The Norwegian patent litigation marketplace is small and transparent. Most cases are handled by IP departments at general practice national law firms by practitioners who work across the full range of IP matters. While pharmaceutical and biotechnology disputes dominate, the oil and gas sector also sees a considerable amount of activity, with companies in Norway becoming increasingly aware of the importance of protecting their intellectual assets.
This general business law outfit “has a long history as a very strong patent litigation firm” and delivers an “excellent and responsive” service to its clients. The firm represented MSD Norge, a subsidiary of Merck & Co, in a case regarding osteoporosis drug Fosamax. In addition, it has worked with BioMar and Novartis International. Managing partner Svein Ruud Johansen has expertise across the IP spectrum, specialising in pharmaceuticals and construction, and is commended for his “excellent courtroom presentation skills”. Winning praise for his “superb legal analysis”, multi-lingual practitioner Amund Brede Svendsen is popular with clients and colleagues and is highly experienced in the patent field.Advokatfirmaet Thommessen AS
This commercial law firm has a large IP, media and marketing law team with strengths across all areas, including patent litigation. The group undertakes “extremely good” work for a wide range of clients, including Statoil and the YKK Group, as well as originator pharmaceutical companies. The well-respected Arne Ringnes is the firm’s leading patent litigator. Exceptionally well versed in the law, he is “skilful, theoretical, analytical and works very hard”.Bugge Arentz-Hansen & Rasmussen
Particularly active in patent litigation, this fullservice firm acts for a number of leading international brands across Norway. Recent highlights for the IP group include representing Pfizer in patent litigation against Sandoz concerning the manufacturer of antidepressant sertraline. Gunnar Sørlie has “an extremely strong practice in the pharmaceutical field and represents a lot of the originators. He also has many years of experience, both as a patent litigator and in commercial cases”. Strengthening the IP practice is a current priority for the firm; Are Stenvik, a leading expert in patent matters, returned in January 2011 after spending several years as a professor at the University of Oslo.Wikborg Rein
With its roots in shipping and maritime law, this firm continues to represent leading offshore oil exploration clients such as Transocean. However, in recent decades it has expanded to become one of a handful of prominent Norwegian firms dealing with patent litigation across all sectors. A veteran litigator, Gunnar Meyer is “highly rated and among the best”. He has an excellent reputation for his work representing generic manufacturers in pharmaceutical disputes and in oil and gas cases. Ingvild Hanssen-Bauer is also a strong litigator with experience in patents.
This commercial law firm has recently increased its IP strength with a number of new recruits. Generic pharmaceutical manufacturer Krka is a major client and the IP group has represented the company in a number of cases: these include working against Eisai and Pfizer in a case concerning pharmaceutical compound donepezil and against AstraZeneca in litigation regarding esomeprazole. The firm’s client roster also includes Actavis and automotive manufacturer Raufoss Technology. Commentators “can only say good things” about “excellent lawyer” Håkon Bleken and his up-and-coming colleague Anne Marie Sejersted.Advokatfirmaet Schjødt DA
This full-service firm is noted for its strong track record in litigation across all practice areas. Its IP group focuses on the offshore and construction sectors, as well as working with the pharmaceutical industry. Clients include leading Norwegian offshore company Aker Solutions, which it represented in an international patent dispute with Transocean regarding dual activity offshore drilling. Head of litigation Halvor Manshaus leads a young IP practice and is described as an “outstanding individual who combines excellent legal knowledge with crystal-clear understanding of business objectives”. Sigurd Holter Torp leaves a “good impression” and is a tenacious litigator. Both lawyers are commended for their “very focused, efficient and high-quality” service to clients.Bull & Co Advokatfirma AS
Although relatively small, this firm nonetheless has a notable presence in intellectual property and in the Norwegian patent litigation marketplace. Singled out for praise is highly experienced senior figure Amund Grimstad, who is regarded as a “very good, strong, upstanding person to work with”.