Patexia Insight 183: Unveiling the Top Patent Attorneys of 2023
The patent system plays a vital role in safeguarding the intellectual property rights of inventors and fostering innovation. Patent prosecution attorneys are instrumental in navigating the complex landscape of patent laws and regulations, ensuring that inventions are adequately protected and granted patent rights. Recognizing the significance of these legal professionals, Patexia released its highly anticipated Patent Intelligence Report 2023 earlier this year in March. There we meticulously analyze a vast array of data to map the patent prosecution activity during the past five years as well as identify and rank the top patent prosecution entities, providing valuable insights into their activity, performance, and success rates, among other factors.
To gain insight into overall patenting patterns, it is necessary to examine both patent application filings and issued patents. The USPTO publishes applications only about 18 months after they are filed. Therefore, it is necessary to rely on published applications as a proxy for patent filing activity during a given period. The chart above presents a comprehensive overview of patenting patterns, providing valuable insights into both published applications and issued patents. As per the data, in 2022, a total of 378,177 patent applications were published, indicating a decline of 0.62% compared to the previous year. Over the past five years, the average annual decline in published applications stood at 0.6%. Notably, the highest number of published applications was recorded in 2019, reaching 433,841, while 2022 witnessed the lowest figure. On the other hand, the number of issued patents demonstrated a positive trend, with an average annual growth rate of 2.00% over the same five-year period. However, in 2022, there was a decline of 1.27% in issued patents compared to 2021. This data highlights once again the dynamic nature of patenting activities and the fluctuations observed in application filings and patent grants over time.
In the Ranking Methodology section below, we have introduced advancements in our approach to identifying patent attorneys and agents by incorporating interview data with USPTO examiners, a standard practice in patent prosecution. Throughout our study period spanning from January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2022, we observed a total of 30,777 active registered patent attorneys and agents. These skilled professionals hail from 3,429 patent firms, representing 130,458 assignees from both the United States and abroad. Our evaluation of these attorneys encompassed their performance and activity across three distinct categories: overall, high-tech, and biotech. To facilitate this assessment, we considered over 20 different indicators and their respective weights. The following table comprises some of the finest patent attorneys who have demonstrated outstanding performance or activity over the past five years. Securing a rank within the top 1000 marks their membership in the top three percentile among the currently active pool of 30,777 patent attorneys.
Within the full Patent Intelligence Report, you will find a wealth of data encompassing the top 2,000 attorneys. This extensive coverage includes detailed rankings of their activity and performance, further segmented into biotech, high-tech, and overall categories. Additionally, for each attorney, we have provided insightful information such as their top three clients, allowance rates, average number of office actions, extensions, pendency, and more. This comprehensive compilation offers a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the performance and capabilities of these attorneys within the realm of patent prosecution.
We will introduce very soon the patent prosecution component to the attorney profiles on Patexia, enriching the available information for each ranked attorney featured in our annual report. This enhanced feature will provide an abundance of data, encompassing key metrics such as issued patents, patent applications, office actions, extensions, interviews, and pendency. Moreover, it will include informative charts depicting their activity and performance, as well as insights into the origin of patents (foreign and domestic), examiners they have worked with, companies, countries, tech centers, and IPC codes. Additionally, the profiles will offer comprehensive details on the types of patents they have handled and a complete list of patents and applications attributed to each attorney. Access to this invaluable data will be exclusively available to Concierge members who have subscribed to the Patent Prosecution module, enabling them to gain comprehensive insights into the prowess and accomplishments of these esteemed attorneys.
Evaluating and ranking attorneys, law firms, and companies using quantitative measures has historically posed challenges. Factors such as limited data availability, the high cost of processing extensive datasets, and the need for data cleaning arise due to patent applications being filed by companies and law firms under various names and subsidiaries. Additionally, mergers can influence a company's size and activity in non-organic ways. These factors collectively contribute to the complexity of objectively assessing and ranking entities within the legal field. Patexia has solved these challenges using powerful computation, Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques and Machine Learning in order to process and extract information from millions of documents.
As for the attorneys, this year we dedicated ourselves to enhancing the ranking methodology by including interviews as an indicator of activity for patent attorneys following up on our IP community feedback. Interviews refer to a communication between a patent examiner and the applicant or the applicant's representative, typically a patent attorney or agent. We came up with the following five high-level factors to measure the overall performance of any stakeholder:
Activity – The number of issued patents and interviews participated for attorneys
Success – Obtaining a patent or patent claim from the perspective of the attorney
Quality – The claim quality, broadness, novelty, and market coverage that ultimately make a patent or a claim valuable
Efficiency – The speed and simplicity of the process of obtaining a patent
Cost – The overall cost, including attorney’s fee and the USPTO fees, for obtaining and maintaining a patent
While activity takes into account the number of issued patents as well as the interviews where the attorney has participated, the performance is calculated with a weighted average of the factors above.
Stay tuned as in the following weeks we will be covering the most important lateral moves in Patent Litigation occurring during the past year, as well as different insights from our upcoming ANDA Litigation Intelligence 2023.