Last May, we released our Second Annual Trademark Intelligence Report, where we reviewed the trademarks registered from January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2021. The report evaluates and ranks all of the stakeholders including attorneys, law firms, and companies. It also tries to shed some light on the trademark prosecution practice.
We covered parts of the report such as the increase in trademark applications, which previously originated from China (Patexia 137). Today’s focus is uncovering some of the very best trademark prosecution law firms, which have earned their high rank due to their activity or performance.
Between 2017 and 2021, a total of 2,848,988 trademarks were filed by 201,467 applicants, U.S. and foreign. At the same time, a total of 1,491,634 trademarks were registered and 899,990 were abandoned. Our team identified a total of 33,578 attorneys who worked on these applications. They worked at 28,217 law firms around the country and internationally. That is almost eight times more than the 3,591 firms we identified in patent prosecution during the same period. The following chart shows the application filing trends over the last past five years:
As you can see, a small decline of less than two percent occurred in 2021 but the number of applications remained high compared to the years before 2020. During that year, the number of trademark filings increased by more than 30%. The report found that the rise coincided with the increase in trademark applications from China and resulted in the USPTO suspending one of the most active trademark attorneys for two years.
We considered different metrics in order to calculate and generate the performance and activity rankings for all entities. For activity, we considered the number of trademarks registered while the performance score was calculated using a weighted average of both success and activity as explained further in this article. Below is the list of some of the very best law firms for trademark prosecution, earning their rankings due to either their high activity or excellent performance. They represent some of the top 300 out of 28,217 law firms, making them among the top one percentile.
|Greenberg Traurig LLP||4740||Most Active||22|
|Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton||3925||Most Active||27|
|R.J. Pierce Law Group||1385||Best Performing||37|
|Perkins Coie||3070||Most Active||42|
|Dinsmore & Shohl||2559||Most Active||49|
|Wood Herron & Evans||1837||Most Active||88|
|Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks||1722||Most Active||96|
|Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough||1650||Best Performing||97|
|Fresh IP PLC||730||Best Performing||163|
|Haug Partners||1074||Most Active||178|
|Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati||985||Most Active||198|
|Alston & Bird||846||Most Active||227|
|Hankin Patent Law||630||Best Performing||290|
The full Trademark Intelligence 2022 provides the top 2000 most active law firms together with their performance and other metrics such as total applications, success score, registration rate, the average number of pendency, office actions, oppositions, extensions, etc.
Since on average a trademark may take more than a year to be registered, we decided to focus on a five-year window instead of a short period for this study. Furthermore, as our analysis demonstrates, the work of law firms and attorneys often fluctuates from year to year, and conclusions based on the data of a single year are not reliable. For all of these reasons, we looked at a total of 2,391,624 trademark applications that were concluded (either registered or refused) from January 1, 2017, through December 31, 2021. This also helps us analyze the trends in trademark prosecution as well as provide the rankings.
One of the most challenging parts of the ranking process is the entity name cleanup, which gets more complicated when dealing with large datasets. Often, companies and law firms may operate and file applications under different names and subsidiaries. Mergers often change the size and activity of companies in a non-organic way. And last but not least, errors in filings often occur, which makes detecting the correct entity name very challenging. For the past several years, the Patexia Data Science team has been improving its Entity Name Resolution algorithm using Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques combined with Machine Learning to constantly improve the quality of our data.
To generate activity rankings, we calculated the Activity Score as the number of registered trademarks obtained by the trademark owners, law firms, or attorneys during the period of our study. When it came to performance, it was difficult to perform comparisons between entities with different workloads using only the success parameter. For this reason, the Performance Score is a result of both activity and Success Score, which comes from the process of getting the trademark registered successfully and efficiently. By calculating the performance score as a weighted average, we can compare firms with different workloads.