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Clifford Chance

Thomas Vinje

Partner, Chairman, Global Antitrust Group

Clifford Chance, Brussels
Practice area Antitrust & competition, Intellectual property
Sector Consumer goods & retail, Technology, Telecommunications, Telecommunications, media & technology
Tel +3225335929

Thomas Vinje specialises in European Union competition and intellectual property law, especially in high-technology matters.

Thomas advises major corporations regarding mergers, joint ventures, dominance matters, cartel cases, distribution and licensing practices, and competition and intellectual property litigation.

Particular experience in advising in relation to the information and communications technology industries.

Thomas practices mainly before the European Commission and the European Courts.

Thomas speaks regularly on European Union intellectual property and antitrust law, and has authored numerous articles and contributions to books on those topics. He sits on the Board of Editors for Computer und Recht International.  He lectures in the International Copyright programme at the University of Amsterdam and in the International Business Law Postgraduate Program at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. 

Relevant experience

  • Samsung in abuse of dominance proceedings brought by the European Commission regarding Samsung's enforcement of standard essential patents against Apple
  • FairSearch, a coalition of businesses and organisations aimed at defending competition in online and mobile search, in abuse of dominance proceedings against Google 
  • KONE in the Commission's investigation and subsequent proceedings before the General Court and the Court of Justice regarding a cartel in the elevator and escalator industry, as wellas in follow-on civil litigation in national courts
  • Oracle on its hotly contested merger with Sun Microsystems, resulting in unconditional clearance following a Phase II merger investigation by the European Commission
  • The European Committee for Interoperable Systems in abuse of dominance proceedings against Microsoft, resulting in the landmark 2007 General Court judgment upholding the Commission's 2004 decision in all material respects, and the Commission's 2009 commitment decision regarding Microsoft's tying of Windows and Internet Explorer.

Career & qualifications

  • University of Washington (BA, Political Science and Norwegian) 1977
  • Columbia Law School, Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and James Kent Scholar 1982
  • Joined Clifford Chance as Partner 2004
  • Admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales 2007
  • Speaks Norwegian, English and German

Professional bodies

  • Member of the bars of Hawaii and California
  • Member of the American Bar Association (ABA)

Awards and citations

Thmas is ranked in the top tier of antitrust lawyers by Chambers and Legal 500

  • He is is a leading expert on IP and IT issues in competition law. Clients say he is "very practical, and able to get a good understanding of our business very quickly."
    Chambers Global 2013, Competition/European Law
  • He has garnered a reputation for expertise in the hi-tech area, with commentators noting his excellent industry and technical understanding.
    Chambers Europe 2012, Competition/European Law
  • Experienced antitrust and technology lawyer Thomas Vinje is the key figure in Clifford Chance’s ‘excellent’ IT regulatory group
    Legal500 2012, EU Regulatory

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