Elementary, my dear Watson

In Insights, Uncategorized

6 November, 2012

When reading a novel the other day, I came across a statement by a consulting detective. What one man can invent another can discover.” (Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure of the Dancing Men) Having newly entered the IP world, I began to wonder if Holmes would actually qualify as a patent consultant. 

Let’s start by listing a few qualities of a full-blood IP consultant, identified by someone having just spent the first couple of weeks at his home office. It should be safe to state that a consultant would need at least one of the following qualities; logic reasoning, technical knowledge, language skills, and last but not least business skills.

Now to Holmes. His deductive and logic powers are widely known, and like Watson recalls in A Study in Scarlet Holmes has profound knowledge of chemistry as well as good practical knowledge of British law. We learn that Holmes knows German, French, and Latin so providing him with ‘Swedish for Beginners’ together with ‘Introduction to Swedish Law’ should do the job. Finally, let’s consider one of his own accounts: It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.” (A Case of Identity) Surely a good mind set for dissecting an IP problem.

We may conclude that Holmes indeed would be suitable as an IP consultant and for all of us following the patent path there is much to learn about sound reasoning and tactics from Watsons accounts of the triumphs of the consulting detective.  Perhaps a novel or two should be compulsory reading and just like The Annotated European Patent Convention be found on every IP consultant’s bookshelf. But then again, how hard can it be really. “I listen to their story, they listen to my comments, and then I pocket my fee.(Sherlock Holmes, Baker’s Bread)

Ulf Håkansson, Associate

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