Patent survey 2013 results
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Patent survey 2013 results


The world’s leading patent firms are recommended and ranked in the 20th year of Managing IP's legal market research


The IP Survey is the industry's biggest, oldest and most detailed analysis of the leading patent firms worldwide. This year there are some interesting changes, reflecting mergers in Australia, new firms in Europe and new practices in the United States. For the first time the researchers behind the rankings have also written features around the issues they came across, from how the prosecution industry in Europe is changing to the way big US filers distribute their work.

As in previous years, this issue only features the patent rankings. The trade mark rankings will be released with the March issue and copyright with April. 

Note: All rankings require a subscriptionor a free trial.

The rankings:

Africa and the Middle East





How the biggest US patent filers distribute their work

The way the largest patent filers in the US manage their legal work varies a lot, and the big firms don’t dominate as much as you might think. Alli Pyrah looks at 2012 filing numbers and speaks to in-house counsel about their strategies

Who will benefit from a single European court system?

Although the unitary patent court is to be split between three jurisdictions, local lawyers there won’t necessarily be the ones to win the new work. Ben Naylor explains

What the unitary patent means for patent attorneys

The unitary patent is just the latest in a long line of steps towards harmonised patent filing in Europe. Adam Majeed examines how prosecution firms are adapting their business models

Survey methodology

The IP Survey consists of rankings of the leading firms practising intellectual property in each country, presented in tiers. The total number of firms listed in each jurisdiction varies according to the size of the market. The survey is not an exhaustive list of every firm in each jurisdiction; even firms listed in the lower tiers have been recommended by a number of practitioners and deserve congratulations on their inclusion.

The editorial to go with the rankings, including extensive coverage and analysis of countries - and regions, in the case India, China and the United States - will be available online during May. They will then be printed in the annual IP Handbook. For the first time this year, the IP Handbook will also feature IP Stars - the leading practitioners at the listed firms that received particular recommendation during Managing IP's research.

The Managing IP awards, presented in London for the global awards and Washington, DC for the North America awards, are based upon the same extensive research but aim to reward firms that have had a particularly good year in 2012. These rankings, by contrast, reflect a firm's standing in the market over several years.

How the results are compiled

A team of researchers based in London, Hong Kong and New York contacted firms in more than 80 jurisdictions to ask them for information and feedback on the rankings. Client feedback was also considered. Based on this research, firms are ranked in tiers in each jurisdiction. In most jurisdictions, there are separate tables for prosecution and contentious work.

Prosecution work includes filing of patents and associated work in that jurisdiction, including filing for overseas clients. Contentious work includes all other legal work, such as enforcement and licensing. The tiers reflect the perception of the leading firms in each market, with the top tier listing those firms regarded as having the strongest practices in each category. Within each tier, firms are listed alphabetically.

No one outside of Managing IP has seen the rankings before publication. No firm can vote for its own inclusion, or recommend an associated or sister firm in another jurisdiction. The rankings reflect the state of the market when the research was conducted, between September 2012 and January 2013. Managing IP itself does not recommend or endorse any particular firms.

Highlights from this year's client research


"If I were on Who Wants to be a Millionaire and I had an IP question, I'd use a lifeline to call John Pegram"

1. At just 30 seconds for the call, PEGRAM'S legal advice might be the cheapest ever

"You should see this guy, he really lurks around the courtroom"

2. BAS BERGHUIS van Woortman's predatory qualities impress a client

"Peter made what I had been led to believe would be a 'throw a cold towel over the head' moment into fun"

3. PETER FINNIE of Gill Jennings & Every makes filing patents fun

"In court a litigator defines the company, and he represents what we are – cutting edge and dynamic"

4. Quinn Emmanuel partner MARCUS GROSCH elicits strong praise

"Alicia is – simply put – one of my most valued lawyers anywhere in the world"

5. Praise for ALICIA LLOREDA of Lloreda Camacho & Co in Colombia

The biggest moves in 2013


Quinn Emmanuel climbs the German patent rankings for the second year after recruiting Allen & Overy's head of IP


Yulchon successfully represented Samsung in Korea against Apple, represented by Kim & Chang


Morrison & Foerster goes to tier 1 for US patent contentious work, after winning a $1 billion verdict for Apple


Freehills Patent Attorneys moved to tier 2 in Australia despite splitting from parent firm Freehills after merging with Herbert Smith


Powell Gilbert have defied all their doubters since they split from Bristows in 2007. This year they enter the top tier for the first time


Uhthoff Gomez Vega & Uhthoff, one of Mexico's long-established firms, slips to tier 2 in patent contentious work


Falling in both patent prosecution and patent contentious, Herrero y Asociados took a blow with the creation of Balder IP

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