+47 22 91 04 00
Sarpsborg, Oslo, Bergen, Stavanger
Patent professional, joined Zacco in 2009 as an IP attorney
“I am willing to invest time and effort in getting to know a new client, which definitely pays off in the long run. A successful consulting relationship is built on mutual trust.”I have been working at Zacco in Norway for nearly twelve years now, but I also have a relevant background from the industry as the founder and CEO of tech start-ups. Before that, I had graduated from the University of Dundee, Scotland, with an Honours degree in Microprocessor Systems in 1988, and started my professional career as a consultant in Norway at a hardware and software-based telecommunications consultancy company working with system development for the Norwegian defence sector. I spent about ten years there, first in the software and later in the hardware development. This turned out to be a good place for my career start, with challenging products. One of the things we made was the first email system in Norway; I still think it is cool thing to have done pioneering work in this field.
For the following, approximately ten years I was the founder and CEO of mainly two different companies. The first one was developing encrypting software and the later one called High Density System was developing hardware-based encryption technology. In my role as a technical CEO, I was among many other things in charge of the company’s intellectual property, so I learned a lot about the IP business from the client’s perspective during this time as well as I got to know and used Zacco. When we worked together on developing my company’s patent portfolio, I felt this was an interesting job and future career. It meant to work with many fascinating projects on a wider technological base.
My main work tasks
For me, it is a very rewarding work that I do when I go in and have the privilege to be part of all the completely new technology. As a consultant, you learn it, you help the client and you see the result of your work very quickly. I work on a particular patent application, a search or an assessment and then I deliver it. Due to my background and my personal interest, I also have a special focus on start-ups and get to meet a lot of super-engaged inventors and founders. I often speak at events or other occasions directed at start-ups. The idea is to start building their IP knowledge at an early stage, and many times, they become new clients. My own practical knowledge as a founder facilitates the contact and enhances the quality of the advice that I can provide.
Building the attorney-client relationship
I always try to meet with a new client face-to-face, if that is possible. It helps me develop an understanding of their personality, what they really need and want to know, how mature their business idea and invention actually are. Also to give the client a chance to meet me of course! I am willing to invest time and effort in getting to know a new client, which definitely pays off in the long run. A successful consulting relationship is built on mutual trust. Obviously, to finish tasks punctually and follow up with clients on meetings are important ingredients to maintain it as well.
Key features of work at Zacco
Let me stress two important characteristics in this context. Firstly, I strongly believe that Zacco’s management is very pro-active and fast in acknowledging the rapidly changing environment in which we act. I can see that we have the muscles to modernise the IP consultancy business, to develop new services and adapt to the requirements of today. Our clients benefit greatly from that. Secondly, this is the first firm I work at with a functioning and attractive performance-based bonus programme. Zacco rewards effort and hard work, I appreciate that. The framework gives us a lot of freedom under responsibility that suits me very much.
Effects of the covid-19 pandemic on my work
To be honest, the pandemic has not had such a big impact on my work, I am predominantly working out of the Sarpsborg office, which is close to my hometown, and I have the option to work from home as much as I want. It is good to have an office serving the companies located in the South East of Norway, there are a lot of clients in this region.
One thing I am missing a lot are my regular stays at the Oslo office and the social interaction with my colleagues there. I used to go there at least once a week, but haven’t done so for quite some time now following our national restrictions and recommendations. Otherwise, I think we have improved using web based meeting tools, and they have helped us to continue our work. From a larger perspective, you see that the disruption caused by the virus and the trouble many companies got into has resulted in many creative ideas and fuels a lot of innovation activity. Unsurprisingly, that has positive effects on the IP industry as well because these ideas have to be protected. Despite the uncertainties, the focus on innovation keeps my colleagues and me busy and makes Zacco a good company to be employed at in critical times like these.
The interview was conducted in November 2020.