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Olof was born and raised in Germany but has spent his entire adult life in Spain. Why? Well, at the urging of his father, a reputed German lawyer and Law professor who wanted his kids to learn three foreign languages, Olof, who was already conversant in English and French, travelled to Madrid. There, he fell in love with the Spanish culture, language and people, and decided to stay and study Medicine.
As many other students, Olof sometimes felt a bit short of cash. One day in 1987, a fellow medical student, who later became his wife, facilitated him the opportunity to work part-time as a translator in an Intellectual Property law firm, while continuing his medical education. However, with time, Olof found that work in the IP field had many interesting aspects and decided to skip Medicine and enter Law.
In 1989 Olof moved to another Spanish IP boutique firm, which at that time was rather small but during the next two decades it became one of the most important firms in Spain, with branch offices in Portugal and Latin America.
One of the reasons for the success of the firm was no doubt a client liaison program strongly promoted by Olof. Back in the 80s, the slogan “Spain is Different” was true in many ways, also for many IP firms. Sometimes, foreign clients felt that their Spanish IP service providers might not fully understand them, and vice-versa. Olof always worked hard to overcome this hurdle and to make sure to deliver what the clients demanded, in the specific way they wanted. That led him to manage the Trademark Department for foreign clients, and to become a partner of the firm.
Now, while Olof’s first years in the IP field were primarily dedicated to trademarks, with time, Olof also got involved with patents, and he ended up co-heading the Patent Department of the firm and starting up a one-stop-shopping program for patents in Spain, Portugal and Latin America.
Olof is a very active INTA member. During the 2006–2007 term, he chaired the Madrid System Subcommittee of the Trademark Office Practices Committee. His efforts involved sharing his views and expertise regarding the Madrid System with Latin American businesspeople. He traveled to different Latin American countries to meet with government officials and give lectures to local businesses and legal groups on the benefits of the Madrid Protocol. Thereafter, Olof received “The 2012 Volunteer Service Award for the Advancement of Trademark Law”.
He also represented INTA as an NGO in the Ad Hoc Working Group in Geneva in 2006 and was invited by WIPO to give lectures on the Madrid Protocol in Geneva, providing the perspective of an experienced practitioner in the field. In addition, Olof has also been co-author of various publications, including INTA’s “Opposition Guide for Spain”. For many years Olof is considered one of the most prominent IP professionals in Spain and is mentioned year after year among “The World`s Leading Trademark Professionals” by WTR (World Trademark Review) or WWL (Who´s Who Legal) among others.
Having been involved in both patents and trademarks, heading the respective departments at his former firm, Olof knows that whereas legal and technical knowledge is essential, it is not enough. In a competitive environment, it is not enough to produce correct work products: you have to produce what the client wants, when the client wants and at a reasonable price. And you have to do this better than your competitors, but this is only possible if you bring together the right people and motivate them to strive for excellence.
After more than 25 years in the business and being a partner of his previous firm, Olof could have felt that time had come to relax and to enjoy the fruits of his previous years of hard work. Instead, Olof opted for the BALDER project, because he wanted to create something unique: an environment in which everybody who deserves it will have his or her full share of the profits. Why? Because this is the only way to bring the very best out of the very best: people simply need to feel motivated.
Olof feels that Spain has given him a lot, and he wants to give something back: he wants to create a better environment for IP professionals in Spain, for the benefit of Spanish industry and for Olof’s foreign clients.