European Patent Attorneys in Law Firms

In the contracting states of the European Patent Organization, 7,962 European Patent Attorneys are working in one of 3,245 patent law firms. On average, one firm employs 2.5 patent attorneys. A quartet of four countries – Norway (4.4), the United Kingdom (4.0), San Marino (4.0) and Denmark (3.8) – is found on top of the table. Here, around twice as many patent attorneys work in these countries per law firm compared to the Europe-wide average.

Other raking position above average are mainly allocated to large and/or economically strong nations, too. For example, France (3.1), the Netherlands (3.1), and Italy (2.7) can be mentioned. Germany (2.4) is not much below average.

It is important to notice that patent attorneys are not included, if they are only allowed to represent before their national patent office, but not before the European Patent Office. Although these two groups overlap substantially, figures would clearly raise when additionally incorporating national patent attorneys.

mean-of-patent-attorneys-per-law-firm

 

When looking at the diagram showing the maximum of European Patent Attorneys per country, it is obvious that the mean values are not fully determined by major patent law firms. There is a sight trend towards higher maxima when mean values rise. However, Norway , San Marino and Denmark are three countries with high means ranking in middle concerning maxima (around the average of 15 patent attorneys). Here, the largest law firms employ 10 to 17 patent attorneys, while the United Kingdom (91), Germany (67) and Sweden show much higher figures.

Rather large patent law firms are also present in France (40), the Netherlands, and Finland (32). Among the countries below the average value, Poland stands out with 32 persons in one patent law firm.

In Monaco and Malta, both mean and maximum values are 1, because no law firm comprises of more than one European Patent Attorney.

maximum-of-patent-attorneys-per-law-firm

 

Neither mean nor maximum values reveal whether European Patent Attorneys work in partnerships with other attorneys or are independent. In the diagram to the right it is illustrated that in the Europe-wide average 71% work in partnerships while 29% are independent. Please note that – due to a lack of data available – it is not incorporated that European Patent Attorneys might work jointly with other national patent attorney in one partnership. This is generally the case if a European Patent Attorney is not allowed to represent before the national patent office of her/his home country.

Values of more than 80% working in partnerships can be found in Norway (90%), San Marino (90%), Denmark (85%), Luxembourg (83%), the United Kingdom (82%), and Ireland (80%). Germany (71%) lies right in the average.

Especially population-wise small nations show a tendency to independence or partnerships with national patent attorneys.

Besides Monaco and Malta (as mentioned), few partnerships are present in Bulgaria (29%), Slovakia (28%) and Croatia, which all exhibit values below 30%.

patent-attorneys-in-partnerships-and-independent-attorneys

 

On the following pages you will find the largest patent attorney firms and a list of companies employing many patent attorneys.

 

Country Patent Attorneys in a Law Firm No. of Law Firms Average of Patent Attorneys per Law Firm Maximum of Patent Attorneys per Law Firm Patent Attorneys in Partnerships Independent Patent Attorneys
Germany 2,722 1,148 2.4 67 1,926 71% 796 29%
United Kingdom 1,606 396 4.0 91 1,323 82% 283 18%
France 634 205 3.1 40 504 79% 130 21%
Italy 429 157 2.7 26 327 76% 102 24%
Poland 296 205 1.4 32 117 40% 179 60%
Netherlands 286 93 3.1 37 216 76% 70 24%
Sweden 234 72 3.3 47 182 78% 52 22%
Switzerland 220 126 1.8 11 133 60% 87 40%
Spain 155 94 1.7 10 89 57% 66 43%
Denmark 140 37 3.8 17 119 85% 21 15%
Finland 139 43 3.1 32 110 79% 29 21%
Czech Republic 95 65 1.5 6 44 46% 51 54%
Austria 94 55 1.7 9 57 61% 37 39%
Belgium 89 48 1.9 13 54 61% 35 39%
Turkey 85 62 1.4 8 32 38% 53 62%
Norway 83 19 4.4 13 75 90% 8 10%
Hungary 72 38 1.9 18 40 56% 32 44%
Bulgaria 63 53 1.2 3 18 29% 45 71%
Ireland 56 20 2.8 13 45 80% 11 20%
Romania 56 37 1.5 10 26 46% 30 54%
Serbia 53 29 1.8 7 33 62% 20 38%
Portugal 39 19 2.1 13 27 69% 12 31%
Slovakia 36 30 1.2 3 10 28% 26 72%
Croatia 27 24 1.1 2 6 22% 21 78%
Estonia 26 17 1.5 5 13 50% 13 50%
Albania 25 18 1.4 5 10 40% 15 60%
Macedonia 25 21 1.2 3 9 36% 16 64%
Slovenia 24 17 1.4 5 11 46% 13 54%
Greece 24 19 1.3 3 9 38% 15 63%
Lithuania 23 16 1.4 4 10 43% 13 57%
San Marino 20 5 4.0 10 18 90% 2 10%
Latvia 20 12 1.7 4 12 60% 8 40%
Luxembourg 18 8 2.3 6 15 83% 3 17%
Iceland 18 13 1.4 4 7 39% 11 61%
Liechtenstein 12 8 1.5 4 7 58% 5 42%
Cyprus 12 10 1.2 2 4 33% 8 67%
Monaco 3 3 1.0 1 0% 3 100%
Malta 3 3 1.0 1 0% 3 100%
Total 7,962 3,245 2.0 15 5,638 71% 2,324 29%