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home > ebr > winter 2001 > the legal aspects of venture capital finance in biotechnology
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European Biopharmaceutical Review

The Legal Aspects of Venture Capital Finance in Biotechnology

Emerging New Areas of Business

In recent years it has been the general belief that biotechnology will be one of those new areas of technologyaround which new companies and new businesses will emerge. Today, that prediction rings true. Hundreds of new biotechnology companies have been established in the US and in Europe over the past few years, many of which have proved successful.The biotech sector is well-established in the UK, Germany, France and the Netherlands, and is developing rapidly in Northern Europe as well. Finland, Sweden and Denmark are amongst the most highly biotech-oriented countries in Europe. Vital biotechnology clusters are emerging in the Finnish cities of Turku, Helsinki and Kuopio, where the biotech industry is constantly creating new jobs. In turn here is a need for special biotech-oriented experts and professionals in the areas of marketing and business administration, law, auditing and tax matters.


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By Hanna Paloheimo and Ben Rapinoja, Lawyers at Borenius & Kemppinen Ltd Hanna Paloheimo specialises in industrial property rights and legal matters related to the commercialisation of biotechnology and life sciences. In addition to her LLM degree, Hanna received an MSc degree in genetics from Helsinki University. She also studied at Edinburgh University, UK, where she spent a year participating in a graduate honours course in immunology from 1994 to 1995. Before joining Borenius & Kemppinen, Hanna worked as a patent attorney with a pharmaceutical firm and as a research assistant in a molecular biology research group at Helsinki University.
Ben Rapinoja's areas of expertise are intellectual property rights (IPR) - in particular patents, trademarks and contract law. His legal practise relates to the licensing and commercial exploitation of IPR, as well as litigation within patent, trademark and copyright law. Ben advises expanding companies in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors in matters related to corporate law and contracts. He also advises companies with interests in the information technology sector. Before joining Borenius & Kemppinen, Ben worked at the Ministry of Trade and Industry, gaining experience in IPR law. He was also a Finnish Government representative working with various groups of the European Union Council and Commission, the European Patent Organisation and international organisations specialising in IPR (such as WIPO and WTO).

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Hanna Paloheimo
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Ben Rapinoja
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