Monday, 2 September 2013

Best ... and worst?

In the past week or two this blogger has spent a fair bit of time talking to friends and colleagues, one of whom is considering shuttling away from an academic career and setting up as a sole intellectual property consultant, while the other is pondering a move from a large firm to a small practice. In each case the person concerned has been assuming that "the grass is greener on the other side", not least because the career move under consideration is one based on escaping from an unhappy position rather than taking a positive step towards a desired goal.

These discussions set this blogger thinking: what words of comfort or caution might the readers of SOLO IP have for anyone thinking of taking the plunge? Suggestions are very welcome!


  1. I think a lot of academics are considering setting up consultancies in parallel to their academic work. I think as long as a person is realistic about economic prospects then this is always worth consideration. However this is the UK. There is very little money in the system, and I think in many sectors no one is going to pay for consultancy services, even though it would be useful to them.

    From my personal experience smaller patent firms are friendlier than larger ones, and can offer more opportunities in terms of diversity of experience.

    However, as the article implies, one must remember that moving is not necessarily the best thing to do. If you fail to take on your challenges today, you'll probably fail again tomorrow, and every position has its challenges. If you are being crushed where you are then perhaps its time to move. However if you're only uncomfortable then perhaps you can change things. I know however that in reality such things can be very difficult to deal with.

  2. Joining a small firm is a very different issue from setting up on your own as a solo. When you join a small firm you have to be certain that you will get on with the few people you will be working with, so you need to spend some time finding out about their foibles and what they are or are not prepared to spend money on. In short joining a small firm is a huge risk if you don't know the other people really well and have confidence that they will make good drinking partners as well as working partners.
    Setting up as a solo is much more straightforward