Today, WIPO celebrates World IP Day with the motto “Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity”. European Trademark & Design Attorney Lone Prehn, Senior Partner at Zacco with almost 30 years of work experience in the IP field, has been recognised as a leading female IP practitioner. In 2017, she was appointed for the IP Stars Top 250 Women list by Managing IP. In the below interview you can learn a bit more about Lone and her take on the IP business and Zacco.
Welcome Lone! In 2017 you were appointed for the IP Stars top 250 Women list. Congratulations! And as one of only 9 Women from Scandinavia. It is quite an acknowledgement.
Lone: Yes, it was definitely a nice surprise, so to speak. It is always very positive to be acknowledged for your efforts and to know your work is appreciated. Managing IP is well-reputed within our business and to be recognized by them – and indirectly by my peers and clients – is of course an honour. After the publication, I received congratulations from colleagues from all parts of the world, which really was very warming.
You have been in the IP World for quite some years by now. How do you see the business today?
Lone: Yes, 27 years by now. The major change within IP – as well as in general – is of course the massive technological and digital development during these almost 30 years. Everything is happening very fast; at times it seems as a true tsunami of information you have to navigate in. The fact that we are all connected at all times makes it possible for us to process our clients’ requests much faster; distances and time zones aren’t as relevant as they used to be. The world is getting smaller allowing us to stay in touch with our international clients as well as our extensive network of preferred agents in a much easier manner.
The IP business is much more open and accessible now – as just an example many registers are open for all now, it is possible to file e.g. applications online, etc. It keeps us on our toes and encourages us even more to deliver high quality and added value in all that we do.
The social media and the risk of a virtual “shit-storm” is also a new thing, we have to include when giving legal advises. The consumers have a much more active and direct influence now than before, meaning that even if a client – from a legal point of view – have the upper hand in a discussion, the public at social media might have a different view and a negative campaign at social media can be quite harmful.
The digitalisation is very real and influences all industries across the world. How does Zacco meet this development and prepare for the future – for Zacco and as well as for their clients?
Lone: The digitalisation is without a doubt influencing the IP business, Zacco and our clients. We have insisted on being an active part of the development of the IP business and have therefore during the last couple of years been broadening our scope of our services to include new digital services such as digital brands and cyber security.
By combining classic intellectual property consultancy with expertise within e.g. cyber security and software, we can help our clients have their entire intellectual assets well protected – both through IPR as well as the intangibles that cannot be formally registered. Considering all these aspects is what we call Zacco’s 360° perspective on Intellectual Property.
For my part, I have the privilege of working with some large clients with global activities meaning that one day I’m handling an opposition in China and the next a filing in Ecuador.
The variety is very rewarding and with Zacco being an international company with offices in six countries and more than 400 employees – and counting! – there are always new things happening and new, highly-skilled colleagues to meet.