01 Aug Challenging the Stereotype
Adamson Jones is not your average firm of patent attorneys and trade mark attorneys. With the majority of their team having first-hand experience working within roles in the life sciences sector, when it comes to intellectual property (IP) protection in this field, they really know their stuff. Furthermore, these guys are challenging the stereotype… with the profession renowned for having pin-drop silent, formal and relatively reserved offices, the team at Adamson Jones tell quite a different story.
The firm is made up of new starters as well as veterans that have worked for the company for years. The team seem to get on very well, which is reflected by the open ‘non-stuffy’ culture that the company strives to create.
After being at BioCity for over a decade (celebrating their 10-year anniversary at the Nottingham site alongside fellow companies such as North 51 and Sygnature Discovery) AdamsonJones has since gone on to expand and take up office space at MediCity, Nottingham in 2014 and last year in Leicester.
Advocates of the BioCity community, Adamson Jones was the first company to move into MediCity Nottingham. ‘It’s really important to embed ourselves within the industries we serve.’
Firstly, we were met by Rachel; welcomed into the office and offered a cup of coffee and a pot of jelly beans!
“We are a company of IP specialists, founded by Dr Steve Jones in 2000. The company has a historical focus on the life sciences industry, however over the last seven or eight years we have built up a strong engineering and design team, allowing us to serve clients in other sectors such as aerospace, transport and advanced manufacturing.
We headed into the company’s new breakout area, where other Adamson Jones team members were waiting.
Tell us a bit your roles here:
Rachel: I manage the marketing function for our company, which includes digital marketing, the website, videos, social media, supporting the attorneys with business development and organising events..
Andrea: I’ve worked here for about eight to nine years and within three different offices at BioCity – as the company has grown and expanded we’ve taken on bigger offices each time. There were about 5 members of staff when I first started – now we’re a company of 22!
Cory: I’m a trainee attorney and joined the company about 8 months ago, so I’m Adamson Jones’ newest recruit!
Dave: I’m a patent attorney and work between both BioCity and MediCity Nottingham.
How did you get into the career?
Cory: I studied physics with medical physics at Sheffield and graduated in 2015, but standard science jobs just didn’t appeal. I wanted a job that was more client-based than the average research role. I have to sit what feels like, 100 exams, before I become a fully-fledged attorney. It takes about five years to qualify on average (I’m half way through).
Dave: No one grows up expecting to be a patent attorney (Rachel, laughing – “Sell it Dave!”) but I was drawn to science and engineering at A-levels and went on to study biology at the University of Nottingham. Similarly, I didn’t know what to do after, but knew I didn’t want to work in a lab or academia.
During my Masters, one of the modules was ‘how to run a biotech company’, where they teach you about business models and access to funding. At the time, a CEO of a biotech firm at BioCity delivered a lecture about patent attorneys. This was my first exposure to the industry and got me thinking. I joined Adamson Jones in 2008 and trained with the firm, qualifying as both a UK and European Patent Attorney in 2012.
What’s the culture like at Adamson Jones?
Cory: It’s a really relaxed culture, especially compared to the previous place I worked. The nature of a patent attorney’s role often involves very detailed work, for example drafting a patent application regarding complex and innovative technology. Rather than being locked away in your own office, and not talking to each other it’s so different here. I really like working in an open office, it’s a much more relaxed environment and everyone is so approachable.
Rachel: We’re a progressive firm and now have office space in London, close to Kings Cross. The company is continually looking forward and is very dynamic. I work part-time but can also make school runs and work from home – they’re really flexible as a company.
What has been your biggest achievement at Adamson Jones?
Cory: I passed a couple of exams recently! I received the ‘Keith Farwell’ award for the highest mark in one of the exams and was given a certificate and cash prize.
How do you find working at BioCity?
Rachel: We have a number of clients here and it’s good to be surrounded by so many innovative companies. We regularly pop along to BioCity’s in-house events too; it feels like a community and it’s a useful way to stay in touch. All of our patent attorneys have a background either in engineering or life sciences, and innovation in these sectors can move quickly so it’s great to hear about the latest advances in technology.
Cory: I really enjoy the variety of work I’ve been involved with at Adamson Jones. In larger companies you’re often asked to work on the portfolio of just one large client. Here I’m exposed to multiple cases from various clients and get to work with team members with different technical backgrounds, which really helps with training.
What’s unique about the Adamson Jones?
Rachel: It is unusual for a company of our size to have such a large team of attorneys with a technical background in medical devices. We are leading the way as a provider of IP protection for SMEs as well as being a very viable option for larger companies in the fields of medical devices and pharma.
What do you get up to in Nottingham in your spare time?
Rachel: Off-road running in the Peak District and marathons. We’re quite a sporty bunch (generally!). We’re quite competitive and have done triathlons as a team as part of corporate fundraising. We’ve also entered the Nottingham Corporate Challenge (and won it!).
Cory: I play Rugby and have started to run at lunchtime – the canal is a great run.
Dave: I’m mostly based at MediCity and am really enjoying the couch to 5k club .
Rachel: I’ve found the yoga classes here on site really good. Also, Steve, the Chairman, and three generations of his family collectively completed a series of runs last year as a fundraising challenge including the London Marathon. We did joke at one point, that running was going to be part of the interview criteria to work for us!
Cory: It’s not all fitness though – We have A LOT of treats in this office- we all seem to love chocolate! That’s why we have to run so much to balance it out!
Adamson Jones are not the first company that I have spoken to where keeping fit seems to be a pre-requisite. One theme that I continually see within the BioCity and MediCity community is a positive attitude towards health and wellbeing and the importance that is placed on looking after employees.
If you need to know more about IP opportunities and threats you can get in touch with our on-site patent and trade mark attorneys, Adamson Jones, here.