Top Thirty Patent Law Programs (Ranked by Patently-O Hits!)

This post is silly, but still interesting. Below, I have listed a ranking of the top thirty law school patent programs based solely on the number of Patently-O* visits received from the associated university in the calendar year 2007. In theory, the number of hits has some correlation with the intensity of interest in patent law issues at the particular school. Of course, university computers represent only a small portion of the 2.8 million total hits received in 2007.

Rank School Relative Score
1 The George Washington University 100%
2 University of Texas at Austin 75%
3 DePaul University 74%
4 Columbia University 72%
5 University of Virginia 72%
6 University of California at Berkeley 61%
7 Harvard University 59%
8 University of Tennessee 54%
9 Cornell University 54%
10 Boston University 52%
11 Georgetown University 49%
12 New York University 47%
13 University of Houston 46%
14 Stanford University 45%
15 University of Missouri-Columbia 44%
16 Washington University 42%
17 University of Chicago 41%
18 University of Iowa 41%
19 Indiana University-Purdue University at Indy 39%
20 Suffolk University 38%
21 George Mason University 38%
22 University of Richmond 35%
23 University of Washington 33%
24 Northwestern University 29%
25 American University 29%
26 Indiana University 29%
27 University of Michigan 28%
28 Santa Clara University 25%
29 Ohio State University 24%
30 University of Minnesota 23%

There are many issues with this study. Here are a few: First, law school rankings are generally quite silly. Second, some schools may not use their name in their IP address — making them lose their ranking. This appears to be true of Franklin Pierce Law Center. Schools where students (and professors) primarily study away from campus building may also rank relatively lower.  Fourth, many of these hits come from the Technology Transfer office rather than the law school.

Up next… Top Thirty Procrastinating IP Law Firms based on number of Patently-O hits…

34 thoughts on “Top Thirty Patent Law Programs (Ranked by Patently-O Hits!)

  1. Does Emory use its name in its IP address? If so, I gotta get to the library and improve the ranking for 2008

  2. Well, this was meant to be a joke, but if you google “top patent programs,” this is the first hit. It might end up meaning more than intended. Keep in mind, US News and World Report started out as a joke … a bunch of journalists that write about news pretending that they know something about law schools.

  3. When I investigated schools, Franklin Pierce and George Mason seemed to have the most focus on IP and IP course offerings. I’m familiar with Richmond’s program, and it still isn’t on the same level as George Mason’s yet they are next to each on the list. I don’t think the theory holds up that the numbers relate to interest in patent law at a particular school.

  4. Although I am a bit biased, FPLC has had the most comprehensive IP program for more than 20 years… well, so much for this survey.

  5. My God-

    Patent attorneys proving once again that if you want to have fun at golf, or the bar after work, go with the litigators and forget to knock on the patent attorneys doors.

  6. thanks for the disclaimer and explanation how this list was generated, yet it woul be more apporpriate called “law school presence on patently-o” or something as opposed to “top 30 patent law programs” – that is simply too much of a jump to make… imho

  7. I am happy that I am an inventor. I see a problem from outside the box and not bound by conventional wisdom. This is why I see this post as a hurmor. Any one can’t see the hurmor of the post is a hard-headed ______(you fill the blank).

  8. Hi Zeke,

    I’m self-taught in the school of hard knocks, no best school.
    But I can still be a special snowflake, right[:?)

    Everyone of us knows, of course, turn to Harvard for patent attorneys. Ooops, now I’m in big trouble — only kidding (not, maybe not).

  9. My, how a silly post can bring out all the thin-skins.

    Each and everyone of you is a special snowflake who went to the best school and chose the best career. Feel better now?


  10. Hey BigGuy,

    “Jeez, I would expect better reading comprehension skills from patent attorneys. Or are the naysayers here all just ordinary inventors?”

    Which came first, the inventor or the patent attorney?

    So why knock us ordinary inventors?

  11. The methodolgy is superior to the U.S. News and World Report methodology that generates those hideous rankings with Yale, Harvard, and Stanford above GW.

    (Oh, I am a graduate of The GW Law School and specialized in patent law, so no bias here.)

  12. “The ranking was fine as a joke but you should have labeled it thus.”

    The post SAID, “This post is silly,” right up front. “Silly” is a term well-known in the art.

    “You can’t always determine location from IP address.”

    The post SAID, “There are many issues with this study. [S]ome schools may not use their name in their IP address.”

    Jeez, I would expect better reading comprehension skills from patent attorneys. Or are the naysayers here all just ordinary inventors?

  13. Fun post Dennis! Thanks for posting. Looking forward to those procrastinators!

    For those who can’t have some fun :(

    Get out a bit and take this is the way Dennis meant it – fun and light. Of course, some patent attorneys checked their sense of humor at the profession’s door, if they ever had one…

  14. You can’t always determine location from IP address. Proxy server issues and other routing factors can make your location appear just about anywhere. You are therefore selecting from schools which have only clean “.edu” addresses. This may eliminate select schools.

    The ranking was fine as a joke but you should have labeled it thus.

  15. Maybe for Franklin Pierce you could look at hits coming out of Concord, NH. I am sure the vast majority of those hits are coming from the law school (although there are a handful of patent attorneys based in Concord).

  16. I believe I understand where you are coming from when you say law school rankings are “quite silly”. However, I feel that is far from reality (albeit unfortunately).
    But law school ranking determine first jobs. Certainly big firms hire a greater percentage of tudents from schools ranked in the top 25, than schools in the middle. This first job is a big factor. (I would like to see number on attorneys who start out at small or mid-size firms and then move up to a big firms or then move on to academics or high court positions)
    I’m not complaining about thsi ranking, I think it was more fun than anything. But we should be aware that we have an environment that has made rankings important (perhaps often more than susbstance.)
    (Of course I am a mid-tier grad, if I went to Univ of Michigan or a top school, I might feel differently!) :0 )

  17. This poll is dumb because it also doesn’t take into account school size. What a bogus statistic.

    – Franklin Pierce alum

  18. I think the partners I work for might be annoyed if i DIDN’T check patently-o periodically to stay abreast of recent developments. I cannot imagine any firm having an issue with its ip associates visiting this site regularly.

  19. “Up next… Top Thirty Procrastinating IP Law Firms based on number of Patently-O hits…”

    Dennis, please don’t do that. Seriously. Your blog is a valuable source of info, and we wouldn’t want law firms to assume otherwise and start monitoring associates’ use of the web (if they aren’t already).

  20. Glad to see both of my law schools (LLM George Washington #1 and JD University of Houston #13) on the list.

    I think GW was a natural #1, it has the oldest patent program in the country, I believe.

  21. Dennis, I love your blog. But really, this post is, well, silly. What’s the point? You have seem to gone statistics happy lately. I know you’re following in very successful footsteps, but you’ll never make to Federal Circuit analyzing these types of statistics.

  22. Go DePaul! Even with a lot of students, there are still a lot of patent law classes. I took Patent Law, Advanced Patent Law, Biotech Patent Law, Advanced Patent Law Seminar, and IP Litigation Strategies (mostly patent law for that class, mock Markmans, etc.) while I was there…

  23. Does feedburner provide similar data? Because it may be that you’re just measuring schools who aren’t familiar with feed readers 😉

  24. Despite the problems with the study, it has the merit of allowing one to compare law schools with other institutions, and other institutions with each other. For example:

    * Is the Federal Circuit better than the USPTO (based on the number of staff of each, I’d expect the latter, but if it’s impossible to separate the CAFC from the USCOURTS generally, then maybe not)?

    * IBM likes to say that it has more patents than anyone else, but does it have more hits at patently-o?

    * Is Microsoft better than Apple?

    I’m sure there are other interesting things that can be compared for the purpose of drawing humorous conclusions.

  25. I’d be curious to see comparative usage statistics between law schools, law firms and USPTO (internal).
    Also, number of international vs. domestic patently-O hits.
    Also, time of day hits RELATIVE to the time zone – so a Tokyo hit at 1 AM tokyo time (and daytime in the states) counts like a hit at 1 AM Boston Time.

  26. Glad to see my law school alma mater (Richmond) is in the top 30 rankings for patent law. They’ve got a good program now, much more robust than when I went there.

  27. If you divide the number of hits from each law school by the enrollment of each law school, it would better reflect the relative interest in the subject. The relative scores on this table are highly correlated with the enrollment of each law school. Presumably, larger law schools have larger numbers of people in interested in all areas of law.

  28. “Up next… Top Thirty Procrastinating IP Law Firms based on number of Patently-O hits…”

    Now that’s just nasty.

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