Trade mark survey 2013
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Trade mark survey 2013


The world's leading trade mark firms, recommended and ranked



Africa and the Middle East




Legal market analysis:

China’s new agencies

The increasing sophistication of Chinese IP firms was clearly demonstrated in this year’s IP Survey research. But with so many opening up, can they differentiate themselves from the pack by hiring from or merging with foreign firms? Nickie Yeung investigates

New IP courts in Europe

Agreement on a deal to create a unitary patent court has overshadowed court developments elsewhere in Europe. Paul Madill explains the changes among national courts

Survey methodology

The IP survey consists of rankings of the leading firms practising intellectual property in each country, presented in tiers. 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 patent part of the survey was published in the February issue and copyright will be published in April. The rest of the research, including extensive editorial 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.

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 qualitative and quantitative 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 firm can vote for its inclusion, or recommend an associated or sister firm. 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.

Key statistics from this year’s research:

4,834 Number of CTM filings by Gevers in the past five years. It beat Marks & Clerk by 14. The next firm was over 1500 behind

20% The rise in Obligado’s filing work last year in Argentina, putting them third in the market at a time when most others shrunk

$1.2 million The record amount Microsoft paid AOL (represented by Finnegan) per patent in April 2012 for buying 800 and licensing 300 more

457 Marks & Clerk’s PCT filings in the UK – more than double its closest competitor

92% The amount Irish prosecution firm Hanna Moore & Curley says its CTM filings grew by in 2012

The biggest moves in 2013


Sweden's top filer, Groth & Co, has secured the top tier. Their Trade Mark Day is, apparently, very popular


Pirkey Barber from Austin, Texas enters the US national rankings for the first time this year


Bird & Bird had a good year across Italy, moving up to tier 1 in both patent and trade mark contentious work


Brazilian firm Gusmão & Labrunie has moved up based on an unusual number of recommendations from its competitors


The Ella Cheong Spruson & Ferguson partnership formally ended in November. Ella Cheong takes over the trade mark practice and Spruson & Ferguson the patent and design practice


French boutique Gilbey Delorey (now Gilbey Law) drops out of the trade mark contentious rankings after Rebecca Delorey and Nathalie Ruffin joined Bird & Bird

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