Law Firm Attorneys and Corporate Patent Attorneys
Patent attorneys can not only work in patent law firms representing a large amount of clients. They can also be employed by industrial corporations, universities and general service providers in the field of intellectual property. This applies to 2,662 persons or 25% of 10,624 European Patent Attorneys. However, as expected a majority of 7,962 attorneys (75%) works in patent agent offices for numerous clients.
Substantial deviations from the Europe-wide average exist in quite a number of countries. The highest share of corporate patent attorneys can be found in Switzerland (54%) and Belgium (53%). Responsible are mainly large corporations. In Switzerland, for example Novartis, Nestlé or Roche a number patent attorneys. In Belgium, the number of patent attorneys per company is much lower and no Belgian company is a large employer. However, several multinational enterprises maintain intellectual property departments in Belgium, e.g. ExxonMobil, Procter & Gamble and GlaxoSmithKline.
In the Netherlands, especially Philips, Shell and Unilever are accountable for the great share of corporate patent attorneys. Novo Nordisk and some several smaller pharmaceutical groups dominate in Denmark. In France, many European Patent Attorneys are employed by L’Oreal, Sanofi and Saint-Gobain.
Germany (26%) and the United Kingdom (20%), the two countries leading the score in absolute terms of patent attorneys, are comparatively close to the Europe-wide average of 25%. The share of corporate patent attorneys in Austria is very close to Germany.
Responsible for the relatively low share in Italy (9%) and Spain (12%) is the low presence of international enterprises which again is one reason for the comparably low figure of patent attorneys per capita.
Poland (9%) is on the same level as Italy. However, compared to other Eastern European countries this is still a high value. Industrial employments of patent attorneys seem to have no tradition here. They are highly focused on patent law firms.
Therefore, it is not surprising that among the seven countries, where no patent attorneys are employed in companies, four come from (South) Eastern European states: Estonia, Slovakia, Croatia and Serbia. Greece, Cyprus and Monaco complete the ranking.
The statistics on the following pages mainly focus on European Patent Attorneys working in patent law firms.
|Country||Patent Attorneys||Patent Attorneys in a Law Firm||Patent Attorneys in a Company||No. of Patent Law Firms||No. of Companies|