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Helle Friis-Svenstrup, AWA
Helle Friis-Svenstrup, AWA

Profile of the month: Business opportunities through Intellectual Property Rights


Founded in 1897 by the Swedish engineer Anders Wilhelm Anderson, Biopeople member AWA is a leading intellectual property agency dedicated to creating business opportunities for their clients, which are innovative companies, ranging from local start-ups to global giants.

AWA employs 350 employees in Belgium, China, Denmark, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland and supply a full-service offering in prosecution, dispute litigation, aftermarket services, legal advice, strategy and commercialisation. The IP professionals are experts in patents, trademark, design, copyright and domain names.

Top tier ranking
In June this year, the latest edition of *IP Stars from Managing IP recognised AWA’s patent practice, spanning across Europe and Asia. The Danish and Swedish offices received a top tier ranking in the patent prosecution category. Furthermore, AWA Asia was ranked in the China patent foreign firms category in tier three and Pronovem (Part of the AWA Group) received a tier two ranking in the patent prosecution category for Belgium.

Collaboration on webinar-series for biotech start-ups
AWA has a certain focus on biotech start-ups. Helle Friis Svenstrup, Patent Attorney at AWA (photo), explains why: ”As a start-up company, you should always consider your IP situation. However, a start-up biotech company may experience more challenges than companies in other businesses may. This is due to the long and financially heavy drug development process.”

Many biotech companies evolve based on an invention that might result in a new medical drug. Alternatively, the start-up has developed a new technology, which may be crucial in drug development. Initially the focus for the new company will be the invention and the product as well as capital to finance the company. What potentially has a lower priority it to secure the company’s and the founder’s property rights regarding the discovery and products. “This is not an optimal situation, since a clarified IPR situation is mandatory when raising capital and attracting potential investors,” Helle Friis Svenstrup says.

In order provide more insight in the necessity of securing the IP to biotech start-ups, AWA and Biopeople joined forces this spring and launched a webinar-series on Intellectual Property Rights.

Read more about the webinars at

*IP STARS is a specialist guide to IP law firms and practitioners worldwide. Managing IP published its first legal directory in 1994. The research for IP STARS covers a variety of IP practice areas and more than 70 jurisdictions.

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