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.

patent-attorneys-in-law-firms-and-companies

 

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
Germany 3,661 2,722 74% 939 26% 1,148 212
United Kingdom 2,020 1,606 80% 414 20% 396 108
France 976 634 65% 342 35% 205 99
Switzerland 482 220 46% 262 54% 126 73
Italy 470 429 91% 41 9% 157 29
Netherlands 459 286 62% 173 38% 93 38
Sweden 351 234 67% 117 33% 72 34
Poland 327 296 91% 31 9% 205 28
Denmark 224 140 63% 84 38% 37 30
Belgium 188 89 47% 99 53% 48 41
Spain 177 155 88% 22 12% 94 16
Finland 170 139 82% 31 18% 43 18
Austria 128 94 73% 34 27% 55 19
Czech Republic 99 95 96% 4 4% 65 2
Norway 96 83 86% 13 14% 19 10
Turkey 92 85 92% 7 8% 62 5
Hungary 79 72 91% 7 9% 38 4
Bulgaria 66 63 95% 3 5% 53 3
Ireland 61 56 92% 5 8% 20 4
Romania 60 56 93% 4 7% 37 4
Serbia 53 53 100% 0% 29
Portugal 40 39 98% 1 3% 19 1
Slovakia 36 36 100% 0% 30
Slovenia 29 24 83% 5 17% 17 2
Macedonia 28 25 89% 3 11% 21 2
Croatia 27 27 100% 0% 24
Albania 26 25 96% 1 4% 18 1
Estonia 26 26 100% 0% 17
Lithuania 26 23 88% 3 12% 16 2
Greece 24 24 100% 0% 19
San Marino 24 20 83% 4 17% 5 1
Iceland 21 18 86% 3 14% 13 3
Latvia 21 20 95% 1 5% 12 1
Luxembourg 20 18 90% 2 10% 8 2
Liechtenstein 17 12 71% 5 29% 8 1
Cyprus 12 12 100% 0% 10
Malta 5 3 60% 2 40% 3 1
Monaco 3 3 100% 0% 3
Total 10,624 7,962 75% 2,662 25% 3,245 794