Thomas Vinje – Brussels Thomas Vinje Avenue Louise 65, box 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium T +32 2 533 5929 F +32 2 533 5959 E [email protected]
Thomas Vinje is the Chairman of Clifford Chance's 150 lawyer Global Antitrust Group as well as the head of the firm's Technology Practice Group. He is a partner in Clifford Chance's Brussels office, where he specializes in European Union antitrust and intellectual property law, especially in high-technology matters. On mergers, he has, for example, represented Oracle in connection with the European regulatory clearances of its acquisitions of PeopleSoft, Siebel, BEA and Sun Microsystems, Yahoo! in connection with the Google/DoubleClick merger, and Nokia in connection with its acquisition of Symbian. He has been particularly active on dominance matters in the IT sector, especially on dominance cases related to intellectual property. For example, among his main matters in recent years have been cases where he has represented various interveners against Microsoft before the European Commission and the European Court of First Instance (now the General Court) related to interoperability and bundling. He frequently advises IT companies in relation to antitrust and standard-setting issues. Mr. Vinje has also successfully represented a variety of clients in connection with European cartel investigations, including KONE before both the Commission and the General Court in the elevator cartel case. In the area of patent and copyright licensing and litigation, Mr. Vinje has represented clients in the ICT sector in particular on pan-European patent litigation. He has also represented clients, including Nokia, Fujitsu, Creative and Dell, on issues surrounding the application of copyright levies to digital devices. In the area of intellectual property advocacy, Mr. Vinje has represented numerous clients before the European institutions on all the major European legislative initiatives involving intellectual property (including the Software Copyright Directive, Database Directive, the 2001 Information Society Copyright Directive and the Computer Implemented Inventions Directive proposal). Mr. Vinje has lectured widely on European Union and U.S. intellectual property and antitrust law. He is the co-author of several books, including European Software Law (Oxford University Press, 1993) and World Antitrust Practice (Little Brown, 1995), as well as the author of articles on intellectual property and antitrust matters in European Competition Law Review, European Intellectual Property Review, Duke Journal of Comparative & International Law, The Computer Lawyer, Pittsburgh Journal of Law and Commerce, Copyright World, The International Computer Lawyer, The Nordic Intellectual Property Law Review, International Merger Law, International Company and Commercial Law, GRUR International Law Review, Computer und Recht, Droit de l’Informatique et des Télécoms, Revue du Droit de la Propriété Intellectuelle, les Nouvelles (Journal of the Licensing Executives Society), Rivista di Diritto Industriale, and La Revista General de Derecho. Mr. Vinje was born in Seattle, Washington in 1954. He earned his B.A. degree, summa cum laude, from the University of Washington in 1977 and his J.D. Degree from Columbia University School of Law in 1982, where he graduated at the top of his class as a James Kent Scholar.
Upon graduation, Mr. Vinje served as a law clerk to Judge Martin Pence, United States District Court, District of Hawaii and to Judge Edmund Palmieri, United States District Court, Southern District of New York. Mr. Vinje was admitted to practice in Hawaii in 1983, California in 1986, and England and Wales in 2006. After working with law firms in Germany and Australia, he associated with Morrison & Foerster in 1985 and practiced in San Francisco until moving to Brussels in 1989, where he opened Morrison & Foerster's Brussels office and was its managing partner until 2003. While in San Francisco between 1985 and 1989, Mr. Vinje’s practice concentrated on intellectual property and antitrust matters in U.S. courts and international arbitration. He was part of a team of lawyers representing Fujitsu in its landmark software copyright arbitration with IBM. Mr. Vinje sits on the Board of Editors of Computer und Recht International and has been an Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Law of the University of Namur. He also lectures on intellectual property law for the International Business Law Postgraduate Program at the University of Zurich and on competition and copyright law at the annual University of Amsterdam course on international copyright law. He has also been a guest lecturer on intellectual property at numerous universities, including Cambridge, Copenhagen, Oslo, Bergen, Barcelona and Amsterdam. Chambers places Mr. Vinje in its top rank of EC lawyers and Mr. Vinje is listed by all the other major legal directories as a leading lawyer in EC law.