Heiko Pittner and Bent Lundsager work in the same patent team and collaborate on a variety of patent cases. They prosecute patent applications in Denmark or Europe. Heiko joined Zacco in the beginning of 2017 and works at Zacco’s office in Munich. Bent has been at Zacco for 20 years and works in Copenhagen.
We asked them to tell a bit about their work, and what they like about it.
“In the end, we are service providers”
Bent: We both have a background in technology (electronics, mechanics, etc.), and at the point in time when we meet our clients, our job is to understand the essentials of their new technology and quickly gain new knowledge of their innovation or field. So, we go deep into details for a short amount of time in order to understand what the core is, before we move on to the next client or case.
Heiko: In the end, we are service providers: The client seeks our help with patenting an idea, so we have to advise the client to get the best scope of protection.
Bent: Yes, and for this, you need to establish a trust with the client, because if there is no trust, you are not invited into the core. Building trust in the team is also important. I need to understand how Heiko thinks in order to feel comfortable bringing my most precious cases to him and vice versa.
Both: It is really about knowing each other’s strengths.
Working together – but mostly apart
Bent: It depends on the client and the cases, when and how we work together: If the cases are within the same technical field and therefore resemble each other, they need to be handled in much the same way. These cases, we can discuss back and forth, which is a help, and shift them between us or take over from one another. Sometimes the cases are different, but the process of handling them is much the same and we can collaborate on these as well.
Heiko: Our collaborations in Zacco also stretch across borders and fields. It is a great advantage to have local attorneys in different countries with different expertise to ask for assistance. Also, if a client needs help with broader legal questions about e.g. trademarks, trade secrets or copyright, and not only patents, we have attorneys at law with the expertise.
But most of the time, it is a single person working in a single room, because the work requires such a deep understanding and strong eye for details. Patent work is a one-man show.
Passion for the job
Bent: For me, I would say it is the client-facing aspect of the job that I like the best. Good consulting or advice requires that we bring our substantial education in technology and patent law together and condensate this knowledge when meeting with the client. This is only possible if you are able to establish a very good dialogue with the client.
Heiko: I think it is a very interesting profession, because you get an insight into new developments and ideas, and it is often a diverse work. It’s fun to get an understanding of a new innovation and come up with ideas for the client and to have the interaction with the inventor. It requires a lot of passion.
Bent’s strengths according to Heiko:
Bent is a relatively calm person, and his comments usually are very well thought through. Bent has been at Zacco for many years, so he has great client experience, a huge knowledge and deep insight into many cases.
Heiko’s strengths according to Bent:
Heiko is a collaborative and helpful person and has a personality that invites dialogue. He is a kind of lexicon, though he does not demonstrate his knowledge – so you don’t get a lesson from him – instead he explores the question with you. I would never hesitate to call him, if I needed help.