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Intellectual Property Departments Feeling Pressure of Economic Downturn Evaluating Patenting Costs and Filing Strategies

Monday, November 29, 2010

ipPerformance Group Survey of Intellectual Property Department Operations Now Available at

Naperville, IL – IP Operations have been dramatically affected by the economic downturn and as a result, companies are reporting staff, professional personnel, outside services, and fee expenditure cuts. These are some of the findings revealed in Intellectual Property (IP) Law Department Operations and Metrics Benchmark Report, a survey conducted by ipPerformance Group, an intellectual property management advisory and benchmarking firm that conducts research on intellectual property operations best practices.

The study reports on feedback from intellectual property leaders from 50 companies, representing (11) major industry sectors.

“Our study confirms that while companies’ IP departments – which include attorneys and staff – have stabilized, the workload has slightly increased,” reports Rob Williamson, president, ipPerformance Group. “With continued economic pressures, IP Departments are continuously evaluating their operation costs, practices, staffing for efficiency and effectiveness improvements.”

Survey participants were questioned on a range of topics including department expenses, professional and non-professional staffing, patent attorney workload, outside counsel trends including costs, and usage of innovation driven companies.

Among the findings that emerged from this research are the following:

  • Patent attorneys experienced an increased workload. In this study, companies reported a 21% increase in the median research and development expenses to patent attorneys.
  • Outside counsel spending in proportion to all IP Expenses was down 23%. The median company spent $40 million on IP expenses.
  • Nearly half of the companies indicated that they are filing patent applications on less than half of the submitted invention disclosures.
  • While there is a reduction in overall patenting activity in the past two years, the use of law firms versus in-house attorneys for patent application preparation and prosecution did not change significantly from 2009.
  • The median average salary for Patent Attorneys is $180,000 and additional bonus is $15,025.
  • The median number of Patent Attorneys in-house is 3.

A full report of the survey findings is available from ipPerformance Group at

About ipPerformance Group Inc.

ipPerformance Group, Inc. ( is the leading Intellectual Property advisory. Drawing on the knowledge of over 350 intellectual property management benchmarks of the Global 2000 companies, we help our clients solve complex intellectual property business problems and measurably enhance their ability to build value, manage risk and improve performance in an intellectual property–driven world.

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