A perennial problem faced by IP practitioners, particular those in practices that attract an SME clientele at the micro end of the range, is that clients are sometimes unable -- and practitioners are occasionally reluctant -- to draw a clear line between professional skills (eg advising on patentability and registrability, drafting applications, licences and the like) and the exercise of judgment based on experience in dealing with questions like "now that I've got my patent/design/trade mark, where do I go from here?"
The dilemma facing any practitioner is painful. Do I abandon my client to the market where, armed with his own ambitions, experiences and credibility when seeking capital or collaborators, he will sink or swim? Or do I steer him along, to the best of my ability but leading myself into fields of expertise that are distant from my core professional skills?
It is at this point that enlisting the assistance of a third party such as an innovation broker may appeal to both practitioner and client -- yet the absence of accepted standards for professional innovation broking, plus the deleterious effect of stories of painful scams in which vulnerable innovators part with hard cash and sometimes their IP rights, remove the attractive force of enlisting their support. There may well be as many honest, capable and effective innovation brokers and advisors as there are incompetent and deceitful ones -- but who can tell, and who is prepared to say to a client, hand-on-heart, that they should go to one?
It would be good to know what SOLO IP readers think, and what experiences they have had in this regard.