
Michael Friis Sørensen - Plougmann Vingtoft
Sidsel Hauge - Awapatent A/S
Annelise Holme - Holme Patent AS
Peter Indahl - Awapatent A/S
Peter Kim Jensen - COPA Copenhagen Patents
Marianne Johansen - Chas Hude A/S
Nicka Kirstejn - COPA Copenhagen Patents
Steven Richard Kitchen - COPA Copenhagen Patents
Ulla Klinge - Inspicos P/S
Peter Koefoed - Inspicos P/S
Lars Pallisgaard Olsen - Guardian IP Consulting I/S
Leif Rørbøl - Budde Schou A/S
Anders Sandgaard - COPA Copenhagen Patents
Holm Schwarze - Guardian IP Consulting I/S
Katja Sørensen - Plougmann Vingtoft
Peter Sørensen - Plougmann Vingtoft
Jesper Thorsen - Inspicos P/S
Gerard van Walstijn - Nordic Patent Service
Steen Wadskov-Hansen - Budde Schou A/S
Kim Wagner - Plougmann Vingtoft
Jesper Mark Wenzel - Chas Hude A/S

Individuals: litigation

Nicolai Lindgreen - Kromann Reumert
Klaus Ewald Madsen - Bech-Bruun
Peter-Ulrik Plesner - Plesner Advokatpartnerselskab
Sture Rygaard - Plesner Advokatpartnerselskab
Anders Valentin - Horten Law Firm
Jeppe Brinck-Jensen - Plesner Advokatpartnerselskab
Martin Dræbye Gantzhorn - Bech-Bruun
Kenneth Kvistgaard-Aaholm - Gorrissen Federspiel
Mikkel Vittrup - Plesner Advokatpartnerselskab
Kasper Frahm - Plesner Advokatpartnerselskab
Dan Bjerg Geary - Bech-Bruun
Jakob Krag Nielsen - Lundgrens
Jacob Ørndrup - Gorrissen Federspiel
Johnny Petersen - Bech-Bruun
Rasmus Vang - Lundgrens
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Issue 87