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Patent attorney as strategic partner


They have known each other for years. Nowadays they see each other almost every day in the new Utrecht location. The three experienced partners are Mark Einerhand, Cees Jansen and Harrie Marsman who get together to brainstorm how to approach their cases, discuss developments in their field and philosophise about their patent profession. ‘In this dynamic region we will continue to grow in the coming years.’

In the year 2018 the role of patent attorney has changed
Harrie Marsman: ‘Before, being a patent attorney was usually just about getting the patent. Now we increasingly take on an advisory role. What do you want from your patent? What about your competitors? Does it make sense to publish these details?’

Mark Einerhand: ‘The entrepreneurial climate has improved hugely. For example, I see far more start-ups in my field of work, biopharmaceuticals. Most of them are young entrepreneurs who are not interested in actual products. For them, IP is the most important asset. They then secure this asset so they can leverage it for partnering, acquisitions, financing or a stock market listing. And I give them advice about it.’

Cees Jansen: ‘A patent has increasingly become a strategic tool. These days, my role as a patent attorney is more likely to involve acting as an extension of the client. You are in constant contact with them, and spar with them in the boardroom about the future of the company. Everything is interlinked, which makes the profession more fascinating than ever.’

Training, entering and sparring
Cees Jansen: ‘Given the flourishing economy and tight labour market, we are fortunate to be able to source talented prospective patent attorneys and to train them ourselves. It is important to us to continually stay up-to-date so that we can continue to provide our clients with top service in the future. It also helps that the high level of contact with our clients means we always have fresh insights into the latest technology. This makes it an attractive and dynamic profession in a flourishing region.’

Harrie Marsman: ‘I’ve noticed recently that it’s easier to find each other. Of course, we’re living in a digital age and communication is easier than ever, but being able to drop in on each other and talk things through is very valuable. Particularly as inventions are becoming more and more complex and are often the product of a group of inventors. In these moments it is nice to have all expertise under one roof.’

Mark Einerhand: ‘Yes, that definitely adds value. It’s that kind of cross-pollination, for example between chemistry and engineering, that lets us continue to enhance the services we offer. It means that clients view patents less as a cost and more as a strategic investment in the future.’

Mark Einerhand, Partner and patent attorney
After studying molecular biology, he began his career as a scientist at a start-up in the field of gene therapy: ‘While I was there, I became familiar with the process of submitting patents and the importance of formulating them properly and clearly. Soon afterwards, he joined V.O. as a patent attorney: ‘Working with both start-ups and multinationals is fascinating.’


Cees Jansen, Partner and patent attorney
After studying physics, he stepped over to the patent field at Holland Signaal with conviction: ‘As a patent attorney, I developed a broad perspective on technology. I was immediately fascinated by using words to express what made each invention unique. V.O. has always been one of the leading companies and joining them gave me the opportunity to really get involved.’


Harrie Marsman, Partner and patent attorney
He studied chemistry, which he describes as a wonderful subject but didn’t see a future for himself in the lab: ‘I’ve always had a broader scientific interest. When I saw an advert for the unknown profession of patent attorney, my interest was piqued. That was with V.O., and I’ve been here ever since. In this profession, everything comes together: science, entrepreneurship, legal customization and linguistic precision. ‘
This Summer, Harrie will leave V.O.



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