Jul 27, 2016Legal
Patexia Insight 4: 2016 Top 25 Ranked Companies by Number of Patent Practitioners

Last week we reported the 2016 top 25 law firms ranked by the number of patent practitioners. This week, our Data Science Team looked at the same raw data for registered patent attorneys and agents to identify the top 25 IP-intensive companies in the U.S., those with the largest number of registered patent practitioners. It was a mixed result, as the top 10 companies were from high-tech, healthcare and chemical / material sectors.

The first company was IBM with 154 registered practitioners. If IBM had been a law firm (referencing our list last week), it would have been the seventh largest U.S. law firm in terms of number of registered patent practitioners.

Top 10 Companies employing In-House Patent Practitioners

 

 

We obtained the data from the Office of Enrollment and Discipline (OED) at the USPTO. The data is up to date as of July 12, 2016.

We learned that the top 25 IP-intensive companies employ 1,721 registered U.S. patent attorneys and patent agents, or approximately 4% of the 44,424 patent practitioners registered to practice before the USPTO. This number is about half as many as the 3,566 practitioners working at the top 25 law firms, which have about 8% of the total number of practitioners.

 

2016 Top 25 Ranked Companies by Number of Patent Practitioners 

RankCompanyAttorneysAgentsTotal
1

IBM Corporation

12232154
2

General Electric

9130121
3

Qualcomm

9118109
4

Johnson & Johnson

8317100
5

E. I. Du Pont de Nemours

395898
6

Procter & Gamble

751287
7

3M Company

434386
8

Hewlett Packard

71778
9

Intel

70575
10

Pfizer

64973
11

Microsoft

59968
12

Novartis

451762
13

Google

54660
14

Genentech

431053
15

Eli Lilly & Company

45752
16

Medtronic

401151
17

Merck

42850
18

ExxonMobil

42547
19

Schlumberger

42446
20

Siemens

38745
21

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

41344
22

Amgen

38644
23

Intellectual Ventures

331043
24

The Dow Chemical Company

37441
25

Philips

39140

 

Please note that recent changes, such as new hirings, may not appear in the above table, as not all attorneys or agents update their status as soon as it changes.

The only two non-U.S. companies on the list are Siemens from Germany and GlaxoSmithKline from the UK, which shows the importance of the U.S. market to their businesses and their level of global activity for having such a large set of U.S.-based patent practitioners.

The two youngest companies on the list are Google and Intellectual Ventures. Google is less than 20 years old and did not have a large patent portfolio for its early years of existence. However, in the past several years it has aggressively been filing new patent applications. Google’s patent practitioners are mainly in California (41) and New York (11). On the other hand, Intellectual Ventures was formed in 2000 only to conduct business in IP. They have one of the largest patent portfolios, most of which was obtained through acquisition, with a smaller portion developed organically.

The average ratio of patent agents to patent attorneys for the top 25 companies is 0.30. However, DuPont (1.5) has more patent agents than patent attorneys while 3M (1.0) has equal number of agents and attorneys.

In terms of experience, we analyzed the companies ranked among the first 2,000 entities with the largest number of patent practitioners. More than 70% of all active U.S. patent practitioners work for the first 2,000 entities in the rankings. The data shows the average working experience for in-house patent practitioners is 16 years, while the median is 15 years.

Experience Level for In-House Patent Practitioners

As another interesting data point, we analyzed all in-house patent practitioners listed among the first 2,000 entities, identifying the states with the highest number of in-house practitioners. As expected, California ranked first with more than three times the number of practitioners as Texas, which ranked second, largely due to the presence of major oil and gas companies, such as Schlumberger and ExxonMobil.

Top 10 States with the Highest Number of In-House Patent Practitioners

The top 25 companies with the largest number of in-house patent practitioners account for about 4% of the total of 44,424 practitioners registered with the USPTO as of July 12, 2016. Our analysis indicates that average in-house patent practitioners have 16 years of experience with a standard deviation of 8.3 years. We learned that more than 9% of all registered patent practitioners are employed in-house in one of the 10 highest ranked states. Ohio and Minnesota are among the states employing the highest number of patent practitioners, which we believe is because of the presence of two conglomerates, P&G and 3M, in those two states.

In the following weeks, we plan to calculate the probability of landing an in-house job for a patent practitioner.

Update and Correction: Philips did not appear in the original list as two of its entities, Philips Electronics and Philips Intellectual Property and Standards were listed as two separate entities. After combining them, Philips ranked 25th and now has 40 patent practitioners registered in the US. 

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