Where Have All the Big Patent Firms Gone?
Philip Mann notes the increasing trend towards big patent firms folding up shop and joining even bigger general practice firms. In-house counsel at larger firms are increasingly going to their general practice firm for intellectual property work and by-passing the IP boutique….a trend he attributes at least partially to in-house counsel’s “CYA” tendencies in choosing the big name general practice firm over the equally competent and much more agile boutique practice.
Although Philip’s comments are directed more towards in-house counsel dealing with litigation matters, I have found them to be equally pertinent to prosecution matters.
While some of these mini-boutiques are so small they don’t even have an online presence, what they have to offer is irresistible to GCs constrained by tight budgets: a highly specialized legal expertise, familiarity with the industry and cost competitiveness.
I couldn’t agree more with the above.
I am biased towards small firm practice, of course, having left “the 800 pound gorilla” of intellectual property firms (i.e.- Fish & Neave ) to form a small two patent lawyer practice almost six years ago.