Finland

One of the most innovative countries in the world, Finland is home to a booming start-up scene, and accelerators, incubators and tech hubs continue to pop up around the nation. As a result, a diverse range of instructions are crossing the desks of the nation’s patent practitioners, as more inventors seek to protect their creations. On the contentious front, pharmaceutical litigation still accounts for a large portion of the caseload, with biosimilars a particularly hot topic – especially as the Market Court has now started hearing its first cases on the subject. Although Finland’s patent landscape is the vision of stability, practitioners should be on the lookout for positive changes. Newly appointed Prime Minister Sanna Marin is leading an ambitious government that prizes innovation and the Finnish Patent and Registration Office is a key player in its plans.

Firms: litigation

  • Borenius Attorneys Ltd
  • Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd
  • Hannes Snellman Attorneys Ltd
  • Heinonen & Co Attorneys-at-Law Ltd
  • Backström & Co
  • Krogerus
  • Waselius & Wist

Firms: prosecution

  • Highly recommended
  • Boco IP 
  • Heinonen & Co Attorneys-at-Law Ltd
  • Papula-Nevinpat
  • Recommended
  • Berggren Oy
  • Espatent Oy
  • Laine IP Oy
  • Primrose OY

Firms: transactions

  • Borenius Attorneys Ltd
  • Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd
  • Hannes Snellman Attorneys Ltd
  • Heinonen & Co Attorneys-at-Law Ltd
  • Inventio Attorneys Ltd
  • Krogerus

Backström & Co

Nimble boutique Backström & Co has a sterling reputation in patent litigation and is regularly sought out by heavy hitters in the pharmaceutical sector. As a member of Eurojuris International – a network of law firms across 50 countries – the set has a global list of contacts at its fingertips, which it draws on to efficiently execute multi-jurisdictional instructions. In the field for almost 20 years and “an excellent courtroom advocate”, Petri Eskola is the lynchpin of the practice.

Berggren Oy

“One of the largest and most established players on the market”, Berggren has been offering streamlined prosecution services for almost 90 years. With 170 practitioners on deck and over 75,000 active IP assignments, the unit is always seeking new ways to help clients achieve their commercial objectives. It has rolled out Invention Hunt, a service developed in-house that enables companies to explore uncharted waters and create new ready-to-patent ideas. “First-rate attorney” Sakari Värilä knows software and telecommunications patents like the back of his hand. He is also a good port of call for start-ups hoping to make their big break in their respective industries. With several stints at pharmaceutical and food companies under her belt, Pirta Tiiro provides guidance that is laced with unique commercial insights. She often serves as an expert in invalidation and infringement proceedings. An influential figure in Finland, Kim Finnila has played an active role in the development of the European patent system for over three decades. His forte is mechanics, where he acquits himself with distinction across the contentious/non-contentious divide.

Boco IP 

“A reliable firm that ensures smooth cooperation at all times”, is the unanimous verdict on Boco IP. The outfit continues to go from strength to strength and has lately seen a sharp increase in European Patent Office (EPO) work for an international clientele, as well as a flood of instructions from attorneys at law keen to avail of its invaluable litigation assistance. A massive draw for clients is the side’s deep bench and diverse technical talents – this year sees the inclusion of chemists Karri Leskinen, Jonna Sahlin and Annika Hakkila; mechanical engineer Christian Westerholm; physicist Anu Keinänen; and life sciences expert Jaana Hämäläinen. Frequently dispensing astute technical guidance to generic pharmaceutical companies in their hard-fought contentious battles, managing director Leskinen also oversees the unit’s strategic growth and is always on the hunt for new ways to enhance the customer experience. An artful communicator, Sahlin is praised for her ability to clearly explain intricate technicalities to patrons and judges alike. Her freedom-to-operate analyses are crucial for businesses seeking to mitigate risk. A font of wisdom, Hakkila has chalked up over 30 years of experience as a product development chemist and as an attorney. Her insight is valued by colleagues and inventors who call on her for holistic support. When the going gets tough, Westerholm doesn’t break a sweat – he finds creative solutions that meet commercial goals and get the job done with minimum fuss. Oral proceedings at the EPO are a strong suit. “Extremely diligent, Keinänen is exceptionally talented and looks to understand every invention at its core. She is one of the best in the high-tech industry and a pleasure to work with.” “Incredibly experienced in biotechnology, Hämäläinen’s work is brilliant – her office action and prior art analyses are professional and detailed.” She also acts as a court expert and lectures widely in her field.

Borenius Attorneys Ltd

“For sophisticated litigation and technical trade secrets instructions, Borenius is, without a doubt, the first choice for the job.” The ensemble consistently knocks it out of the park on many of Finland’s landmark cases: for example, it recently hammered out a victory for ratiopharm in revocation proceedings against ICOS, an affiliate of Eli Lilly, which may end up at the Supreme Court; and it has also fought the corner of other leading pharmaceutical giants such as Orifarm and Actavis. Spearheading these efforts is Ben Rapinoja, “who instantly springs to mind when life sciences disputes are in question. He is phenomenal in court and incredibly bright”. Adding further firepower is Lasse Laaksonen, “an excellent strategist but an even better litigator. Complex technical and legal issues are not a barrier to his incredible track record – he is definitely someone you want to have on your side”. On the transactional front, Åsa Krook and Samuli Simojoki are the key pillars of the practice. “Committed and really talented”, Krook excels at unravelling tricky unfair business practice questions, regulatory scenarios and multifaceted franchising deals. Captain of the technology, media and telecommunications division Simojoki hits his stride when brokering daunting ICT licensing deals. Of counsel Seppo Kemppinen is always willing to share the encyclopaedic knowledge he has gained over four decades of practice with both colleagues and clients.

Castrén & Snellman Attorneys Ltd

Full-service firm Castrén & Snellman “has quickly risen to a top position in the market. It has a robust IP team” that can capitalise on the firm’s wider competition, regulatory and tax law resources to deliver holistic patent protection. When it comes to litigation and the commercialisation of assets, few do it better than Sakari Salonen and Hanna Paloheimo, who linked up to assist PopSockets in its enforcement efforts this year. “A talented lawyer, Salonen is incredibly fun to work with – he manages cases well and has definitely become one of Finland’s leading litigators.” He is also entrusted with Takeda Pharmaceutical’s non-contentious briefs. Attorney at law Paloheimo brings a unique skillset to the table: she also holds a master’s in genetics, which makes her a force to be reckoned with in life sciences skirmishes and licensing negotiations. Key clients include Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Boehringer Ingelheim.

Espatent Oy

“Sophisticated advice and timely responses characterise the service at Espatent. The attorneys are highly specialised and great to work with.” Founding partners Sanna Kalliola, Samu Lamberg and Sampsa Söderholm are resolute in their focus on quality and meticulous in their drafting in the electronics, telecommunications and mechanical industries. As CEO, Kalliola ensures that operations run smoothly and expertly applies her versatile technical expertise to help companies achieve their business needs. Just as creative as the inventors he assists, Lamberg is the perfect choice for innovators seeking outside-the-box solutions. “Söderholm drafts statements thoroughly and keeps calm under pressure, always sticking to deadlines and bearing costs in mind” – an approach that is appreciated in litigation and commercialisation scenarios. “Phenomenal chemist” Kirsikka Etuaho turns complex technical information into easily digestible content that reads well in boardrooms and courtrooms.

Hannes Snellman Attorneys Ltd

“If you are ever in a pinch, Hannes Snellman has you covered. The cooperation is smooth, effective and transparent, with each party working together to achieve a mutual goal. The end result is always a stellar deal at the end of a tricky negotiation period.” A premier transactions outfit in the Nordics, the ensemble also puts up a tough fight in litigation. At the helm of the IP division is Panu Siitonen, who leads the charge in precedent-setting cases. “A tremendous lawyer with the mindset of a businessman, his advice is extremely practical and always accurate. Panu is always on the ball and his proactive style puts clients at ease in the most testing of times.”

Heinonen & Co Attorneys-at-Law Ltd

Those in search of technically savvy professionals at a firm with an expansive international reach will find exactly that at Eversheds subsidiary Heinonen. A rarity on the nation’s legal landscape and “highly recommended for complex work on a global scale”, the side is home to the finest patent attorneys, as well as a turbo-charged litigation group. An A-star prosecution line-up comprises Sampo Ylätalo, Juhani Kupiainen, Regina Pudas and Akseli Von Koch. Ylätalo has an impressive physics career behind him, having earned his stripes at several research institutions in Finland and abroad. The country’s first industrial property attorney, Kupiani is a favourite among those with interests in the United States; his knowledge of legal procedures across the pond is second to none. Seasoned chemist Pudas drafts patents and utility model applications with alacrity. She is also a sounding board for SMEs wishing to capitalise on their assets. “An attorney on the rise, Von Koch stands out for his cutting-edge work in the field of AI; the ability to strike complex deals in innovative industries is also a strong suit. Petteri Häkkänen jumps in when things get heated. Talisman of the litigation practice, he invariably puts in polished performances and approaches each mandate with clients’ commercial interests at heart.

Inventio Attorneys Ltd

The tight-knit group at Inventio Attorneys shines brightest on technology-related instructions. It prioritises quality over quantity, working hand in hand with patrons to fully understand their business rationale and ensure that they receive maximum return on their investments. Formerly senior legal counsel at Tieto Corporation, the largest ICT service supplier in the Nordics, Topi Lusenius has sparkling negotiation skills – a quality that stands him in good stead when doing the heavy lifting on R&D agreements. He and Tomas Lodenius recently advised Espotel, a leading Scandinavian provider of embedded systems and industrial internet applications, on its technology agreements. IAM Patent 1000 newcomer Lodenius has an intimate knowledge of the technology and media sectors, which he utilises to draw up flawless licensing agreements.

Krogerus

Although a relatively new player on the patent scene, Krogerus has been turning heads with its contentious capabilities and transactional nous. Businesses across the pharmaceutical, mechanical and electronics fields sign up for the comprehensive IP protection secured by Kalle Hynönen and Henri Kaikkonen. Department chief Hynönen deftly handles commercial contracts and agreements for high-flying technology clients and dispenses sage infringement advice too. Kaikkonen is a formidable opponent in the courtroom and calmly steers patrons towards the right outcome on make-or-break deals. Recently, the pair provided shrewd counsel to KKM Power and guided Nordic construction and civil engineering company Peab in its acquisition of YIT’s paving and aggregate mineral business.

Laine IP Oy

“Agile, dynamic and a consistent top performer in patent prosecution, Laine IP has some of the best experts in the life sciences, medical technology and electronics industries.” The squad adopts a hands-on approach and cuts straight to the chase, while always keeping commercial realities at the forefront of their minds. Esteemed electrical engineer Jarkko Tiilikainen and accomplished chemist Christoffer Sundman routinely take clients through the ideation stage all the way to grant and put in strong arguments before the EPO. Chemistry maven Tord Langenskiöld has almost four decades of experience under his belt and provides wise counsel to his troops.

Papula-Nevinpat

“Papula-Nevinpat always produces phenomenal work and is one of the best patent attorney firms to cooperate with.” It is perfectly placed for international instructions, courtesy of its Helsinki headquarters and further offices in Munich and Russia, among others. “The practitioners are super-experienced, quick on their feet and provide the most accurate advice in a rapid turnaround time. To top it off, they are great at explaining complex technical matters in easily understandable language.” Managing director Markku Simmelvuo plays an active role in the development of Finnish law through his work in various associations. He has also held several positions of trust and is currently a member of the Standing Advisory Committee before the EPO. Patent department director Folke Johansson and ICT and electrical engineering team leader Tomi Konkonen bring an elite level of tech know-how to the practice. As former counsel at Nokia, the duo understand industry needs and work around the clock to get inventors’ ideas through the patenting gauntlet.

Primrose OY

“Prosecution specialist Primrose is a force on the Finnish market. The quality of work is fantastic and the group is amazing to collaborate with. Simply put, it is outstanding.” Although it was founded four years ago, its leading lights Toni Korelin and Marjukka Nuppola have over three decades of experience between them as European patent attorneys and civil engineers. “Korelin’s professionalism leaves a lasting impression. He drafts well-thought-out and reasoned technical arguments, and can be recommended for any dispute.” Nuppola is an asset to companies that want to forge – and maintain – a presence in their industries: one of her many talents is identifying risks and removing copycats from the market.

Roschier, Attorneys Ltd

“A clear market leader, Roschier is the best in the business for high-end litigation. Attentive and communicative, the squad really get to know their clients’ organisational structures inside out – it is like working with a business partner rather than external counsel.” Internationally recognised and respected, “Rainer Hilli is the undeniable master of patent disputes”. The set takes its cue from his inspired leadership, and Eli Lilly as well as Gilead Sciences rely on him to defend their interests. He joined forces with Mikael Segercrantz to represent the latter in two invalidation actions against Teva and Mylan relating to the validity of Gilead’s supplementary protection certificate (SPC) – the outcome of which should answer some pertinent questions relating to SPC validity for combination products. “The pair are incredibly knowledgeable and superb advocates, with well-thought-out and thorough arguments.” Bringing a data protection and regulatory edge to enforcement proceedings, “Johanna Lilja always knows how to get her message through. A brilliant and calm negotiator, she never misses a detail and has an impressive ability to understand as well as master complex technologies”. A key member of the litigation battalion, Mikko Manner also has a flair for licensing, which stems from his previous position as in-house counsel at Nokia Research Centre and at Nokia Technology Platforms. The group has two other Nokia alumni in its ranks: Niklas Östman and Johanna Flythström. “Östman applies his legal acumen in a business context. He understands the needs of clients and develops monetisation strategies that fit the bill perfectly.” A member of the California State Bar and an authorised Finnish patent attorney, Flythström has global licensing agreements in the bag. Heading the digitalisation and technology, media and telecoms and outsourcing practices, Arto Linnervuo is a fine choice for innovators in both the public and private sectors.

Waselius & Wist

Waselius & Wist makes its debut in the IAM Patent 1000 on the back of a stellar year for the firm, including ground-breaking achievements on the contentious front. A standout example was its victory on behalf of MSD in Finland’s first dispute regarding a biosimilar medicinal product. “Fantastic litigator” Bernt Juthström was instrumental to this success. Whatever he turns his hand to, Juthström keeps one eye on the prize and the other on keeping costs low and ambitions high. Showcasing his many talents, he also assisted AEM Holding in its acquisition of Afore, a MEMS test company.

Other recommended experts

“A warm, friendly and excellent lawyer”, Henrik af Ursin prioritises the needs of clients and always delivers high-quality, tailored litigation and transaction services. He can be found at Merilampi Attorneys. Operating out of Kolster, Krister Karlsson has a panoramic view of patent issues, thanks to former stints both as an in-house attorney and IP rights manager in the oil refining industry, and as a technically qualified judge at the Market Court. Tech whizz Jan Lindberg of TRUST has asset commercialisation and acquisition down to a T. Heading up Bird & Bird’s Finnish IP and life sciences groups, Ella Mikkola tackles tricky regulatory, pharmaceutical and contentious situations with poise and finesse.

Individuals: litigation

  • Rainer Hilli - Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Ben Rapinoja - Borenius Attorneys Ltd
  • Petteri Häkkänen - Heinonen & Co Attorneys-at-Law Ltd
  • 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
  • Petri Eskola - Backström & Co
  • Kalle Hynönen - Krogerus
  • Henri Kaikkonen - Krogerus
  • Ella Mikkola - Bird & Bird Attorneys Ltd

Individuals: prosecution

Individuals: transactions

  • Henrik af Ursin - Merilampi Attorneys Ltd
  • Johanna Flythström - Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Kalle Hynönen - Krogerus
  • Bernt Juthström - Waselius & Wist
  • Henri Kaikkonen - Krogerus
  • Åsa Krook - Borenius Attorneys Ltd
  • Jan Lindberg - Attorneys-at-Law TRUST Ltd
  • Arto Linnervuo - Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Tomas Lodenius - Inventio Attorneys Ltd
  • Topi Lusenius - Inventio Attorneys Ltd
  • Mikko Manner - Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Ella Mikkola - Bird & Bird Attorneys Ltd
  • Niklas Östman - Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Panu Siitonen - Hannes Snellman Attorneys Ltd
  • Samuli Simojoki - Borenius Attorneys Ltd
  • Akseli Von Koch - Heinonen & Co Attorneys-at-Law Ltd

Luminaries

  • Kim Finnila - Berggren Oy
  • Seppo Kemppinen - Borenius Attorneys Ltd
  • Tord Langenskiöld - Laine IP Oy