Nordic Journal

Direct communication with the customer is essential for our patent examiners

Patent examiner Louise Boisen, Photo: NPI

For the past 5 and half years, patent examiner Louise Boisen has worked at the Danish Trademark and Patent Office (DKPTO) in Denmark, and as such also for Nordic Patent Institute (NPI).

Alongside her patent examiner role, Louise is also Head of the Quotation Team. Here, she is responsible for preparing the quotes before they are sent to our customers.

1. Keeping best practices up to date

“As I generally represent the commercial part of the business for DKPTO, I am also responsible for our best practices at DKPTO and keeping these up to date, which requires that I make changes as needed.”

Prior to working as patent examiner for DKPTO and NPI, Louise obtained a PhD in Molecular Biology, and she did a postdoc in the United Kingdom.

2. Patents actually make a difference

When being asked on why she chose to become a patent examiner, Louise responds smilingly “it was partly by chance and partly because I during my postdoc in the UK realized that laboratory work wasn’t my passion.”

“My research was applied science, where patents actually make a big difference compared to more blue skies research, where you have limited idea on the commercial aspect in our work. So for a long time, I was aware of the importance of patents and the possibilities in patenting”, Louise elaborates.

3. Great understanding of upcoming technology

“As a patent examiner for DKPTO and NPI, I don’t have to do scientific research myself, but I am able to keep up to date with the research performed by other scientists, which is quite unique for the patent field”, Louise explains.

“This gives me a great understanding of the latest technology and what’s upcoming as well as what people are trying to commercialize. That is really interesting.”

In terms of what Louise enjoys the most about being a patent examiner, she explains, “When working with NPI, I get to have close contact with our customers. That’s very cool, and it gives me a feeling that what I do actually matters to somebody, and I really like that”, Louise says with a big smile.

4. Direct dialogue is crucial during our quotation process

When being asked about the importance of direct dialogue between customer and examiner, Louise explains that it is essential to deliver a great product.

“During each search and analysis project, you have to prioritize and decide what to focus on. The dialogue we have with our customers helps us to find the optimal way to spend the amount of time assigned in order to give the customer the best possible result”, Louise says.

“Depending on the complexity and the type of quotation task, we may decide to phone our customers to receive more information in order to prepare an accurate quote. This is especially important for larger, more complex searches such as Freedom to Operate searches, where no search is ever really complete.”

“It is therefore important that we determine the right scope and what the search should cover. This way we find the best match between our clients’ expectations and the budget given to perform the search”, Louise states firmly.

In terms of who initiates the contact to the customer, Louise states that it at times is a member of the quotation team, who pursues the call. At other times, it is the patent examiner him- or herself, who initiates contact.

“We always strive to have the patent examiner, who does the search to perform the call, because that ensures that the search is directly understood, and the customer knows exactly what to expect”, Louise says.

“During our search we try to keep in close contact with the customer through telephone or email, as it in our experience always gives the best result if we are in contact during the search as well”, Louise states.

“In this way we have an open dialogue from the very beginning to the end of the search, and after we also make sure to follow up. This typically entails calling or emailing our customers to make sure that everything is in order and to state that they can contact us at any time,” Louise says.

5. We have a quite flexible culture

When being asked about our international customers and the services provided to them, Louise states that time differences can come into play.

“When a Danish or Norwegian patent examiner takes on a search and our customer is based in the US or in Asia, we try to make sure to schedule the meetings to meet their office hours. This also means that we are willing to make calls from home, and I’d say that’s very much a part of our culture. We are flexible”, Louise states.

6. Reading fiction doesn’t overpower the laws of physics

Even though Louise reads patent literature all day during her job as a patent examiner, she continues reading at home.
 
“I’m a reader! I enjoy reading everything. I primarily enjoy fiction, as I use it to let my mind relax. Fantasy is generally a preferred genre, as the laws of physics don’t apply there”, Boisen explains laughingly.

If you’d like to know more about our global prior art search services, check the links in the footer directly below this article.

 

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