The World Intellectual Property Organisation has identified Sweden as a global hotbed of innovation and the country is also ranked among the top five European filers at the European Patent Office (EPO), so it is safe to say that patent activity is in a healthy groove. A key driver is digitalisation and practitioners report an ever-increasing amount of work crossing their desks in that space – especially with automotive giants such as Volvo and Scania investing heavily in artificial intelligence (AI). This trend is also evident in the telecommunications sector, with issues such as 5G and FRAND licensing coming to the fore. Additionally, as businesses become increasingly aware of their IP rights and the value they hold, transactional work is starting to account for a far greater proportion of day-to-day work at both patent attorney firms and law firms. Overall, it is clear that the jurisdiction is more than favourable for inventors and rights holders to establish, assert and commercialise their most valuable assets.
- Mannheimer Swartling Advokatbyraa AB
- Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
- Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
- Synch Advokat AB
- Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå AB
“Top-tier firm Gulliksson has an experienced, diligent and knowledgeable squad that have a presence in the courtroom.” It works side by side with premier prosecution outfit Ström & Gulliksson “to gain a firm understanding of technical concepts and swiftly implement them into a judicial framework”. The set is fazed by nothing; and with Mattias Malmstedt, Magnus Dahlman and Jens Olsson on deck, rights holders facing critical disputes can rest easy. “A splendid litigator, Malmstedt has a brilliant legal mind and can foresee his opponent’s next move; he knows how to use his toolbox effectively and is willing to go the extra mile to achieve clients’ goals.” He recently secured a positive judgment for Seiko Epson and, together with Dahlman, successfully represented Sandoz against Mundipharma. “A premier choice for life science briefs and a tough adversary, Magnus has a keen eye for detail and calmly puts forth convincing arguments.” Based in Malmö, “Olsson expertly reads any room he is in, be it in court or at the negotiating table, and provides sharp, strategic and tactically sound advice”.
Adept at complex prosecution, litigation and everything in between, AWA operates on an unrivalled scale when it comes to patent services in Sweden. And it continues to grow: over the past 12 months, it has added offices in Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands to bring its total network to 21 and enhance its role in international dialogues. In Sören Giver, Julia Mannesson, Mattias Pierrou and Charlotta Vink, it has technically gifted practitioners who are seen as trusted advisers rather than external counsel. Giver knows how to make legal sense of the most complex technologies and plays an integral role in the practice’s progress, serving as in-house EQ exam coach and EPO regulations lecturer. Mannesson builds robust portfolios in the fields of IT, mechanics and physics, but her expertise also stretches further – she recently assisted CellaVision with its due diligence prior to a €25 million acquisition of a French pharmaceutical company. “A seasoned and experienced prosecutor, Pierrou is active in all cutting-edge tech areas. He has a strong analytical mind and can find his way through complex problems and processes.” He is currently handling over 100 applications for Chinese corporation BOE Technology. Recently moving over from Valea, Vink brings 20 years of experience to the table. Her forte lies in mechanical engineering patents, where she draws up business-friendly strategies that are built to last. AWA’s star-studded roster also includes Mikael Henriksson, Niklas Mattsson, Inga-Lill Andersson and Urban Lind. Henriksson holds a medical biochemistry PhD and has ample supplementary protection certificate (SPC) experience – a boon to pharmaceutical innovators looking to move from the ideation stage through to grant. A respected figure in biotechnology, Mattsson impresses as a technical expert before the Swedish courts. AstraZeneca R&D’s former analytical chemist, Andersson has a tried-and-tested corporate mindset which she deploys in her post as business area manager for North Sweden. A vital strategic sounding board for electrical, computer science and biomedical engineering clients, Lind puts in superb performances in oppositions and board of appeal hearings. Peter Kenamets and Fredrik Lüning are cornerstones of the litigation practice. “Meticulous and easy to work with”, Kenamets is a reliable contact for enforcement proceedings; while Lüning finds commercially viable solutions and maps out the best route forward when things get dicey.
BRANN AB brings a commercially focused approach to patenting and has the technical capabilities to do so for clients in any industry that seek its help. However, special mention must go to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology practice, where Annika Kilander sets the gold standard. Having spent over a decade in-house at the life sciences division of GE Healthcare, she understands what businesses need and delivers every time.
Groth & Co
“You always get accurate and reliable results in a timely fashion when instructing Groth & Co.” It has spent 150 years advising some of Sweden’s most cutting-edge inventors; historic landmarks include filing applications for Alfred Nobel’s Extra Dynamite and Edison’s lightbulb. The troop takes its cue from “reliable, professional and personable” managing partner Mathias Loqvist. He has been busy guiding technology companies SciBase and ContextVision with their applications and product launches, and helping automotive start-up Gnostic Motor Corporation to get off the ground. Former Ericsson man “Nabil Sebaa has an excellent understanding of telecommunications. You can count on him to be proactive and get things done in a quick turnaround”. Lately, he has been prosecuting standard-essential patents (SEPs) for The Fraunhofer Society, Europe’s largest organisation for applied R&D services. Groth & Co strengthened its bench when it enlisted Tommy Vikholm, Dag Stålhandske and Malin Boström. Formerly in-house counsel at AkzoNobel and Electrolux respectively, chemical engineering guru Vikholm and engineering physicist Stålhandske can translate technical terms into easily accessible language for the C-suite. Life sciences ace Boström has several degrees to her name and deftly handles prior art searches and licensing assignments.
Hynell Intellectual Property AB
Nimble outfit Hynell is distinguished by the quality of its services, which it wraps up into neat, cost-effective packages – a model that hits the right notes for companies looking to meet their fullest potential and capitalise on their market position. Barry Franks and Peter Kylin have a lot to offer patrons of the firm. Franks worked at GE Healthcare for seven years and can offer shrewd counsel in five European languages. He also spent 10 years as an examiner at the EPO – a profession he shares with Kylin, a mechanical engineer with a knack for devising strategies that align with overall business goals.
Kransell & Wennborg AB
“There are many reasons as to why Kransell & Wennborg is a premium prosecution outfit, the main one being its service level. The team gets to know clients’ business structures in order to deliver focused and commercially viable advice. To top it off, they are well connected on an international level, which is a major advantage.” Such high praise is not anomalous – the firm receives the most accolades of any Swedish outfit; and with widely appreciated professionals such as Anders Wirén and Johan Wennborg on board, it is clear why. “They are really sharp and don’t just look at the law, but see the wider market context, which allows them to come to the most constructive solutions.” Wirén recently upheld an AstraZeneca patent in its clash with Sandoz and, working shoulder to shoulder with Wennborg, established grounds of invalidity on behalf of pulp and paper manufacturer BillerudKorsnäs. The firm’s market presence is undeniable, as five of its attorneys – Daniel Fritsche, Roland Mezöfi, Magnus Nilsson, Martin Holmberg-Schwindt and Oscar Sewerin – make their debut in the IAM Patent 1000 this year. “Customer oriented and an active listener, Fritsche is great at engaging with inventors and can turn concepts into patentable inventions. He also excels at developing arguments that lead to successful grants in litigation proceedings”, as evidenced by his work for Mondian. In a similar vein, Mezöfi is a favourite among innovators too. “Open minded and with an eye for detail, he has the ability to transform invention disclosures into high-quality applications and gains the unshakeable trust of his patrons”. “An efficient partner for high-tech companies, Nilsson excels at defining strategies and builds up strong portfolios.” He recently succeeded in removing an infringing application from an online platform on behalf of lighting control company Plejd. Chemical and mechanical engineers Holmberg-Schwindt and Sewerin add further dexterity to the ensemble’s technical expertise. “Holberg always has a genuine interest in the product and his enthusiasm shines through in the advice he gives. He knows how to balance legal, strategic and scientific matters in a way that produces quality results.” “Sewerin’s drafting capabilities are second to none. He also never hesitates to go the extra mile to pull his clients out of troublesome situations.”
Mannheimer Swartling Advokatbyraa AB
With offices across Sweden and additional bases in China, Belgium, Russia and the United States, top-notch commercial outfit Mannheimer Swartling is a great pick for lucrative licensing and technology deals, as well as cross-border litigation. Oscar Björkman Possne is the man to turn to for high-value mandates. Under his stewardship, listed corporation Stora Enso gained full ownership of Cellutech, an innovative business that designs and develops sustainable materials.
Noréns Patentbyrå AB
Tight-knit boutique Noréns punches above its weight and is the perfect springboard for start-ups keen to capitalise on their investments, boost their portfolios and make it big on the market. In Johan Örtenblad and Anders Bratt, it has two accomplished European patent attorneys. “Really bright, Örtenblad is easy to collaborate with and provides great support in IP-rich deals.” The managing partner showcases a broad range of technical expertise, while deputy Bratt maintains a resolute focus on the life sciences. The IAM Patent 1000 newcomer is a staunch ally in dispute resolution and contractual settings.
Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
Roschier’s Stockholm office works in a tandem with the Helsinki branch to dish out a dynamic pan-Nordic offering that encompasses enforcement and asset commercialisation. The unit is well equipped to handle make-or-break situations – a perfect example being its recent defence of Mondian in proceedings concerning its sole product on the market, in which a win was crucial. The man behind it all, Erik Ficks, has also been entrusted with representing Nokia in multiple patent assertions in its battle with Apple, in which SEPs come into play. “Incredibly sharp and precise, Erik gets right down to the heart of the matter. His theoretical and practical knowledge is most impressive, as are his willingness and ability to understand complicated technical issues.”
Sandart & Partners Advokatbyrå KB
“Simply outstanding” is the verdict on Sandart & Partners. “The side has an exceptionally high track record of success on behalf of industry leaders and is definitely one you want to have on your side in any dispute.” It is the firm to beat in hard-hitting pharmaceutical contentions and has maintained its gold-tier status for years. “By far the greatest competitors you are likely to face, but also a pleasure to be up against”, renowned litigators Dag Sandart and Peter Sande anchor the practice. “A stellar and well-established practitioner, Sandart gets straight to the point and argues every facet of the case.” Fellow master of the life sciences Sande keeps calm under pressure and doesn’t buckle – even before the Supreme Court. Recently elected to the partnership, Julia Ericsson and Karin Westerberg make their entrance into the IAM Patent 1000 with style. “Super-smart and an exceptional advocate”, Ericsson thrives on cross-border instructions, drawing on her deep understanding of regulatory practices to provide holistic advice. Whether assisting companies in the biotechnology or mechanical engineering sectors, Westerberg fuses her IP, marketing law and trade secrets expertise to great effect in infringement or revocation proceedings.
Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
“It is always a positive experience working with Setterwalls. Its phenomenal knowledge base of tricky technical concepts and great breadth of expertise – which includes regulatory law – mean it can navigate any brief with consummate ease.” It has been putting in sterling performances on behalf of Sandoz in a multi-jurisdictional dispute and for Teva in a case that was fought out before the Court of Appeal. “Recommended without hesitation for pan-European tasks is Martin Levinsohn. Responsive and well prepared, his advice is practical and well balanced. In the courtroom, he delivers measured, deliberate arguments that get straight to the point.” He is not the only one with a knack for cross-border contentions: Per Lidman showcased his dexterity when assisting Fresenius Kabi in its ongoing dispute with Eli Lilly. “He understands his clients’ needs straight off the bat, courtesy of his refined commercial nous, and gets the job done.” Rounding off the triumvirate of advocates is Lennart Arvidson, “who presents beautiful pleadings in court and is enjoyable to work with, or even against”. General Electric is one of his loyal patrons. The firm added further strings to its bow with the recruitment of Claes Almberg, a former patent judge and senior legal adviser to the Ministry of Justice. “He has a vast network of foreign associates and is easily one of the most experienced legislation and international policy experts in the country.”
Ström & Gulliksson AB
Standing tall since 1975, Ström & Gulliksson runs a globally connected prosecution outfit that has become synonymous with quality. It collaborates extensively with the corporations it assists and manages an immense number of portfolios containing thousands of patent families. Its business model has caught the eye of a diverse clientele, including Ericsson, IKEA, Rolls-Royce and Spotify, to name a few. Leading lights Rikard Roos, Björn Andersson and Christian Arkelius garner warm plaudits from the market. “Service-minded and in tune with patrons’ needs, Roos is keen on providing support from ideation through to creation and his clever technical arguments are crucial to a successful outcome in litigation.” His shrewd counsel was sought out in invalidation proceedings on behalf of Sandoz. In the field of electronics, “Andersson is a fantastic and energetic attorney with a business mindset which culminates in superb, spot-on advice”. “Arkelius is remarkably resourceful and detail orientated in his approach to prosecution. In close alliance with each business, he establishes mutual venture goals and procures valuable IP assets that are enforceable on an international scale.” The firm recently welcomed the arrival of Peter Ekwall, a perceptive strategist who now heads up its Gothenburg operations.
Synch Advokat AB
Innovative companies across the Nordics flock to Synch for their contentious needs. It operates a cutting-edge patent service which utilises digital technology to make for a more dynamic and accessible process. A tenacious enforcer of rights, Mathilda Nordmark has chalked up numerous successes in her time; a recent highlight was representing top generic pharmaceutical company KRKA Svierge. She also has a keen sense for how best to extract maximum value from IP assets – a quality she shares with smooth negotiator Sara Sparring, who instinctively knows when to turn up the heat and when to settle.
At Valea, prosecution specialists join forces to form unique teams dedicated to each individual client. The attorneys are well versed across several scientific areas, having handled incoming work from every corner of the world, including the United States and Asia – so resources are never an issue. Whether filing, prior art searches or post-grant proceedings are the order of the day, Valea can do it all. Newly appointed CEO Andrew Hammond oversees the set’s operations. “A household name in the industry, Hammond is technically gifted and exceptionally skilled in oppositions and oral proceedings.” Joining him are Anette Romare and Marcus Gentzel, who break into the IAM Patent 1000 this year on the back of a wave of praise. “When it comes to drafting applications and defending them before the EPO, there is no one better than Romare. She is straightforward, efficient and never compromises on quality. Conducting freedom-to-operate analyses on a global scale is another speciality and she presents strategies that you never regret following.” Mechanical engineer Gentzel “has a keen eye for detail, grapples with complex inventions and ultimately finds solutions in tricky situations in the nick of time”.
Full-service powerhouse Vinge stands at the vanguard of the Swedish legal market and can be found on many, if not most, of the country’s precedent-setting cases. The patent group has the wherewithal to execute instructions in the most complex fields and draws on wider firm capabilities to come out on top every time. Most recently, it acted for Eli Lilly in a patent infringement dispute and represented Calliditas Therapeutics in connection with the listing of its shares on Nasdaq Stockholm’s main market. At the helm is dyed-in-the-wool litigator Håkan Borgenhäll, one of Sweden’s most renowned practitioners. “With Håkan on board, clients not only enjoy premium advice, but get added value too. He delivers high-quality results in tight timeframes, thanks to his extensive expertise, immense skill and meticulous approach.”
Since opening its doors in 2019, Westerberg & Partners has established itself among the elite; although it is a relative newcomer to the market, the fleet is made up of former Lindahl heavy hitters who have worked together for years and can almost finish each other’s sentences. The past year has seen an influx of instructions from industry leaders across the technical spectrum, but key highlights come from the pharmaceutical sector in particular. In Jonas Westerberg, the ensemble has a strong leader “who really gets to crux of the issues at hand. One of the best litigators in Sweden and super-bright, Jonas is always one step ahead of the game and adapts quickly when faced with new information or counterarguments”. He counts ABB, MB Scientific and Novartis among his loyal following. “Bringing a sharpened intellect to the team, Björn Rundblom Andersson and Ludvig Holm are not afraid to get stuck in and do not rest until every stone has been turned, all while keeping client interests at the forefront of their minds.” The pair linked up to assist Mundipharma in high-stakes litigation against Sandoz. The firm also has impressive transactional and R&D capabilities with Jonas Löfgren and Ia Modin on hand. Regulatory expert Löfgren drafts with such finesse that the documents he produces serve as a template for other practitioners. A prime example is the three-party agreement he created between a pricing agency, a pharmaceutical company and county councils. “From start-up hubs to R&D directors at large corporations, everyone knows who Ia is. She stands out from the crowd as a perceptive negotiator with a refined understanding of the arenas she operates in, as well as a lovely person. She has the capacity to handle complex legal matters and business infrastructure in a profound and agile way – you need her by your side in any matter involving strategy and the commercialisation of intellectual assets.”
Always on the lookout for dynamic, innovative solutions, full-service consultancy Zacco is not scared to stray off the beaten path. It houses over 500 professionals across 32 offices in six countries, who stand ready to deploy their services and are up to speed on the latest industry topics, from global digitalisation to AI. Its deep and diverse bench is reflected by the inclusion of 10 practitioners in the guide this year: Jörgen Linde, Linda Melin Granberg, Michael Byström, Sofia Larsson, Paul Winblad, Teija Rasch, Ulf Juhlin-Dannfelt, Hampus Rystedt, Tommy Somlo and Martin Tranälv. Previously a research engineer at a biotech company, Linde utilises the knowledge he gained in-house to succeed in opposition proceedings. Another post-grant specialist and “a dream to work with, Granberg is ambitious, proactive and gets to grips with the inventions in front of her. Linda always takes an extra step for clients and provides them with unique insight relating to the strength of their patents. You can count on her to make your life a little easier.” In pharmaceutical chemistry, “Byström is the go-to attorney for SPCs. His refined expertise and cost-effective advice certainly impress”. He skilfully navigates the legal landscape in the United States along with IAM Patent 1000 newcomer Larsson, a medical technology guru with a strong in-house background. Formerly examiners at the Swedish Patent and Registration Office, Winblad and Rasch know what makes for a good application and “execute each task with utmost precision and speed, to great effect”. Those with troubles in the mechanics and automotive sectors can rest easy when European patent attorney Juhlin-Dannfelt steps in. The ensemble has two more examiners on deck in the form of mechanical engineering ace Somlo and life sciences ace Rystedt, who subsequently served as the director of biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. Dual-qualified, Tranälv enjoys a broad practice that allows him to advise patrons holistically in an increasingly convergent technology world.
Other recommended experts
Over at Delphi, Kristian Fredrikson has a knack for deriving optimal commercial impact from intellectual assets. “A brilliant litigator and a pleasure to have on the other side of the table”, Wendela Hårdemark recently swapped Vinge for MAQS. Cirio’s David Leffler understands the value of intellectual property and looks to get clients maximum reward on their investments. Leading the Stockholm branch of Baker McKenzie, Peder Oxhammar leverages over 15 years of experience to nip infringements in the bud and get signatures on the bottom line of lucrative deals. Pan-European pharmaceutical and telecommunications disputes are Christopher Tehrani’s speciality; the IAM Patent 1000 debutant also flies the Cirio flag. “An excellent adviser with a great ability to identify potential risks, Annika Unge is highly knowledgeable about patenting process and comes up with perfect solutions.” She recently moved to Bergenstråhle & Partners from Valea.
- Lennart Arvidson - Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
- Håkan Borgenhäll - Vinge
- Dag Sandart - Sandart & Partners Advokatbyrå KB
- Peter Sande - Sandart & Partners Advokatbyrå KB
- Jonas Westerberg - Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå AB
- Magnus Dahlman - Advokatbyrån Gulliksson
- Martin Levinsohn - Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
- Mattias Malmstedt - Advokatbyrån Gulliksson
- Claes Almberg - Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
- Julia Ericsson - Sandart & Partners Advokatbyrå KB
- Erik Ficks - Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
- Wendela Hårdemark - MAQS Law Firm
- Ludvig Holm - Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå AB
- Peter Kenamets - AWA
- Per Lidman - Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
- Fredrik Lüning - AWA
- Mathilda Nordmark - Synch Advokat AB
- Jens Olsson - Advokatbyrån Gulliksson
- Björn Rundblom Andersson - Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå AB
- Christopher Tehrani - Cirio Advokatbyra AB
- Martin Tranälv - Zacco
- Karin Westerberg - Sandart & Partners Advokatbyrå KB
- Björn E Andersson - Ström & Gulliksson AB
- Christian Arkelius - Ström & Gulliksson AB
- Barry Franks - Hynell Intellectual Property AB
- Andrew Hammond - Valea AB
- Rikard Roos - Ström & Gulliksson AB
- Johan Wennborg - Kransell & Wennborg AB
- Anders Wirén - Kransell & Wennborg AB
- Inga-Lill Andersson - AWA
- Malin Boström - Groth & Co
- Anders Bratt - Noréns Patentbyrå AB
- Michael Byström - Zacco
- Peter Ekwall - Ström & Gulliksson AB
- Daniel Fritsche - Kransell & Wennborg AB
- Marcus Gentzel - Valea AB
- Sören Giver - AWA
- Mikael Henriksson - AWA
- Martin Holmberg-Schwindt - Kransell & Wennborg AB
- Ulf Juhlin-Dannfelt - Zacco
- Annika Kilander - BRANN AB
- Peter Kylin - Hynell Intellectual Property AB
- Sofia Larsson - Zacco
- Urban Lind - AWA
- Jörgen Linde - Zacco
- Mathias Loqvist - Groth & Co
- Julia Mannesson - AWA
- Niklas Mattsson - AWA
- Linda Melingranberg - Zacco
- Roland Mezöfi - Kransell & Wennborg AB
- Magnus Nilsson - Kransell & Wennborg AB
- Johan Örtenblad - Noréns Patentbyrå AB
- Mattias Pierrou - AWA
- Teija Rasch - Zacco
- Anette Romare - Valea AB
- Hampus Rystedt - Zacco
- Nabil Sebaa - Groth & Co
- Oscar Sewerin - Kransell & Wennborg AB
- Tommy Somlo - Zacco
- Dag Stålhandske - Groth & Co
- Annika Unge - Bergenstråhle & Partners
- Tommy Vikholm - Groth & Co
- Charlotta Vink - AWA
- Paul Winblad - Zacco
- Oscar Björkman Possne - Mannheimer Swartling Advokatbyraa AB
- Erik Ficks - Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
- Kristian Fredrikson - Advokatfirman Delphi
- David Leffler - Cirio Advokatbyra AB
- Per Lidman - Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
- Jonas Löfgren - Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå AB
- Ia Modin - Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå AB
- Peder Oxhammar - Baker McKenzie
- Dag Sandart - Sandart & Partners Advokatbyrå KB
- Sara Sparring - Synch Advokat AB