Panu Siitonen heads our Intellectual Property practice in Helsinki. He has vast experience in intellectual property (IP) and information and communications technology (ICT) matters as well as IP and ICT related litigation. Panu also has substantial experience in life sciences, regulatory, marketing and e-commerce as well as sports, media and entertainment.
Panu has advocated several cases relating to trademarks and domain names, patents and utility models, copyrights and databases and complex IP-intensive contractual issues. In addition, Panu has advocated several cases relating to marketing and unfair business practices. Panu has represented clients in arbitration and litigation before the Market Court, the Helsinki District Court, the Helsinki Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court, the Supreme Administrative Court, the Court of Justice of the European Union, and the Unified Patent Court (UPC).
As to ICT, Panu has advised and represented clients in numerous ICT-related assignments, such as ERP and other complex projects as well as ICT-related disputes. Panu is also an experienced negotiator and has advised clients in various agreement negotiations relating to IT system deliveries, software licensing and services, research and development projects, supply of components, manufacturing and co-operation projects. In addition, Panu advises regularly in transactions with respect to IP and ICT matters.
Panu also provides strategical advice and, according to clients, he is “able to use his intelligence to direct the client. He is a trusted person” (Chambers Europe, 2016). According to another client, “Panu has an exceptional business-oriented approach in addition to his extensive professional expertise.”(ILO Client Choice 2017).
He offers a practical approach to problem solving.
Intellectual Property | Chambers Global, 2023
Hannes Snellman, together with Hogan Lovells and Gleiss Lutz, successfully represented Supponor entities in the Helsinki Local Division of the Unified Patent Court (UPC) in a case concerning a digital overlay technology. As requested by the defendants, the court dismissed the patent holder’s preliminary injunction application and main action due to lack of jurisdiction, as the asserted patent had initially been opted-out from the UPC’s jurisdiction, and its subsequent attempted opt-out withdrawal was deemed ineffective under Art. 83 of the UPC Agreement due to pending national proceedings. This was the first oral hearing and first decision by the Helsinki Local Division of the UPC since the launch of the UPC on 1 June 2023
Sega Europe Limited and SEGA Corporation (Buyers) Rovio Entertainment Corporation (Target)
Counsel to Sega Europe Limited and SEGA Corporation in the recommended public cash tender offer for all shares and options in Rovio Entertainment Corporation.
Approximately EUR 706 million
Counsel to Sega Europe Limited and SEGA Corporation
Hannes Snellman represented Finnish Red Cross First Aid in various trademark disputes before the Finnish Patent and Registration Office. We represented Finnish Red Cross First Aid in several trademark invalidation and revocations proceedings. One of the cases were ruled in favour of our client and the invalidation actions were dismissed. Two other cases were settled out of court and the adverse parties agreed to stop using infringing and misleading marks in their marketing and one adverse party agreed to cancel their trademark registration
Counsel to Anora, a leading alcoholic beverage brand company operating in wine and spirits markets in the Nordic and Baltic countries, in a dispute before the Market Court against Valvira, the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health, regarding Anora Group’s right to disclose information on its key assets, i.e., key brands.
Counsel to a multinational technology company and its local distributor in patent infringement and invalidation proceedings before the Market Court. The cases were settled out of court.
Counsel a public company in a copyright dispute before the Market Court and the Supreme Court concerning copyright and limitations to the exclusive rights of the copyright holder set forth in the Copyright Act.
Counsel to a Nordic group in a patent infringement and invalidation proceedings before the Market Court. The infringement case concerned both the direct infringement and doctrine of equivalents
Counsel to an international luxury brand in non-cancellation proceedings. The case was ruled in our client’s favour and the adverse party’s trademark was cancelled.
Counsel to a movie producer of TV series and feature films regarding international distribution of an animated feature film. The film was initially released in the Nordics.
Counsel to Beneq, a leading developer and manufacturer of atomic layer disposition (ALD) technology and provider of R&D services in restructuring the group’s intellectual property holding to correspond to the requirements of the group’s business.
Ahlström Capital BV and Nidoco AB (buyers), Ahlstrom-Munksjö (seller), Decor Solutions business area (target)
The buying consortium comprising Ahlström Capital BV and Nidoco AB, in the investment in the majority share of Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s Decor Solutions business area.
Value not public
Counsel to the buying consortium (Ahlström Capital BV and Nidoco AB)
Paulig Group (seller), Valio (buyer), Gold&Green brand, intellectual property and R&D function (target)
The divestment of Paulig’s Gold&Green brand, intellectual property and R&D function to Valio
Value not public
Counsel to Paulig Group
Counsel to a distributor of a multinational medical device manufacturer in damages proceedings based on the Finnish Unfair Business Practices Act before the Market Court. The claimant right to claim damages was challenged, and the Market Court exceptionally rendered an interim decision allowing the defendant to apply for a leave to appeal from the Supreme Court. The case was settled out of court prior to the Supreme Court rendered its decision.
Counsel to Sanasto in disputes relating to the compensation paid for Finnish public literary lending. The Helsinki District Court ruled the cases in favour of our client and dismissed the cases. The Helsinki Court of Appeals did not change the ruling of the Helsinki District Court.
Counsel to Finnish Bar Association in a dispute concerning the name of the association of other legal professionals before the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court found the name to be misleading and infringing and cancelled the registration of the name.
Counsel to a distributor of a multinational medical device manufacturer in a dispute regarding alleged misuse of trade secrets based on the Finnish Unfair Business Practices Act before the Market Court
Counsel to a multinational pharmaceutical company in preliminary injunction proceedings concerning biosimilars before the Market Court.
Counsel to Oy Santa Claus Licensing Ltd. in their international agency arrangement.
Counsel to Bureau National Interprofessionel du Cognac in a dispute concerning unauthorised use of geographical indication before the Helsinki District Court.
Counsel to an entertainment company in licensing TV series.
Oriola Oyj and Kesko Oyj
A 50/50 percent joint venture to establish a chain of health, beauty and wellbeing stores across Finland, with the plan to expand the business to include pharmaceuticals if the legislation is amended
Value not public
Counsel to Oriola
Counsel to a Finnish public company in a domain name dispute before the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center. The case was settled on terms favorable to our client and the disputed domain name was transferred to our client.
Counsel to a Finnish public company in an unfair business practices dispute before the Market Court. The adverse party’s claim regarding interim injunction was rejected and the case was settled on terms favorable to our client.
Counsel to a Finnish public company in arbitration regarding a complex contractual software application licensing dispute. The arbitral award was rendered on terms favorable to our client.
Counsel to Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac in disputes concerning geographical indication “Cognac” and Finnish trademarks before the Court of Justice of the European Union and the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland. The cases resulted in precedents issued by the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland.
The International Law Office (ILO) has granted Panu their Client Choice Award 2013, 2014 and 2017 in the Intellectual Property: Trademarks category. The ILO Client Choice Awards recognises those law firms and partners around the world that stand apart for the excellent client care they provide and the quality of their service. Based on ILO’s survey among senior corporate counsel, Panu was regarded as the best lawyer in the aforementioned category in Finland.
Below a sample of quotes from Panu’s client feedback:
- “His knowledge of IP law is excellent; he is practical and business focused and he is a pleasure to work with.”
- “Panu has an exceptional business-oriented approach in addition to his extensive professional expertise.”
- “He delivers top quality results even within strict deadlines; he is easy-going which makes the process smooth and pleasant.”
- “Panu is able to think strategically; he has the client's best interests in mind.”
- “Panu has been exceptional so far, and in all cases he has at least met – and mostly exceeded – my expectations with the results”
- “Mr Siitonen provides a high-quality service which in every respect exceeds the hours spent and fees paid in value”
- “Mr Siitonen has always demonstrated exceptional dedication to his work. This is particularly seen in his willingness to understand the client’s business and the entire legal and commercial framework”
- “In addition to assisting clients in both contract negotiations and disputes, he provides deep insight on the risks involved”
- “Clearly business oriented approach with problem solving attitude”
- “His attitude to client work is excellent and he has a capability to finalise matters in an efficient way, which is highly appreciated by clients”
- “Panu Siitonen represents in his work vast experience in Intellectual Property. This is reflected in his ability to discuss complicated issues on different levels depending on who he is speaking to”
- “Ability to clarify advice and documentation on a complex legal field of healthcare and life sciences”
- “Thorough and detailed approach with minimal guidance”
In other legal directories, Panu has been referred to as follows:
- “Panu Siitonen is an excellent patent litigator.” Chambers Global, 2024
- Trademark Star – Finland, Managing IP, 2023
- Recommended Individuals: transactions & Silver Individuals: litigation, IAM Patent 1000: The World’s Leading Patent Professionals, 2023
- "He has very good analytical skills and understanding of business matters. He offers a practical approach to problem solving. He is easy-going, practical and very business minded.", Intellectual Property, Chambers Global, 2023
- Ranked as a leading individual within Intellectual Property in Legal 500, 2022-2023
- 'A client praises him as "very collaborative and very responsive."', Intellectual Property, Chambers Global & Chambers Europe 2022
- "Panu Siitonen is knowledgeable and practical in his advice. He is a great support in all IP matters ranging from patent strategies to business integrity matters.", "Panu Siitonen, partner and IPR team leader. Very good presentation and communication skills – helps me as a non-IPR expert to understand and grasp complex IPR issues. Keeps me as a client up to speed and responds within minutes." Leading Individual / Intellectual Property, Legal 500, 2021
- 'According to clients, Panu Siitonen "handles cases skilfully."', Intellectual Property, Chambers Global and Chambers Europe, 2021
- 'A tremendous lawyer with the mindset of a businessman, his advice is extremely practical and always accurate. Panu is always on the ball and his proactive style puts clients at ease in the most testing of times.', IAM Patent 1000, 2020
- 'Panu Siitonen is the key attorney there and I would trust him with any case.', Leading Individual / Intellectual Property, Legal 500, 2020
- 'Panu Siitonen...A litigator by trade, he also gets results in enforcement proceedings that are deserving of the Stanley Cup', WTR 1000, 2020
- IP Star – Finland, Managing IP, 2014-2023
- 'Panu stands out for being "very thorough'", Intellectual property, Legal 500, 2019
- Setting the tone of excellence is Panu Siitonen, who combines the best traits of a seasoned litigator, strategist and deal broker. In the words of one of Europe’s undisputed leading patent lawyers, “Panu is my favourite patent litigator in Finland. He is responsive, creative, tough and extremely versatile.”, Individuals: litigation, IAM Patent 1000, 2019
- Panu Siitonen is nominated as one of the world's leading practitioners in the field of Patents by Who's Who Legal 2019
- Ranked among the world’s leading data lawyers within Information Technology, Who’s Who Legal, 2019
- '“In possession of a sharp and flexible mind”, Panu Siitonen is a seasoned negotiator who also channels his commercial aptitude toward ironing out the rough patches in intricate licensing deals. Devotees hail him as “An accessible attorney, who always picks up the phone when we call. He is capable of presenting a case to the court in a convincing and pedagogic manner; he refrains from exaggeration, ensuring that his elegant arguments are based on a sound understanding of underlying legal concepts.”', Transactions & Litigation, IAM Patent 1000, 2018
- Clients describe Panu as "knowledgeable and dedicated", Intellectual property, Legal 500, 2018
- “He has a very broad knowledge about different areas of IP.”, Intellectual Property, Chambers Global 2018
- "His contribution to important projects has been significant. He is easy to work with and gives timely, to-the-point advice.", IAM Patent1000: The world’s leading patent professionals 2017
- Ranked in Intellectual Property and TMT in the 2017 edition of Legal 500
- Panu Siitonen "has ‘a great sense of tactics for cases’", Intellectual Property, Legal 500, 2017
- Ranked in Intellectual Property, in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 editions of Chambers Global
- "According to clients, Panu Siitonen is 'able to use his intelligence to direct the client. He is a trusted person.' ", Chambers Global 2016 and Chambers Europe 2016
- "IP litigation head Panu Siitonen covers trade mark, copyright and patent disputes, with particular expertise in advising sports clients. Clients agree he is a 'very, very talented lawyer. He is hard-working and energetic.' ", Intellectual Property, Chambers Global 2015 and Chambers Europe 2015
- "Panu Siitonen is a partner in prestigious commercial outfit Hannes Snellman and leads its IP litigation team. He has a great track record in trademark, copyright and patent infringement actions, and deploys silky presentation skills to great effect when it comes to the negotiation of IP deals", WTR 1000: The World’s Leading Trademark Professionals 2015
- Panu Siitonen is nominated as one of the world's leading practitioners in the field of Information Technology by Who's Who Legal 2015 and 2016
- "...credited by sources for his IP expertise and commercial approach.", Intellectual Property, Chambers Global 2014
- Featured as one of the leading individuals in World Trademark Review 1000: The World’s Leading Trademark Professionals 2014. “Panu Siitonen is a diverse attorney with a sophisticated understanding of litigation proceedings. His tactical acumen attracts particular praise from in-house counsel, who appreciate his value-adding approach.”
- Ranked among the best lawyers in the 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 editions (Helsinki: Information Technology, Intellectual Property, Media and Technology) of Best Lawyers®
- ‘Panu Siitonen impresses clients with his committed and responsible approach.’, TMT, Chambers Europe 2013
- "Panu Siitonen is an expert in telecoms and technology IP litigation and licensing.”, Legal 500, 2013
- Highly recommended in TMT, Legal 500, 2013
- ‘Well known in the market, Panu Siitonen is active in the firm's IP litigation matters, as well as its non-contentious work, especially patent-related cases.’, Intellectual Property, Chambers Global 2013 and Chambers Europe 2013
- Featured as one of the leading individuals in Finland in IAM Patent 1000 2013: The World’s Leading Patent Practitioners
- "Panu Siitonen has played a leading role in numerous battles against infringing importers and is regularly behind the issue of seize and destroy orders. A seasoned IP disputes lawyer who has spearheaded a wealth of trademark and domain name cases, he also advises on trademark strategy and commercial agreements”, WTR 1000 The World’s Leading Trademark Professionals 2013
- ‘One client of Siitonen's, who has used the firm for five years, said: "They have a huge understanding of the different areas in intellectual property and rights. Also, they are really very active, which is hugely important to us, and they have a good network in Finland. We have good results in fights we have with them."’, Mananging Intellectual Property IP Handbook 2012
Memberships and Positions of Trust
- Member of the Finnish Bar Association, Member of the IPR Expert Group of the Finnish Bar Association 2013-2016, Chairman of the IPR Expert Group 2016-2023
- Member of the Finnish AIPPI Group, treasurer 2012- and Member of the Board 2013-
- Member of Finnish Association for Industrial Property Rights
- Member of the Finnish Anti-Couterfeiting Group, Member of the Board 2013-2016
- Member of the International Trademark Association (INTA)
- Member of the Finnish IT Law Association, Member of the Board 2009-2011
- Member of the International Technology Law Association (ITechLaw)
- Member of the Licensing Executives Society International (LESI)
- Member of the Finnish Sports Law Association
Education and Professional Background
- Partner, Hannes Snellman, 2011
- Senior Associate, Hannes Snellman, 2006
- Associate, Hannes Snellman, 2004
- Associate, Mäkitalo Rämö Virolainen Attorneys at Law, 2004
- Associate, Risto Kurki-Suonio Attorneys at Law, 2002 – 2004
- IPR Specialist, IPR University Center 2003
- Master of Laws, University of Helsinki, 2001