Norway

An increase in oil and natural gas prices has given Norway’s economy – and concomitantly its IP scene – a boost. Official efforts to promote innovation in the energy sector and drive start-up innovation seem to be working, with the European Investment Fund and Innovation Norway having recently signed an extension agreement enabling the latter to continue to provide small and medium-sized enterprises with additional financial support. The offshore wind sector has seen a surge of investment of late, which has led to sustainable technology instructions landing on patent practitioners’ desks. The market’s IP experts are also noticing a distinct uptick in contentious matters, especially from the pharmaceutical arena as biosimilar disputes become more widespread.

Firms: litigation and transactions

  • Advokatfirmaet BAHR AS
  • Advokatfirmaet GjessingReimers AS
  • Wikborg Rein
  • Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS
  • Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS
  • Kvale Advokatfirma
  • Schjødt
  • Arntzen de Besche Advokatfirma AS

Firms: prosecution

  • Highly recommended
  • Håmsø Patentbyrå AS
  • Onsagers AS
  • Protector IP AS
  • Recommended
  • Acapo AS
  • Bryn Aarflot AS
  • Zacco 

Acapo AS

Acapo traces its roots back 95 years and has a rich tradition of excellence in IP protection. Sources note the strong recent growth of the ensemble. For example, in January 2019 it acquired Fluges patent, thereby gaining a presence in Fredrikstad to add to its offices in Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim. Unwavering in her focus on patent quality, Katja Reitan debuts in the IAM Patent 1000 this year as a “highly reputable and clever biotechnologist”. Her academic background is in aquaculture and she continues to work extensively in that industry. Gunnar Nilsen Søndersrød is an essential reference on mechanical technologies. Vast experience spanning private practice, in-house legal and Norwegian Patent Office roles makes him a most percipient counsellor.

Advokatfirmaet BAHR AS

Clients are is the safest hands when they choose BAHR to represent them in domestic or pan-European patent litigation. BAHR is the home of Are Stenvik, who has “monopolised patent knowledge in Norway for many years”. “Head and shoulders above others as a litigator and advocate, Are is simply fantastic.” Tenacious Gunnar Sørlie has dominated patent practice in the oil and gas industry for decades.

Advokatfirmaet GjessingReimers AS

A new name on the Norwegian market as of April 2019, GjessingReimers is comprised of all six partners from Grette’s IP and technology group. In Ida Gjessing, it has a highly experienced patent litigator in the life sciences and medical technology theatres – “brilliant and persistent”, she is “one of the best in Norway when it comes to making oral arguments”. She and “dextrous and experienced litigator” Amund Brede Svendsen form a devastatingly effective strike force for prestigious clients. Svein Ruud Johansen has also resolved a great many IP quarrels within his broader dispute resolution practice.

Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS

On the frontlines of major patent litigations in Norway, Haavind’s lawyers act decisively for top life sciences, IT and marine industry clients when the chips are down. Sandoz, upon being accused of infringing Merck Sharpe & Dohme’s patent and supplementary protection certificate rights covering a cholesterol-lowering product, recently turned to Vebjørn Iversen full of confidence. “Vebjørn quickly grasps the technology at issue in his cases irrespective of its complexity and rapidly identifies the best and most compelling legal arguments. Watching him cross-examine experts is a pure pleasure and an inspiration.” When he and Håkon Bleken connect on a matter, great things inevitably happen; the pair recently won an infringement dispute again against Merck, Sharpe & Dohme – this time on behalf of Exeltis Healthcare – in a case that turned on the doctrine of equivalents, the principles of which were laid down in a 2009 Supreme Court case that incidentally was also won by Haavind. Like his colleague, “Håkon presents convincing and hard-hitting arguments in court which meet with success as a matter of routine”. In addition to litigation, the team guides clients along the path to effective rights monetisation.

Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS

The application of finely tuned project management skills to complex cross-border patent disputes and transactions gives Thommessen its edge; the top-flight commercial outfit is, consequently, in hot demand among leaders in Norway’s key industries, including energy, aquaculture and pharmaceuticals. Taking each in turn, the IP team is representing Enhanced Drilling whose key patents IKM Cleandrill is attempting to invalidate; acting for BioMar in a patent infringement case against Europharma; and fighting the corner of Idenix Pharmaceuticals in a lawsuit against the Norwegian state. Taking the lead for Enhanced Drilling, Bergen-based Eirik Raanes knows his way around a courtroom thanks to 20 years’ experience in the litigation game. Counsel for BioMar and Europharma, Camilla Vislie brings strong leadership to the practice. “Camilla’s advice is extremely well informed, to the point and timely but above all, she gets great results.” Providing impeccable support to the two partners is managing associate Magnus Hauge Greaker, a rising star of the practice who “knows substantive patent law like the back of his hand”.

Arntzen de Besche Advokatfirma AS

In its focused industries of oil and gas and life sciences, Arntzen de Besche provides commercially laced advice that helps innovative companies stake out competitive market positions. The ensemble is especially at home inking big-ticket technology and IP-rich deals, such as Shearwater GeoServices’ purchase of the marine seismic acquisition assets and operations of WesternGeco for $600 million and 15% equity interest. Championing this case was Andreas Nordby, a versatile lawyer who also demonstrates exceptional judgement in dispute resolution. On the contentious side of the practice, he is currently up against Thommessen in the dispute between his client Europharma and BioMar.

Bryn Aarflot AS

“An excellent one-stop shop for IP protection” is the verdict on Bryn Aarflot, a storied IP boutique staffed by a well-integrated crew of patent attorneys and lawyers. The firm’s impressive prosecution practice is excelling and the personal, tailored service offered goes down a treat among innovators. Clients also appreciate the vibrant atmosphere within the team, which is cultivated by the firm’s continual investment in practitioners’ education and training. For “solid, reliable and practical advice relating to patents and intellectual property more broadly”, look to “attentive and conscientious problem solver” Kristine Rekdal. The head of the practice showcases well-rounded expertise; she has prosecuted extensively and, having acted as an expert judge at the Oslo Appeal Court and served as an expert witness on patent cases, knows how things go down in litigation.

Håmsø Patentbyrå AS

At the heart of the oil and gas industry is Håmsø, a cosmopolitan crew of some 40-plus employees who together make light work of technically demanding prosecution and litigation briefs. Its high-quality service is attested to by several excellent references: recounting an experience with head of patents Krister Mangersnes in a recent court case, one source enthuses, “Krister prepared detailed arguments for invalidity and non-infringement in the writs and for the oral hearing – the outcome was a good one. He is exceptionally knowledgeable about Norwegian and European patent law, and quickly finds precise counter-arguments to any position taken up by his opponents.” Another comments, “Krister rapidly grasps the essence of a dispute and, with respect to non-contentious matters, gives well-calibrated strategic advice. He is renowned as one of the best European patent attorneys in Norway, which is an assessment that I stand behind 100%; not only is his writing clear and concise, his understanding of complex technical matters is on par with that of the inventors themselves.” Jørgen Risdal is also warmly endorsed: “He drafts strong claims using a detailed knowledge of his clients’ products as a foundation. He has an intuitive feel for how examiners are likely to assess an application and prosecutes smartly as a result.” Deepening the firm’s bench, experienced Philips research scientist and IP counsel Steven Van Dijk and industrious managing director Gunnar Håmsø further to contribute to the firm’s gold-standard service.

Kvale Advokatfirma

Kvale has well and truly arrived as a force in Norwegian intellectual property. The firm has become a destination of choice for major pharmaceutical companies in need of general patent advice but also representation in crucial pieces of litigation. Head of the practice Anne Marie Sejersted and seasoned litigator Ingvild Hanssen-Bauer are, for example, currently assisting Mylan and Synthon in a biosimilar matter against Teva and acting for Sandoz in a patent infringement action against Biogen. Garnering particularly positive peer feedback this year, Hanssen-Bauer is “a brilliant and sympathetic litigator who digs deep into technical issues while presenting them lucidly in court”. Bringing an exceptional knowledge of the food industry to the mix, Marie Vaale-Hallberg is another essential name for the contact book. She stands out for her blend of IP, marketing and regulatory law expertise.

Onsagers AS

“Onsagers is one of the best and most prominent patent firms in Norway and has many excellent engineers and attorneys.” The ensemble does not follow instructions robotically but proactively gives clients direct, to-the-point advice along with clear action plans to enable smart business decision making; other compelling unique selling points include the extensive international experience and broad-mindedness of its professionals and the sophistication of its client-attorney interface technology. On top of it all, Onsagers has a diamond in Kari Simonsen, who receives the best and most feedback of any individual practitioner in the country. “In the life sciences, Kari is second to none in terms of prior art searching. She combines deep technical knowledge with an agile strategic mind and a personable and service-oriented approach. Her turnaround time is simply amazing – she will respond to queries at any hour of the day if necessary – and she is extremely thorough and precise in her work. She also has an excellent network in industry and academia.” A chemical engineer with a strong focus on the oil and gas industry, Dorte Lajer is also greatly admired as “among the best that Norway has to offer”. Excellent at litigation support, “she has a great understanding of the technical and legal aspects of cases and provides clear, succinct and very useful advice”. Swedish and European patent attorney Per Reiner shines as a commercial and strategic counsellor. He is steeped in the power generation and transmission domains and has ample industrial R&D experience on his résumé.

Protector IP AS

Quality, not volume, comes first for Protector IP, a compact boutique that has mastered the art of prosecution before the Norwegian Industrial Property Office and the EPO. Four of its 12 professionals make the IAM Patent 1000 grade this year, up from one in 2018: “Arild Tofting is exceptionally smart when it comes to scientific analysis and conveys complex concepts in a way that is useful to non-technical lawyers.” He focuses on offshore technology. Mechanics and chemistry are the fortes of Bjarne Coward, a seasoned prosecutor with busy disputes and due diligence practices. “Excellent up and comers” Anne-Gro Bildoe Imset and Tajeshwar Singh bring bundles of energy to the practice. Bildoe Imset spent seven years as an examiner at the Norwegian Industrial Property Office and has an insider’s understanding of its processes. Singh is highly distinguished by his research background in the high-tech world.

Schjødt

With Halvor Manshaus on deck, Schjødt is always going to be on the list for commercially consequential pieces of IP litigation. “Halvor is extremely clever, experienced and skilled and one of the most frequently deployed litigators in Norway.” Head of both the disputes and IP practices at this esteemed general practice firm, he covers a lot of ground for marquee clients with multifaceted legal concerns. Cut from the same cloth, Sigurd Holter Torp is a dextrous litigator well-suited to diverse IP, commercial and even criminal cases.

Wikborg Rein

Teva’s go-to in Norway for patent litigation, Wikborg Rein is a frontrunner in terms of the number of cases it handles and for the quality of representation it provides. Leader of the practice Gunnar Meyer is “one of, if not the most experienced IP litigators in Norway. He has an incredible ability to get the very best out of others including his colleagues, patent attorneys and experts. He is brilliant at presenting in court – he gets straight to the point and never comes across in a pedagogical way – and elegantly extracts the information he needs in cross-examinations to support his legal arguments in the best way”. He forms a perfect pairing with Lars Erik Steinkjer, who has “an amazing ability to analyse even the most complex technical literature and plan new and creative angles of attack. Lars Eirk is the future of IP litigation in Norway”.

Zacco 

For ironclad pan-Scandinavian and European patent protection, look to Zacco, an IP consultancy with a web of 29 offices in six countries and more than 450 employees. Artfully crossing geographic borders, technical disciplines and industry sectors, the firm is a first-hand witness to evolution in the process of innovation, a privilege which it translates into advice that makes a fundamental difference to its clients. Recent developments for the firm include the establishment of a permanent presence in Trondheim and the expansion of its portfolio outsourcing service, which has proven to be a major time and cost-saver for patrons. Key contacts include superstar senior partners Anne Sønstevold who prosecutes primarily in the chemistry, life sciences, food technology and healthcare fields, and Hans Langan, a mechanical engineering pro who overlays his knowledge of the law with a strategic approach.

Individuals: litigation

  • Ida Gjessing - Advokatfirmaet GjessingReimers AS
  • Halvor Manshaus - Schjødt
  • Gunnar Meyer - Wikborg Rein
  • Gunnar Sørlie - Advokatfirmaet BAHR AS
  • Are Stenvik - Advokatfirmaet BAHR AS
  • Ingvild Hanssen-Bauer - Kvale Advokatfirma
  • Svein Ruud Johansen - Advokatfirmaet GjessingReimers AS
  • Anne Marie Sejersted - Kvale Advokatfirma
  • Camilla Vislie - Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS
  • Håkon Bleken - Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS
  • Magnus Hauge Greaker - Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS
  • Sigurd Holter Torp - Schjødt
  • Vebjørn K Iversen - Advokatfirmaet Haavind AS
  • Andreas Nordby - Arntzen de Besche Advokatfirma AS
  • Eirik W Raanes - Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS
  • Lars Erik Steinkjer - Wikborg Rein
  • Amund Brede Svendsen - Advokatfirmaet GjessingReimers AS

Individuals: prosecution

  • Anne-Gro Bildoe Imset - Protector IP AS
  • Bjarne G Coward - Protector IP AS
  • Gunnar Håmsø - Håmsø Patentbyrå AS
  • Dorte Lajer - Onsagers AS
  • Hans Langan - Zacco 
  • Krister Mangersnes - Håmsø Patentbyrå AS
  • Gunnar Nilsen Søndersrød - Acapo AS
  • Per Reiner - Onsagers AS
  • Katja Reitan - Acapo AS
  • Kristine Rekdal - Bryn Aarflot AS
  • Jørgen Risdal - Håmsø Patentbyrå AS
  • Kari Simonsen - Onsagers AS
  • Tajeshwar Singh - Protector IP AS
  • Anne Sønstevold - Zacco 
  • Arild Tofting - Protector IP AS
  • Steven Van Dijk - Håmsø Patentbyrå AS

Individuals: transactions

  • Ida Gjessing - Advokatfirmaet GjessingReimers AS
  • Halvor Manshaus - Schjødt
  • Gunnar Meyer - Wikborg Rein
  • Andreas Nordby - Arntzen de Besche Advokatfirma AS
  • Anne Marie Sejersted - Kvale Advokatfirma
  • Are Stenvik - Advokatfirmaet BAHR AS
  • Marie Vaale-Hallberg - Kvale Advokatfirma