The Largest Patent Prosecution Firms in Great Britain

Published On: 2024-01-26|Tags: , |4 min read|

Between 2018 and 2023 (based on filings published between 2018 and January 2024), the realm of patent law firms in Great Britain was marked by substantial activity, engaging a cohort of 353 associates. As indicated by data from IP Pilot, patent prosecution firms in Great Britain represented an impressive volume of 336,757 patent applications throughout this period.

Throughout this timeframe, the landscape of patent representations by UK firms displayed a dynamic yet consistently active trend. In 2018, firms facilitated the representation of 55,947 patents, experiencing a gradual uptick to 59,788 in 2020. Subsequent years witnessed a modest decline.

Rank: Largest 25 Patent Prosecution Firms in Great Britain

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Among the 353 patent prosecution firms in Great Britain, a noteworthy distinction was evident within the top 15. These leading entities were responsible for prosecuting 197,470 applications, constituting an impressive 59% of the total patent applications. This emphasizes the considerable concentration of business within the purview of the largest players in the industry.

Notably, the top 4 – DEHNS (21801 patent applications), MARKS & CLEK (19925 patent applications), MEWBURN ELLIS (16260 patent applications), and HGF (15395 patent applications) – each represented more than 15,000 filings between 2018 and 2023 (as of January 2024).

Within the top 15, firms such as MARKS & CLERK, MEWBURN ELLIS, VENNER SHIPLEY, CARPMAELS & RANSFORD, MURGITROYD & COMPANY, KILBURN & STRODE, GILL JENNINGS & EVERY, and MATHYS & SQUIRE demonstrated substantial growth, witnessing a surge of over 10% in their filings from 2018 to 2022. Particularly noteworthy are MURGITROYD & COMPANY, GILL JENNINGS & EVERY, and VENNER SHIPLEY LLP emerging as leaders with staggering increases in filing volumes at 176%, 45%, and 38%, respectively. This growth positions them as key players in the evolving landscape of patent activities in Great Britain.

Overall Patent Landscape in Great Britain

A noteworthy aspect of the patent ecosystem in Great Britain is the fact that nearly 69% of all patent filings processed by British patent law firms were initiated by foreign innovators. This underscores the pivotal role of building and nurturing connections with international innovators and their representatives abroad for the patent prosecution firms in Great Britain.

The predominant focus on international clientele is evident among the largest 15 patent prosecution firms in Great Britain, as their work from abroad constituted a substantial share, exceeding 60% of their total workload. This underscores the global orientation of these top-tier firms, highlighting their expertise and effectiveness in catering to the needs of clients beyond the national borders.

Top Applicants Represented by the UK Firms: Country Breakdown
Great Britain: Shares of Foreign and PCT/PCT-Based Filings per Firm 2018-2023

International inventors from the United States, Japan, China, and Korea stand out prominently in the client portfolios of the dominant British firms. In particular, between 2018 and 2023, among the main applicants were such corporations as Samsung Electronics (6,431 patent filings), Qualcomm (5,503 patent filings), Microsoft Technology Licensing (3,952 patent filings), Huawei (3,663 patent applications), and Sony (1,504 patent applications).

Case Exchange Trends

Unsurprisingly, British firms exhibited an inclination towards inbound business during the specified timeframe. The local representatives received a substantial 193,902 patent cases from foreign associates, underscoring once again the nation’s attractiveness as a destination for global innovation and intellectual property. In contrast, the UK firms forwarded a comparatively modest 74,264 patent cases.

Delving into the specifics, the lion’s share of international patent cases received by patent prosecution firms in Great Britain were from their partners in the United States, constituting a substantial 66%. This underscores the robust collaborative ties between British and American associates, showcasing the strong flow of intellectual property across the Atlantic. In addition, Japanese representatives contributed 11% of the cases, followed by Chinese counterparts at 8%, and Korean innovators at 5%.

Reflecting the reciprocal nature of international collaboration, British firms demonstrated a substantial outgoing flow of work, with a notable 28% directed towards their American counterparts. Additionally, China and Japan emerged as significant recipients, accounting for 16% and 10% of the outbound work, highlighting the dynamic and interconnected nature of the global intellectual property landscape with Great Britain actively participating in collaborative efforts with diverse international partners.

Law Firms Receiving Most Cases from Great Britain: Country Breakdown 2018-2023
Law Firms Sending Most Cases to Great Britain: Country Breakdown 2018-2023

To Sum Up

Between 2018 and 2023, the patent law landscape in Great Britain witnessed robust activity, involving 353 intellectual property specialists handling an impressive 336,757 patent applications. The top 15 firms, dominated the scene, prosecuting 59% of the total applications. Nearly 69% of all patent filings in the UK were initiated by foreign innovators, with the top 15 firms highlighting their global orientation by handling over 60% of their workload from abroad. The client portfolios of prominent British firms prominently featured international innovators, particularly from the United States, Japan, China, and Korea.

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