Nederlandsch Octrooibureau

At a Glance

  • Reduced Travel
  • Improved communications
  • Improved time management
  • Increased customer services

Polycom Video Collaboration Solutions Enable Nederlandsch Octrooibureau (NLO) to Attend Hearings at the European Patent Office in Munich from Offices in the Netherlands


Nederlandsch octrooibureau (NLO) is a full service Intellectual Property provider which offers products and services to protect patents, trademarks, designs and other related property. NLO is one of the larger European firms providing specialised advice in all aspects of intellectual property rights, and assisting customers in many different ways, from an effective patent or trademark and design strategy, to technical and legal expertise.

NLO has three locations in the Netherlands. The headquarters, located in The Hague, houses 90 employees. The other offices located a little more than 150 kilometres away, in Ede-Wageningen and Eindhoven, have about 20 employees residing.

Why Video Conferencing

Part of NLO’s core business is connected directly to the European Patent Office (EPO) in charge of the European patent applications for inventions located in Rijswijk (the Netherlands) and Munich (Germany). To facilitate and expedite their dealings and decisions, the EPO gave the option to certain entities to join sessions by video conference instead of in person in Munich. As many patent case meetings are held in Munich, over 800 kilometres from NLO headquarters, Herman de Haan, Chief Executive Officer of NLO, made the decision immediately to equip all three offices with video conferencing solutions. He explains, “being able to participate in the patent case meetings, which sometimes can be as short as 10 minutes, by video, is nothing but advantageous for our organisation in terms of time savings, cost savings and general efficiency.” De Haan contacted his ICT Manager Manuel Greep, and asked him to quickly put a solution in each of the locations.

The Project

The EPO set certain technical requirements to allow firms to participate by video. Of course the solutions had to meet all of todays video conferencing standards, including supporting the H.323 protocol. Greep engaged Talk & Vision, a leading provider of video conferencing and unified communications solutions in the Netherlands, and a long-term Polycom partner. After taking into account the EPO’s requirements and the needs of NLO, Talk & Vision designed and delivered a complete Polycom solution. Says Greep, “My expectations were high; I wanted a strong robust solution that would deliver excellent video and audio quality, and could be used easily by everyone in the organisation. Polycom was the one.” The Polycom RealPresence Room systems are in each of the three executive board rooms, and the CEO, Herman de Haan, has a Polycom HDX 4500 personal system in his office.

The project was delivered by Talk & Vision, on time and on budget, and included two training sessions for the staff. Says Greep, “Talk & Vision did a tremendous job, from their analysis of our needs and requirements, to recommending and deploying Polycom.”

Adoption & Usage

Everything was put in place to allow accessibility to everyone across the company. The organisation at NLO is traditional: the CEO has 10 direct reports, who each lead a team of eight to twelve people. Today, the CEO holds many of his staff meetings by video conference. Rarely does anyone travel to Munich any longer, as most sessions are joined by video. The travel between offices has greatly reduced as well. With the option of avoiding driving 150 kilometers for a meeting, it’s not surprising many prefer to carry out their meetings via video! And some cross-functional departments such as IT housed in HQ have benefited from video by being able to deliver face-to-face
support to the two other offices.

Everyone is able to reserve the conference room and use the solution. While no one is keeping track of exactly how many trips are avoided thanks to Polycom video, everyone is happy to report on their great experiences using the solution, and looking for more ways to use it. Greep is working on ways to promote connections with customers and partners, and expanding usage of the Polycom video solution.

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