Sweden

Recently ranked as the world’s third most innovative country by the WIPO, Sweden is the ideal playing field for IP practitioners. The market is keen to build on this – for example, Sweden’s sustainable energy agency Vinnova is partnering with research council Formas to jointly finance 17 strategic innovation programmes across the country. Sweden is also one of the top 10 European filers at the EPO. The domestic litigation scene is becoming more vibrant; practitioners are united in their enthusiasm for the Patent and Market Court, which has been taking on an increasing number of cases and improving the speed and quality of its decision making since it came into being in late 2016.

Firms: litigation

Firms: prosecution

  • Highly recommended
  • AWA 
  • Kransell & Wennborg AB
  • Ström & Gulliksson AB
  • Valea AB 
  • Zacco 
  • Recommended
  • BRANN AB
  • Groth & Co
  • Hynell Intellectual Property AB

Firms: transactions

  • Advokatfirman Delphi
  • Mannheimer Swartling
  • Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
  • Synch Advokat AB
  • Vinge

Advokatbyrån Gulliksson

Gulliksson’s commercial service is specifically designed to meet the needs of a high-level client base for whom intellectual property is pivotal. A close association with top-tier prosecution firm Ström & Gulliksson enables the lawyers here to efficiently tap into a deep reservoir of technical expertise, which proves to be a distinguishing asset in litigation. The firm is also a boon to rights holders looking for consistency of quality and approach across the contentious/non-contentious divide. With finesse, captain of the side Mattias Malmstedt handles large cases for top pharmaceutical companies, often with proceedings occurring in parallel across multiple jurisdictions. “He is a fantastic litigator who knows that you can win or lose a case on the detail. He has a meticulous mind but also never loses sight of the overall strategic and commercial objectives.” He frequently links up with Magnus Dahlman to give clients a strong one-two punch. Dahlman, who joined from Setterwalls in 2017 and then made partner in 2018, is a repository of unshakeable trust for generic drug companies. “He understands the industry and is an experienced, calm, tactical and convincing litigator.” Managing partner Jens Olsson is another “great lawyer to have on your team in cross-border litigations and transactions”. “It is impressive how well-rounded his knowledge of intellectual property is.”

Advokatfirman Delphi

Delphi’s professionals have a fine-grained knowledge of law, business and the humanities, enabling them to provide perspicacious advice to help clients to navigate a changing world. Commerciality and foresightedness are the hallmarks of the firm’s IP counsel, which considers the full spectrum of rights. Its specialists have the deftest touch in contract negotiations and are highly recommended for their proficiency in licensing and other transactional matters. A “pragmatic, task-oriented, business-focused and experienced lawyer”, Kristian Fredrikson comes highly recommended.

AWA 

AWA has many distinctions: it has 11 bureaux across Sweden and a team of more than 135 specialised attorneys, making it the largest IP firm in the country; it has a far-reaching international office network and a strong presence in Asia; and it is the only name found on both the prosecution and litigation tables in the IAM Patent 1000 Sweden section. On the prosecution side, the firm’s expertise encompasses a kaleidoscopic range of scientific and technical fields and is well balanced between the broader high-tech, mechanical, chemical and life sciences disciplines. On the left-hand side, check out Sören Giver, Urban Lind, Julia Mannesson and Mattias Pierrou if you want to procure patents and stake out a competitive market position via smart portfolio management. Giver serves as the lead relationship partner for several key clients – he puts his broad IP skill set and strategic insight at their disposal and seamlessly links them up with other relevant experts in the firm. Creating efficiencies, Lind covers a lot of ground for his telecoms, IT, dental technology and other clients – he guides prosecution efforts, gives opinions, conducts risks analyses, oversees due diligence projects and represents in EPO oppositions and appeals. Cut from similar cloth, Mannesson is also versatile. She produces error-free, high-quality work cost-effectively for one of the world’s top construction companies and a global leader in aviation systems. Pierrou regularly takes to the podium to enlighten audiences on important developments in patent law. On the right-hand side, Niklas Mattsson, Inga-Lill Andersson and Mikael Henriksson are the names to commit to memory. Molecular biology ace Mattson is frequently called as an expert in court proceedings due to his technical dexterity; he is also a noted expert on supplementary protection certificates. Though no longer the formal chair of its life sciences group, Andersson remains very much a leader in the practice. She supplements her legal and scientific expertise with good business judgement. Medical biochemistry PhD Henriksson has in-house experience on his résumé and leverages it astutely to help his clients to address routine issues and major challenges. Anchoring the litigation practice, meanwhile, are Peter Kenamets and Fredrik Luning, both of whom garner excellent references from the market: “Peter is a highly experienced lawyer and dependable partner. He’s very detail-oriented and demonstrates an excellent comprehension of complex technical concepts.” “Fredrik thoroughly analyses matters while moving them forward efficiently. In tune with his clients, he understands their needs and objectives and provides excellent advice.”

BRANN AB

Specialised IP firm BRANN AB is home to a diverse team of Swedish and European patent attorneys, lawyers and IP administrators who pull in the same direction to render a satisfyingly holistic service to innovative patrons. Commentators particularly draw attention to the ensemble’s pharmaceutical and biotechnology practice, at the forefront of which is Annika Kilander. A former leader within the IP department of GE Healthcare’s life sciences division, Kilander takes a rigorously commercial approach to prosecution tasks and transactions.

Groth & Co

Groth & Co was founded in 1869 and in its early days acted for luminaries such as Alfred Nobel and Thomas Edison – innovation and patents are in its blood. Today, the firm is a cosmopolitan crew of attorneys fluent in multiple languages as well as the dialect of international business. Present in Stockholm, Munich, Alicante, Beijing and Shanghai and serving percipient advice to a global client base, it continues to build on its illustrious history. Tenacious Mathias Loqvist leads the patent department.

Hynell Intellectual Property AB

Debuting in the IAM Patent 1000 this year, Hynell has shown a willingness to switch things up in order to render its excellent service more cost effectively; for example, it hived off its paralegal operations in a separate company and purchases services back at a reduced rate (as the spin-off divides its overheads between several firms). Clients certainly appreciate the set’s “business-driven, focused and efficient” approach, which is enhanced by the industry backgrounds of several of its attorneys. Coming in for praise this year, Peter Kylin is “fantastic at analysing ideas, evaluating their patentability and assessing their business potential, enabling you to make smart decisions about how to invest your resources. He engages in a focused dialogue with inventors and skilfully writes applications in a way that maximises quality and minimises cost. It is great to have a partner like him who you can trust with your most valuable assets”. A prominent lecturer, strategist and EPO oppositions sharpshooter, Barry Franks is another discerning choice. His CV makes for a riveting read; in addition to his private practice experience, he has worked as an entrepreneur, served as an EPO examiner and spent several years in-house at a global healthcare company.

Kransell & Wennborg AB

A “high-calibre prosecution shop” with “talented practitioners” and a “quality not quantity-first philosophy” is the market’s verdict on Kransell & Wennborg. One source adds, “for me, it is the best on the market. The firm takes a very proactive and commercially minded approach to patent procurement and when you make a query it responds quickly and concisely with the appropriate level of information.” With feedback like this, the firm ascends into the highly recommended tier in this year’s guide. Key contacts Johan Wennborg and Anders Wiren garner glowing notices individually, too: “Johan is an intellectual gentleman with great practical judgement. His language skills are excellent too, which is critically important in patent cases.” “Anders has the most creative mind and is on top of all the latest developments in EPO jurisprudence.”

Mannheimer Swartling

Mannheimer Swartling’s status as a leading commercial firm puts it top of mind for heavy-duty IP and technology transactions work. With Per Josefson on deck, it is also in the frame for litigation and a discerning choice for pan-European cases in the life sciences sector. Josefson has litigated complex IP, trade secret and product liability cases for two decades and is a great ally to have in the trenches. He elevates the lawyers around him, such as Oscar Björkman Possne, a young partner who performs beyond his years at the negotiation table and in the courts.

Roschier, Attorneys Ltd

Roschier’s Swedish IP group is compact but very dynamic. In litigation, it takes on commercially consequential matters with gusto, deploying creative strategies to carry the day at trial and in settlement negotiations. In transactions, it structures agreements in novel ways to maximise their business impact for clients. The local team also works harmoniously with their Finnish counterparts to provide a joined-up service across the Nordic region. Erik Ficks takes charge in Stockholm and has been on a winning streak lately, representing Nokia in multiple patent assertions against Apple; guiding litigation strategy for wheelchair technology leader Permobil in multiple jurisdictions, including the United States and Germany; and acting for utility company Skellefteå Kraft in a rare inventor’s compensation claim. “Erik has a razor-sharp mind and quickly hones in on the most critical issues, producing analyses that are clear and precise. He handles his cases with great skill, devotion and care and keeps his clients engaged in the process.”

Sandart & Partners Advokatbyrå KB 

Gold-tier patent litigation firm Sandart & Partners brings the heat in Swedish patent litigation. Combining intensive preparation with polished advocacy skills, it has “dominated the market for many years by consistently winning big cases”. Clients find it to be accessible and transparent – they can call any member of the team and that person will be fully up to speed on the status of their case. The lawyers here also generously share their knowledge and expertise and provide ample information on litigation in Sweden in the form of case law updates and the like without charging for it. Dag Sandart and Peter Sande are go-to guys for cutting-edge pharmaceutical and biotechnology cases. “Dag is incredibly thorough and leaves nothing to chance – you can’t catch him off guard in the court.” “Peter may be Sweden’s best patent litigator. He is incredibly quick intellectually, allowing him to overcome emergent obstacles and solve tricky problems.” Worthwhile noting for prospective clients is the quality of the individuals around the two lead partners; Karin Westerberg, Julia Ericsson and Amanda Granqvist have all been cited by clients as rising stars in the Swedish litigation scene.

Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB

“When it comes to representing generic pharmaceutical companies in patent litigation, Setterwalls is highly professional. Pragmatic solution seekers, its lawyers are deeply experienced in the field.” Head of the IP team Martin Levinsohn garners loud applause: “he’s an innovative juridical thinker and an efficient and level-headed advocate in court.” Lately, he has successfully represented Sandoz in defending preliminary injunction requests made by Eli Lilly and revoked a Boehringer Ingelheim formulation patent acting for Teva. Also commanding respect from all corners of the market, Per Lidman and Lennart Arvidson “demonstrate a deep understanding of all legal, commercial and technical issues relevant to their cases” and “act aggressively but with honour” to get the best for their clients. Lidman has been busy representing Fresenius Kabi in infringement proceedings against Eli Lilly. Away from the life sciences, Arvidson has been acting for General Electric against ABB.

Ström & Gulliksson AB

Domestic and international sources enthusiastically endorse Ström & Gulliksson: “its attorneys have a wonderful understanding of the law and the practicalities of business. Responsive, thorough and extremely efficient, they get things done right the first time. Beyond simply excelling on prosecution, they are great at giving high-level clearance opinions and evaluating the risks associated with bringing new products to the market.” Moreover, “they provide a top-class service with respect to litigation” and “put in stellar performances” working alongside their close associates at Advokatbyrån Gulliksson. Rikard Roos, Björn Andersson and Christian Arkelius form a constellation of stars. Learned in physics as well as the chemical and mechanical arts, Roos demonstrates exceptionally broad technical fluency. “He is highly skilled as a technical and strategic adviser and he’s in tune with business in a way that is uncommon among engineers.” “Björn is a fighter with a lot of litigation experience and incredibly deep knowledge in his focused field of electronics.” “Christian is one of the most outstanding patent attorneys in Europe. He has an incredible eye for detail and comes up with brilliant ideas for getting you to where you want to be. He has excellent people skills and is the ideal team leader.”

Synch Advokat AB

Not your run-of-the-mill patent firm, Synch is a pioneer in the development and deployment of technical tools and digital services that bring greater efficiency and transparency to the attorney-client relationship. The innovative firm has its own software developers in-house and recently launched a new free AI tool for checking GDPR compliance; it is doing everything in its power to enhance the value it offers to its patrons. The firm expanded in 2017 and 2018, opening offices in Silicon Valley, Copenhagen and Oslo, and has since been consolidating and fine-tuning its international prosecution, commercialisation and enforcement services. Taking the reins is Sara Sparring, a life sciences doyenne who provides essential support to clients right across the product lifecycle. New to the IAM Patent 1000 this year, Mathilda Nordmark has settled in well since she joined Synch in January 2018. For evidence of her pharmaceutical prowess, see her work for KRKA Sverige, which she represented in litigation before the Stockholm District Court; her client was found not to have infringed AstraZeneca’s patent directed to its Nexium product.

Valea AB 

“If you transfer your patent work to Valea, you’ll never regret it – it really is the perfect supplier whether you need regular filing and prosecution services, due diligence work or representation in oppositions. Its practitioners, regardless of position, are all highly proficient and motivated and the firm does a fantastic job fostering teamwork and collaboration between individuals with complementary skill sets and in different offices. It deploys its resources astutely so that critical matters receive the full attention they need while more routine matters are handled in the most cost-effective manner – your money is used wisely when you spend it with Valea. The firm is also keen to seek feedback – it doesn’t rest on its laurels but has a desire to continually improve.” Founding partner and director of intellectual property Andrew Hammond is a master of the post-grant arts and acquits himself with rare distinction in opposition and appeal proceedings before the EPO. Joining him in the rankings this year is Charlotta Vink, whose favoured province is mechanical engineering. Vink’s expertise takes her to the heart of innovation in the automotive, construction and medical industries.

Vinge

Vinge shows up prominently in the IAM Patent 1000 research because it has “the number one patent litigator in Sweden” in Håkan Borgenhäll. All of his regular opponents are quick to sing his praises; he gets cited as a “thorough and commercially minded lawyer” who is “amazing on the details of his cases” and “perfectly suited to handling high-stakes infringement disputes”. Luminary Ulf Dahlgren is “a great resource with his vast experience in litigation”.

Zacco 

Zacco is a superbly well-rounded IP specialist whose eminent patent practitioners come from diverse patent office and industry backgrounds, have integrative skill sets and collectively cover all scientific and engineering disciplines. The firm’s narrative is constantly evolving and notable threads in the past year include the recruitment of several experienced attorneys, the establishment of new business areas (including cybersecurity and software), increased engagement with non-European clients and greater involvement in litigation support. Holding the chemistry and life sciences fort are Jörgen Linde, a former DNA analysis research engineer in a biotech company, and Michael Byström, an excellent international patent strategist who is “attentive to detail”. The top medical device maestro is Sofia Larsson, who “is highly recommended for all phases of European patent prosecution, as well as validity and infringement analyses”. Linda Melin Granberg specialises in materials science and is hailed by clients for her “thorough understanding of the business side of intellectual property”. “Inventors love working with her because of her calm demeanour and ability to conduct excellent interviews; she asks all the right questions to make sure she fully understands the invention.” On top of it all, she is “extremely punctual and also never overshoots a budget”. Energy specialist Paul Winblad, consumer products, mechanical engineering and automotive expert Ulf Juhlin-Dannfelt and mechanics and electronics ace Peter Ekwall also get favourable reviews. “They write first-class patent applications, demonstrate high-level strategic thinking, are open minded with respect to new client service methods and are very reliable judges on the issue of patentability.” Laying claim to one of the broadest IP practices in the group, Martin Tranälv provides eloquent patent, trademark, copyright and designs advice in prosecution, commercial IP and litigation contexts.

Other recommended experts

David Leffler recently swapped Synch for Cirio Advokatbyra. An IP commercialisation maven with a particularly strong brands practice, he gets deals done for patent owners, too. Johan Örtenblad is distinguished by his combination of engineering, business and economics training. He puts his technical and commercial fluency to good use at Noréns Patentbyrå. Head of intellectual property at Baker McKenzie Stockholm, Peder Oxhammar is in sync with his clients, having managed cross-border litigations during stints at AstraZeneca and Novartis. His commercially attuned advice regarding infringement issues and licensing goes down a treat in the pharmaceutical industry and other sectors. Jonas Westerberg is an excellent litigator with a calm and pedagogic argumentation style. He has vast experience handling the biggest cases. The former Lindahl lawyer recently set up Westerberg & Partners.

Individuals: litigation

  • Lennart Arvidson - Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
  • Håkan Borgenhäll - Vinge
  • Dag Sandart - Sandart & Partners Advokatbyrå KB 
  • Peter Sande - Sandart & Partners Advokatbyrå KB 
  • Magnus Dahlman - Advokatbyrån Gulliksson
  • Per Josefson - Mannheimer Swartling
  • Martin Levinsohn - Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
  • Mattias Malmstedt - Advokatbyrån Gulliksson
  • Jonas Westerberg - Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab
  • Erik Ficks - Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Peter Kenamets - AWA
  • Per Lidman - Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
  • Fredrik Luning - AWA
  • Mathilda Nordmark - Synch Advokat AB
  • Jens Olsson - Advokatbyrån Gulliksson
  • Peder Oxhammar - Baker McKenzie
  • Martin Tranälv - Zacco 

Individuals: prosecution

Individuals: transactions

  • Oscar Björkman Possne - Mannheimer Swartling
  • Erik Ficks - Roschier, Attorneys Ltd
  • Kristian Fredrikson - Advokatfirman Delphi
  • Per Josefson - Mannheimer Swartling
  • David Leffler - Cirio Advokatbyra AB
  • Per Lidman - Setterwalls Advokatbyrå AB
  • Peder Oxhammar - Baker McKenzie
  • Dag Sandart - Sandart & Partners Advokatbyrå KB 
  • Sara Sparring - Synch Advokat AB

Luminaries

  • Ulf Dahlgren - Vinge