Volume IIII | April 2023

Since 1989 SACC-DC has offered a platform for developing U.S. – Swedish lucrative commercial ventures and professional opportunities through our network and business and social events. The SACC-DC Newsletter will help you stay on top of what’s happening in the Swedish-American business community and find the perfect opportunity to create new business connections in the greater Washington D.C. area and Mid-Atlantic region.

From the Executive Director

Dear members,


The month of April is here and a there is a special focus on what we do to mother earth in terms of creating sustainable alternatives to our daily lives. We have now entered Earth Week (April 16-22) and it ties in beautifully with our Nordic Innovation and Sustainability Forum SACC-DC is launching with FACC-NY and NACC-Midatlantic at House of Sweden this week. Here is a very timely article on the very topic of Nordic Sustainable efforts

SACC-DC is thrilled to welcome a new corporate member, Scandinavian Airlines SAS. They are represented at our collaborative Nordic spring event with the Finnish and Norwegian Chambers, the Nordic Innovation and Sustainability Forum on April 19th, where SAS General Manager Jasmine Utter will be participating on the transportation panel. See more about this below.


As a result of our international rooftop networking evening, SACC-DC is happy to welcome new individual members. Please welcome Carolina Chapman, and Sally Sappenfield to our growing membership.


News on NATO and Sweden is a recurring topic in many conversations, especially as Finland recently became a NATO member. I’m adding a link to news about this from Sweden. Starting this week, the Swedish armed forces will conduct its largest military exercise in 30 years, Aurora 23. Read more about the collaborative exercise here


Happy reading!



1.Membership Spotlight- Warren Zitlau

2.Meet the speakers

3.Sweden focus

3.1 Swedish new flag day

3.2 Happy Easter!

4.Past events

4.1 EU-Webinar with Björn Arvidsson

4.2 Networking in an international setting

5.Looking ahead

5.1 The workplace of the future is here

5.2 Nordic Innovation and Sustainability Forum

5.3 Life Science Bridge

5.4 Executive Forum

6.Recommendations from SACC-DC

6.1 News from SACC-USA and the Embassy

6.2 Visit the Exhibition at the House of Sweden

6.3 Ruben Östlund- Triangle of Sadness

7.Business Services provided by SACC-DC

8.Become a member or contact us!


Warren A. Zitlau

Warren A. Zitlau is a partner at the intellectual property law firm of Cahn & Samuels, LLP.  He is a graduate of the University of Delaware, where he studied chemical engineering, and he obtained his law degree cum laude from Boston University School of Law.  Warren has 25 years of experience focused on preparing and prosecuting patent applications before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

What do you do? 

I am a patent and trademark attorney, representing U.S. and foreign clients before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.  I help mostly individuals, entrepreneur­­s, and small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that want to protect their technological products and processes (patent) and/or their branding of goods and services (trademark). 

I am particularly interested in Swedish and Nordic markets because there are so many entrepreneurial and innovative companies there. But my connection to Sweden is deeper than that, as my paternal great-grandparents immigrated from Sweden.

What sets me apart from other intellectual property attorneys is that, even with over 25 years of experience, I personally handle my clients’ patent and trademark matters.  Also, working at a boutique law firm, I offer cost-effective collaboration with clients.

What inspired you to specialize in patent and trademark prosecution, particularly in chemical and mechanical disciplines?

I have a degree in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware.  I wanted to pursue a graduate education, but was not interested in a long-term career in academia or being in a laboratory.  After graduation, I studied law at Boston University.  My first position as a lawyer was in Washington, DC.  I worked at a small general practice firm,  disliked it, and resigned. With the kind advice of an older attorney, I pivoted to focusing on a career in intellectual property and never looked back!  Because of my chemical engineering studies, I usually work with technological inventions that have a chemical aspect:  coatings, adhesives, food & beverage, batteries, cosmetics, metallurgy, oil & gas, etc.  However, I also work with mechanical technologies, such as prosthetics and medical devices, and design patents, which protect the ornamental feature of an article (e.g., automotive wheel cover, perfume bottle, pet bed).  

What are some of the most interesting or challenging cases you have worked on in your career, and how did you approach them?

The most rewarding cases are often the result of helping individual inventors obtain a patent or trademark.  The patent process can be quite confusing and many individuals feel overwhelmed and do not know where to begin.  There are also cases that are challenging from a technical or legal perspective.  For example, recent U.S. case law on patentable subject matter has had a detrimental impact on medical diagnostic applications, which are now often deemed unpatentable as being directed to a law of nature.  In this challenging environment, I helped a German company obtain patents on methods for early diagnosing and treating asphyxia and related disorders due to a lack of oxygen.  Another difficult case involved a reflective transfer for shirts and other textiles.  We were the third law firm to work on the patent application and vigorously pursued the matter before the patent examiner.  Ultimately, we were successful in obtaining a patent. The approach in each case is similar: ensuring a thorough understanding of the invention, the prior art, and the relevant case law; planning a strategy with a client based on his/her commercial goals and objectives; and conducting interviews with the patent examiner assigned to the patent application.

How do you stay up-to-date with the latest developments in intellectual property law and regulations?

I am an active member in the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), which has international members including attorneys from Sweden, Finland, and Denmark.  This organization has many webinars and in-person meetings to address current issues and topics of interest in the intellectual property landscape.  I also occasionally attend meetings of the International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (AIPPI) and the International Trademark Association (INTA), both of which have numerous Nordic members.

The wide range of Swedes in these organizations is an encouragement to me of the importance in US markets as it relates to Swedish companies and intellectual property.

What do you think are the most important skills for a successful intellectual property lawyer to possess?

The majority of intellectual property attorneys have a technical degree.  It is important for intellectual property attorneys to not only understand the underlying technology of the patent applications on which they work, but also to effectively communicate the technology and its importance to patent examiners with an eye towards possible litigation.  Successful IP attorneys are good storytellers and constantly think about the best ways to describe (claim) inventions.

Why did you become a member of SACC-DC and what benefits have you gained?

I initially joined SACC-DC after my first visit to Sweden in 2019, where I attended a conference sponsored by the International Section of the New York Bar Association.  Importantly, that trip allowed me to travel to Skövde to visit the birthplace (Varola) of my great-grandmother and to meet Swedish relatives. 

"I ... wanted to learn about the technological landscape of Sweden.  Swedish companies and technology are all around us"

Near my DC office, a Polestar dealership is under construction, and the new building up the street was developed by Skanska.  Sweden is also at the forefront of developing green and sustainable technologies.  

I have benefitted from learning, for example, about the fossil-free steel initiatives of SSAB and Vattenfall; the sustainable packaging efforts of the Paboco company; and the commitment to Sustainable Aviation Fuel of SAS.  Recyclable and sustainable considerations to every aspect of business is often a topic at the SACC events.  But I have mostly benefitted from meeting a lot of interesting people!


Click here to get to Mr. Zitlaus LinkedIn or mailadress:



Nordic Innovation & Sustainability Forum 2023

The Nordic Innovation & Sustainability Forum 2023, invitation-only event that will be held on April 19th at the prestigious House of Sweden in Washington D.C. The focus of the event will be on sustainable architecture and transportation solutions, and it will bring together a carefully selected group of global experts, policymakers, and practitioners. Our objective is to facilitate discussions on innovative approaches that can revolutionize cities through sustainable building and transportation practices, while also examining the growing demand for Nordic solutions in the United States.


Mikko Hautala

Ambassador of Finland to the United States

Scott Sklar

Scott Sklar is President of The Stella Group, Ltd. since 2000, a global clean technology owner’s rep firm facilitating optimization of clean distributed energy utilization and technology integration primarily for commercial, industrial, institutional, infrastructure and local government.

Anna Åsberg

Anna Asberg is the Vice President for R&D IT for AstraZeneca.  She is responsible for strategy for IT and has a global team that uses technology to help researchers transform the speed and quality of AstraZeneca’s discovery and delivery of medicines to patients:  her team puts the IT in Scientist.

Kathleen Lane

As Managing Director for Climate Action and Design Excellence at The American Institute of Architects (AIA), Kathleen advances the design profession to achieve a zero carbon, equitable, resilient, and healthy built environment.

Myrrh Caplan

Myrrh Caplan is the national lead on sustainable construction and advising for Skanska USA Building in the US. This includes many layers of delivering sustainable outcomes, education, and leadership, both internally and externally.

Trond Sørensen

As a co-founder and former CEO of Net Trans Services, Trond played a crucial role in establishing the company's strong international sales organization. Through his efforts, the company was able to expand its global footprint and achieve significant revenue growth.

Trond Gjellesvik

Trond Gjellesvik is the President of Hydro Aluminum Metals USA with commercial responsibility for Americas. He has more than 20 years of international experience from Europe, Asia and the Americas, including roles as Vice President of Hydro Aluminum Asia and Commercial VP for different Product Segments in Europe.

Kate Olinger

Kate Olinger is the director of industry and regulatory affairs at Uponor North America, where she oversees the company’s regulatory compliance of its products and sites.

Nora Wang Esram

Dr. Esram is the Senior Director of Research at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). She oversees ACEEE’s research programs including Buildings, Industry, Transportation, Behavior, and Health and Environment.

Michael McAdams

In 2008, Michael McAdams formed and has since represented the Advanced Biofuels Association, a Washington-D.C. based association of more than 45 advanced biofuels feedstock, production, marketing, and distribution companies.

Morgan Ellis

Morgan Ellis is a Senior Advisor for Sustainable Transportation and Fuels where she focuses on coordinating interagency transportation decarbonization work, Bipartisan Infrastructure Law implementation and stakeholder engagement.

Donna Warndof

Donna Warndof is the Head of Public Affairs, Americas, for NESTE, a global leader in solutions for the hard-to-decarbonize transportation sector. NESTE’s wide range of products include renewable diesel for road transportation fleets, sustainable aviation fuel, and renewable polymers and chemicals.

Dawn Fenton

Dawn Fenton is the Vice President for Government Relations and Public Affairs at Volvo Group North America. She has been with the Volvo Group since 2011 and has responsibility for federal government relations as well as California policy issues.

Jasmin Utter

Jasmin Utter is the General Manager for Scandinavian Airlines in the Americas. Together with the organization, she is responsible for passenger sales and cargo, as well as the airport handling across the nine airports SAS fly to in North America.


Sweden introduces a new flag day for the European Parliament election

Sweden introduces a new flag day for the European Parliament election!

The government of Sweden has decided to introduce a new flag day for the European Parliament election, which will be celebrated every fifth year with the Swedish flag waving in the wind. This will come into effect from April 1, 2023.

This flag day is seen as an opportunity to celebrate and promote democracy through flagging. The government believes that the election is a symbol of the importance of democracy and therefore it is appropriate to celebrate the day with flagging.


Easter is a Christian holiday that is celebrated in both America and Sweden, but there are some differences in how the two countries observe the holiday. In America, Easter is typically celebrated with church services, Easter egg hunts, and family gatherings that often involve a special meal, such as ham or lamb. The Easter bunny, a popular figure in American Easter celebrations, is believed to bring Easter eggs and other treats to children.

In Sweden, Easter is also a religious holiday, but it is celebrated with some unique customs. One of the most notable traditions is the Easter witch, or påskkärring, which involves dressing up as a witch and going door-to-door to collect candy and treats. Swedes also decorate branches with feathers and other decorations, and hang them inside their homes. Another popular Swedish Easter drink is the påskmust, a type of soda that is only available during the Easter season.


EU-Webinar with Björn Arvidsson

If you did not attend the event, don't worry, watch it here!

Thank you Björn for an informative an inspiring presentation!

Björn Arvidsson, head of trade and economic affairs at the Embassy of Sweden, was a guest- speaker on SACC-DCs webinar discussing priorities during the Swedish Presidency of the European Union, including Ukraine, green transition and competitiveness.

International Rooftop Networking Event!

SACC-DC co-hosted this special evening of networking together for our members of the British-American Business Association the French American chamber of commerce and Mer Events.

The successful and exclusive member event, was very well attended as we all gathered on the rooftop terrace, on a beautiful evening with stunning views over The Wharf, the Potomac River and the skyline from DC to VA. As the sun was setting our guests enjoyed forging new connections and sipping on a tasting of cognac, British beer, French wines or tasting the Swedish gin. Sweet and savory treats were served from French Baguette. The hosts did a welcome toast in Swedish, French and British/American to celebrate our collaboration. 


SACC-Chicago Invites You To Their Next Speaker Event!

Join SACC-Chicagos next speaker event under the theme The Workplace of the Future is Here.

"Meet Sonya Simmonds and get some insights into how this world-renowned Swedish audio-streaming company has managed to sustain culture, spark creativity, and keep their employees connected whether working from the office or home. Sonya will share how Spotify employees align whilst they work from anywhere across a diverse workforce in over 30 countries across the globe."

Register here!

Nordic Innovation & Sustainability Forum 2023

Invitations have now been sent out for our 2023 Nordic Innovation and Sustainability Forum on April 19th, 2023, co-hosted with the Norwegian-American Chamber of Commerce Mid-Atlantic and the Finnish-American Chamber of Commerce, New York.

Nordic Innovation Forum will highlight the latest insights into the U.S. demand for green solutions and Scandinavia's supply-driven innovations.

Join SACC For The Event "Life Science Bridge"

Join the Swedish American Chamber of Commerce in San Diego, San Francisco/Silicon Valley, New England, and Minnesota for Bridging the Gap - Life Science Bridge 2023, a one-day webinar featuring speakers from the top four life science clusters in the U.S. and Sweden. Don't miss this exclusive opportunity to listen to world-class experts discuss the challenges, opportunities, and future of Life Science Innovation in healthcare!

Register here!

Executive Forum

by Swedish- American Chamber of Commerce of USA

The Swedish-American Chambers of Commerce of the United States of America (SACC-USA) are hosting one of their flagship events, the Executive Forum, held annually in House of Sweden, Washington, D.C. The event is held in collaboration with the Embassy of Sweden.

The 2023 Executive Forum will showcase the innovative companies showing the way towards net zero across a diverse set of industries. These thoughtleaders have made a commitment to not only benefit their bottom line, but also to positively impact society as a whole. As a premier business development platform, the Executive Forum will also explore how to leverage the Swedish Brand against the backdrop of an increasingly fragmented and uncertain geopolitical and economic outlook.

The Event will kick-start on May 3rd, 2023 with a cocktail reception in a welcoming and sophisticated atmosphere. It's the perfect opportunity to unwind and connect with professionals from various fields. The following day May 4th will include a full schedule of seminars, discussions, company presentations, and world-class speakers.

Read more and register here!


News From SACC-DC And The Embassy

We want to encourage you to stay updated by reading the newsletters from SACC-USA and the news from the Swedish Embassy!

We highly recommend taking the time to read these news regularly to stay informed and connected with the Swedish-American community. As always, SACC-DC remains committed to providing our members with the resources and information they need to succeed.

Read News from the Swedish Embassy
Read SACC-USA's Newsletters

Visit the Exhibition at The House of Sweden!

Exhibit Opening

- Pioneer the Possible: Accelerating the Green Transition

Read more about the exhibition here!

The Embassy of Sweden hosted an event highlighting Swedens Green transition achievements in sustainable transportation, production, energy, and green buildings. The exhibition is made by the Swedish institute in collaboration with the Embassy of Sweden in Washington DC. The exhibition is open for the public at the house of Sweden, SACC-DC highly recommend you visiting this exhibition!

House of Sweden is open for the public on weekends between 12-5PM.

Ruben Östlund

Triangle of Sadness

Ruben Östlund, a Swedish film director known for his satirical and thought-provoking films. One of his notable works is the 2021 film "Triangle of Sadness" - a must-watch film that can be seen on American cinema!

"Triangle of Sadness" has been praised for its sharp commentary on the fashion industry and its themes of vanity, power, and greed. The film premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival and has since received critical acclaim.

Business Services Provided by SACC DC

SACC-DC holds a unique position to provide members valuable connections with other member companies or small business, potentially resulting in new collaborations, clients, and partnerships. Read more about our B2B Matchmaking service and how to make a request here.

Your company has the opportunity to be assisted by a Business Associate or a trainee with short-term projects aiming to increase your knowledge about specific markets. Read more about our Trade Services and how to make a request here.

Interested in joining the SACC DC community?

Become a member!

Visit our membership page to join as a new member, or renew your membership through the membership portal. SACC DC organizes many events throughout the year to give our members access to professional networking. We also tailor trade missions for Swedish companies interested in the Greater Washington, D.C. area. Whether an individual with a keen interest in or connection with Sweden living in D.C. or a company looking to establish new relationships, we can help you reach your next goal.

Become a member!
Contact us!

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