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Where Have All the Big Patent Firms Gone?

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In his IP Litigation Blog, intellectual property litigation attorney Philip P. Mann writes an interesting post entitled “The Future of Big Patent Firms“.


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.


There are exceptions, however, as pointed out by patent attorney Lawrence B. Ebert on his blog, IPBIZ, in a post quoting The Recorder “IP Boutiques: Business is Booming” as set forth below:


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.

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