1.Please provide a company background including when it was established, where it is located, how many staff you employ etc.
Adamson Jones provides intellectual property (IP) services encompassing patent, design and trademark protection and advice in the UK, Europe and throughout the world.
Established in 2000 by Dr Steve Jones as a single-practitioner firm, the business has since grown to a mid-sized IP boutique, employing a total of 22 staff, including 8 patent attorneys, 2 trade mark attorneys and 3 technical assistants. Since 2004, the firm has been based at BioCity Nottingham, the UK’s largest bioscience and healthcare innovation centre. Due to continued growth a second office was opened in May 2014 at MediCity Nottingham, an innovation hub for innovators in consumer healthcare, medical technology, diagnostics and beauty products.
2.Please provide an overview of the products and services offered and areas of specialisation.
Adamson Jones offers the following services:
- Providing advice and securing the most effective IP protection for your innovations in the UK, Europe and internationally
- Managing the risk of infringing competitors’ IP rights
- Dealing with IP issues both at home and in major overseas markets
- Taking full advantage of any available tax incentives
- Advising on IP landscape and commercial IP strategy
Our areas of particular technical expertise in patent matters include:
- Medical Devices
- Pharmaceuticals & Chemistry
- Engineering & Design
We also have developed technical expertise over recent years in the areas of:
- Trade mark registration, opposition and clearance searches
- Product design registration and infringement opinions
3.How did you find out about emita and what benefits do you find the most valuable?
We found out about emita through meetings with several emita member firms and also following a market research project undertaken for us by the UKTI. The workshops held by emita offer invaluable information, advice and support covering a wide range of topics from marketing and communications to finance and innovation.
The quality of the membership at emita is also high and provides us with a very useful forum in which we can discuss wider manufacturing/export issues and offer informal IP-related advice.
4.How long has your company been active in the export / import market and which countries do you currently trade with?
Adamson Jones has been operating in overseas markets since its beginnings in 2000 with export business making up around 35% of the firm’s total turnover. National IP laws require us to employ the services of foreign attorneys if our clients require IP protection in overseas markets. Similarly, we offer our services to overseas organisations that require IP protection in the UK or Europe. We do business with overseas associates and direct clients based in almost 20 countries across the world, our key markets being the US, EU, Canada, Australia and South Africa. We also send and receive work from associates in Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and India.
5.What made you decide to expand your business overseas?
The proportion of our work for overseas clients was initially smaller than many of our competitors, primarily due to the size of our firm. A number of firms of Patent Attorneys, particularly those based in London, rely to a much greater extent on overseas-originating work from multinationals. In 2006, we felt that we had developed our practice sufficiently to be able to approach overseas markets to supplement the growth of our UK-based clients. We were able to offer a responsive and high quality service at a competitive price point due to our company structure and IT systems.
The growth in turnover from overseas work has been steady and has given us the confidence to take on further professional staff in line with demand. Increased business from overseas has helped us expand from a head count of just 6 when we first moved to BioCity in 2004, to our existing team of 22 in 2015.
6.What has been your biggest exporting / importing challenge?
Potential overseas clients are either patent attorney intermediaries representing local companies, or those companies directly. In all cases, the client needs to be assured of the quality of the work we will do for them because of the legal and technical complexity of the subject matter. This level of trust has been difficult to foster remotely, particularly when attempting to replace an existing supplier. Key to connecting with and building relationships with both types of clients is our attendance of international trade shows, international IP conferences and arranging client visits, all of which involve a substantial amount of overseas travel.
7.What’s the most helpful piece of international trade advice you have received?
To concentrate on our strongest market sectors and to build relationships with clients in those sectors, irrespective of their geographical location.
8.What does the future hold? Any particular markets you are looking to target next?
Our greatest growth has come in areas in which we have been active for longest (USA and Canada) but we now have established relationships with direct clients also in other countries such as Australia, Israel, the Netherlands, South Africa, India and Germany.
There has been significant growth in the number of patents being obtained in China, both from overseas and by Chinese nationals. However a majority of patent applications originating in China are not taken forward to obtain corresponding protection in Europe. This represents a significant opportunity for us if services can be offered to manufacturers or associates in China at the right price. However our greater focus in the short term will remain on the USA due to the continued importance placed on high quality IP protection by US companies.