Pedram Sameni
Jun 3, 2021

Patexia Insight 107: Patent Firms with the Largest Growth or Decline (2021)

Next week we are going to release our Third Annual Patent Intelligence Report where we analyze the patent prosecution data, providing different statistics related to the USPTO, Technology Centers, Art Units, Examiners, Law Firms and Corporations.

Last year, many sectors in the US economy were heavily impacted because of the pandemic. The patent prosecution practice and intellectual property were certainly affected as companies adjusted their filing strategy. We also observed some significant shifts in the patent work distribution, which is what ultimately inspired this week's Insight.

This week we are going to inspect the patent data related to the law firms to identify the firms with the largest growth and decline in 2020 compared to 2019.

As seen in the bar chart above, in 2020, a total of 498,389 patent applications were published and 391,353 patents issued. The number of issued patents reflect a 1.05 percent drop compared to 2019 while the published applications show a 0.68 percent rise.

Patent firms with the largest growth

To identify the firms with the largest growth, we limited the study only to those firms that were ranked among the top 1000 most active law firms in our 2021 report. Then we calculated the growth rate in absolute terms by comparing the number of issued patents in 2019 and 2020 as illustrated by the bar chart below.

  • Noticable is Fish & Richardson which continues the positive growth trend just like they did in 2019 (Patexia Insight 78). Google remains one of the firm’s top clients but the work for the company has declined since 2019. The firm continues to maintain a diverse list of clients.
  • Jiang Chyun IP Office (JC IP) appears second on our rankings with an absolute growth of 588 patents. The firm obtained 217 patents in 2020 for the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and also worked with Fujifilm.
  • Foley and Lardner LLP obtained 3035 patents in 2019 versus 3529 patents in 2020. That is an increase of almost 16 percent. Its number one client in 2020 was Johnson Controls where the firm obtained 200 patents for. The second top client was Google.
  • Xsensus and Dority & Manning are ranked 4th and 5th respectively on our list in terms of growth with an increase of 319 and 315 respectively. Xsensus continues to work closely with Sony as we covered in Patexia Insight 78.

Patent firms with the Largest Decline

The firms with the largest decline are shown in the bar chart below. We measured the decline in a similar way as for the growth (only measured among the top 1000 most active firms and based on the absolute change).

  • The workload for Oblon Mcclelland Maier and Neustadt as measured by the number of issued patents, decreased by 638 patents in 2020. The firm had the highest decline in absolute terms compared to all other law firms. In 2020, Toshiba remained the top client of Oblon, followed by Ricoh.
  • Brinks Gilson and Lione had 1634 patents in 2019 and 1196 is 2020 which represents a 26 percent decline. The firm works with companies such as Kia Motors America, Cook Group, and Panasonic.
  • Young and Thomposon saw a decrease of 45 percent. The firm is one of the oldest patent firms established in 1903 and located near the patent office. The firm saw a significant drop in work from Fujifilm, NEC and Continental Automotive System.

The following table summarizes the top 10 firms covered above (largest growth and largest decline)


Law Firms 2019 Number 2020 Number Change Difference
Oblon Mcclelland Maier & Neustadt 6127 5,489 -10.41% -638
Brinks Gilson & Lione 1634 1,196 -26.81% -438
Young & Thompson 806 440 -45.41% -366
Westerman Hattori Daniels & Adrian 1186 831 -29.93% -355
Staas & Halsey 891 548 -38.50% -343
Fish & Richardson 4,271 5,172 21.10% 901
Jiang Chyun IP Office (JC IP) 1,814 2,402 32.41% 588
Foley & Lardner LLP 3,035 3,529 16.28% 494
Xsensus 793 1,112 40.23% 319
Dority & Manning 1,247 1,562 25.26% 315

Our 2021 Patent Prosecution Intelligence Report has a new section that covers the top 50 firms with the largest growth or decline in 2020. The report will be available for download next Thursday, June 10, 2021.

In the following weeks we will continue our analysis of patent firms. We will cover the most active and best performing firms as well as the companies with the largest growth or decline in the number of patents. Stay tuned!