Hugues Derème at the helm of BOIP as new Director General

As from 1 July 2024, Hugues Derème is the new Director General of the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property (BOIP). Hugues succeeds Ragnar Gustafsson, whose mandate expired on 30 June. On this special occasion, we asked Hugues about his new role and the assignment to draft a strategic plan for BOIP for the next five years. 

Hugues DerèmeHugues, congratulations on becoming the new Director General at BOIP. How do you view your new role? 

"I am very excited of course! Even though I know BOIP very well and have enjoyed my job as Deputy DG a lot, this mandate is a new, thrilling challenge! I see many opportunities for our great organisation, and I like the idea of giving it a new, different impulse. I started my career as an attorney-at-law, spent several years in industry, and then joined BOIP as Deputy Director General in 2008, where I have been responsible for operational activities, legal affairs and international cooperation. I am confident that all these experiences will help a great deal for the new position I am taking up from 1 July." 

The Administrative Council has assigned you, together with the two other members of the Executive Committee, Ragnar Gustafsson and Yves Hoffmann, the task of drawing up a new strategic plan for BOIP for the next five years. What can we expect from the strategic plan? 

"It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to draw up a new strategic plan for an organisation like BOIP. Over the last few years, we have already made remarkable progress in many areas. I am determined to build on this, while setting a fresh course for the organisation.

Drawing up a detailed strategic plan in 2024 for five years sounds ambitious, given the almost permanent instability in which we live. For instance, among the many aspects to consider there is the changing IP landscape in Europe, the impact of new technologies - especially AI -, the insufficient penetration of IP among businesses – in particular SMEs, and the essential attention to the values of diversity, equity and inclusion, to name but a few. All this means that BOIP’s strategic plan must be adaptable to changing circumstances." 

How will you realise the new strategic plan?   

"I want the process of developing this plan to be as inclusive as possible, for the simple reason that BOIP does not exist for itself. We are here to ensure that users can rely on a strong and efficient IP system in the Benelux. Our strategy thus needs to address their needs. This is why we seek the input of our stakeholders. First of all, we wish to hear from our expert staff, who are in touch daily with the users of the IP system, but we also seek to hear from the users themselves: IP professionals, users’ associations, entrepreneurs, and other players in the IP ecosystem. Obviously, we also seek to hear from our three Member States, as our main and trustworthy partners, as well as partnering organisations at the EU and international levels, with whom we have collaborated intensively over the past decades, such as EUIPO. I want these consultations to be open: any constructive, innovative or even disruptive ideas are most welcome!  

Several topics will obviously receive attention in our strategic plan, such as improving the sustainability of our organisation, differentiating our services according to users' profiles, further strengthening and leveraging cooperation with our partners in the Benelux, EU and beyond. Most importantly, however, there is the added value we want to continue to deliver to our users, both now and in the future: I want BOIP to serve all users better, faster and cheaper! 

The new strategic plan will be submitted to the Administrative Council in December 2024, with a view to it coming into effect on 1 January 2025."

And finally, what can we expect from you personally, Hugues, as a leader?

"My colleagues at BOIP no doubt find me demanding; it is true that I always strive for excellence and do not like to compromise on quality. Fortunately, I am at least as demanding of myself as I am of others. An important point in my mandate will be the attention paid to values and standards: I want to work with transparency and integrity, insist on accountability for actions, and create a climate of trust and mutual respect, both internally and with our external partners. I want to lead by example and stimulate personal engagement. I have always had fun in my work, and I want the same for all colleagues at BOIP. I firmly believe in this virtuous circle: you like what you do well, and you do well what you like."

More information 

Videostill interview with Hugues

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