When I started working here in 1993, V.O. already had an outstanding reputation. It was a modern service provider for that time with well-known patent attorneys and lawyers. Naturally, much has changed since then. A noticeable change is that our office network has expanded considerably over recent years from two offices in The Hague and Groningen to various offices in three countries. This has been a huge change that has doubled our staff. We are also working more efficiently with each other and we give greater attention to training our people.
As a healthy business, you always have to anticipate new and future developments. This is something you undoubtedly recognize in your own organization. For instance, we prepared ourselves at the time for losing work from the translation of European Patents. Indeed, this actually happened in 2008, right at the time that an economic crisis erupted across the world. This was when I had just become president. V.O. got through it well.
A possible new development concerns the Unified Patent Court, a common patent law for certain EU countries. This will accompany the introduction of the Unitary Patent, or a European Patent with a unitary effect. However, it seems that Brexit is jeopardizing this new development. That too is part of doing business.
The profession of patent and trademark attorney has also changed over the years. Companies are very aware of the importance of dealing properly with their intellectual property (IP). Furthermore, they are also aware of how important it is to keep a close eye on the IP of third parties. Our work has developed from an operational to an advisory role. In my view, this has led to our work becoming more interesting.
What I would like to pass on to my successor is to get all staff as involved as much possible with the further developments of V.O. And furthermore, that our ultimate aim is and continues to be serving our clients in the best way possible so that they can achieve optimum results when it comes to their IP.