/, News/The Largest Patent Law Firms in Great Britain

Country Report: The Largest Patent Law Firms in Great Britain

This report is about patent law firms in Great Britain. We analyze which patent law firms are most active in patent filing and prosecution. What are typical filing strategies and how do firms differ in terms of client structure?

First of all, it is important to explain what data we based the analysis on: It is all patent applications including granted patents since 2014. Our data set contains EP filings, national GB filings and international PCT applications handled by patent law firms located in the United Kingdom. The cases can be decided already, but can also still be in the prosecution process.

It is important to understand how we allocated the applications to the respective years. We use a mix of patent filing dates and dates of the earliest publication. Whenever an application is itself the priority filing, a direct EP or GB foreign filing or a PCT application filed by a British law firm, we refer to the application filing date. However, when an EP or GB application is a subsequent of a foreign priority and filed on the PCT route, we use the earliest publication date of such applications. This distinction is necessary because, in the raw data, PCT-based national phase applications usually receive the filing date of the underlying PCT rather than the actual filing date of the national filing. The earliest publication date is much closer to actual time a British law firm has worked on the filing. It is published a few weeks or months after the transmission to the patent offices.

For priority applications, patents information are usually published 18 months after they have been filed. Therefore, figures cannot yet be complete for 2017 and 2018 applications/grants. We have included the latest publications we have available.

 

The largest British patent law firms: Who are they and how did they develop over time

Three patent law firms have filed more than 10,000 patent applications in the years between 2014 and 2018. DEHNS is on top of the ranking with more than 14,000 filings. The second largest patent law firm in Great Britain is MARKS & CLERK. They filed 13,500 patent applications. On rank 3 is HGF LIMITED with more than 11,000 applications. For all years between 2010 and 2014, MARKS & CLERK was the largest firm. DEHNS took over this rank in 2015 and remains number one for all years until 2018. Over the last 4 years, the positions remained stable.

The top 5 is completed by MEWBURN ELLIS LLP (9,100) and D. YOUNG & CO (8,400). All other firms are below 8,000 filings. BOULT WADE TENNANT, J.A. KEMP & CO. and HASELTINE LAKE are very close on ranks 6 to 8. They represented between 7,100 and 7,500 filings. The next 3 in the list, CARPMAELS & RANSFORD, KILBURN & STRODE and WITHERS & ROGERS, follow with 6,600 to 6,900 filings. Distances between the firms are small. This also true for the firms just outside the top 10. On position 12 to 15 we find 4 firms in the range of 5,600 to slightly below 6,000 filings.

2,400 filings are necessary to be in the Top 25, 560 or more filings put a firm in the Top 50. When comparing the UK firms to for example German patent law firms, we see a much higher concentration on the large firms. While the biggest German firms have a similar size than the largest British firms, a German firm on position 50 still has around 1,800 filings, more than 3 times the volume of the British firms on the same rank.

The overall filing volume is just one way to looking into the data. Although at similar overall size, firms can be very different in terms of kind of filings. In the next steps, we distinguish foreign filings from domestic patent filings and shed the light on differences regarding EP, GB and PCT filings.

 

Domestic vs. foreign filings of the largest patent law firms in Great Britain

We define a domestic filing as an application whose priority filing has been represented by a British patent firm. However, if we find another filing that belongs to such a priority application and was also represented by a British law firm, this is a domestic application, too. For example, it could be a PCT following an EP or GB priority in the same patent family. A foreign filing on the other hand is an application that was handled by a patent law firm in Great Britain, but whose Priority was filed abroad by a different firm.

On the top 7 positions, the ranking for domestic filings contains the largest law firms of the overall ranking. Positions, however, change slightly. MARKS & CLERK is the largest law firm for domestic filings, followed by DEHNS and HGF LIMITED.

WITHERS & ROGERS, overall on rank 11 is 5th for domestic filings. There is two more firms which we find in the Top 10 for domestic filings, while outside the Top 10 overall: BARKER BRETTELL LLP and VENNER SHIPLEY LLP. In other words, these three firms have a very strong domestic client base.

CARPMAELS & RANSFORD is the firm with the highest foreign filing ratio in the Top 20. 91% of their filings are taken over for regionalization/nationalization in Europe/Great Britain. Only MAUCHER JENKINS comes close with a ratio of 88% (overall rank 19). Typically, this ratio is between 70 and 80%. Firms tend to be quite similar. Still, outside the Top 20 and within the Top 50, we somethings find ratios up to 97%. These firms almost exclusively pursue filings for foreign clients.

 

PCT vs. EP vs. GB patent applications filed by the largest British patent law firms

When distinguishing between offices used, we see less variation than for example for US law firms. DEHNS is number one for EP filings, MARKS & CLERK for PCT and GB filings. Firms that are in the Top 10 for EP filings are also in the Top 10 of the overall table. However, the positions are less stable for PCT and GB filings. REDDIE & GROSE, overall on rank 15 is number 6 for PCT filings. MURGITROYD & COMPANY is found on PCT rank 7, while overall only rank 18. WITHERS & ROGERS, overall on rank 11 is found on rank 3 for GB filings.

It can also be the other way round: J.A. KEMP & CO., overall on position 7 is only 19th for GB filings and CARPMAELS & RANSFORD, listed as number 8 overall, is on position 34 for GB patent applications.

The ratio of PCT filings over all filings is strongly influenced the client structure. PCT filings are mostly done for domestic clients. Hence, for a firm with strong foreign filing business, we see relatively few PCT filings. It is usually somewhere around 10%, but can differ greatly.

The ratios of PCT filings over domestic filings are very similar among the largest British patent law firms, typically somewhere between 36% and 43%. CARPMAELS & RANSFORD and REDDIE & GROSE are exceptions with ratios of 53% and 56%. These ratios are quite high when compared to US law firms or Australian law firms. Usually we tend to see ratios around 20% or less. In other words, on average, British clients are much more likely to apply for a PCT application. They tend to seek protection on international scale more often than clients from other countries.

This report focuses on the largest patent law firms in Great Britain. We can only discuss a few finding. Below you will find the full table with all information for the Top 200 firms, even if not mentioned in the text.

 

Get access

Start a free trial!

With Patent-Pilot, you can get a lot of information about patent industry players. Try it yourself. Analyze over 20,000 profiles of patent law firms and more than 620,000 patent applicants. 14 days free!

Get access

 

 Overall Rank Rank Ratio Rank Rank Rank Ratio Ratio
Rank Law Firm  Overall Filings Domestic filings Foreign Filings Foreign Filings PCT Filings EP filings GB filings PCT/Overall PCT/Domestic
1 DEHNS 14,229 2 1 79% 3 1 2 7% 36%
2 MARKS & CLERK 13,520 1 2 74% 1 2 1 11% 42%
3 HGF LIMITED 11,331 3 3 76% 2 3 4 10% 40%
4 MEWBURN ELLIS LLP  9,127 6 4 80% 5 4 5 8% 43%
5 D. YOUNG & CO.  8,406 4 7 72% 4 7 6 12% 43%
6 BOULT WADE TENNANT  7,565 7 8 78% 9 8 9 8% 36%
7 J.A. KEMP & CO.  7,517 12 6 82% 8 5 19 8% 45%
8 HASELTINE LAKE  7,104 11 9 79% 11 9 7 8% 40%
9 CARPMAELS & RANSFORD  6,962 25 5 91% 21 6 34 5% 53%
10 KILBURN & STRODE  6,642 13 10 80% 13 10 15 9% 44%
11 WITHERS & ROGERS  6,602 5 11 71% 9 14 3 9% 31%
12 VENNER SHIPLEY LLP  5,994 9 13 74% 15 11 14 10% 38%
13 MATHYS & SQUIRE  5,831 10 14 75% 16 13 12 9% 36%
14 GILL JENNINGS & EVERY  5,688 15 12 79% 11 12 18 10% 49%
15 REDDIE & GROSE  5,618 14 15 77% 6 15 21 13% 56%
16 BARKER BRETTELL LLP  5,139 8 16 69% 14 16 11 11% 36%
17 MURGITROYD & COMPANY  4,303 18 19 75% 7 19 23 15% 58%
18 APPLEYARD LEES  3,899 16 20 71% 19 21 10 11% 37%
19 MAUCHER JENKINS  3,801 31 18 88% 29 18 32 4% 35%
20 POTTER CLARKSON LLP  3,576 17 21 69% 17 20 24 15% 48%
21 PATENT OUTSOURCING LIMITED  3,494 83 17 96% 92 17 53 1% 26%
22 URQUHART-DYKES & LORD  2,795 20 26 63% 22 25 17 12% 33%
23 PAGE WHITE & FARRER  2,700 23 25 74% 20 24 28 15% 59%
24 ELKINGTON AND FIFE  2,573 37 23 87% 37 22 36 4% 35%
25 A.A. THORNTON & CO.  2,486 58 22 92% 35 26 13 5% 62%
26 OLSWANG LLP  2,343 38 24 87% 41 23 51 5% 34%
27 EIP  2,146 19 32 50% 18 31 29 22% 43%
28 W.P. THOMPSON & CO.  1,894 36 28 80% 27 28 41 11% 56%
29 BECK GREENER  1,819 48 27 86% 42 27 44 6% 42%
30 ABEL & IMRAY  1,791 21 35 50% 23 33 22 15% 30%
31 KELTIE LLP  1,696 26 33 62% 28 32 27 12% 31%
32 HARRISON IP LIMITED  1,552 42 29 82% 48 44 8 6% 32%
33 MILLER STURT KENYON  1,278 160 30 97% 144 29 119 1% 39%
34 MASCHIO & SOAMES LLP  1,219 137 31 95% 112 30 174 2% 44%
35 WILSON GUNN  1,047 22 51 32% 26 43 26 20% 30%
36 WILLIAMS POWELL 990 46 36 74% 55 35 43 8% 30%
37 FINNEGAN, HENDERSON, FARABOW, GARRETT & DUNNER 960 135 34 94% 106 34 166 3% 50%
38 FORRESTERS 927 28 48 41% 24 0 16 26% 43%
39 SWINDELL & PEARSON 898 30 46 48% 39 41 35 12% 23%
40 SLINGSBY PARTNERS 881 24 63 24% 30 56 25 17% 23%
41 WYNNE-JONES, LAINE & JAMES 846 27 58 29% 32 50 30 17% 25%
42 ALBRIGHT IP 740 54 42 68% 35 37 157 17% 54%
43 BAILEY WALSH & CO LLP 718 29 65 28% 33 59 33 19% 27%
44 COOLEY LLP 706 118 37 90% 67 36 138 8% 80%
45 BARON WARREN REDFERN 697 73 39 78% 78 39 69 6% 28%
46 AVIDITY IP 682 89 38 83% 62 38 104 9% 51%
47 GRAHAM WATT & CO LLP 616 99 41 84% 56 42 95 12% 79%
48 BRYERS LLP 596 32 75 25% 38 57 41 18% 25%
49 GREAVES BREWSTER LLP 583 63 47 67% 60 45 71 11% 35%
50 OPTIMUS PATENTS LIMITED 564 93 45 81% 97 54 38 6% 30%
51 HEPWORTH BROWNE 556 55 53 58% 58 46 57 13% 30%
52 PEARL COHEN ZEDEK LATZER BARATZ 547 198 40 97% 117 40 179 4% 150%
53 TLIP LTD 531 34 86 23% 25 78 47 40% 51%
54 HOFFMANN EITLE 527 158 43 93% 0 0 20 0% 0%
55 MATHISEN & MACARA LLP 522 67 50 66% 45 46 92 19% 57%
56 DOLLEYMORES 518 65 52 64% 130 52 44 4% 11%
57 SAGITTARIUS IPC LIMITED 512 44 59 48% 34 53 82 25% 49%
58 ADAMSON JONES 504 40 67 39% 44 65 48 20% 33%
59 OPENSHAW & CO. 482 188 44 96% 181 46 59 1% 33%
60 SERJEANTS 453 47 68 43% 57 58 67 16% 29%
61 IPCONSULT 451 33 159 4% 59 139 31 15% 15%
62 PHILLIPS & LEIGH 446 107 49 81% 71 49 109 11% 56%
63 SCRIPT IP LIMITED 431 52 72 43% 65 51 94 13% 23%
64 STRATAGEM IPM LIMITED 421 35 127 11% 31 92 49 35% 40%
65 NOVAGRAAF IP 408 83 54 68% 88 64 58 9% 27%
66 SECERNA LLP 407 49 74 39% 46 71 63 23% 37%
67 DUMMETT COPP 402 43 81 33% 51 75 52 20% 30%
68 IP21 LIMITED 399 39 98 23% 50 84 46 21% 28%
69 LINCOLN IP 374 53 78 37% 46 75 62 25% 39%
70 SCHLICH LLP 367 68 69 53% 54 68 80 21% 45%
71 MAGUIRE BOSS 364 82 62 63% 84 62 82 10% 28%
72 FRY HEATH & SPENCE LLP 353 76 65 57% 78 66 78 12% 28%
73 CHAPMAN+CO 351 57 81 37% 39 73 112 31% 49%
74 F.R. KELLY & CO. 348 45 102 24% 92 112 37 9% 13%
75 BASCK LTD 339 41 116 17% 51 99 54 24% 29%
76 STEVENS, HEWLETT & PERKINS 334 109 57 75% 80 61 133 12% 49%
77 F.J. CLEVELAND & COMPANY 331 141 55 84% 130 55 200 6% 38%
78 LUCAS & CO. 318 112 61 76% 92 67 97 10% 43%
79 AGILE IP LLP 306 50 114 19% 65 102 50 19% 23%
80 CHAPMAN IP 305 66 85 40% 117 116 40 8% 13%
81 NASH MATTHEWS 291 50 132 15% 49 116 56 30% 35%
82 LADAS & PARRY 286 198 56 94% 193 60 174 2% 31%
83 THE IP ASSET PARTNERSHIP LIMITED 283 64 97 34% 72 80 72 17% 25%
83 SAUNDERS & DOLLEYMORE 275 168 60 88% 134 63 229 7% 58%
85 ASTRUM-IP LIMITED 269 70 90 39% 68 88 73 21% 34%
86 YEADON IP LIMITED 258 122 70 74% 112 71 136 10% 37%
87 HANDSOME I.P. LTD. 255 61 112 24% 75 120 55 18% 23%
88 BROOKES BATCHELLOR LLP 254 123 71 74% 83 70 194 15% 58%
89 GRAHAM JONES & COMPANY 254 60 118 22% 62 108 61 23% 30%
90 BERESFORD CRUMP LLP 253 144 64 81% 144 69 152 6% 31%
91 SYMBIOSIS IP LIMITED 250 77 90 42% 62 84 93 24% 41%
92 ALPHA & OMEGA LAW CORPORATION 239 70 105 32% 225 173 39 1% 1%
93 JENSEN & SON 232 81 98 40% 92 77 104 14% 24%
94 RENISHAW PLC 230 56 200 2% 43 101 112 45% 46%
94 ABLETT & STEBBING 224 87 90 47% 73 90 85 21% 39%
96 CREATION IP LTD 220 62 147 13% 61 121 74 27% 31%
97 LONDON IP LTD 218 77 106 34% 89 112 65 16% 24%
98 ORIGIN LIMITED 213 59 171 5% 53 134 76 37% 39%
99 SCOTT & YORK 212 96 88 52% 84 81 125 17% 36%
100 BROOKS ACORDIA IP LAW, P.C. 211 114 79 64% 187 81 86 3% 8%
100 BROMHEAD JOHNSON 210 93 94 50% 112 89 82 12% 24%
102 SANDERSON & CO. 205 79 111 31% 86 127 63 18% 25%
102 IMPETUS IP LTD 198 69 149 14% 70 108 80 25% 29%
104 COULSON & RULE 196 123 83 66% 103 84 129 15% 45%
105 HARGREAVES ELSWORTH 195 72 138 19% 80 132 69 21% 25%
106 N.J. AKERS & CO. 194 100 96 51% 89 126 68 18% 36%
107 MINTZ LEVIN COHN FERRIS GLOVSKY AND POPEO, P.C. 193 225 73 94% 130 74 0 10% 182%
108 BARTLE READ 188 90 106 39% 117 102 77 13% 21%
109 BAWDEN & ASSOCIATES 186 87 109 37% 73 100 101 25% 39%
110 LOVEN PATENTS & TRADEMARKS 181 91 108 38% 103 123 75 17% 27%
111 DENTONS 180 156 77 77% 150 78 155 7% 32%
112 ATKINSON & COMPANY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LIMITED 170 75 158 10% 136 152 59 11% 12%
113 FIREBIRD IP 169 113 98 55% 124 96 99 13% 29%
114 MOHUN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LIMITED 165 73 171 6% 97 157 66 19% 21%
115 CAMERON IP 163 92 116 34% 109 118 91 17% 26%
116 LAWRIE IP LIMITED 163 95 112 37% 80 105 112 25% 39%
117 SWEETINBURGH & WINDSOR LTD 162 86 132 27% 124 112 88 14% 18%
118 ROPES & GRAY LLP 147 237 76 95% 187 83 200 4% 86%
119 BERESFORD & CO. 146 186 84 84% 136 87 241 12% 78%
120 HANNA IP 146 80 190 4% 97 146 79 22% 23%
121 ALISTAIR HINDLE & ASSOCIATES LIMITED 144 104 119 38% 77 105 157 31% 49%
122 DOWNING IP LIMITED 141 104 121 36% 157 107 102 8% 12%
123 FRESH IP 141 131 104 57% 121 110 116 16% 38%
124 PAGE HARGRAVE 140 137 103 59% 187 104 100 4% 11%
125 PATENT BOUTIQUE LLP 139 160 95 73% 147 91 166 10% 37%
126 TL BRAND & CO 138 118 110 49% 127 98 144 15% 30%
126 HALEY GUILIANO LLP 137 282 79 99% 0 93 123 0% 0%
128 BRIDLE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LIMITED 135 104 129 33% 97 150 86 24% 36%
129 RATIONAL IP LIMITED 132 85 190 5% 69 166 95 39% 41%
130 COLLER IP MANAGEMENT LIMITED 130 107 130 34% 75 123 154 35% 52%
131 SCHWEGMAN, LUNDBERG & WOESSNER, P.A. 123 219 87 90% 142 93 194 13% 133%
132 OLLILA LAW LIMITED 122 198 90 87% 124 95 234 18% 138%
133 SIMMONS & SIMMONS 120 219 89 90% 242 119 107 1% 8%
134 VAULT IP LIMITED 117 126 121 44% 136 127 112 15% 27%
135 DOWNING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LLP 116 132 115 49% 121 115 161 20% 39%
136 STERLING IP 105 114 145 29% 92 129 164 31% 44%
137 C.P.GREAVES & CO 103 132 130 43% 106 134 150 28% 49%
137 K W PETERS & CO 103 110 154 21% 112 139 126 24% 31%
139 BECKHAMS IP 99 97 218 2% 127 183 89 21% 22%
139 D.W. & S.W. GEE 99 144 124 51% 153 110 185 12% 24%
141 FRANKS & CO 99 100 200 4% 110 161 104 26% 27%
142 EDWARD EVANS & CO. 98 127 140 34% 103 142 144 31% 46%
143 IPENTUS LIMITED 97 97 0 0% 86 180 111 37% 37%
144 ARCHER-IP 96 102 218 2% 142 159 97 17% 17%
145 NIGEL BROOKS CPA 95 103 218 2% 106 0 89 31% 31%
146 KING & SPALDING LLP 91 0 101 100% 225 97 0 2% 0%
147 ELLIS IP LTD 89 132 145 34% 150 142 129 15% 22%
147 GRAHAM & JAMES LLP 89 160 121 57% 117 123 229 27% 63%
149 SCINTILLA INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LTD 87 118 159 18% 121 158 121 26% 32%
150 IPHEIONS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY 82 114 185 9% 101 159 144 38% 41%
151 INCOMPASS IP EUROPE LIMITED 80 152 138 46% 167 133 161 13% 23%
152 IP ASSET LLP 79 149 140 42% 89 146 194 43% 74%
152 L.J. BRAY & CO. 79 111 0 0% 136 196 102 23% 23%
154 DEREK JACKSON ASSOCIATES 78 170 126 60% 153 134 166 15% 39%
155 IP-ACTIVE.COM LIMITED 78 118 185 9% 127 176 118 27% 30%
156 HINDLES LIMITED 76 127 169 14% 157 161 116 14% 17%
157 HCR PATENTS 75 114 0 0% 112 0 107 33% 33%
157 BLACK AND ASSOCIATES LIMITED 73 127 181 11% 101 176 147 42% 48%
159 J. R. BADGER & CO. 73 123 190 8% 167 176 109 14% 15%
160 SNIPE CHANDRAHASEN LLP 72 150 149 38% 157 161 123 15% 24%
161 BAILEY IP CONSULTING 68 127 208 4% 147 173 129 21% 22%
162 FIRST THOUGHT IP LTD 68 135 171 15% 140 166 140 25% 29%
163 ALBAN PATENT AGENCY 67 165 144 46% 193 155 129 7% 14%
163 ATHERTON KNOWLES 67 166 140 49% 150 146 166 19% 38%
163 SHANGHAI BRIDGE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AGENCY CO., LTD. 67 195 124 75% 0 121 263 0% 0%
166 KARSSEN LIMITED 61 137 200 7% 172 170 134 13% 14%
167 GALLAFENTS LLP 60 140 190 10% 140 187 138 28% 31%
168 K2 IP LIMITED 59 152 159 27% 110 155 213 44% 60%
168 ROUSE 59 244 120 90% 193 129 253 8% 83%
170 CRASKE & CO. 58 141 197 9% 167 188 126 17% 19%
171 HOWARD LOCK INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY 58 143 185 12% 181 188 121 12% 14%
172 JCIP LIMITED 58 191 135 67% 157 144 200 19% 58%
173 FAIRFIELD IP LIMITED 56 147 177 16% 153 230 119 21% 26%
174 INTERVET INTERNATIONAL B.V. 52 151 181 15% 0 129 0 0% 0%
175 J. P. PEEL & CO LTD 52 147 197 10% 157 180 147 21% 23%
176 HILL HAMPTON 51 163 165 27% 172 150 200 16% 22%
176 LOCK IP 49 144 0 0% 157 0 126 22% 22%
178 M.J.P. DEANS 48 166 165 29% 157 218 136 23% 32%
178 BOXALL IPM LTD 47 170 159 34% 144 161 191 32% 48%
180 PARK GROVE IP 47 208 140 70% 193 144 234 11% 36%
181 THOMPSON COOPER LLP 46 0 127 100% 0 137 0 0% 0%
181 JENNIFER ELIZABETH HAYES UNO 45 253 134 91% 0 138 0 0% 0%
183 MARCHES INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LIMITED 44 247 135 89% 242 139 241 2% 20%
184 STANLEYS 44 173 165 32% 181 161 179 16% 23%
185 DR WALTHER WOLFF & CO 43 181 159 37% 172 0 134 19% 30%
186 GRAHAM COLES & CO 43 152 0 0% 171 211 143 21% 21%
187 PATENT PROTECT 42 155 0 0% 157 0 140 26% 26%
187 RM PATENT SERVICES 40 157 0 0% 172 188 157 20% 20%
189 INVICTA IP LTD 39 158 0 0% 187 208 147 15% 15%
190 MILTONS IP 39 282 137 97% 0 146 234 0% 0%
190 RANK BRIMAR LIMITED 38 163 233 3% 130 238 174 53% 54%
192 AMS IP LIMITED 36 198 155 56% 205 183 164 11% 25%
193 A. MESSULAM & CO. 34 228 152 71% 167 166 234 29% 100%
194 LAUDENS 33 173 208 9% 157 180 200 33% 37%
195 THOMPSON GRAY LLP 33 176 200 12% 134 201 213 58% 66%
195 VENTURE PROOF LIMITED 33 168 0 0% 147 218 179 42% 42%
195 FILEMOT TECHNOLOGY LAW LTD 32 208 156 56% 225 170 188 6% 14%
198 IPCA CONSULTING 31 170 0 0% 0 0 140 0% 0%
199 OGIVE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LTD 31 190 169 35% 172 176 200 26% 40%
200 ARMSTRONG IP 30 173 0 0% 213 188 174 10% 10%

2018-12-05T18:11:46+00:00 December 5th, 2018|