Denmark

When it comes to innovation, Denmark is in pole position: its robust infrastructure, abundant government-sponsored funding opportunities and thriving start-up scene have all lent themselves to healthy patenting activity across 2020 and 2021. One area enjoying a major boom right now is renewable energy – especially the offshore wind sector, where the nation leads the way with its pioneering technologies. The pharmaceutical and life sciences industries are also generating a significant portion of the workloads of local practitioners; and a reported increase in the number of biotechnology companies looking to enter the market has additionally sparked excitement. Another point of note is the rate at which entrepreneurs and SMEs are seeking strategic protection for their innovations and engaging patent attorneys and lawyers to develop future-focused business plans with them. Overall, Denmark remains a favourable jurisdiction for innovators and its legal practitioners are optimistic about the year to come.

Firms: litigation and transactions

  • Bech-Bruun
  • Kromann Reumert
  • Plesner Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Accura Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Gorrissen Federspiel
  • Bugge Valentin
  • Horten Law Firm
  • Lundgrens

Firms: prosecution

Accura Advokatpartnerselskab

Rigorously commercial in its approach to intellectual property, full-service outfit Accura is a discerning choice when it comes to procuring, protecting and monetising the crown-jewel assets of major life sciences and pharmaceutical companies. During the review period alone, the set assisted Royal DSM in its acquisition of Danish-based biotechnology company Glycom; guided LEO Pharma through the sale of four pharmaceutical products to Cheplapharm Arzneimittel in a €300 million deal; and played a key role in Roche’s acquisition of OBI Medical. Leading on all three was Morten Bruus, who also tackles and coordinates major disputes with verve. “Morton is an intelligent and dedicated litigator with a strong understanding of the regulated industries. He is always well prepared, proactive and great to work with.”

aera 

Time and again, Aera proves itself willing and able to nip the challenges that arise for clients in the bud quickly and effectively. Its “approachable, extremely skilled” practitioners come up with solutions that are aligned with clients’ aims and the industries in which they operate: “They are service-minded, act resourcefully and understand the needs and wants of smaller businesses too.” The boutique continues to go from strength to strength, increasing head count, expanding its geographical reach and bolstering its capabilities. In late 2020, it brought on US patent attorney and former Knobbe Martens partner Dan Fischer in a move that has not only boosted its knowledge of semiconductors and USPTO proceedings, but also added to its international contacts. Managing partner Nicka Kirstejn is “one of a kind when it comes to biotech patents. He is extremely bright and his excellent industry network makes him a great choice”. In a similar vein, Per Larsen appreciates the business value behind solid patent protection and has an entrepreneurial spirit that resonates with multinationals looking to capitalise on their assets. Biomedical ace Ylva Skoglösa “has saved the day on numerous occasions. Her input and strategic insight are instrumental”, whether devising strategies or entering into negotiations with major industrial partners and competitors. A life sciences star with rock-solid technical foundations, Marianne Johansen has spent over three decades in the game and adroitly navigates the interface between IP protections and market exclusivity. “Creative and solutions oriented” are the words used to describe former Novartis principal patent attorney Henrik Skødt: “He has a great grasp of many technologies, quickly gets acquainted with new inventions and patent families, and provides great suggestions.” Counsel of choice to Sony Corporation, Hanane Fathi Roswall and Anders Sandgaard are “fantastic in the field of software”. Fathi Roswall is “a first-class attorney who can work to tight deadlines”; while Anders has a complete command of individual components. “There are few attorneys who stand out like they do.”

AWA 

Rave reviews come pouring in for AWA: “There are few, if any firms, that can look beyond the patent, understand the legal concepts behind business decisions and see the bigger picture to the extent that AWA can; and its attorneys have what it takes to really dig deep.” The group has also extensive international reach: a new office in Norway has further cemented its presence in Scandinavia and complements further outposts in Belgium, China, Hong Kong, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Overseeing operations in Denmark is Sidsel Hauge, an astute manager who fosters a collaborative culture. She has an intuitive appreciation of complex technical issues and how best to turn them into easily digestible arguments for legal judges. In the mechanical sector, Eva Carlsson, Mikkel Roed Trier and Vibeke Warberg Rohde form a trio that is tough to beat. “Intelligent and responsive”, Carlsson is a prosecution pro who has been filing around the clock for some of the world’s largest building and construction companies. Roed Trier can “see the different angles of IP protection and factor in all the minute details at the same time. He is great at building relationships too”, and often consults with CEOs on strategic business decisions. IAM Patent 1000 newcomer Warberg Rohde is a familiar face before the EPO and regularly handles large volumes of applications from leading Chinese entities. Electronics briefs are deftly executed by Kim Garsdal Nielsen, a former search examiner at the EPO with a knack for developing evergreen protection. Life sciences and pharmaceutical companies rely on Helle Friis Svenstrup and Michael Bech Sommer respectively. The “responsive and experienced” Friis Svenstrup “always comes up with good solutions”; while Bech Sommer “has deep technical insights and always delivers on time, without exception”.

Bech-Bruun

A premier destination for major pharmaceutical companies embroiled in hard-hitting disputes, Bech-Bruun is committed to winning and has all the firepower needed to prevail when everything is on the line. Recent storylines include assisting Samsung Bioepis in novel biosimilar preliminary injunction proceedings; and acting for Sandoz in spats against AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly. Taking centre stage on all three is Klaus Ewald Madsen, who has earned the utmost respect of peers. “This is prime time for Klaus,” enthuses one peer. “He is absolutely brilliant and rightfully attracts an immense workload.” Co-head of the life sciences group is the “brilliant and widely renowned” Martin Draebye Gantzhorn. He adds tremendous value with his rich regulatory knowledge and can see through convoluted healthcare cases with crystalline clarity. Johnny Petersen is another seasoned trial hand whose compelling arguments and strategic insight frequently make the difference. The firm has an exceptionally potent renewable energy practice courtesy of Dan Bjerg Geary, who successfully defended KK Wind Solutions in infringement proceedings brought by GLX Power Systems. His negotiation skills are silky smooth and have sealed many a lucrative deal too. Søren Chr Søborg Andersen has a flair for the fine print of contracts at the confluence of IP, competition and regulatory law. He is the name to note for heavy-duty M&A transactions.

Budde Schou A/S

A stalwart of the Danish legal landscape, Budde Schou has had its roots embedded in the national IP scene since 1901. It excels at forging deep relationships with patrons, intimately understands their needs and provides a commercially driven, error-free prosecution service. Steen Wadskov-Hansen and Henriette Damsgaard are two of its best assets. As a former research fellow and R&D specialist at Chr Hansen Holding, biotechnology ace Wadskov-Hansen knows the industry uniquely well and is lauded as an “amazingly strong attorney”. Life sciences whizz Damsgaard has a firm grasp of SPCs and is great at developing strategies that universities can use as a business tool. The side recently welcomed Jesper Mark Wenzel from Chas Hude, who brings an exciting software spin to the practice.

Bugge Valentin

Exclusively focused on intellectual property, technology and marketing law, Bugge Valentin is the country’s first specialised boutique and has made a real splash among major life sciences and electronics corporations since it was established in 2020. The wins are already coming thick and fast: for example, it recently lifted a preliminary injunction while under appeal and secured a landmark ruling on costs on behalf of Sandoz; and represented Illumina in its battle with BGI. “One of the top litigators in the country”, Anders Valentin is “extremely knowledgeable – not just when it comes to patents, but in the pharmaceutical sector as a whole. He is responsive, approachable and gives outstanding advice”. He and Ole Damsbo make a formidable duo in high-stakes contentious scenarios. Damsbo has been an eminent figure on the market for more than three decades now and is an invaluable sounding board for colleagues, clients and peers.

COPA Copenhagen Patents 

Young, nimble and dynamic prosecution shop COPA operates at the cutting edge of the life sciences, clean technologies, mechanics and electronics industries. Its forward-thinking attorneys place importance on building partnerships with patrons based on mutual trust and consistency, which means that files very rarely change hands. Heading up the life sciences team, the “really skilled” Mikkel Bender “has great synergy with litigators and knows exactly how to support them in proceedings”. The boutique also has an exceptional track record at the EPO, due in no small part to the hard graft put in by Steven Richard Kitchen and Axel Heimann. Richard Kitchen capitalises on more than 15 years of private practice and industry experience to perform flawlessly in oppositions; while Heimann’s innate grasp of inventions regularly lands him a spot on expert panels. A technical judge at the Danish Eastern High Court and at the Maritime and Commercial High Court, Peter Kim Jensen dives into the details to find answers when it seems that all hope is lost. Well-rounded strategic counsellor Jacob Karstad Meyland gives deeply practical advice, drafts watertight applications and produces thorough analyses for start-ups and multinationals.

Gorrissen Federspiel

Commercial law firm Gorrissen Federspiel is a towering presence on the legal landscape, with over 70 practitioners dedicated to the protection of intellectual property. Steeped in regulatory know-how, the sophisticated team has long made the life sciences its own; it has also been investing heavily in its renewable energy practice of late, which is now a first port of call for many prominent companies in that area. Holding down the fort on the contentious side are Kenneth Kvistgaard-Aaholm and Jacob Ørndrup. “Kenneth is hands-on and easy to work with, and impresses with his sharp legal thinking and fantastic strategic planning. He is a great litigator with a remarkable understanding of technology and always considers business implications when providing advice.” Ørndrup handles high-stakes pharmaceutical disputes with poise, delivering arguments that come underpinned by decades’ worth of insight. Anchoring the transactions division is Søren Høgh Thomsen, who makes light work of large-scale deals and technology transfers with complex IP issues orbiting them.

Guardian IP Consulting I/S

The “hardworking and skilled patent attorneys” at Guardian IP Consulting provide targeted prosecution services and thoughtful commercial analyses with a view to elevating clients’ competitive market positions. Fluent in an array of technical disciplines, the group truly shines in the technology and software sectors, which is where Henrik Bagger Olsen and Holm Schwarze come to the fore. “Incredibly smart and constructive to work with”, Bagger Olsen has held several managerial positions in-house, which means that he knows exactly what businesses want and need to generate value. “Brilliant, highly regarded and personable” physicist Schwarze is a former R&D specialist with an insider’s view of the railway and food industries.

Horten Law Firm

Though hit by some notable departures in 2020, full-service outfit Horten is still very much a front runner when it comes to high-stakes patent litigation – especially since bringing Jakob Krag Nielsen on board that same year. It has both the legal know-how and the technical versatility to handle the toughest cases going across an array of industries, as evidenced by its caseload during the review period. For example, Nielsen went out to bat for Centrica Energy Trading in a preliminary injunction case against Norlys Energy Trading that also involved a trade secret element; and successfully defended Mylan Group in preliminary injunction proceedings which were part of a wider multi-jurisdictional patent and SPC suit with Gilead Sciences. The well-rounded practitioner has also been advising the Danish Cancer Society on the commercialisation of ground-breaking technologies around cancer diagnosis. In the words of one devotee: “Jakob is incredibly skilled, understands difficult and technologically heavy industries, and can bring that knowledge into a legal setting. Pragmatic and solutions-oriented, he has a strategic approach and handles every matter with clients’ best interests in mind.”

HØIBERG

“For prosecution work and litigation support, HØIBERG is absolutely brilliant and definitely one to highlight.” Innovators and multinationals benefit from a joined-up Scandinavian offering thanks to two Danish outposts and further bases in Swedish city Malmö and the Karolinksa Institut in Stockholm. Founding partner and former medical doctor Susanne Høiberg is an exceptional attorney with a rare faculty for languages – she speaks seven, including Chinese – which makes her a perfect choice for international assignments. Spearheading the biotechnology and plant sciences unit, Jens Viktor Nørgaard “files applications efficiently, gives practical advice and provides an A+ service at a reasonable price point”. In the life sciences and high-tech realms respectively, “Louise Aagaard and Peter Borg Gaarde are highly knowledgeable and really commercially minded. It is extremely rare to come across attorneys who are so technically brilliant and business savvy, and who have such a modern approach to their work”.

Inspicos P/S

On everything from drafting to worldwide filing, Inspicos “bridges the gap between patent attorneys, R&D engineers and IP professionals”, preparing iron-clad applications while also building up robust defence and business strategies for clients.  On the physics and computer science side of the practice, Jakob Pade Frederiksen, Jan Simonsen, Peter Hertling, Steen Madsen and Christa Larsen Theil have enjoyed a red-letter year. “Second to none among Danish patent attorneys”, Pade Frederiksen is intimately familiar with the workings of the EPO and “handles oral proceedings very skilfully. He has a broad and deep understanding of technology and IP litigation, both within and outside of Denmark, which means he always finds new and fruitful angles for clients. Jakob is kind, funny and completely focused on what is best for the companies he assists”. Highly motivated and full of energy, Simonsen is a great match for creative start-ups. Hertling “readily makes himself available and takes the time to talk through any issues that may arise. He is detail oriented and always comes up with creative solutions to help us meet our goals”. Making his debut in the IAM Patent 1000, Madsen has a unique background in the power electronics sector and is a prime pick for mandates from the country’s burgeoning renewable energy sector. Another newcomer to the guide, Larsen Theil “gets pen to paper really quickly and drafts applications that are pretty much perfect straight off the bat. She has great technical capabilities, works quickly without compromising on quality and has the creativity to make patents as strong as possible”. On the biotechnology and chemistry front, meanwhile, Ulla Klinge, Peter Koefoed, Anna Lövqvist and Pia Marianne Stahr are making waves. An authority on pharmaceuticals of some three decades’ standing, Klinge recently enhanced her practice by obtaining a law doctorate focused on SPC eligibility. In the field of medical technology, Koefed takes “an innovative approach to patent strategy. He provides excellent services, executes instructions quickly and has an incredibly high understanding of new inventions”. Lövqvist and Stahr are two further new names in the guide who attract effusive praise. “Experienced and detail oriented”, Lövqvist effortlessly teases out the idiosyncrasies of EPO prosecution, but her expertise goes far beyond that: “Her technical knowledge and ability to fully analyse prior art documents ensure that she produces the best possible arguments.” “You can fully count on Pia to provide advice in urgent situations quickly and thoroughly. She also consistently improves her knowledge of US patent law and is always open to new ideas and jurisdictional considerations before making a decision.”

Kromann Reumert

“Impeccable and absolutely fantastic”, Kromann Reumert is “incredibly strong on the law and continuously impresses”. Committed to the highest levels of client care, it recently established a new team dedicated exclusively to the protection of trade secrets, to complement its elite contentious offering. It has been busy racking up the wins of late, having successfully defended Biogen against alleged infringement claims brought by Fresenius Kabi and prevailed for Danisco at the Maritime and Commercial High Court against Novozymes. Nicolai Lindgreen and Nicolaj Bording are the cornerstones of the practice. “Always one to think ahead, Nicolai is very thoughtful, measured and excellent at legal analysis”; while “pinpoint cross-examinations and case summaries” are the calling card of “future superstar” Bording. “Well-prepared, open and attentive, the pair are superb and sharp litigators who shine in court.”

Lundgrens

On instructing Lundgrens, patrons enjoy instant access to a wealth of knowledge in the life sciences and high technology sectors, and the support of tried-and-tested advocates who address each mandate with surgical precision to carry the day both in court and at the negotiating table. One such practitioner is Rasmus Vang, who has recently been assisting an innovative biotechnology company with contracts regarding a Phase 3 study project concerning a patented human injectable iron product. “Service-minded and pragmatic”, Vang is a smooth broker of “agreements that are fit for cross-border collaboration and significantly reduce overall costs. He is a top adviser with a great understanding of business needs and a fantastic network of foreign contacts. He is also a really cool guy who replies to enquiries quickly and makes you feel safe”. Also worthy of praise is rising star Emilie Lerstrøm, who is highlighted by clients for her “diligence and concise guidance. She is a friendly team player who acts swiftly and always checks in, even after a matter is concluded”.

Plesner Advokatpartnerselskab

“Undoubtedly a top-tier firm”, Plesner is home to “one of the best litigation teams in the business”: “Its exceptionally skilled and diligent lawyers research and analyse complex technical cases thoroughly and can break them down into understandable pieces, which they successfully argue before the courts.” Led by Mikkel Vittrup, the group puts in polished performances in the vast majority of pharmaceutical cases heard in the country, most often for originator companies. “An excellent litigator and an absolute pleasure to work with”, Vittrup has “a fantastic rapport with experts. He covers all the bases in his submissions, is fully prepared for any eventuality and makes time to answer any questions beforehand”. Adding to the firm’s contentious firepower are Jeppe Brinck-Jensen and Sture Rygaard, each of whom earns warm plaudits. “Jeppe has an exceptional legal mind and a strong presence in court, and can present complex issues through simplified examples and visual aids which are easily understood by judges and laypeople. He is also always available.” The “gold-class” Rygaard “knows exactly which technical expert is best suited to each case – which is something of an art – and prepares impressive briefs”. Fellow courtroom dynamo Kasper Frahm is a “hard worker and skilled lawyer” who “is always on top of every detail and does a brilliant job preparing his cases”. Joining the battalion in the guide this year is Mette Hygum Clausen, an “excellent and diligent litigator” whose star is definitely on the ascendant; while luminary and trailblazer Peter-Ulrik Plesner remains a strategic pathfinder and vital sounding board for the troop.

Plougmann Vingtoft 

A powerhouse on the Danish IP landscape, Plougmann Vingtoft has a lot to offer innovative companies in need of futureproofed patent protection. The award-winning consultancy firm leverages its in-house commercialisation and technology transfer team and a strategic partnership with PV Legal to ensure that each stage of the patent lifecycle receives the attention it deserves. “It continuously educates its attorneys in best practices, and produces fantastic applications and a high-quality service.” Heading up the oppositions division is health science maven Kim Wagner, “the number one choice for post-grant work. His experience and knowledge are invaluable, and he achieves an outstanding number of successful results”. Katja Sørensen, Jakob Schwalbe Lohmann, Jan Mondrup Pedersen and Christian L Christiansen are also all masters of the life sciences. A member of the Standing Advisory Committee before the EPO and an authority in the food and agriculture industries, as well as a trained chemist, Sørensen is “brilliant on both a technical and strategic level”. “A natural part of our in-house team when it comes to sensitive IP decisions, Jakob is incredibly skilled,” enthuses one client. “His insight into our business processes and market understanding ensure that his advice is always tailored and up to date.” He has recently been helping FertilityPro to safeguard its ground-breaking technology in the treatment of male infertility in Europe and the United States. Freedom-to-operate analyses and SPCs are fortes of Pedersen; the pharmaceutical ace is intimately familiar with the field, having authored or co-authored 13 papers on the subject. “Bright, talented and easy-going”, Christiansen makes his debut this year as someone who “is really constructive to collaborate with”. Heading the technology and software groups out of Copenhagen and Aarhus respectively are Per Jørgen Nygreen and Peter Sørensen. A former researcher at the Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics in Belgium, Nygreen understands that careful planning and impeccable drafting are vital to success; while Sørensen has been blazing a trail in novel technical areas such as artificial intelligence. Acoustics expert Michael Friis Sørensen “takes the time to learn about products and inventions first-hand”, which leads to flawless applications. The squad struck gold when it brought on Claus Elmeros from HØIBERG: he serves as a technical judge at the Maritime and Commercial High Court and at the Western and Eastern Danish High Courts, and knows everything there is to know about evaluating patentability.

Zacco 

Innovation is the lifeblood of full-service consultancy Zacco, which makes it its mission to find the most creative, cost-effective solutions for its entrepreneurial client base. With some 500-plus professionals stationed in 32 countries across six countries, it is ideally placed to handle sprawling mandates that cross geographical borders. The depth and diversity of its bench are reflected in the inclusion of eight practitioners in the guide this year: Michael Schandorf Sørensen, Casper Struve, Pernille Thorsboe, Camilla Rendal Nielsen, Thomas Sundien, Jens Jørgen Schmidt and Hans Christian Nielsen. “Amazing attorney” Schandorf is “super-creative, dependable and efficient”. Pharmaceutical sages Thorsboe and Rendal Nielsen know all the ins and outs of EPO applications and are highly sought after for litigation support. International filing campaigns are deftly handled by Rendal Nielsen, who has been honing her European, Chinese and US patent prosecution skills for over two decades. A font of wisdom on oppositions and appeals before the EPO, Sundien has carved a niche in oil drilling technologies and sits as a technical judge at the Maritime and Commercial High Court and the Eastern Appeal Court. Another EPO specialist, Jørgen Schmidt also plays a vital support role for thermal energy companies while game-changing licensing and deal support is provided with dexterity by Zacco’s chief operating officer and regional director, Christian Nielsen.

Other recommended experts

Taking on a new R&D role at Indahls, Peter Indahl is a fine choice for complex electronics and mechanics instructions. Attentive and intuitive, he produces forward-thinking litigation strategies. At Chas Hude, Bo Stenhus is “a delight to work with. He strikes the right balance between paying great attention to detail in the drafting process and taking a pragmatic approach to the whole process”.

Individuals: litigation

  • Nicolai Lindgreen - Kromann Reumert
  • Klaus Ewald Madsen - Bech-Bruun
  • Sture Rygaard - Plesner Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Anders Valentin - Bugge Valentin
  • Jeppe Brinck-Jensen - Plesner Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Morten Bruus - Accura Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Martin Draebye Gantzhorn - Bech-Bruun
  • Dan Bjerg Geary - Bech-Bruun
  • Kenneth Kvistgaard-Aaholm - Gorrissen Federspiel
  • Jakob Krag Nielsen - Horten Law Firm
  • Jacob Ørndrup - Gorrissen Federspiel
  • Mikkel Vittrup - Plesner Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Søren Chr Søborg Andersen - Bech-Bruun
  • Nicolaj Bording - Kromann Reumert
  • Mette Hygum Clausen - Plesner Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Kasper Frahm - Plesner Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Johnny Petersen - Bech-Bruun
  • Rasmus Vang - Lundgrens

Individuals: prosecution

Individuals: transactions

  • Jeppe Brinck-Jensen - Plesner Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Morten Bruus - Accura Advokatpartnerselskab
  • Martin Draebye Gantzhorn - Bech-Bruun
  • Dan Bjerg Geary - Bech-Bruun
  • Kenneth Kvistgaard-Aaholm - Gorrissen Federspiel
  • Per Larsen - aera 
  • Nicolai Lindgreen - Kromann Reumert
  • Klaus Ewald Madsen - Bech-Bruun
  • Jacob Ørndrup - Gorrissen Federspiel
  • Søren Høgh Thomsen - Gorrissen Federspiel
  • Anders Valentin - Bugge Valentin
  • Mikkel Vittrup - Plesner Advokatpartnerselskab

Luminaries

  • Ole Damsbo - Bugge Valentin
  • Peter-Ulrik Plesner - Plesner Advokatpartnerselskab