We offer legal advice on intellectual property disputes

Intellectual property disputes between companies can arise for a variety of reasons. The most common disputes between companies relate to the infringement of an intellectual property right, which can range from copying a patented product, misappropriating a company's reputation, outright piracy or unauthorised copying of software. It is not uncommon for conflict to arise over whether a registered right is really valid or whether the registered holder is the rightful owner (better right). More recently, there has also been an increase in contractual disputes in the field of intellectual property, including assignment, licensing, co-ownership and joint product development.

Common disputes and issues in various areas of intellectual property law

Disputes in the area of intellectual property have the common feature that they are usually complex and require a high level of expertise to achieve a successful outcome. It is not unusual for disputes to cross over various disciplines, requiring knowledge of the industry, the market, the technical field, etc.
Labelling law – trademark protection

An issue which frequently gives rise to disputes within labelling law is the assessment that there is the likelihood of confusion between a registered (and/or established) trademark and a similar mark used by a suspected infringer. The regulatory framework, but above the case law, is clearly comprehensive and in most cases provides good guidance on how to assess the likelihood of confusion. The scope of protection of well-known trademarks is another important issue. Another interesting area is the protection of unconventional trademarks such as three-dimensional objects, colours, etc.

Patent law – protection of inventions

Within patent law, it is usually questions of scope of protection and inventive steps that give rise to conflicts and disputes. Disputes over whether an invention was novel, formal issues in the application process and ownership of the invention also arise. In the field of pharmaceutical patents, specific issues related to the possibility of obtaining patent extensions (so-called supplementary protection certificates) also occur.

Copyright – protection of works

Copyright presents a range of different issue which can give rise to disputes, but the most common are issues about the existence of a copyright (which arises without the need for registration) and the scope of protection. Examples of common issues are copyright in industrial design.

Industrial design law - protection of designs

In the field of design (industrial designs), which are related to copyright in some cases, disputes are less frequent but can be significant in some industries (e.g. the automotive industry).

Marketing law - protection from unfair marketing

In the area of marketing law, the most common disputes arise when someone (competitors, consumers or the consumer ombudsman) believes specific marketing to be misleading. Disputes usually concern issues relating to claims about product characteristics that may be misleading. It is also common for disputes to arise in cases of product imitation or passing off.

Handling cross-border disputes

Many of the disputes we deal with involve cross-border issues where our lawyers form part of a larger team with lawyers from other countries. Pan-European or global patent disputes are a common example, in which corresponding patents are disputed in several countries. We have extensive experience in both project managing international collaborations and acting as local counsel in a larger network of international legal teams. We work closely with international contacts to facilitate the process.

How we can help you deal with disputes

Our lawyers regularly act as counsel in disputes and have extensive experience of working in court. Our capabilities and broad knowledge give us the ability to take on and resolve complex disputes efficiently with tailor-made teams.

  • Vinge's expertise extends across all areas of intellectual property law, with internationally recognised and top-ranked experts in the areas of intellectual property law, marketing law and trade secrets.
  • We are experts in the procedural legal framework and have extensive experience of litigating before the specialist courts for intellectual property law, the Patent and Market Court at Stockholm District Court and the Patent and Market Court at the Svea Court of Appeal.
  • We always try to identify the most strategic way to manage a particular litigation case, which includes evaluating issues such as legal lines of argument, evidence and the engaging external experts.
  • We work pro-actively to avoid potential disputes.
  • We work efficiently to resolve disputes without lengthy litigation.
  • To the extent that it is advantageous for our client, we try to find commercially reasonable solutions to the conflict that arises.
  • We collaborate across different areas of law, with access to experts in areas such as finance and employment law.
  • We also have an extensive network of experts in various technical fields.

Lawyers with extensive experience in conflict resolution

We are the largest providers in Sweden of full-service commercial and intellectual property law. Our law firm has the experience to offer a wide range of expertise and tailor-made advice within several areas of the law. We help companies in all sectors. Our clients include companies in the following sectors: food, clothing, pharmaceutical, telecommunications, software solutions, media, energy and manufacturing.

Our lawyers in conflict-oriented intellectual property law, marketing law and trade secrets have been top-ranked and internationally recognised for many years. We have successfully assisted a large number of Swedish and international companies in intellectual property law and marketing law disputes and litigation, which has contributed to the development of Swedish intellectual property and marketing law practice.

Conflict resolution involves much more than a court case leading to a final judgment. Primarily, in consists of strategic and proactive work to avoid conflicts. Ensuring proper agreements with employees, licensees and partners make a significant contribution. Vinge has experts working on IP law contracts, but an even larger group working on all types of commercial contracts, and can assist with both contract drafting and negotiation. Once a dispute is a reality, it is not uncommon for issues other than pure intellectual property law to arise, for example issues concerning competition law, procurement issues, financing issues, tax law and general corporate law. With its full-service concept, Vinge can offer expertise in all these areas. In addition to the IP team's expertise in dispute resolution, we collaborate closely with Vinge's litigation team which specialises in other types of disputes both in general courts and arbitration. We always put together a team with the expertise required for the specific dispute. This also includes our financial experts who can assist in calculating damages. We also have a Corporate Crime team with previous experience in the police and prosecution services who can assist with relevant knowledge of seizure issues etc.

Find out more about Vinge

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