The Largest Patent Prosecution Firms in Germany

Published On: 2020-05-14|1.9 min read|
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In terms of patent filing volume represented, Germany is the most important country in Europe and number 5 worldwide. German patent attorneys represent about 160,000 patent applications each year.

GRÜNECKER PARTG MBB and HOFFMANN EITLE are the two largest patent prosecution firms, both representing over 4,000 filings per year. BOEHMERT & BOEHMERT is next with roughly 2,800 yearly filings.

VOSSIUS & PARTNERMEISSNER BOLTE and WUESTHOFF & WUESTHOFF follow with very similar statistics in filing volume. These firms represent roughly 2,100 to 2,200 filings each year.

13 firms account for more than 50% of the volume represented by the top 50 firms. In comparison to France, where only 8 firms together reach the 50% mark, the German market is less concentrated. And larger. WALLINGER RICKER SCHLOTTER TOSTMANN, the firm on position 50 of the German ranking regarding the average number of filings since 2015 would be on position 13 in terms of filing volume in France. This comparison gives an indication of the outstanding size of the German patent filing market in Europe.

In general, the share of domestic filings vs. foreign filings is quite divers, from just 4% to 88%. This indicates the variety and diversity in terms of the client base.

Several German firms are highly involved in filings for international clients. Some firms like HOFFMANN EITLE, VOSSIUS & PARTNER or MÜLLER-BORÉ & PARTNER show even ratios between 84% and 88% of filings represented for foreign clients.

MEISSNER BOLTE is the largest firm with respect to domestic filings (i.e. patent families in which they handled the priority filing). EPPING HERMANN FISCHER is also very strong in domestic filings.

GRÜNECKER PARTG MBB, rank number 1 in filing volume overall, is neither on position one for domestic filings nor for foreign filings. We find them on place two for both categories though.

Generally speaking, the share of filings that are based on PCT filings is rather high. This includes PCT filings handled by German firms as well as regional/national phase entries of a foreign PCT. The lowest ratios are around 30%, the highest even in the 90%s. Usually, German patent law firms show ratios in the area of 70%. In comparison, French firms are more in the range of 50%.


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