Find agents and attorneys

You may need help to manage your intangible assets and the rights associated with them. Here are some tips on things that are good to keep in mind when choosing a representative.

An agent or a firm is an expert in one or more of the intangible property rights: patent, trademark design or copyright. The representative can help an individual or company to create a strategy for managing intangible assets and also in applying for protection of any of the intangible property rights.

Contents on this page:

Select a Patent agent
Select a Trademark agent
Select a Design agent
Select an agent to develop a strategy for your intangible assets
Help to draw up a contract

Select a Patent agent

It can be difficult to write a correct patent application and you may need the help of an expert, a patent attorney. PRV statistics show that applications written by professional patent attorneys are more likely to result in patents.

Points to consider when selecting a patent agent

  1. Choose a representative who is knowledgeable in your field of technology.  Major firms usually have employees with expertise in many different areas. On the other hand, a small firm or a self-employed patent agent might just be specialized within your field of technology.
  2. All patent agents should have a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the patent systems rules and regulations.
  3. In the Swedish Patent Database, you can perform a search within your field of technology. By searching among other people’s applications, it is possible to find a reference to representatives who have the right expertise. Take into consideration; if a representative has a working relationship with someone that can or may become a competitor, a conflict of interest may arise, and it can be advisable to choose another representative.
    Swedish Patent Database (external website)
  4. Examine the Swedish Patent Database and Espacenet, an international patent database that allows access to more than 110 million patent documents from all over the world. To understand how patents, within your field of technology, are written study other published patent applications pay attention to how the claims are drafted.
    Swedish Patent Database (external website)
    Espacenet (external website)
  5. To determine whether a patent agent has the right competence and commitment for just your needs, request a consultation with one or more agencies.  Discuss your idea and choose the agent who is most suited for your requirements.
  6. Confidentiality is vital in the patent world, so make sure that the representative you choose is bound by ethical rules and professional secrecy.
  7. The patent agent you choose must understand your business and the way you utilize your patent protection. Make sure that the representative you choose can advise and help you with, for example, licensing, confidentiality agreements, transfers, protection of design, trademark and domain name.
  8. If you are planning to apply for patents abroad, make sure that the agent you choose, has an international network of contacts. This enables you to get hold of local agents to help deal with your application. When necessary, your representative should be able to consult with his foreign colleagues about the country´s IP laws and practices.
  9. To write a patent application correctly requires formal knowledge, the agent also needs to monitor response time limits and payment of fees. The agent must have the experience and organization behind him for everything to be done properly.
  10. In Sweden, most professional agents are members of the Swedish Patent Ombudsman Association (SPOF). These members are bound by the association’s ethical rules, including professional secrecy. This means they are not obliged to disclose confidential conversations.
    Find a patent agent through SPOF (external website)
  11. You can also find patent agents through the Association of intellectual Property Law Firms In Sweden (SEPAF).
    Find a trademark representative Through SEPAF (external website)
  12. In Sweden, a patent agent doesn't need to be authorized, however, an agent can voluntarily apply for authorization from the Swedish Patent Attorneys Board. The authority is responsible for, the fact that authorized patent attorneys act accordingly, otherwise the representative may receive a warning or revoked authorization.
  13. Patent agents, authorized by the Swedish Patent Attorneys Board, are bound by professional secrecy; this means they cannot disclose confidential client information. You can find a list of authorized agents on their website.
    Swedish Patent Attorneys Board in Swedish (external website)
  14. Patent agents can also seek authorization from the Swedish intellectual Property (IP) Attorneys Association; a member organization for agents dealing with intellectual property rights. The Association is responsible for its authorized members and has a disciplinary committee. Among other things, the Disciplinary Board may issue warnings and when necessary, exclude agents from the Association.
    Swedish intellectual Property (IP) Association, in Swedish (external website)
  15. If you use a representative when applying for a European patent, your agent must have passed the European qualifying examination (EQE) to be able to represent you before the European Patent Office (EPO). European Patent attorneys are members of the Institute of Professional Representatives before the EPO (epi). They are bound by ethical rules and regulations, particularly of importance is professional secrecy. If you need an attorney, you can find one through the Swedish Bar Association.
    Search for epi members, EPO (external website)
    The Swedish Bar Association (external website)

Select a Trademark agent

You may need the help of an expert, a trademark representative, to write a trademark application. An agent can also support you in the ongoing application process, for example, respond to office actions. Both legal and natural persons can be agents. It can, for example, be a law firm specialized in intellectual property rights or a patent agency. A patent agency often has employees with many different areas of expertise. To get help with developing the brand name itself (what it should consist of), you should turn to someone else.

Points to consider when choosing a trademark representative

  1. You can find Professional trademark representatives through patent agencies and law firms specializing in intellectual property law. But there are also other consultants focusing on branding issues.
  2. Hire a representative with experience and specialized knowledge in your trademark field. A representative can help you with things like the classification of goods and services, choosing the type of trademark you need, or they can advise you about what to do if your application gets rejected.
  3. Ensure the agent understand the context of your business, how you plan on using your trademark and what factors are important to you. Is it, for example, strategic competence, processes relating to intellectual property laws, or perhaps international contacts, copyright or other areas of intellectual property?
  4. Check with the agent if there is any risk of a conflict of interest between you and any other clients that he represents.
  5. Affiliated trademark agents can be found through the Swedish Patent Ombudsman Association (SPOF) or the Association of Intellectual Property Law Firms in Sweden (SEPAF).  Attorneys can be found through the Swedish Bar Association.
    Find a trademark agent at SEPAF, the Association of Intellectual Property Law Firms in Sweden (external website)
    Find a trademark agent at SPOF, the Swedish Patent Ombudsman Association, in swedish (external website)
    Find a lawyer through the Swedish Bar Association (external website)
  6. Perform a search online for "agents", "trademarks" and "intellectual property rights".
  7. Before making a choice take contact with several agents to discuss what deal they can offer you; many offer an impartial first meeting. Feel free to ask the agent to estimate a fee. Compare the prices plus the services being offered, also take into consideration the agent's experience and competence.
  8. In Sweden, trademark agents do not require authorization. However, they do need to be authorized to be a representative before the European Union Intellectual Property Office, (EUIPO), the trademark and design registration authority of the EU.  On their website, there is a tool where you can search for Swedish agents that can represent you before EUIPO.In e-Search you can find Swedish agents registered with EUIPO: Select “Advanced search” and then the Representatives tab, select from the filters in the bottom left-hand column Country and then Sweden.
    e-search (external website)

Agent and notification

If you own a Swedish trademark registration without residing or owning a business in the country, you must have a representative with Swedish domicile to receive notification of process from PRV.

If you do not have a representative in Sweden, we will consider you as notified after we have sent documents to the address stated in the trademark register.

Select a Design agent

When registering a design, you may want to hire an agent. An agent can help you with the registration process, respond to office actions and offer you general advice. Both natural persons or legal entities such as specialized law firms or patent agencies can be representatives.

As an authority, PRV can provide you with general tips, but not specific recommendations about which agents are particularly suitable for your needs.

Points to consider when choosing a Design agent

  1. It is not obligatory to use a representative when registering a design, but the expertise may be of use in complex business situations.
  2. Professional representatives, specialized in intellectual property, can be found through patent agencies and law firms. Besides the previously mentioned, consultants specialized in design issues, are also available.
  3. Hire an agent with experience and expertise in the field. Common design questions usually asked concern ownership of a design, what the images should look like, or what you should do if you encounter any obstacles.
  4. Ensure the agent understand the context of your business, how you plan on using your trademark and what factors are important to you. Is it, for example, strategic competence, processes relating to intellectual property laws or perhaps international contacts, copyright or other areas of intellectual property?
  5. Check with the agent if there is a risk of conflict of interest between you and any other clients he represents.
  6. Design representatives can either be found through the Swedish Patent Ombudsman Association (SPOF) or the Association of Intellectual Property Law Firms in Sweden (SEPAF).  Attorneys can be found through the Swedish Bar Association.
    Find a design agent at SEPAF, the Association of Intellectual Property Law Firms in Sweden (external website)
    Find a design agent at SPOF, the Swedish Patent Ombudsman Association, in swedish (external website)
    Find a lawyer through the Swedish Bar Association (external website)
  7. Perform a search online for "agents", "design protection" and "intellectual property rights".
  8. Before making a choice, take contact with several agents to discuss what deal they can offer; many offer an impartial first meeting. Feel free to ask the agent to estimate a fee. Compare the prices plus the services being offered, also take into consideration the agent's experience and competence.
  9. In Sweden, design representatives do not require authorization. However, they need to be authorized to be a representative before the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), for design and trademark registration.  On their website, there is a tool where you can search for Swedish agents that can represent you before EUIPO. in e-Search you can find Swedish agents registered with EUIPO: Select “Advanced search” and then the Representatives tab, select from the filters in the bottom left-hand column Country and then Sweden.
    e-search (external website)

Agent and notification

If you own a Swedish design registration without residing or owning a business in the country, you must have a representative with Swedish domicile to receive notification of process from PRV.

If you do not have a representative in Sweden, we will consider you as notified after we have sent documents to the address stated in the design register.

Choose an agent to create a strategy for your intangible assets

Creating a good strategy enables you to protect and make use of your intangible assets. Research shows that companies that have a well-thought-out strategy for managing their intangible assets and legal rights are more successful. An expert, who usually works for a patent agency or law firm, can help you create a strategy that links your intangible assets to your business plan. Usually, a person is not competent in all skills, so choose either, an agency that has competence in all areas of intangible asset management or, an agency that cooperates with other actors.

The strategy you choose to retain control over what you have created should both manage your intellectual property, and other intangible assets. If you are going to develop an intellectual property strategy, it may be a good idea to enlist the help of an expert who has a broad knowledge of intellectual property rights.

Examples of intangible assets

PRV cannot recommend any specialized agencies or law firms, but we can give you some tips on what you should keep in mind when choosing an agent or lawyer to create an intellectual property strategy.

Points to consider when creating a strategy for your intangible assets

  1. To fully benefit, and hopefully earn money, from your intellectual property rights, ensure the agent or lawyer you choose has an understanding of the context of your business and how you plan to make use of your rights.
  2. 2. The representative should be able to provide you with advice and help within the following areas:
    - licensing       
    - non-disclosure agreements
    - transfers                                                                                                                                                                  
    - patents, design protection, trademark and copyright
    - domain name
  3. If you are planning to establish your business internationally, the agent or lawyer must have global competence.
  4. Find an agent at SEPAF, the Association of Intellectual Property Law Firms in Sweden, SPOF, the Swedish Patent Ombudsman Association, find a lawyer through the Swedish Bar Association.
    Find an agent at SEPAF, the Association of Intellectual Property Law Firms in Sweden (external website)
    Find an agent at SPOF, the Swedish Patent Ombudsman Association, in swedish (external website)
    Find a lawyer through the Swedish Bar Association (external website)
  5. Perform a search online for "agents", "strategy" and "intellectual property rights"
  6. Before making a choice, take contact with several agents to discuss what deal they can offer you; many offer an impartial first meeting. Feel free to ask the agent to estimate a fee. Compare the prices plus the services being offered, also take into consideration the agent's experience and competence.

Read more about Intellectual property strategy

Help with writing contracts

Writing an agreement that includes all aspects of your intellectual property rights is complicated. Therefore, it´s advisable to get help.  Lawyers or other legal representatives, who have the knowledge needed to draft agreements, can be found through the Swedish Bar Association.  The representative you choose must understand the importance of your intangible assets, in relations to your business, and draw up an agreement based on that. 

Read more about contracts and intellectual property rights.