Author: annateresia

The Unified Patent Court and the Unitary Patent – a quick recap and what happens now?

18 August, 2021

The legislation regarding the Unified Patent Court (“UPC”) and the Unitary Patent was signed by the German Federal President on August 7th 2021. Since Germany is a key country for the entry into force of the Unitary Patent, this ratification is a significant step on the journey towards the new system.

A provisional application period will commence once the Protocol on Provisional Application (“PPA”) has been deposited with the Council of the European Union, and after two more UPC member states have signed the PPA. This period allows for instance for the final recruitment of judges to take place, and for making final decisions on both organisational and practical matters of the UPC, as well as setting up the IT system needed for the unitary system.

Germany then also needs to deposit the legislation relating to the UPC Agreement, and when this is done, the UPC will be ready to open after 4 months. By the UPC Agreement, a unified patent jurisdiction is established covering all the Member States that have ratified the Agreement.

The Unitary Patent Protection (UPP), will allow, once the system is fully operational, for unitary effect of a European patent (“EP”: i.e. granted by the European patent office “EPO”,) in 24 Member states by one single request. Today, a Patentee must validated the classical EP with each of the national offices of the EPC member states (currently 38 states) of interest, which can be both costly and time consuming. However, the unitary effect of an EP will only cover the territories of those Member States that have ratified the UPC Agreement at the date of the registration of the unitary effect of the individual patent. A single renewal fee will be paid to the EPO, and the fee level is set to be similar to four renewal fees as for a classical EP.

The UPC will be a court common to the Contracting Member states, and be a part of their judicial system. It will consist of a court of First instance (divided into local, regional and central divisions), a Court of Appeal and a Registry. The UPC will have exclusive jurisdiction and competence* in respect of civil litigation on matters relating to both classical EPs and the European patents with unitary effect, as well as supplementary protection certificates issued for a product covered by such a patent and European patent applications.

The central divisions, handling disputes based on different IPC classifications, will be located in Paris and Munich and in one other member state, possibly Milan (since the UK has withdrawn). Local divisions will be set up in different countries, such as Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands. Germany will possibly host four local divisions in Düsseldorf, Mannheim, Munich and Hamburg. Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania will have a Nordic-Baltic regional division where the language will be English. Other countries are contemplating either setting up local or regional divisions, or go directly for the central division. 

A patent mediation and arbitration centre with seats in Ljubljana and Lisbon has also been established, and it is one aim of the UPC to encourage parties to use this way of solving disputes.

The central divisions will handle all revocation actions and declarations for non-infringement, in the language in which the European patent was granted, and the local and regional divisions will handle, amongst other cases, infringement actions, in view of the place where the infringement took place or the defendant’s seat. However, an invalidity action may also be brought before the local or regional divisions as a counterclaim to a pending infringement action. The local and regional courts may decide on their own which languages that can be used before the court. The Court of Appeal will be always use the language of proceedings used at the first instance. The proceedings before the UPC are governed by the UPCA and by the Rules of Procedure, giving more detail to these proceedings.

The proceedings of the Court of First Instance will consist of a written, an interim and an oral procedure, and there is an explicit aim of the UPC to hold a final hearing within one year of filing the complaint. This means that any part to the proceedings must be well prepared at each instance of the proceedings, as well as being well acquainted with the IT system to be used for all written submissions. 

*Since the UPC by default will have exclusive jurisdiction and competence also for classic European patents, once the UPP and the UPC/UPCA has entered into force, there will be a transitional period for seven years, where the patent proprietor may “opt-out” of this exclusive competence of the UPC. If the opt-out is declared, the UPC will not have jurisdiction to handle cases regarding the infringement and/or validity of that patent, lasting for the entire lifetime of the respective patent. (The proprietor may, however, “opt-in”, unless national proceedings have begun, and may, similarly, not opt-out if UPC proceedings have begun.) This exclusive jurisdiction has been called out as “putting all eggs in one basket”, since the revocation of the patent in UPC means that it is revoked for all the Member states. However and similarly, infringement disputes and enforcement thereof is also obtained for all the Member states by one ruling of the UPC. 

In conclusion, the short answer to “what happens now”, is “not that much” – at least until the Preparatory Committee sets out the time line for the Provisional Application Phase – which will then leave all Patent holders, and other parties involved with about 6 months to really prepare for the new patent system. 

If the UPC does enter into force, we at Ström & Gulliksson, as well as Advokatbyrån Gulliksson, together with colleagues at the location of the different European local and central courts, will stand fully prepared to assist our clients with all matters before the UPC.

Ström & Gulliksson highly recommended for patent work in Sweden and before the European Patent Office by IAM Patent 1000

5 July, 2021

Once again, Ström & Gulliksson is included among the patent law firms recommended for our work before the European Patent Office (EPO). In this year’s edition of the IAM Patent 1000 by Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) we retain our position as one of the leading patent law firms in Sweden, and it is gratifying that several of our patent attorneys have received well deserved special mentions.

Intellectual Asset Management (IAM) also pays attention to the fact that Sweden has a lengthy tradition of promoting innovation and supporting entrepreneurship; as a result, the country regularly ranks highly in global innovation indices and is one of the top filers at the EPO. Moreover, the pharmaceutical and automotive industries have been hotbeds of activity and there is an uptick in software patenting. 

Ström & Gulliksson’s ranking including individual reviews:

”The “super-successful” Ström & Gulliksson is “a modern and dynamic boutique full of wonderful talent”. Its artful management of massive portfolios containing thousands of patent families has earned it a sterling reputation among A-listers such as IKEA, Rolls-Royce, ARJO and Atos Medical. The all-star line-up in Malmo includes Rikard RoosBjörn Andersson and Magnus Berglund. “Dedicated, clever and an excellent communicator”, Roos “explains complex technical matters in layman’s terms, which makes life super-easy for litigators. He is a brilliant strategist with a great business understanding”, which translates into persuasive arguments in inter partes cases and oral proceedings. “He has a winning attitude and is the attorney you definitely want on your side of the table.” Electronics and Internet of Things whizz Andersson also receives glowing praise: “When it comes to litigation, Björn is psychic – he is absolutely brilliant, focuses on all the right questions and issues, and ends up giving the opposing party a run for their money. He combines extreme brilliance with a commercial approach, and gives clear and understandable advice.” IAM Patent 1000 newcomer Berglund heads up the chemistry squad and is counsel of choice for start-ups and SMEs looking to make their mark in Sweden, thanks to his insightful early stage opinion work. Over in Stockholm, Christian Arkelius is “one of the most trustworthy European patent attorneys around. He has a deep understanding of European and Chinese patent practices, and is always eager to learn about the latest legal developments. He is a true team player and his diligent approach is vital to clearing business obstacles”. Heading up the firm’s Gothenburg operations is Peter Ekwall, a go-to for complex assignments who “can be counted on for fresh perspectives and solutions.”

More about IAM Patent 1000 and Sweden as a global hotbed of innovation 
Online and in its printed version, the IAM Patent 1000 is commonly regarded as the definitive ‘go-to’ resource for those seeking to identify world-class, private practice patent expertise and leading expert witnesses in the US. As with previous editions, to arrive at the 2021 rankings, IAM undertook an exhaustive qualitative research project to identify outstanding firms and individuals across multiple jurisdictions. When identifying the leading firms, factors such as depth of knowledge, market presence and the level of work on which they are typically instructed were all taken into account, as well as positive peer and client feedback.

MIP IP STARS ranks S&G in Tier 1 for Patent Prosecution 2021

15 June, 2021

Ström & Gulliksson has again been recognised as one of Sweden’s leading patent firms, with a Tier 1 ranking for Patent Prosecution by MIP IP STARS.

We are proud to receive this recognition of our experience, knowledge and quality of service. We are a European patent firm well-versed in Swedish, European and global patent legislation, which enables us to provide high-quality advice to our clients.

Our collaboration with Advokatbyrån Gulliksson is a further guarantee of smooth and successful relationships with our clients. Read more about our previous rankings and awards.

To contextualize the rankings, Managing IP published its first legal directory in 1994 and rebranded it in 2013 as IP STARS. The publication quickly established itself as the leading specialist guide to IP law firms and practitioners worldwide. The research for IP STARS covers a variety of IP practice areas and more than 70 jurisdictions, making it the most comprehensive and widely respected guide in the IP profession.

The IP STARS rankings are not influenced by any commercial relationship, including advertising, with Managing IP or IP STARS. There is no fee to pay to participate in the research. No firm or practitioner can pay to be ranked. Participation in the research does not guarantee ranking. The rankings are subject to change each year. Learn more about the practice areas and methodology here.

Lars Hennix

LARS HENNIX 1971 – 2021

10 June, 2021

Lars Hennix, European Patent Attorney, Stockholm, 29 January 1971 – 2 June 2021. 

We mourn the loss of our friend, colleague and European Patent Attorney Lars Hennix who was taken away from us far too early after a period of illness.

The void after Lars is enormous, we have not only lost a very skilled and appreciated patent attorney and colleague but also a very good friend who – with his charismatic personality – spread so much joy among all of us.

Our thoughts go to Lars’ family.

Rest in peace, dear Lars.

For assistance or more information please contact our partner and head of office in Stockholm Mr. Christian Arkelius.

Clean energy – trends in patents covered by new EPO report

27 May, 2021

In April 2021 the European Patent Office published its report on “Patents and the energy transition” in a collaboration with the International Energy Agency (IEA). Here is European Patent Attorney, Sofia Willquist, summary and reflection. The report show the positive trends of the change that is touching all industries and all countries, but does also and maybe more importantly disclose the gaps in technology where more innovation is needed. Coming out of the pandemic that has been ripping through the entire world, this is a good opportunity for new businesses to emerge and to build a more sustainable world in the decades to come. 

According to the report there has now been a three-year growth in the area covering low-carbon energy (LCE) patents, together with a decline in patents relating to fossil fuel technologies. This is important, as we all know, because of the need to reach net-zero emissions of carbon dioxide.

The incentive for innovations within the LCE field is also interesting, because according to the report a shift has been made towards end-use sectors and applications that rely more on electrical power – including smart grids and hydrogen production, where the developing market of electrical vehicles (EVs) is a driving force. A growing trend is also clearly seen within carbon capturing innovations. 

The number one applicant at the EPO within LCE patents between 2000-2019 is – Toyota Motor, closely followed by two South Korean applicants Samsung and Panasonic. Bosch, Siemens and Volkswagen are among top 15 applicants and at the absolute top of technologies currently being patented is solar power technologies, but where a shift is seen towards organic PV cells as well as cost-cutting installations techniques. 

A sharp message regarding stagnation and technology gaps

The flow of innovations relating to hydrogen has remained stable, also due to substantial research funding, and in this respect Germany is providing nearly half of the patent applications in Europe, while in the field of EVs Japan is currently the world leader for both batteries and hydrogen.

However, the report also sends a sharp message that stagnation in the patenting activity is a concern for the clean energy transition (CET). There is a need to broaden the scope of innovations, and make room for new players and a stronger competition within the field of CET – and states that innovators should focus on standardisable technologies connected to consumer preferences, because this will lead to scalable manufacturing processes and cost effective products.

The report clearly shows the technology gaps that needs to filled and these include ocean power, bioenergy, CO2-storage solutions, buildings (efficient lighting, heating and home appliances), aviation and maritime applications, but also highlights that more innovation is still needed to put us on the CET track for net-zero CO2-emissions in 2050, in fields as batteries, hydrogen/fuel cells, smart grid, chemical and metal production, and also in computing and communication (ICT) – where also AI applications and big data will be very important. The report reveals that end-use technologies will pave the way for instance in power grids and energy storage, and in this sense the large companies will benefit from collaborations with smaller innovative companies to broaden the scope of energy innovation and to meet the consumer wishes.

Hydrogen innovations expected to grow

The enabling technologies i.e. those relating to deployment of clean energy to the end-users are of course closely related to the end-user applications, and in this field the growing number of patents relating to batteries is clearly reflected, even if the synergy between fuel cells and hydrogen and the range of end-user sectors is more clearly seen. The hydrogen innovations are expected to grow when, and if, the marked grows and continues to be an interesting business opportunity.  

The field of CO2-capturing techniques and those relating to preventing it from contributing to climate change only attributes to about 5 % of the patents in the LCE field – and is thus highly interesting filed for those seeking new business opportunities.

In this respect, public research is one of the key elements of LCE innovation, which is clear when looking at the numbers of patent applications filed by public research organisations in particular relating to more immature technologies, while the commercialised battery and smart-grid innovations mostly stem from the private sector. The main applicants, more than three quarters of all IPFs, come from Europe, Japan and the US, where Europe is strong in clean energy, specialising in almost all renewable energy technologies as well as having a strong governmental support for new innovations. Denmark is among the countries with a high share of LCE patents, while Sweden is the only country that did not register a drop in LCE patents between 2015-2019 and is also strong in ITC and geothermal applications. 

The report encourages international collaboration to increase the technological advances in the LCE field, between research centres and the private sector.  

In conclusion, the market, not the least the end-user market, for LCE technologies is growing rapidly. The need for continued innovation will lead to more collaboration and new business opportunities for both large and small companies. Innovation will also fill the gaps in LCE technology, which will be necessary for us to reach the goals as set out for instance in the Paris agreement.

Conveniently located near European authorities, institutions and courts we provide our clients with a comprehensive range of services. We have every type of patent attorney and assistant you may need – welcome to contant us!

Managing IP names Ström & Gulliksson Sweden’s Best Patent Firm 2021

9 April, 2021

– We’re thrilled and above all we’re proud and grateful to win Patent Prosecution Firm of the Year! It’s all thanks to our team and their core competences, commitment, and personal qualities. It’s because of them we’re the partner of choice for innovative companies, says Rikard Roos, Managing Partner. 

Proud winner of the Managing IP Patent Prosecution Firm of the Year 2021, Ström & Gulliksson is looking forward to continuing work on its fresh initiatives. It can look back on a successful year of fruitful changes, successful recruitment, and a number of awards and special citations.

Among the individual awards from Managing Intellectual Property (MIP) were Rikard Roos and Christian Arkelius, who were named MIP IP Stars 2020, and Malin Ahlgren and Edmund Lobb, who were named MIP Rising Stars

When last year’s ranking of Sweden’s leading patent firms was published by Intellectual Asset Management (IAM), IAM Patent 1000, it was also clear that Ström & Gulliksson is still in pole position as one of Sweden’s leading patent firms, and has been selected as one of a small number of recommended patent firms by the European Patent Office.

New office in Gothenburg, strategic recruitment, extended management team, and new shareholders

To be even closer to market-leading enterprises and to reach more industries, Ström & Gulliksson opened an office in Gothenburg in 2020. European patent attorney Peter Ekwall was recruited to be the new head of office. As in Malmö, Lund, and Stockholm, Ström & Gulliksson and the Gulliksson law firm are both under the same roof, and our close collaboration offers numerous client benefits. 

In the autumn, we were joined by four new paralegals—Helena Andersson, Irtefa Haque, Petter Lindgård and Monica Hörnell—to redimension the team and increase our high levels of service in our interactions with all our external contacts. 

In October, we welcomed the new members of our management team, Malin Ahlgren and Albin Persson. Malin Ahlgren has taken charge of the Paralegal Team, and Albin Persson is now running the Mechanics Team. Ström & Gulliksson’s management team is now Rikard Roos, Björn Andersson, Jan Nilsson, Erik Bolmsjö, Christian Arkelius, Magnus Berglund, Malin Ahlgren, and Albin Persson

At the end of the year, Malin Ahlgren became a new partner, and said of her new company-wide responsibilities.

– I’m inquisitive, I want to understand things, I channel my professional skills as a European patent attorney into ensuring my clients’ success, and I see exactly the same drive in Ström & Gulliksson. We’re at an exciting stage, and I see so many opportunities for strengthening our market position. It’s inspiring to be so involved in developing the agency on several levels.

Recruiting continues at all offices

Ström & Gulliksson has 51 employees. This year, the company has welcomed three new people to the team—Charlotta Möller, renewal administrator; Mathilda Janson, patent consultant; and Mark Heinrich, authorized German patent attorney—whom will soon be presented along with several other new patent consultants. 

We are actively recruiting to all our offices with the assistance of Merlin Wright Associates.

– The plan is for all our offices to continue to grow. We’re working strategically to recruit the skills and competence we need to maintain our position. As a full-service patent firm serving numerous innovative companies, things can get very busy working with new clients and exploring new responsibilities with existing clients, comments Leif Jörgensson, Senior Partner. 

– We set great store by our outstanding competence across the board, whatever the position, and we’re looking for people who share our enthusiasm for defending innovation. Whatever your role, we know that you’ll be providing our clients with the best possible service, and that you have the sort of business mind needed to work with patent law. As a patent firm and as an employer, we invest ourselves in our collaborations. Together with our clients we build the kind of relationships and trust that last years, and we’re pleased our recent awards and special citations show how well we’re doing, says Björn Andersson, Senior Partner.

Malin Ahlgren – new partner at Ström & Gulliksson

15 December, 2020

Malin Ahlgren, who earlier this year joined Ström & Gulliksson’s management team, will now also become a partner.
–  Through her partnership Malin will also commit to a long term engagement and take even more responsibility in strategic issues at partner level, says Erik Bolmsjö.

A much wanted opportunity and truly inspiring – that´s how  European Patent Attorney Malin Ahlgren sums up her choice to join as a partner in Ström & Gulliksson.

– In the same way that I am curious, want to understand and in every way contribute to my clients’ success through my professional role as a European Patent Attorney, the driving force is the same regarding Ström & Gulliksson. Right now we are entering an exciting phase as a firm, and I see many opportunities to further strengthen our position.

– Malin Ahlgren has since the day she was hired been enthusiastic about our ambition to always deliver the highest quality in all our assignments. She has a very good reputation in the industry, both in Sweden and internationally. In her new role as a partner we hope that she will contribute to further strengthen our reputation as one of Europe’s leading patent firms, says Björn Andersson.

In connection with Malin Ahlgren joining the management team, she also took over the responsibility for leading the agency’s Paralegal team.

– Malin Ahlgren has always shown a great commitment to the development of Ström & Gulliksson and recently also taken on more and more responsibility at an overall level at the firm. Besides that, Malin has always had a strong commitment to our clients and now also assumes personnel responsibilities by leading our paralegal team, says Rikard Roos.

Client case study Magle Chemoswed: “Patents mean we can reap considerable strategic and competitive advantages”

3 December, 2020

The recently listed company Magle Chemoswed AB is one of Ström & Gulliksson’s medtech clients. S&G European patent attorney Magnus Berglund and Magle Chemoswed’s CEO Justin Pierce describe their collaboration as one of trust, and a shared belief in the strategic importance of implementing a patent perspective early in development.

Magle Chemoswed is a unique international contract manufacturing company with GMP facilities. It also has its own product development. It is dedicated to making ideas into products for its customers. It also has its own product pipeline with a proprietary and patented technology base, especially in starch-based technologies.

– Strong patents are essential for us! Patents mean we can reap considerable strategic and competitive advantages. In terms of our own projects, I’m well aware of all the factors we need to consider. Building a solid product strategy and filing patent applications involves a great deal of work, including freedom to operate and to consider our own patents, says Justin Pierce, who has been CEO of the company since October 2012.

– I started when the company brought me to provide legal advice. My position as CEO was originally going to be a temporary thing, but here I am, CEO since the autumn of 2012. I think my law background means I understand the legal pitfalls, and in fact all the legal aspects of patent protection we can encounter. I’m also extremely interested in litigation!

Thinking in terms of patents is a strategic choice

Justin Pierce says that Magle Chemoswed thinks in terms of patents from the start, and that is where Ström & Gulliksson comes in.

– If we wanted to of course we could start development, and invest time and resources, without considering or even exploring the possibility of a patent. But for us that’s not the right way to go about things. We involve Magnus Berglund at an early stage, and we’re transparent about our projects’ strengths and weaknesses: over and over again it’s proved decisive. It’s how we know we’re tackling things the right way from the start, says Justin Pierce. He explains that Magnus complements the company’s own team of lead scientist, project manager, in-house lawyer, and experts with the necessary chemical expertise.

– Without Magnus’s input, we might miss certain steps in development, and not have the data needed for a full patent application and ultimately for a strong patent. If he sees potential, he makes sure we’ve done all the required steps in the development process. Quite simply, he helps us cover every angle from the start. Magnus is an ideal discussion partner because he brings the patent perspective, while his science background means he completely understands our work. We see him as one of us. His expertise is a significant asset to our company and our strategic business choices.

A consistent patent strategy—hand in hand with business goals

It is a collaboration is based on trust, and Magle Chemoswed wants to hear questions, not just agreement.

– Magnus listens to us, but he doesn’t automatically do what we say or what we thought we needed. He’s not afraid to question our ideas, and he does so in an ethical, honest way, and always with a view to our long-term profitability.

– We have our own unique technology; it takes time to get across our thinking, our ambitions, our goals. We set store by our long-term collaboration. Ours is a consistent patent strategy, and strategically speaking it keeps pace with our business goals. Plus it’s so important to have a patent consultant who keeps track of all your patents, as you don’t want them to conflict and you do want them to complement and even reinforce one another.

On several occasions, S&G has been engaged to help challenge competitors’ existing patents and for patent infringement analyses.

– We know our main competitors are large companies with more resources and more staff. At the same time, what matters in the medical devices business is getting your products to market quickly. That’s where I hope we have the advantage because of our fast decision-making—we’re quick on our feet. We fully intend to grow based on our technology, and to increase the number of our patents and products.

– Magle Chemoswed has extensive capabilities across the whole value chain. It relies on patented protected technology, supported by trade secrets and indispensable know-how. A challenging and inspiring client, which works proactively with innovation and patent processes, and has complete certainty about which markets to prioritise, says Magnus Berglund.

About Magle Chemoswed
Magle Chemoswed’s first advanced wound care product for chronic and diabetic wounds is currently in registration. Its team of experts in microsphere technology are working on medical device applications in advanced wound care, surgery and diagnostics, and drug delivery.

Chemoswed was originally founded in 1944 by the Swedish pharmaceutical company Ferrosan, and after various owners became a contract manufacturer in its own right after being divested from Chemours in 2015. Magle Life Sciences was founded by Hans Henrik Lidgard in 1997 as a development company to work on starch microspheres and their possible application in manufacturing drugs.

Hans Henrik Lidgard Founder and Chairman of the Board:

– I know Gulliksson from doing the law foundation course at Lund University, when Jonas and I sat next to each other in the legendary Micha Markendag’s lectures. Our professional collaboration began in around 2000, and has covered pharmaceutical innovations and medical inventions and of course questions of procedure. We’ve had excellent support from Ström & Gulliksson when it comes to strategic thinking, protecting new ideas, and defending existing patents. We may have taken a step back from running things personally, but I know we’re both pleased our trusting collaboration lives on.

Magle Chemoswed was formed in 2017 when Magle Life Sciences acquired Chemoswed. It is a CDMO with its own technology platform and product portfolio. It owns its manufacturing and development facilities, and has all the resources to manage drug substances and biopharmaceuticals, and to develop and manufacture its own medical technology products. Magle Chemoswed is the proud employer of some 70 people of many nationalities, with diverse backgrounds and experiences.

European Patent Attorneys Malin Ahlgren and Albin Persson — Joining the Ström & Gulliksson management team

12 November, 2020

In October, Ström & Gulliksson welcomed Malin Ahlgren and Albin Persson to the management team, Malin to head up the paralegal team and Albin the mechanics team.

Malin Ahlgren, recently named a Rising Star 2020 by Managing Intellectual Property, is looking forward to working with the management team to consolidate and foster the company’s team spirit.

— In addition to our individual experiences and competences, I see our strong sense of purpose and our ability to collaborate as important ingredients in Ström & Gulliksson’s recipe for success. We are entering an exciting phase as an agency, and it is an inspiring opportunity to take the lead in building on our dynamic growth and increasingly strong position in the market. 

On joining the management team, Malin is taking over from Erik Bolmsjö as head of the paralegal team, and is looking forward to the challenge of leading Ström & Gulliksson’s largest team.

— Our paralegals are in many ways the hub of the company, making sure everything runs smoothly, maintaining the highest standards of coordination and administration in all we do. Our team is the crucial link with our external contacts, and wonderful bunch of people with diverse backgrounds and experiences who collaborate and complement one another in an impressive way.

Albin Persson, who has 18 years of consulting experience, was recruited by Ström & Gulliksson in January 2019, having been on the management team at his former patent agency. Albin is looking forward to his new role helping carry the management team forward.

— From experience, I would hope my contribution at the management team level will be an outside perspective on everything from our internal routines to our general approach. One of my main reasons for joining was I found S&G a well-organised agency with cutting-edge expertise at all levels, at the same time open to change and progress.

Albin says his picture of S&G as the agency with the highest level of competence across the board was right, and he is looking forward to contributing to its further development. On joining the management team, he has taken charge of the agency’s mechanics team.

— It is a real inspiration to take up where Leif Jörgensson is leaving off, though his are big shoes to fill. We are a strong, ambitious team with a good mix of experience and knowledge, and ready to grow.

Client case study Crunchfish – Proactive patent strategy with the world as market

11 November, 2020

Joachim Samuelsson, CEO and principal owner of the Nasdaq First North listed Crunchfish, talks enthusiastically about the company’s latest investment in offline payment and what lays the foundation for global success: a proactive patent strategy.

Today, when less than one in ten purchases in Sweden is made with cash, Sweden’s well-functioning IT infrastructure drives the marginalization of physical currency, which makes the Swedish payment market extremely sensitive to disruptions and downtime. Crunchfish has developed a patent-pending solution for offline payments and CEO Joachim Samuelsson explains why:

–Simplified, you can say that we have patented the technology for a robust and friction-free payment solution that works 24/7 and which also complements and can be integrated into all forms of digital payment solutions worldwide. In Sweden, we are spoiled with a good IT infrastructure and have become by far the best in the world to not pay with cash. This means a vulnerability in the event of disruptions and downtime, as fewer and fewer people carry cash with them, the only means of payment that is guaranteed to always work. In other parts of the world, such as India, cash payments still account for 80% of purchases, as digital payments cannot be trusted to always work there. Our offline solution works just like cash, but digitally. That insight drove us to invest in this invention.

Unique position through patented solutions

Today, Crunchfish’s portfolio contains both solutions that are very important commercially and others that are more peripheral.

–We have inventions from three generations of technology development, which has meant both a large and diverse patent portfolio. We have patents regarding gesture control, proximity-based interaction and most recently digital payment, which is our current focus. The fact that we have applied for a patent for the technical core behind offline payments means that we can confidently market the invention to the world’s payment services, says Joachim Samuelsson and his personal enthusiasm for patents is obvious.

– For us, it has been a conscious effort to always build a protected market position by patents. The patent process is often complex and can feel difficult to navigate. But I am triggered by what I believe in and want to protect what we develop and invest in. I am a technology pioneer myself and stand together with the company’s founder and CTO Paul Cronholm as inventor of more than half of our patents.

The interaction between inventor and patent attorney

Joachim Samuelsson joined Crunchfish in the autumn of 2012, as its first investor, and took initially on the role of working chairman of the board with responsibility for, among other things, the patent portfolio. With the company’s increased focus on mobile payments, Joachim instead became CEO at the beginning of 2020. The collaboration with Ström Gulliksson began even before Joachim’s investment in the company with a patentability study of the company’s technology and a so-called Freedom-to-Operate analysis, a relatively comprehensive evaluation to determine whether the scope of protection of other companies entailed any restrictions.

– I made it clear to the founders that I only wanted to invest in Crunchfish if they had patentable technology. I had prior good experience of Ström Gulliksson from a project where I invested in Biomain in 2008 and was its COO with, among other things, responsibility for the patent portfolio. It was an exciting journey with an exit 2012. The divestiture became a result of winning a case in the Stockholm Patent Court where we sued our competitors for patent infringement. We were represented by Rikard Roos together with Mikael Karlsson from Advokatbyrån Gulliksson During those legal proceedings, I realized that there can be a big difference between patent firms when it comes to competence. We won a clear victory and even got an immediate stop to the competition with an interim decision by the court.

– Crunchfish is a small company in terms of number of employees and financial muscle. Since we do not shy away from tackling major technical challenges that really need to be solved, I would feel much more threatened that the big tech companies would catch up with us once we have shown how to solve the problems if it were not for the fact that we have invested so heavily in patenting, says Joachim and proudly states:

– With over 25 unique inventions that have been granted patents, we have more patented inventions than employees! Our hit rate has been incredible.

An important part of the successful work with patents is the interaction between the company and the patent attorney, says Joachim:

To work with Björn Andersson is to work with someone who possesses technical knowledge in our areas and is good at capturing our ideas. It happens that we more or less throw ideas at him. He is a genuinely curious soul who loves technology. He comes up with counter-arguments and is just as good at narrowing down ideas as he is at scaling them up. He also masters the craftsmanship required to write a good patent application that has been shown to be important in getting them all the way to approval with a wide range of protections. Then he is also damn nice and we like to go together and see Malmö FF win exciting soccer games.

Growing patent portfolio and the whole world as a market

The patent portfolio is growing continuously and the strategy is clear and aggressive: to protect the company’s technology in all geographic markets that are considered important. Crunchfish owns all of its patents and patent applications without limitation. During the third quarter of 2020, Crunchfish had 28 unique innovations that were granted patents. In total, Crunchfish had just over 90 active patents and patent applications, including all country-specific applications.

Björn Andersson, European patent attorney, agrees with Crunchfish that it takes more than good technology to succeed as a company today. 

– Crunchfish is an excellent example of a Malmö-based company with the world as a potential market. They understood early on the importance and value of investing in patents. Step by step, they have strategically built up their patent portfolio, which forms the basis on which they create profitable business, at the same time as they are involved and drive development. As a customer of Ström & Gulliksson, they are an extremely exciting company to follow and collaborate with! Crunchfish has a proactive and business-driven strategy that has positioned them well for the future.

And the driving force for Crunchfish as a company? According to Joachim, it is crystal clear: the technology first, to identify patentable inventions, and then create profitable businesses through scalable products with global market potential.– I would say that we are pioneers who are based primarily on technology. We are driven by being out early and coming up with radical innovations in difficult problems that really need to be solved. Crunchfish’s founder and CTO Paul Cronholm embodies the idea that in combination with understanding how we can make the technology commercially scalable is our recipe for success.

This is Crunchfish

Since the start in 2010, Crunchfish has focused on human-machine interaction. The company’s gesture control technology from 2012 makes it possible to control smart AR glasses with hand gestures. In 2014, Crunchfish began patenting its proximity-based mobile technology, which is a groundbreaking way to discover and communicate with anything and everyone nearby.

Today, Crunchfish mainly focuses on digital payments that started to be patented in 2017. The unique offline solution makes payment services robust and friction-free because all risks of disruptions and downtime are eliminated. The solution can be integrated either in a mobile wallet or with the rails of the payment infrastructure, which creates great scalability globally.

The Crunchfish headquarter is in Malmö with operations also in India. Since 2016 the company is listed on Nasdaq First North. Crunchfish AB (publ) has two wholly owned operating subsidiaries, Crunchfish Gesture Interaction AB and Crunchfish Proximity AB. Crunchfish Proximity in turn owns Blippit AB in equal shares with ClearOn AB.