More than six months have passed since our trainee group first met in Malmö. That warm September day we sat in rows in the headquarters in Malmö for the first day of the trainee programme, and we had to make a short introduction of ourselves to the other trainees. That morning we were welcomed with an accommodating smile followed by a “morrn, morrn” from the receptionist and the first impression of our future colleagues and fellow trainees was a little sweaty handshake and a slightly nervous “hi, nice to meet you!” – in English of course!
We quickly realised from the introductions that we all had something in common; we were all quite ambitious about our new jobs, but none of us really knew what we should expect from working in a patent firm or the trainee programme. Maybe this was key to our relationship evolving from complete strangers to colleagues. After the first five weeks of lectures, social dinners, a couple of beers and a lot of “hygge”, our relationship was more characterised as friendship than as merely being colleagues, and it was therefore with mixed feelings that we spread out to our respective offices. We knew that we sadly wouldn’t see each other until this week in March, but at the same time we felt like Super Mario getting an invincible IP-star and we were all excited to put our new knowledge to use.
This first week of the second trainee period, started in Copenhagen, where the Danes were at home and could show off their brand new office. During our time at our own offices we have all had the chance to use what we had learnt about real work and maybe that was why the excitement to start the next set of lectures was even higher than before. After a short and gentle introduction to the Danish office and their clients, we quickly moved on to the real lecture where the topic of the day was foreign filing - perhaps because our group was gathered on Danish ground for the first time. As with most of the previous lectures in Sweden, the teaching was based on case work and exercises. We quickly realised that there is a lot more to know before we are real IP-stars, but at the end of the day we came up with different strategic and economic advice on how to file in foreign countries. After a final review of our strategies, we grabbed our bags and headed towards Malmö. This day we also learnt that even though we are a Scandinavian company and share common values, the term “fika” sadly does not extend over Øresund.
The following day in the headquarters in Malmö “fika” was back on the schedule, which meant that our blood sugar fortunately recovered. It felt great to be back in Malmö, back to the place where it all began. This time the walk from the hotel to the office was purely routine and the Danes welcomed the Swedes with a “morrn morrn”. Today the awkward small talk is replaced by familiar conversations and catching up – this time in Danish and Swedish of course.