Denmark

The Danish start-up scene is booming, with the country’s location and infrastructure making it an ideal hub for IP-rich entrepreneurs looking to set up shop and expand into the wider Nordic region. Denmark has made significant changes to its IP legislation this year: the new Administration of Justice Act came into force in July 2018, removing European patent attorneys’ prior obligation to provide testimony in court and granting them legal privilege for the first time. This reform has been welcomed with much enthusiasm, as it ensures that European patent attorneys can finally reassure clients of full confidentiality. The country’s litigators have seen a substantial increase in work, as more complex biosimilar matters come flooding in – a trend which looks set to intensify the already-fierce competition for generic pharmaceutical clients. Patent attorney firms are likewise looking to solidify their market presence, as more agencies crop up on the landscape. The Danish IP market is certainly one to watch over the coming year.

Firms: litigation and transactions

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

Firms: prosecution

Accura Advokatpartnerselskab

Full-service offering Accura Advokatpartnerselskab houses an IP team that firmly embeds itself in clients’ businesses. The firm offers the complete spectrum of IP services, but garners particular plaudits for its transactional acumen: complex M&A deals, R&D agreements and other cross-border matters are its bread and butter. Renowned courtroom brawler Morten Bruus deals mainly with life sciences briefs, but also does an excellent line in high-tech strategic patent advice. He’s “clever – a good lawyer and a great litigator”.

Aera

Aera may be the new kid on the block in Denmark, but the Frederiksberg-based outfit’s reputation is already growing fast. It has added seven practitioners to its ranks since January 2018 and now boasts a versatile team of 13 European patent attorneys with enough top-level IP experience to attract the likes of Sony Mobile Communications, which entrusts the team with filing. Since the team at Aera have started from scratch, nothing has been taken for granted. The best proof of this is the firm’s state-of-the-art IT system: cloud-controlled and MacOS driven, it enables far quicker workflow processing and thus ensures more swiftly satisfied clients. The backbone of the practice is its four founding partners. Managing partner Nicka Kirstejn’s CV reads like a Who’s Who of top Danish patent offerings. His granular understanding of the commercial factors that drive outstanding IP strategy means that his clients are unlikely to look elsewhere. Biochemistry maven Per Larsen is highly effective in prosecution and licensing matters alike; he is described as “productive, knowledgeable and a thoroughly worthy professional”. Electronics and mathematics guru Anders Sandgaard is ideally positioned for the future of patent work, considering his prescient focus on Internet of Things patents and other growing fields. Rounding out the list of founders, the “profoundly committed” Hanane Fathi Roswall produces “top-class” work for those fortunate enough to enjoy her sage counsel on electronic communications matters. Ingólfur Pálsson never fails to proffer advice that is “relevant and targeted towards specific goals”; his valuable in-house experience at Danish medical devices powerhouse Coloplast A/S has given him a leg up over most other patent attorneys. Recently moving over from Swedish outfit Valea, Ylva Skoglösa manifests a rare faculty for instantly understanding the intricacies of medical and biotechnology inventions and is a dextrous international portfolio manager.

AWA 

Patrons of AWA enjoy the best of both worlds: the Nordic IP outfit not only has an impressive critical mass internationally, but also nimbly leverages its bulk in Denmark through the formation of highly specialised practice groups capable of extracting maximum value from an original idea. The prosecution powerhouse is known throughout the land for the exquisite balance it has managed to strike between large filing numbers and meticulous quality. European patent attorney Sidsel Hauge heads up AWA’s Danish offices. Her ability to harvest valuable supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) in Denmark has endeared her to many key pharmaceutical players over the course of her career. Eva Carlsson is a technical all-rounder whose remit stretches from mechanical engineering to construction, medical and process technologies. “Eva is very structured and thorough – she sees details that other advisers would miss and has an extremely good sense of business strategy and communication.” Mikkel Roed Trier completes the triumvirate. His 15 years’ experience in drafting, prosecution, freedom-to-operate analysis and infringement support has prepared him perfectly for his presidency of the Danish Association of IP Attorneys.

Bech-Bruun

Bech-Bruun is a hard-hitting, well prepared, strategically shrewd outfit with enough raw advocacy power to clinch victory even in the most daunting life sciences, electronics and mechanics cases. The IP litigation team thrives on cross-border mandates and is most renowned for its outstanding representation of generics looking to gain a foothold in the Danish market. The rise of biosimilars is sure to stimulate yet more business for Bech-Bruun, as is the team’s growing reputation among originators that recognise a masterful group of legal strategists when they see one. “Bech-Bruun is fantastic – its lawyers are always willing to listen and every discussion with them is productive.” Klaus Ewald Madsen has taken centre stage this year for Sandoz in a successful preliminary injunction proceeding against AstraZeneca. “He has been around for many years and is very skilled at understanding complex chemical subject matter during pharmaceutical litigation. He knows every nook and cranny of his briefs and is great at presenting them orally.” Fellow life sciences guru Martin Draebye Gantzhorn is simply “one of the most respected, qualified, influential and well-connected IP lawyers in Denmark”. Dan Bjerg Geary has an enviable portfolio within the renewable energy industry; he is active both in the courtroom and at the negotiating table. This year, KK Wind Solutions and New Energy Investors have been among the chief beneficiaries of his “very usable advice” and “great IP knowledge”. Johnny Petersen is an eminently experienced, Supreme Court-admitted IP litigator whose compelling arguments can swing a case.

Chas Hude A/S

Chas Hude is completely dedicated to its patrons, seeing them as business partners rather than clients. When a company enlists the outfit’s dedicated prosecution team, its commercial concerns become Chas Hude’s own – the firm will do whatever is strategically necessary to squeeze every last drop of advantage from an IP portfolio. CEO and European patent attorney Marianne Johansen’s expertise lies within the fields of medicinal chemistry, biotechnology, immunology and drug delivery. Her practice has been refined by many years spent at other top Danish partnerships. Her partner Jesper Mark Wenzel operates on the mechanics, electronics and software side. His practice revolves around the EPO, before which he offers first-rate representation for all manner of product portfolios.

COPA Copenhagen Patents 

COPA’s “real strength is that it doesn’t compromise at all on the quality of its practitioners – it only hires the very best”. These words cut right to the heart of what makes the prosecution powerhouse so great. The Global IP Awards’ 2019 Danish patent agency of the year is still a relatively new outfit, but those that have observed its post-grant work first-hand cannot help but be convinced of its quality. Mikkel Bender leads from the front; as head of the life sciences team, he operates across Europe and the Nordic region with consummate ease. He is “very able” in filing matters and the first-choice Danish litigation support attorney for most global pharmaceutical players, always providing “excellent, to-the-point and on-time advice”. “Work horse” Steven Richard Kitchen leads COPA’s mechanics, electronics and software team. His opposition proceedings prowess is gold-plated, as clients including LM Wind Power have discovered this year. As one patron remarks: “He is very quick to identify both obstacles and openings, which makes him very efficient and successful in this type of procedure.” Peter Kim Jensen is, in the words of one collaborator, like the “patent police” – “he goes deep into details” when tracking down proof of infringement and “keeps pushing to get results”. The “charming, reliable and organised” Jacob Karstad Meyland has extensive medical devices knowledge, which he leverages to become “a key member of his clients’ projects”. The trilingual Axel Heimann is “outstanding – just really clever” according to a top peer.

Gorrissen Federspiel

Gorrissen Federspiel’s “great expertise in patent litigation” sets it apart from the vast majority of Danish full-service practices. The firm supplements its IP offering with an excellent regulatory practice, which attracts clients looking for a one-stop shop which fulfils all of their commercial needs. Lauded especially for its work in the life sciences arena, Gorrissen Federspiel focuses its offering on IP litigation and transactional work. The team is lucky to have two specialists whose expertise is equally strong on the contentious and non-contentious sides. “Reliable” renewable energy guru Kenneth Kvistgaard-Aaholm spearheads the firm’s courtroom outfit. “He is very responsive and strategic – yet fair and pragmatic – and always works with the goal in mind.” His colleague Jacob Ørndrup is “an experienced litigator” whose elite life sciences advice can be delivered in Danish, English or Italian.

Guardian IP Consulting I/S

Guardian IP Consulting’s success is built on its “very skilled” patent attorneys, who provide unimpeachable filing, portfolio management and litigation support to clients of all hues. Although the firm possesses capabilities in life sciences, chemistry, technology and software patents, arguably its true strength lies on the physics and electronics side of the practice – which houses all three of the partners ranked in the guide this year. Henrik Bagger Olsen is supremely “easy to work with”; he knows most electronics fields back to front and has experience at a few other top Danish IP partnerships to boot. Gert Høy Jakobsen focuses on areas including audio-signal processing, phase contrast optics and 3D sounds; his “knowledgeable and constructive” counsel is often music to patrons’ ears. “Brilliant” physics and applied mathematics sage Holm Schwarze has a “great understanding of what clients need and how they should be treated – it’s no wonder that he is very popular among those he’s worked with”.

Horten Law Firm

Horten continues to be a driving force on the Danish patent litigation scene. The full-service outfit’s contentious IP division is a top choice for generic pharmaceutical companies due to its critical mass, “great expertise” and “strong strategic handling of court cases”. Anders Valentin leads Horten’s life sciences and healthcare practice with distinction. His work on behalf of Chemo, Sandoz, Fresenius Kabi and Biogen cements his status as an awe-inspiring pharmaceuticals litigator who never forgets the personal touch – he is “keen on giving excellent service to clients and truly observant to their needs”. Christina Johannesen brings in-house experience at Microsoft and TDC to bear on every portfolio she handles. R&D agreements, technology transfer licensing and injunction proceedings are her bread and butter. Luminary Ole Damsbo is one of the most experienced practitioners in Denmark and an unrivalled font of IP knowledge.

HØIBERG

European patent attorney firm HØIBERG is a full-service outfit with outstanding Nordic IP capabilities. The partnership has two Danish offices and one Swedish outpost in Lund, so can easily bring its exquisite patent valuation, filing and portfolio management expertise to clients across the region. Founding partner and former doctor Susanne Høiberg is a European patent attorney par excellence. Her remarkable facility with languages (she has knowledge of seven, including Chinese) enhances her non-contentious practice and makes her one of the most sought-after names in the country. Claus Elmeros also speaks five European languages. A patent attorney “experienced in oral proceedings and good at patent registration”, he has technical proficiency spanning medical technology, control systems, software and much in between.

Inspicos P/S

“Inspicos works really well – it’s a good firm and always has been, with a core group of skilled people there who guarantee its offering.” “It’s a very solid practice – the people there have been at the firm for years and have a great reputation.” “The team at Inspicos is generally at the highest level of quality.” Danish prosecution titan Inspicos certainly does not struggle with market visibility: peers and clients alike rush to sing its praises, and those of its individual practitioners as well. First and foremost is mechanics maven Jakob Pade Frederiksen, who wins heaps of laurels as “perhaps the best mechanical IP attorney in Scandinavia”. “He is second to absolutely nobody in terms of patent attorneys. There is something about his approach to cases that is actually quite amazing. He’s calm and trustworthy – spectacular and in a league of his own.” The firm’s co-founder Peter Koefoed is known for his “high-quality work” across various biotechnology fields. Ulla Klinge served as president of the Association of Danish Intellectual Property Attorneys between 2009 and 2017, which illustrates the regard in which she is held by the rest of the Danish IP scene.

Kromann Reumert

Full-service heavy-hitter Kromann Reumert has one of the premier commercial offerings in Denmark, so it is perhaps no surprise that it also possesses an extremely solid patent litigation and transactional practice. As the only Danish firm to boast a London office, it has a demonstrably international outlook and a cosmopolitan style that appeals greatly to clients far and wide. Kromann Reumert has eight partners with IP capabilities, but most of the plaudits fall on one standout star: Nicolai Lindgreen. “He always understands the technical context of his briefs, which is rare among pure lawyers.” “He’s a great lawyer, who deals with cases by playing the ball and not the man.” “He’s one of the best litigators in the business and does a splendid job every time.”

Lundgrens

Hellerup-based boutique Lundgrens sticks to what it does exceptionally well: complex litigation and transactional work, with a focus on the life sciences area. Clients know that when they engage the firm, they will receive the undivided attention of senior advisers both in Denmark and abroad, given Lundgrens’ links with leading overseas groups. The firm’s partners are “easy to talk to” with a notable lack of stuffiness, according to peers. Recent clients include Mylan Group, which has enlisted the firm for complex SPC battles with Gilead Sciences, and Danish research institution Nuevolution A/S, which instructed it in a multi-jurisdictional matter. High-tech and life sciences litigator Jakob Krag Nielsen is at the heart of all the firm does. “He has brilliant legal understanding and strategic thinking. He’s got a fresh attitude, he’s brave, unpretentious and open, and he dares to say what he thinks. He is also incredibly constructive and has fantastic communication skills.” Rasmus Vang is especially comfortable working with biometrics software and mechanics clients; his versatile litigation skills betray his “deep knowledge of IP law, powers of persuasion, diligence and integrity”.

Plesner Advokatpartnerselskab

The “venerable, highly renowned” Plesner represents only originators in the pharmaceuticals field, a niche in which it has essentially cornered the market. The firm’s proficiency in cross-border contentious mandates is unparalleled and its name is the absolute standard for rights holders seeking the finest courtroom representation. The forthcoming UPC is another area in which Plesner possesses significant insight, with the firm’s partners having published a cutting-edge book on its future administration in 2017. Luminary Peter-Ulrik Plesner has seen all there is to see in Danish intellectual property; he is a market legend widely revered by other practitioners. Life sciences supremo Sture Rygaard wins preliminary injunctions with remarkable skill. “He is extremely knowledgeable, very bright and highly skilled, and has vast experience in the patent field. He easily digests even the most complex technical matters and thinks strategically without forgetting a single detail. He is a pleasure to work with and has high ethical standards.” “Sture is a talented advocate in person. He reacts quickly and decisively to counter new arguments raised by opponents, in certain memorable cases leaving them completely wrong-footed. This is a rare skill and one which cannot really be taught.” Jeppe Brinck-Jensen and Mikkel Vittrup are both equally effective in the courtroom and the boardroom. Brinck-Jensen’s pharmaceutical licensing prowess leads one client to deem him a “competent, skilled, accessible and straight-to-the-point attorney”. Vittrup’s predominantly life sciences practice has a regulatory edge. He “picks up complex arguments very quickly and presents them in court clearly, concisely and with authority. He is very knowledgeable, organised and extremely conscientious in his job – his work is second to none.” Kasper Frahm’s “detailed, well-tailored advice” has given many a key pharmaceutical player peace of mind when heading into a crucial litigation battle.

Plougmann Vingtoft 

Plougmann Vingtoft is home to some of Denmark’s most seasoned patent strategists, who ply their trade expertly from the firm’s five European offices. Prominent global companies have been flocking to it lately – especially since January 2018, when the partners established a strategic partnership with Plougmann Vingtoft Legal that allows clients to access litigation services at the firm too. Chemicals guru Kim Wagner prosecutes and represents before the EPO to “outstanding” effect; as one client notes: “His clear thinking, focus, high legal competency and technical understanding are his main assets.” Collaborating with him is a “smooth, flawless experience” that keeps patrons including Nestlé and Bayer coming back for more. Post-grant specialist Peter Sørensen is in his element arguing before the Danish and European patent offices. His mechanics and electronics acumen is highly sought-after. Michael Friis Sørensen is an audio processing and computer-implemented inventions expert with a sterling reputation in the market. Chemistry, biotechnology and food science ace Katja Sørensen is adept at every facet of her craft, and continues to impress clients and fellow professionals alike. Life sciences talent Jan Mondrup Pedersen has authored or co-authored 13 original research papers in academic journals – a new entrant to the guide, he has all the tools required for success.

Zacco 

Patent attorney firm Zacco has more than 450 employees based in 29 offices across six countries, giving it the breadth to suit all clients and tackle all non-contentious patent issues. The firm is especially renowned for its litigation support, with clients from a variety of sectors flocking to it for crystalline exposition and fierce advocacy in the courtroom. The team has traditionally been sought out for its superb life sciences and high-tech offering, but it has enjoyed new levels of interest from clients in other fields of late. Molecular biologist Michael Schandorf Sorensen is, in the words of one client, “incredibly talented, pragmatic and results-driven”. “He is a go-to person for patent prosecution in Europe and a wonderful resource for complicated matters.” Senior partner Casper Struve provides fantastic litigation support in the life sciences arena; he never fails to provide “clear and insightful support, both technically and strategically” to his top-tier clients. Pernille Thorsboe has more than 30 years’ experience in patent practice, including eight years as an examiner at the Danish patent office, which has given her first-hand knowledge of how to get the job done. Life sciences sage Ejvind Christiansen speaks five European languages and has formerly served as vice president of the Danish section of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property. Having worked at Zacco since 1968, he has seen it all in the IP world. Camilla Rendal Nielsen worked in private practice in Canada and Denmark before joining the firm in 2010. Her prosecution know-how in the technology, media and telecoms space is unfailingly top-notch. Last but not least, Thomas Sundien is an assured choice for drafting, EPO representation and more in fields ranging from oil drilling technology to shipbuilding.

Other recommended experts

Holme Patent’s Annelise Holme has been dispensing client-focused, commercially aware strategic advice in the infectious microbiology field since the firm’s foundation in 1994. “Peter Indahl of Indahls is really fantastic, a one-man band whom I hire whenever I can. In the electronics and mechanics fields, he combines extreme thoroughness with a keen eye for which litigation strategies will work,” according to another elite practitioner. Life sciences patent attorney Steen Wadskov-Hansen of Budde Schou is described as “outstanding” by a top peer: “he’s conscientious and good at preparing cases, and has a keen eye for strategy”.

Individuals: litigation

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

Individuals: prosecution

Individuals: transactions

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

Luminaries

  • Ole Damsbo - Horten Law Firm
  • Peter-Ulrik Plesner - Plesner Advokatpartnerselskab