Patent law firms, which are among the top 1000 in the world, are found mainly in the USA, Japan, China, Germany and South Korea.

By top patent law firm, we mean patent firms, which have been the most active in representing clients in the PCT application process in 2015.

Patent law firms, which are among the top 1000 in the world, are found mainly in the USA, Japan, China, Germany and South Korea. The USA leads the ranking by a considerable distance. 333 companies or 33% of all top law firms are headquartered here. The other countries of the top 5 hold shares between 13% and 7%. Together these are already 762 of the 1,000 patent firms. In all other nations, a maximum of 4% of the top law firms can be found and overall 24% of the top patent law firms. Conversely, this means that the five most important nations unite 76% of all top firms.

 

Share of countries with top patent law firms

The first ten places are complemented by 4 European countries (France, Great Britain, Italy, Switzerland) and Canada. They show shares between 1% and 4%, and 12% in total, which is less than China or Japan, which are ranked 2 and 3 and individually 13% each.

The “other countries” consist of 17 nations, uniting 60 of the top 1000 law firms. This results in a 6% share. In 31 countries, where patent attorneys/law firms have represented PCT applications in 2015, no top patent law firms can be found.

A different picture emerges when the population size is taken into account. The patent-active countries with a large number of inhabitants are no longer dominant. Of the countries with many top law firms, only China is still present in the top 10. The table is dominated by Scandinavian countries. Finland, Denmark, Sweden and Norway can be found in places 2 to 6. However, Belgium and France are at the forefront. In Belgium, 36% of the patent firms are among the top 1000 law firms in the world! On average, only 15% belong to the top law firms.

Anteil der Top-Patentanwaltskanzleien pro Land

Since the size describes the number of PCT applications represented, this is also a measure of the concentration and the market position of the large law firms in a country. Or the other way around: the lower the value, the less important are the large-scale patent firms in a given country.