Pedram Sameni
Nov 16, 2023

Patexia Insight 193: Top Patent Firms of 2023

Patent Prosecution

In the dynamic realm of innovation, securing a patent isn't merely about claiming ownership; it's a strategic journey navigating through the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that defines the trajectory of groundbreaking ideas. Patent prosecution stands as the pivotal gateway for all innovators to safeguard their intellectual property while the USPTO serves as the stage where legal prowess, technical expertise, and innovative brilliance converge. Within this arena, Patexia's annual Patent Intelligence Report emerges as a guiding beacon, meticulously analyzing the performance and activity of legal entities—attorneys, law firms, and companies—vying for prominence and success in patent prosecution. This report offers a panoramic view of the patent landscape, spotlighting the best performers and most active stakeholders, and illuminating their strategies and successes.

In our previous insights, we've highlighted various aspects of the patent landscape based on the analyses from the Patent Intelligence Report 2023. These encompass thriving biotech hubs across the nation and shed light on the top growing and declining foreign countries by the number of patents filed in the USPTO. Furthermore, we have covered some of the top entities, including the leading companies, those experiencing significant growth or decline in patent prosecution, and the top patent attorneys of 2023. This week, our focus shifts to spotlighting select law firms distinguished by their activity and performance before the USPTO.

To comprehend the trends in patenting, it's essential to analyze both patent application filings and issued patents. The USPTO typically publishes applications approximately 18 months after their filing date. Hence, relying on published applications serves as a reliable proxy for gauging patent filing activity within a specific timeframe. In 2022, a total of 378,177 patent applications were published. This figure reflects a consistent decline, averaging a 0.6% decrease annually over the past five years, with a specific 0.62% drop in 2022. The peak for published applications was in 2019, reaching 433,841, whereas 2022 marked the lowest point.

In contrast, the issuance of patents displayed an average growth rate of 2.00% annually across the five-year period. However, there was a notable 1.27% decline in the number of issued patents in 2022 compared to 2021. Particularly noteworthy was the 17.10% surge in issued patents in 2019 compared to 2018. The apex for issued patents was in 2019, totaling 395,456, while 2018 recorded the lowest count at 337,697. As for the preliminary data for the first half of 2023, there have been 174,086 published applications and 165,531 issued patents.

Over our study period, covering January 1, 2018, to December 31, 2022, we identified a total of 3,429 law firms, representing 130,458 assignees from both the United States and abroad. Engaged in the process were a total of 30,777 active registered patent attorneys and agents. We assessed the law firms based on their performance and activity across three specific categories: overall, high-tech, and biotech. This evaluation process involved considering over 20 different indicators, each assigned specific weights, to facilitate a comprehensive assessment. Below is a table featuring select top-performing and highly active law firms in patent prosecution, as outlined in the report. A ranking within the top 150 out of a total of 3,429 firms signifies placement within the top four percentile in the respective category.



Law Firm All Patents Including Design Biotech Patents High-tech Patents Category Rank
Guntin & Gust


  2,064 Best Performing (Overall) 1
Maschoff Brennan 5,421 348 3,268 Best Performing (Bio) 2
Sughrue Mion


1,024 13,519 Most Active (Overall) 3
Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks 7,251 1,833 2,710 Most Active (Bio) 3
Haynes and Boone, LLP


34 5,428 Best Performing (High-Tech) 4
Slater Matsil 9,625 5 8,387 Best Performing (Overall) 4
Fig. 1 Patents


1 925 Best Performing (Overall) 5
Fenwick & West LLP 6,723 193 4,914 Best Performing (High-Tech) 5
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton


1,490 9,379 Most Active (Bio) 5
Knobbe Martens 18,302 1,464 7,545 Most Active (Bio) 6
Esplin & Associates, PC


  533 Best Performing (Overall) 8
Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. 7,090 1,179 2,464 Most Active (Bio) 10
Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox


902 2,995 Best Performing (High-Tech) 11
Polsinelli 7,054 640 3,594 Best Performing (High-Tech) 12


284 3,885 Most Active (Overall) 17
Perkins Coie 9,187 433 5,578 Most Active (High-Tech) 18
SLE Patents


659 990 Most Active (Bio) 28
Chip Law Group 4,185 6 3,635 Most Active (High-Tech) 41
Alston & Bird


358 2,863 Best Performing (Overall) 47
Hauptman Ham 5,626 101 2,979 Most Active (Overall) 53
Nicholson De Vos Webster & Elliott


  2,885 Most Active (High-Tech) 60
Greenberg Traurig LLP 4,711 350 2,130 Most Active (Bio) 62


95 2,549 Most Active (Overall) 64
CreatiVenture Law 105 4 21 Best Performing (Overall) 83
Murphy Bilak & Homiller


  2,223 Most Active (High-Tech) 85
McAndrews, Held & Malloy 4,510 112 1,498 Most Active (Overall) 123
Erise IP P.A.


  273 Best Performing (High-Tech) 147
Amster Rothstein & Ebenstein 1,128 131 284 Most Active (Bio) 151



The complete 2023 Patent Intelligence Report includes a comprehensive list of the top 2,000 most active and best-performing entities. Our comprehensive analysis comprises detailed rankings concerning the activity and performance of these law firms, categorized into biotech, high-tech, and overall sectors. Moreover, for each entity, we've included insightful information such as their top three clients or law firms, allowance rates, average number of office actions, extensions, pendency duration, and other relevant metrics.


In addition to the reports, our Concierge subscription service offers an unparalleled gateway to Patexia's data, presenting an array of exclusive benefits. Members enjoy access to our extensive database housing hundreds of thousands of attorney, law firm, and company profiles, each containing a wealth of data about their practices, including patent prosecution. Our Concierge subscribers gain access to detailed rankings, scores, and crucial information encompassing the number of patents, applications, and their distribution annually, distinguishing between foreign and domestic origins. Furthermore, this subscription unveils the professional ecosystem charts, identifying top clients, attorneys, examiners, tech centers, IPC codes, and a comprehensive list of patent applications per entity. It's a gateway to unparalleled insights, empowering strategic decision-making and fostering an informed approach within the intricate landscape of patent prosecution.

Ranking methodology

The ranking methodology employed by Patexia for evaluating attorneys, law firms, and companies encounters challenges due to limited data availability, complex data processing, and variations in entity names and affiliations during patent filings. These factors collectively contribute to the complexity of objectively assessing and ranking entities within the legal field. To overcome these hurdles, Patexia utilizes powerful computation, Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques, and Machine Learning to extract insights from millions of documents.

To enable a comprehensive comparison among entities and facilitate the ranking process, the Patexia Data Science team extracted over 20 signals from diverse data sources. Recognizing the typically lower activity volume of biotech companies compared to high-tech counterparts, we opted to develop distinct metrics tailored for biotech and high-tech. Our assessment considers five key factors to calculate overall performance:

Activity: Measured by the number of issued patents
Success: Evaluates the law firm’s ability to secure patents or patent claims.
Quality: Assesses the value of patents or claims based on their quality, novelty, breadth, and market coverage.
Efficiency: Considers the speed and simplicity of the patent acquisition process.
Cost: Reflects the overall expenses encompassing attorney fees and USPTO charges for obtaining and maintaining patents.

While activity score accounts for issued patents and interview participation, the performance score is calculated through a weighted average of the above mentioned factors. Given the differing perspectives of attorneys, companies and law firms concerning patents, we have tailored distinct performance definitions for each. Law firms, in particular, cannot be held accountable for the invention's quality aspects such as the field, market, or complexity. Their primary objective revolves around securing an enforceable patent with the broadest possible claim efficiently.

Stay tuned as in the upcoming weeks, we'll be spotlighting some of the top companies, law firms, and attorneys involved in ANDA litigation and PTAB proceedings.