Helsinki IP Summit 2019 – Day 1

4/2019 19.12.2019

The very first Helsinki IP Summit took place on 23-24 October in Helsinki, at Helsinki Congress Hotel Paasitorni. Helsinki IP Summit connected people from diverse areas of intellectual property to hear about current IPR phenomena and the IP world. The presentations included IPR success stories, IPR and arbitration seminars, presentations related to the game industry, life sciences, well-being, health technology and IP as well as other IPR phenomena such as AI, blockchain, 5 G, Brexit and data.

During these two days IP practitioners, start-ups, academics, business leaders and law and business students connected with each other and enjoyed a large variety of interesting presentations. The presentations were organised into three parallel programmes that the participants could choose from based on the topics that interested them the most.

The programme of the Summit started with opening words by Director and Professor Marcus Norrgård from IPR University Center. Norrgård’s speech was followed by a keynote speech delivered by Senior Vice President from Marconi Ilkka Rahnasto who presented interesting key themes in the current IP world. For example, the platform economy, start-ups and patents, artificial intelligence and litigation around jurisdictions as well as raising interest in collective licensing are factors and phenomena that deeply affect today’s IP environment.

Arbitration seminar – The potential of arbitration in IP disputes

In IPR contracts, there is increasingly more often an agreement on arbitration. Despite of this, the arbitration process itself might not be that familiar to many professionals. One of the parallel programmes kicked off with arbitration seminar that was moderated by Secretary General Santtu Turunen from FAI and concentrated on how to agree on arbitration in IPR contracts and disputes. The panellists, Partner Bernt Juthström from Waselius & Wist, Partner Antti Järvinen from Frontia, Partner Sakari Salonen from Castrén & Snellman, Professor and Partner Marco Torsello from ARBILIT and Partner Niklas Östman from Roschier discussed what kind of IP disputes can be handled in arbitration and whether it is beneficial to take IP disputes to be solved in an arbitration process or by a court. There are pros and cons for each option relating to for example the costs of the process, the expertise of the judges, the length of the process, the geographical aspect of the dispute and the publicity of it.

After lunch, the arbitration-themed program continued with a second panel discussion on why Finland is a perfect seat for IPR arbitration and what could be done to be even more attractive. The discussion was moderated by Head of Legal Affairs Mikko Kemppainen from Orion Corporation with the panellists Dr. Rouven Bodenheimer from Bodenheimer Hetzbeerg, Vice President and Head of Intellectual Property Pirke Fustinoni from Outotec, Senior Vice President, Head of Intellectual Property Eeva Hakoranta from Nokia and President of the Finnish Bar Association Jarkko Ruohola from Lukander Ruohola HTO Attorneys at Law. According to the discussion, Finland has not been the most evident choice for a seat of arbitration. Luckily, it has potential to become more attractive, which is promoted by the fact that Finland has a reputation of being innovative and neutral high-technology country. It was agreed among the panellists that Finland could more actively promote itself as being an appropriate venue of arbitration following the example of other countries.

Hot topics in IPR: Game industry, Brand protection, AI & Sustainability

The second parallel program was centred around the game industry and brands. Partner Markus Myhrberg from Lexia discussed the game industry from the IPR point of view. Game industry has been growing heavily, roughly 15-20 % every year. The industry is dependent on IP; it is often a key part of the business. The following speaker, Senior Legal Counsel Heidi Kunnari from Telia Finland, continued on the subject and presented interesting angles related to gaming, eSports, sponsor contracts and game events. Esports is a competitive sport performed in a virtual environment and, according to Kunnari, a new norm. Esports is primed to take over traditional sports as the futures favourite past time and already now, in some eSports games, there are more viewers than National Hockey League (NHL) finals.

After Myhrberg’s and Kunnari’s presentations, Partner Panu Siitonen and Senior Associate Sarita Schröder from Hannes Snellman presented on brand protection possibilities and pitfalls in the EU. They highlighted that it can be very challenging for brand owners to obtain an EU trademark registration for trademarks that are devoid of any distinctive character throughout the EU. In order to have a strong protection for a trademark, the trademark proprietor should at least have a clear strategy for brand and trademark management. The following speaker, Dr. Susann Lüdtke, Consultant from PatentSight GmbH, provided an overview of the key players and future trends of artificial intelligence in the field of patents.

After lunch, the programme focused on brands and brand building. Johanna Jäkälä, Vice President for Brand, Marketing and Customer Loyalty from Finnair, approached the theme by discussing the role of morality and sustainability in the brand building. According to 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer report, nowadays people put their trust in brands – businesses are more trusted to solve issues concerning e.g. climate change than governments. Jäkälä emphasized that the brand trust in this era is crucial and businesses should identify a cause that has meaning for the customers and synergy with the brand. Partner and Board Professional Marina Vahtola from Chain Investment continued the discussion highlighting how reliable brands are the key to success.

Brexit, Unitary Patent Court, Data, AI & Blockhain – what implications for IP?

During the third parallel program, Juha-Pekka Ruuskanen, Partner from Page White & Farrer started the day by giving a presentation on Brexit and IP. Brexit is currently pouring general unawareness around, which has also affected the field of IPR. Non-EU-related contracts will naturally remain unaffected after Brexit (PCT), but rights that are established by EU-regulations will no longer be valid in the UK (EU trademark, RDC’s, UCD’s). The costs of proceedings will also be affected since after Brexit the UK will no longer be a part of European Economy Area. There is a lot of uncertainty in the air right now and many things are still dependent on the outcome of the future negotiations.

The effects of Brexit were also on the frame during the second presentation when Jussi Karttunen, the President of the Finnish Market Court, held a presentation about Unified Patent Court (UPC), which would be a completely new court specialised in European patent litigation for Unitary Patens and “classical” European Patents. Although UPC is an international agreement, it is only open for the EU Member states. However, it is mentioned that the agreement could be modified in this perspective. The UK has already ratified the UPC agreement while they still are part of EU, and it has been questioned whether it can remain a member after Brexit. It’s likely that someone will take this issue to the CJEU.

The effects of Brexit also reached our third presentation when Of Counsel Eleanora Rosati from Bird & Bird Stockholm told us about text and data mining and EU’s approach into it. Rumours say that the UK is not making any preparations for the new EU text and data mining directive because of Brexit. Common nominator for different processes under the term “text and data mining” is that they mine large amounts of text and data, which can be used for example for making predictions. TDM is important from the point of view of future research but also from the economic perspective, and that’s why EU legislators have made it to their business to regulate exceptions.

Jussi Mäkinen, Head of Digital Regulation, growth and education from Technology Industries of Finland and Kalle Hynönen, Partner from Krogerus, continued by giving presentations of their collaboration project where they drafted model terms for use of industrial data between companies. Nowadays, we have a great ability to gather and utilise digital information. These model terms build a framework on how to use data.

These days, artificial intelligence is everywhere. Consequently, it has raised some IPR related questions. After lunch Anna Haapanen, Partner, Head of Technology and Co-Head of Intellectual Property from Dittmar & Indrenius and Hassan Naseri, AI and Quantum Computing Lead from Accenture continued the program by telling us about the relationship between AI and IPR. There are several copyright-related questions regarding AI-generated content, for example whether it reaches the threshold for copyright protection. There are also copyright-related issues regarding input data, which works as a fuel for AI tools. AI and machine learning are based on computational models and algorithms, and because mathematical methods are excluded from patentability “as such”, they are not patentable if technical means are absent.

Blockchain technologies are wrestling with a same hurdle regarding patentability as AI, because they consists of unpatentable elements such as mathematical methods, schemes and rules. Senior Patent Examiner Yrjö Raivio from Finnish Patent and Registration office wrapped the third parallel program by giving us an interesting presentation about Blockchain and IPR.

Startup Pitching

The inspiring first day of the Summit ended with startup pitching. Six startups – SolfFoil Oy, IPR leads, Cumucore, Absentus, Voimada and We encourage – had a chance to pitch their ideas for business angels, IPR experts and business leaders in front of a live audience and receive advice on how to build their IPR and business strategies.

Business Angel Jouni Karjalainen from Finnish Business Angels Network, Chief Advisor Jaana Rantanen from Business Finland, Founder, Partner Tanu-Matti Tuominen from IPR.VC, Professor Sharon K. Sandeen from Mitchell Hamline School of Law, Managing Director, Senior Partner Markku Simmelvuo from Papula-Nevinpat and Partner, Head of Practice Markus Myhrberg from Lexia provided valuable insights into what kind of questions the startups could consider especially concerning IP as a business asset.

Read more about the startups from here.

For more information about Helsinki IP Summit, click here.

For diving into the interesting topics that were discussed during the second day of the Summit, click here.

Working at IPR University Center in 2019, the authors also assisted in preparing and carrying out Helsinki IP Summit 2019.

Photographer: Evgeniya Petrova