Finland

This year marks five years since Finland’s Market Court began adjudicating IP disputes and the verdict is in; firms are not impressed. A restrictive appeals procedure means that the court’s target audience is often reluctant to take part, so hopes that the court might birth a renewed zeal for litigation and administrative proceedings have come to nought. Contentious encounters are still primarily the domain of large pharmaceutical and telecoms operations, and even these are most often found pending in more traditional courts. On the strategy front, multinationals are increasingly taking their services in-house rather than outsourcing them to domestic patent practices. The good news is that the country is on course to become the start-up hub for Europe. Tech-savvy outfits and flourishing R&D entities based in Finland share a keen awareness of the need for robust rights protection, which has contributed to a stable level of prosecution and transactional instructions.

Firms: litigation

  • Borenius Attorneys Ltd
  • Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Backström & Co
  • Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd
  • Hannes Snellman Attorneys Ltd
  • Heinonen & Co, Attorneys-at-Law, Ltd part of Eversheds Sutherland Finland
  • Inventio Attorneys Ltd

Firms: prosecution

  • Recommended
  • Berggren Oy
  • Boco IP
  • Espatent Oy
  • Heinonen & Co, Attorneys-at-Law, Ltd part of Eversheds Sutherland Finland
  • Kolster Oy Ab
  • Papula-Nevinpat
  • Seppo Laine Oy 

Firms: transactions

  • Borenius Attorneys Ltd
  • Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd
  • Hannes Snellman Attorneys Ltd
  • Inventio Attorneys Ltd

Backström & Co

“A well-known IP boutique with a niche specialisation in patent litigation”, Backström & Co is a rarity on the Finnish market. Pharmaceutical companies seek out the streamlined set to take advantage of its contentious faculties and strong international ties, which make the firm a discerning choice for those navigating challenging cross-border disputes. “Charismatic and experienced, Peter Backström is a luminary”. He has built himself an “excellent reputation through his endeavours in the patent field. Demonstrating a remarkable understanding of the various technologies he encounters”, Backström has assisted innovators for over 40 years. In the field for nearly two decades himself, fellow partner “Petri Eskola has an extensive client roster”, made up of companies that greatly value his impressive talents for litigation.

Berggren Oy

“Robust and well-established IP set Berggren continues to grow; it has rolled out new services and recruited several big names to stay fully up to date with client demands.” A cradle-to-grave service is the side’s hallmark, which is renowned for its telecoms and IT focus; its attorneys nonetheless demonstrate a flair for IP management across myriad technical arenas. A stand-out example, “Sakari Värilä is a star”; he is one of Finland’s top software experts, prosecuting patents for innovators whose eyes are focused squarely on the US market. “An intelligent guy who is nice to work with, he fully delivers on the promises he makes.” A stalwart presence in the chemistry team, biotechnology maven Pirta Tiiro possesses in-house experience within the food and pharmaceutical sectors and a solid understanding of both contentious and non-contentious services. The European patent attorney is an instrumental driver of her patron’s protection strategies.

Boco IP

“Well-known patent agency” Boco IP remains a “high-quality offering” after more than 90 years in the game. Its team of skilled patent attorneys is a powerful force in Finland and its streamlined processes and efficient infrastructure ensure standards never suffer. The troupe is a regular collaborator with the country’s attorneys at law, who value its impressive contribution in infringement proceedings. Among the many “technically gifted” professionals is “tremendous attorney” Anu Keinänen. “A specialist in hard-to-characterise physical phenomena, she skilfully manages the entire process of patenting an invention and is adroit in identifying the most patentable aspects of any technology.” Of her approach, one buyer enthuses: “Keinänen is a creative prosecutor who is available to advise on site where required. It is essential to recognise her incredible customer service.” IP strategist Karri Leskinen shares Keinänen’s customer-centric approach; “an excellent listener, he understands the needs of clients”. Delivering comprehensive freedom-to-operate (FTO) searches, “he raises the potential risks of FTO and takes steps to mitigate them. He demonstrates a command of the newest developments in Finnish intellectual property and takes time to communicate them to buyers”. Mechanical aficionado Christian Westerholm boasts a knack for patent filing and opposition proceedings before the European Patent Office (EPO). He showcases his dexterity as a sharp adviser in licensing negotiations too. Managing partner Annika Hakkila’s all-encompassing service reflects that of the team she leads. The chemical maven draws on 28 years of IP graft and time spent in-house.

Borenius Attorneys Ltd

Steadily building on its portfolio of industry hotshots, Boerenius continues to be the favourite among generic pharmaceutical manufacturers. In the last 12 months, multinationals – including Teva and Ratiopharm – have counted on its impressive capacity to cancel major patents held by life sciences titans. The line-up has also shielded Orifarm from claims of infringement brought by Novartis, deflecting the latter’s attempts to appeal in the Supreme Court and securing first-instance victory for Orifarm in the subsequent damages suit. The source of the side’s powers is a fast-moving and dynamic team of attorneys boasting specialisms across contentious and non-contentious practice areas. Piloting its patent runs, “Ben Rapinoja is excellent. He’s been litigating in Finland’s courts for a very long time, so he knows his field very well. He’s the star player on the team”. He took the lead in Teva’s clash with Gilead Sciences, showcasing his mastery over issues relating to supplementary protection certificates. Next to Rapinoja, Lasse Laaksonen is an equally strong litigator, “well known in the patent field” and skilled in IP strategy development. Samuli Simojoki and Åsa Krook form the cornerstone of the set’s impressive transactional endeavours. A smooth operator in the telecoms and IT sectors, Simojoki is a renowned licensing sage. An active litigator, Krook is also lauded for her non-contentious nous. She also plays a vital role in national IP issues, currently serving as vice president of the Finnish Association for Industrial Property Rights. Longevity and impact define Seppo Kemppinen’s incredible career. The IAM Patent 1000 luminary is a heavyweight in Finnish intellectual property who deservedly garners immense respect from his peers.

Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd

Recently amassing a host of new talent poached from respected IP outlets and in-house patent teams, Castrén & Snellman is in a prime position to handle any complex instruction sent its way. A practice bustling with patent prowess, it has handled an array of transactional matters over the past year – its commercially oriented team clearing the path to portfolio acquisition for major international actors. A first port of call is Kimmo Rekola, who is known for his meticulous oversight at the negotiation table. A well-seasoned player in corporate finance, he knows how to drive a hard bargain and ultimately achieves rewarding outcomes. Partner Sakari Salonen and counsel Hanna Paloheimo are the props holding up the litigation scrum. Dynamic and easy to work with, Salonen is a rising star in his field, whose strategic legal mind is in high demand among clients across the industrial spectrum. Alongside Paloheimo’s legal qualifications, her imposing technical competences lie in the life sciences sector, to which she is of the utmost worth in high-value matters.

Espatent Oy

“If I want to prosecute a patent application in Finland, I prefer to go to Espatent,” says one of its legion of international followers. “A more streamlined contribution than some of the market’s more established players”, it nevertheless boasts an excellent team. “Its skilful and customer-focused attorneys develop in-depth relationships with actors in the pharmaceutical and telecoms sectors and are a joy to work with.” Litigators highlight Sampsa Söderholm and Kirsikka Etuaho for their value in contentious encounters. A multi-talented attorney, Söderholm relishes securing and enforcing patents across the full range of technical disciplines, while Etuaho focuses her remarkable abilities on the life sciences, chemical and biotech sectors. Patent prosecution is the stomping ground of Samu Lamberg, a European patent attorney whose zeal for securing rights protection gets him out of bed at first light. CEO and founding partner Sanna Kalliola continues to find joy in the business she started almost two decades ago – a passion that her clients in the telecoms and IT fields see in her work.

Hannes Snellman Attorneys Ltd

Already an excellent choice on the Finnish market for IP-intensive transactional matters, “fabulous M&A house” Hannes Snellman makes the leap onto the litigation table this year based on its performance in high-profile battles for a market-leading telecoms names. “In possession of a sharp and flexible mind”, Panu Siitonen is a seasoned negotiator who also channels his commercial aptitude toward ironing out the rough patches in intricate licensing deals. An excellent performer on both sides of the contentious schism, he has repeatedly proven his mettle in major clashes in the Market Court over the last 12 months. Devotees hail him as “an accessible attorney, who always picks up the phone when we call. He is capable of presenting a case to the court in a convincing and pedagogic manner; he refrains from exaggeration, ensuring that his elegant arguments are based on a sound understanding of underlying legal concepts”.

Heinonen & Co, Attorneys-at-Law, Ltd part of Eversheds Sutherland Finland

The pan-disciplinary IP specialists residing at Eversheds’ subsidiary Heinonen are a distinguished bunch; peers cite the group’s prosecution capability as “a rare offering on the Finnish market” and one that is matched by its accomplishments in litigation and transactional work. Counting on its seamless cooperation with associates in the Eversheds brand, the firm focuses squarely on the domestic and Russian markets – its European approach is a potent draw for internationally oriented innovators in the region. Despite Juhani Kupiainen’s IPR Partners operation still being a relatively fresh acquisition for Eversheds, he has already proved his value, realising rights protection across borders – both geographic and technical; with expertise in the electronics and biotech sectors, he nonetheless champions the firm’s wider forays into food, environmental and high-tech innovation. “Petteri Häkkänen combines his all-around experience with a solid patent focus”, acting as the face of the set’s courtroom endeavours. Praising Häkkänen’s finesse in infringement proceedings, one peer enthuses: “Petteri continues to impress me.”

Inventio Attorneys Ltd

Turned to for its technology savvy and consumer focus, Inventio is making waves in Finnish IP circles. A loyal following of domestic industries depend on its transactional talents, counting on its technical faculty to steady the ship in complex negotiations. At the helm, partner Topi Lusenius wields a commercial gift for negotiation that holds considerable appeal. The litigation arm has experienced a good year; the “up-and-coming” attorneys manning the contentious batteries exhibit particular aptitude for patent-related disputes. Their commander Henri Kaikkonen “excels in identifying the relevant issues and explaining them concisely and comprehensibly. He understands the technology and has a particular talent for the work”. His licensing and advisory efforts alongside Lusenius over the last 12 months have been of such a high standard that he earns a place on the transactions table.

Kolster Oy Ab

Among the country’s oldest and largest IP guardians, Kolster has made a number of high-profile changes this year – moving one of its seven local offices to a new location and initiating a shake-up of its legal line-up. Although working through the inevitable teething issues associated with any major overhaul, the troupe maintains its status as a dominant force in Finnish patent work; an impressive line-up of “extremely skilled” engineers guarantees a plethora of industrial players rock-solid protection in any arena. Director of patents Tapio Äkräs exhibits a remarkable management ability while also taking the lead in the set’s IT endeavours.

Papula-Nevinpat

One of only a few firms in Finland to fully take advantage of its proximity to the former Soviet bloc states, “innovative practice” Papula-Nevinpat works with an eastward orientation that is a boon for clients in the region. Complemented by an excellent offering on the domestic market, the outfit has been doing a roaring trade in intellectual property locally, boasting a resounding increase in the work sent its way. New talent has prompted an influx of new corporate and small and medium-sized buyers. The “immensely professional” Folke Johasson leads the patent department and is group co-director. The IT aficionado “stands out for his customer-centric approach”. After nearly a quarter of a century in the office, managing director Markku Simmelvuo is an influential presence in Finnish and Russian patent matters. He is currently president of the Association of Finnish Patent Attorneys.

Roschier, Attorneys Ltd

Roschier’s “market-leading IP practice is the gold standard in Finnish patent matters” and is singled out for its experience in pan-European patent litigation for the pharmaceutical and telecoms sectors. Its lawyers “boast access to a vast pool of technical talent from which they draw the information necessary to dominate in any instruction”. “In a dispute, the first name that springs to mind is star player Rainer Hilli. An impressive and experienced litigator constantly active in the crucial clashes in Finnish intellectual property, he knows how to handle himself.” On his team, Mikael Segercrantz is “especially well versed in pharmaceutical matters” – his regulatory prowess distinguishing him in this sector. Already a renowned presence in the Market Court, “Joanna Lilja is an up-and-coming attorney and among the most talented in the country”. The set is assured in licensing matters too, clearing the way for a host of major players, which value its “practical advice that considers the needs and perspective of the consumer”. Having returned to the fold following his tenure in-house at Microsoft, Niklas Östman has raced to the forefront of transactional IP matters and has also dictated the course of Nokia’s global licensing dispute with Apple. He coordinates strategy for the Finnish telecoms giant with Johanna Flythström, who, like Östman, plays an instrumental role in contractual work for a wider portfolio of followers. Busy in the management of the Helsinki office, Mikko Manner nonetheless takes the time to finalise major agreements between industry heavyweights; his efforts earn him praise as “an incredibly bright lawyer”. After his recent departure from Castrén & Snellman, Arto Linnervuo will be a valuable addition to this team, bringing extensive experience in the telecoms domain and finely honed cross-border commercial expertise.

Seppo Laine Oy 

“Well-known patent prosecution agency” Seppo Laine is characterised by its efficient and “high-quality” approach. Famed for its focus on patenting innovation in the United States, the set nonetheless maintains a traditional outlook in all its endeavours in the field; it concentrates on securing the broadest possible protection in a range of disciplines and is a staunch defender in opposition proceedings. An impressive technical team passes its knowledge on to the next generation via an in-house training programme, meaning long-term followers in both the manufacturing and R&D sectors appreciate the continuity the line-up brings to portfolio management. A former pharmaceutical researcher, Tord Langenskiöld holds over two decades of experience securing rights protection. He takes to new technologies like a duck to water, relishing in understanding novel processes in diverging fields. As co-counsel to litigators in a number of major disputes, Christoffer Sundman has built a reputation as a technical maestro. A chemical engineer by trade, he is unwavering in his pursuit of success. Both Sundman and CEO Jarkko Tiilikainen work as tutors and lecturers for the Centre for Intellectual Property Studies. Electrical engineer Tiilikainen is a masterful prosecutor and a smooth operator before the EPO.

Other recommended experts

“A rising star”, Henrik af Ursin is praised by his peers for his impressive deal-making abilities. He deftly channels the IP talents of M&A outlet Dittmar & Indrenius. A former in-house star at Nokia, Bernt Juthström now cements rock-solid pacts between major corporate outfits. He takes a thoroughly business-oriented approach to IP instructions he receives at Waselius & Wist. Nothing pleases Primrose’s Toni Korelin more than securing rights protection for his loyal following. An engineer by training, he excels in high-tech fields and IP strategy development. One of the biggest names on Finland’s transactional IP scene, Jan Lindberg is the right-hand man to pharmaceutical and telecoms players in myriad complex negotiations. He oversees agreements from his base at Attorneys-at-Law TRUST. Ella Mikkola would be an intimidating presence in court and at the negotiating table with or without Bird & Bird’s Helsinki office behind her. At its helm, she effortlessly earns her place on both tables. A champion of technologies from registration through expiry, Kukka Tommila is a force to be reckoned with in all aspects of patent work. She is a partner at Properta Attorneys. IAM Patent 1000 luminary Marja Tommila of Properta boasts nearly 40 years of experience as an attorney at law. She is a trusted ally to rights holders, who value her unrivalled contribution.

Individuals: litigation

  • Rainer Hilli - Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Ben Rapinoja - Borenius Attorneys Ltd
  • Petri Eskola - Backström & Co
  • Lasse Laaksonen - Borenius Attorneys Ltd
  • Johanna Lilja - Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Mikko Manner - Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Hanna Paloheimo - Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd
  • Sakari Salonen - Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd
  • Mikael Segercrantz - Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Panu Siitonen - Hannes Snellman Attorneys Ltd
  • Petteri Häkkänen - Heinonen & Co, Attorneys-at-Law, Ltd part of Eversheds Sutherland Finland
  • Henri Kaikkonen - Inventio Attorneys Ltd
  • Ella Mikkola - Bird & Bird Attorneys Ltd
  • Kukka Tommila - Properta 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
  • Anu Keinänen - Boco IP
  • Toni Korelin - Primrose OY
  • Juhani Kupiainen - Heinonen & Co, Attorneys-at-Law, Ltd part of Eversheds Sutherland Finland
  • Samu Lamberg - Espatent Oy
  • Tord Langenskiöld - Seppo Laine Oy
  • Karri Leskinen - Boco IP
  • Markku Simmelvuo - Papula-Nevinpat
  • Sampsa Söderholm - Espatent Oy
  • Christoffer Sundman - Seppo Laine Oy
  • Jarkko Tiilikainen - Seppo Laine Oy
  • Pirta Tiiro - Berggren Oy
  • Sakari Värilä - Berggren Oy
  • Christian Westerholm - Boco IP

Individuals: transactions

  • Henrik af Ursin - Dittmar & Indrenius
  • Johanna Flythström - Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Bernt Juthström - Waselius & Wist
  • Henri Kaikkonen - Inventio Attorneys Ltd
  • Åsa Krook - Borenius Attorneys Ltd
  • Jan Lindberg - Attorneys-at-Law TRUST Ltd
  • Arto Linnervuo - Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Topi Lusenius - Inventio Attorneys Ltd
  • Mikko Manner - Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Ella Mikkola - Bird & Bird Attorneys Ltd
  • Niklas Östman - Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Kimmo Rekola - Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd
  • Panu Siitonen - Hannes Snellman Attorneys Ltd
  • Samuli Simojoki - Borenius Attorneys Ltd

Luminaries

  • Peter Backström - Backström & Co
  • Seppo Kemppinen - Borenius Attorneys Ltd
  • Marja Tommila - Properta Attorneys Ltd