Anna has just joined Potter Clarkson this summer and Potter Clarkson’s Tom Harding sat down to chat with her at the Nordic Life Science Days conference. Anna is Potter Clarkson’s first full-time Lund office employee, while Tom has worked with Lund clients for nearly fourteen years. She is based at the office in The Spark in Medicon Village.
SO, ANNA WHAT BRINGS YOU HERE? HOW DID YOU END UP IN PATENTS?
I studied Biology in Lund and I did my PhD here too, at what is now IKVL. After my PhD I was looking around for something new but still in science. A friend of mine had switched careers to patents and I decided to give it a try. I did a course at Malmö University on IP, and I remember reading my first patent and picking apart the claims to understand if it was novel and inventive. It was love at first sight. I love the science, I love digging deep into each invention but I also really love the law part. I had actually applied and gotten into Law school when I was starting university, but at the last minute decided to go with Science (Naturvetenskaplig program). Patents turned out to be perfect for me.
I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THE PATENT PROFESSION CAN RELATE TO YOUR STORY. SO, AFTER THAT COURSE, WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN BUSY WITH SO FAR?
After the IP course, I got my first job at a biotech firm at DTU in Lyngby, Denmark and since then I’ve worked on both sides of the Öresund, in Danish private practice, Swedish private practice, and finally in-house at a large Danish biotech company. Over the years I’ve worked with most types of businesses, and I think you can say I’ve seen it all - single inventors, tech transfer offices in both Sweden and Denmark, start-ups and global biotech companies. I have been involved in all aspects of IP from a start-up’s first patent applications to running in-house portfolios, drafting and implementing IP strategies and aligning IP with business strategies.
WHY DID YOU MAKE THE MOVE FROM IN-HOUSE TO POTTER CLARKSON?
Working for PC (Potter Clarkson) in Lund is the best of both worlds for me - working at the highest level of IP with people who are the best at what they do, combined with working in Lund. I live here, I went to university here, and I really love this town. When you work in-house you are involved at the deepest level of the business. I like that kind of a role because you have the most impact. Working with PC is like being in-house because we have that kind of relationship with our clients - we are like an external in-house IP manager. Another upside with being at PC is that I get to do what for several different companies, not just one. And of course, the commute is nice - I take a 20 min walk into work each morning.
WHAT WILL YOUR NEW ROLE IN THE LUND OFFICE BE?
I like to think of my role here as PC putting down roots in Lund. PC has a long history in Lund - we have been working with clients in Lund for around 30 years. We opened an office in Lund in 2017, which was used as a base for PC when visiting the Lund clients. A permanent position in Lund was the logical next step for us. At the moment I am the only one full-time in Lund, but on any given day in the office you are likely to meet one or more of the full Lund PC team as they come by on their regular client visits. So, I’m here to build our presence but also to be a kind of anchor for our clients in Lund area. I think it’s good to know that there is someone you can reach out to and talk to in person.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO IN YOUR NEW ROLE?
I’m looking forward to re-connecting with friends, ex-colleagues and contacts and to getting back into the Lund innovation community. Lund has so much interesting science and innovation going on and I’m definitely also looking forward to getting to into all the new stuff that’s going on.
WHERE ARE YOU WHEN YOU'RE NOT HERE?
If I’m not here I’m probably at home - I’m a real homebody. I love spending time with family and friends, and if I’m not doing that I’m out in the garden digging. I‘m not a real gardener with pretty flowering borders. I’m more the kind to impulse-buy random interesting plants and get invested in their survival - I guess it’s the biologist in me.