At the beginning of October, BRANDIT expanded its foothold in the Nordic region with the opening of a new office in Oslo, Norway. Setting up in a new country can be a risky business but we felt in safe hands as we welcomed Christoffer Vedal and Thomas Hvammen Nicholson to the BRANDIT Family to help us drive this forward.
It has been a busy couple of weeks for Thomas and Christopher as they kicked off activities in Oslo and we wanted to catch up with them to hear how everything has been going.
Interviewer: Thomas and Christoffer, thank you for joining us today. Before we start talking about the office, I wanted to take a step back and ask how you both got into the world of IP?
Thomas: Well, for me, it was through my love of music. I was playing, writing and producing music during my law degree and copyright became quite an interesting topic for me. I then took my copyright studies further in both Norway and the US, which led me to trademarks and my first job at the IPO, and the rest is history.
Christoffer: For me, it was at the end of my law degree when I was studying in Copenhagen as an exchange student, and I was taking this great class that covered all aspects of IP and was taught by practicing lawyers. They were able to bring IP to life unlike the usual academic lecturers, which really caught my attention and I actually ended up writing my final thesis within trademark law. Then, following my studies and similar to Thomas, I got my first job as an examiner at the Norwegian IPO.
Interviewer: You opened the BRANDIT office in Oslo at the beginning of October, how’s your first couple of weeks been? What have you done since the opening?
Christoffer: It has been the fastest, most intense and fun 4 weeks of my life! It has been extremely rewarding to see that people have trust in us and have already confirmed that they want to work with us, both in Norway and internationally. To me this means everything, and it has been inspiring to see that they have faith in both of us and trust us not only as lawyers but also our new firm.
Thomas: Absolutely! It has been a really great start and it has been great to see that we have gained so much trust already.
Christoffer: But not only from our clients, the industry has also been very positive and welcoming; both our Norwegian peers and the wider international IP network.
Thomas: From a more practical point of view, we have also been busy onboarding domestic and international clients, which is an ongoing process. We’ve almost been a bit overwhelmed with incoming inquiries, with a lot of interest around our services as well as the complete offering from BRANDIT. So yes, a lot to do!
Interviewer: What were the main reasons for you (and BRANDIT) to expand into this region?
Thomas: I think for us and for BRANDIT, we saw a gap in the Norwegian market for BRANDIT’s domain management and brand advisory services.
Christoffer: Yes, over the past year, we have found more and more that brand owners expect us to be more like full-service consultants and not just attorneys and we are therefore thrilled to be the first Norwegian agency that can bring together a full range of services all under the one roof.
We also really liked what BRANDIT was doing and believed in their objectives and felt this is something we could get on board with and what our clients are seeking.
Interviewer: What kind of reactions have you received since announcing this move?
Christoffer: I think we touched on this before, but what I would like to add is that we’ve been very happy to see that our analysis of the market and our belief that the full-service model is something our clients are needing has been 100% confirmed. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and I think our timing has been perfect!
Interviewer: How’s the new office coming along?
Thomas: The office is looking great, but we are already looking at expanding our office space as we’ve recently hired a paralegal and we will be looking at hiring a junior IP lawyer in the near future to support us with all of the incoming work. The office itself is in a great location and we find the environment very productive and inspiring, so we’re very happy there.
Interviewer: In your opinion, why would people in Norway want to use BRANDIT’s services? What can we offer that is different from what is already out there?
Thomas: I think on top of the full range of IP services under the one roof, and it might sound like a bit of a cliché, but there is an element of personal touch, we are very engaged in what we do, and this shows when we assist our clients. We both find great satisfaction in trying to really understand their commercial needs and providing a personalised service.
Interviewer: What have you learned/key takeaways from the last couple of months/opening office?
Christoffer: A lot! I have learned that I am much better at multi-tasking than I thought. There have been a lot of new things I am learning in the whole process of setting up a new business, but it has been a really positive experience.
Thomas: Exactly! And just to add to the point about setting up our own business. This has been incredibly useful in giving us insight into what a number of our clients have been or will go through as we have been involved in all parts of this process, right down to the nitty-gritty details and I think this is something that not only we can use in the future, but it can also benefit our clients.
Interviewer: What can we expect from BRANDIT Norway in the coming months?
Christoffer: Well, put simply, people can expect more of the same! We are here to stay, we’re growing, and we are very positive about the future.
If you have any questions about our Norway services or how we can help you in this region, please do not hesitate to contact Christoffer or Thomas directly or contact the main office at +41 44 515 65 75 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Like many Norwegians, Christoffer loves most outdoor activities. In particular, he really enjoys putting on his skis and heading off into the mountains - with or without his kids and Jack Russell Terrier - whether that is downhill or cross-country skiing. When there is no snow about, he is often found out on his bike or running around a tennis court.
Back in the office, Christoffer is an experienced (and still passionate) brand protection strategist and IP litigator with over 15 years in the IP industry. Christoffer assists our clients with clearing and securing trademarks in Norway, EU and internationally, and manages global trademark portfolios on all levels of enforcement and litigation within trademark, patent, design, copyright, marketing law.
Christoffer is also dedicated to combating the piracy and counterfeit industry - evidenced by his role as member of the INTA Anti-counterfeiting Committee and serving as chairman of the NACG (Norwegian Anti-Counterfeiting Group).
Christoffer speaks: Norwegian, Danish and English
Thomas discovered the world of IP and how to protect it through his love of music. He is an avid bass player and music programmer and loves discovering new genres of music from around the world. When not jamming with his children, Thomas enjoys spending his time on the slopes for a spot of downhill skiing.
Thomas is a well-established IP specialist and litigator with over 17 years’ experience in the IP industry. He is curious by nature and is always keen to learn about our client’s business and their needs and enjoys supporting clients with overall strategic advice and handling extensive and complex domain name, trademark and design portfolios. Thomas also regularly assists clients in enforcement, litigation, and online brand protection for all IP-related matters.
Thomas speaks: Norwegian and English