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Intellectual Property Law Departments decrease Patent Staff, yet Patent Efficiency increases

03-12-2012 07:44 AM CET | Business, Economy, Finances, Banking & Insurance

Press release from: IP Performance Group

ipPerformance Group, a leader in benchmarking corporate intellectual property law and management operations announces the release of its 2012 Intellectual Property Law Department study. While there was an increase in innovation activity worldwide throughout 2010 and 2011, companies reported decreased numbers of in-house IP Attorneys and IP Staff. The total IP Staff and Attorneys worldwide is down 18%; with the decrease in staff being compensated for with increased law firm usage. The findings suggest innovation driven companies are using formalized policies and tighter integration between attorneys and business unit managers to improve their procurement efficiencies and derive greater value from outside counsel.

“With the increase in management cost pressures and staff reductions during this period, the survey results show IP Attorneys are working closely with business leaders to achieve better alignment. This has resulted in an improvement in patent applications per R&D investment,” says Robert Williamson, president at ipPerformance Group.

The 2012 survey reports data for 2010 and 2011. Among the findings that emerged from this research are the following:

- The total number of IP attorneys reported is declined 43% from 2010 to 2011. The median company reported 5 IP lawyers worldwide.

- 29% of the companies indicated an increase in law firm usage for patent application preparation while 9% stated they will decrease.

- Companies streamlined the number of law firms they worked with for preparation and prosecution. 60% use 5 or less firms, while only 8% use more than 21. This is down from 2010 when only 35% of companies used 5 or fewer firms and 24% indicated they use more than 21 firms.

- There was dramatic growth in international patent filing coverage reported. Company median patent filings increased 200% in Japan and 230% in China based on patent filing strategy data reported in 2010.

- Company patents that are less than 5 years old increased by 15% since 2010.

- Outside counsel fees represent 35% of patent fees whereas trademark represents 40%.

- 23% of the companies surveyed indicated that budgets were reduced up to 10% whereas 10% indicated budgets increased more than 11%

- Patent Attorney median salary is down 13% from the median amount in 2010.

68 companies representing a variety of industries participated in this comprehensive study, including Praxair, Zebra Technologies, Freescale Semiconductor, Compumedics Limited, Eaton, NOVA Chemicals, JDSU, Dow Corning, GlaxoSmithKline, Sun Chemical, Swagelok, Celanese Corp and Ingersol Rand. Twenty-eight percent of participants are companies with revenues greater than $5 billion. The median worldwide revenue for companies with IP programs was $4.5 billion.

The ipPerformance Intellectual Property Law Department study is unique in its focus and depth of investigation of the distinct characteristics of the corporate intellectual property legal practice. The study includes comprehensive information on legal spending and staffing, organizational structure, compensation practices, law firm costs by service, law firm selection and management techniques, patent attorney responsibilities and methods used to enhance patent attorney business understanding and alignment methods.

Other intellectual property best practices research topics include intellectual property management strategy and performance metrics; litigation and enforcement; training and education; open innovation; open source governance; patent analytics; intellectual property department operations; trademark strategies and practices; and licensing management.

ipPerformance Group, Inc. ( is the world leader in providing “fact-driven” intellectual property (IP) advisory services and IP best practices research. Drawing on the knowledge of over 450 intellectual property management benchmarks of the Global 2000 companies, we help corporations measurably enhance business value, manage risk and solve complex yet common intellectual property business problems that drive performance in an IP–driven world. Our strategy services experts help clients assess their intellectual property management process, performance and personnel against peers and best practices to effectuate a strategically business aligned program. Our technology solutions services experts help clients effectively adopt and integrate proven management and analysis software into their organization to enhance productivity and decision-making.

ipPerformance Research conducts extensive benchmarks focused on intellectual property operations best practices. This research has enabled corporate leaders throughout the world to measure performance and identify improvement opportunities.

Robert Williamson, ipPerformance Group, Inc.
(630) 216-9673

2135 CityGate Lane, Suite 300
Naperville, IL 60563
Phone 630 216 9673

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