Firms with the Most Registered Patent Attorneys and Agents

The chart below comes from the USPTO OED registry of practitioners and so suffers from potential registry issues (I did do some amount of name-matching to overcome different firm name spelling and punctuation.).

According to these records, Finnegan has the most total practitioners while Knobbe has the most patent attorneys. IBM is the only operating company that breaks the top-10. The top 25 firms represent ~8% of all registered patent practitioners. The newest patent attorney on the list is Hallie Wimberley, a first-year associate at Reed Smith.  My former firm (MBHB) is now up over 100.

Firm or Company Name

Number of Registered Practitioners

Patent Attorneys

Patent Agents

Finnegan Henderson

261

202

59

Fish & Richardson

256

183

73

Knobbe Martens

248

216

32

KILPATRICK TOWNSEND

216

174

42

Wilson Sonsini

209

121

88

IBM

162

127

35

Foley & Lardner

158

129

29

Schwegman, Lundberg & Woessner

150

136

14

Baker Botts

149

124

25

Jones Day

146

111

35

Perkins Coie

146

128

18

Cooley

144

82

62

Morrison & Foerster

137

87

50

Morgan, Lewis

120

91

29

Brinks

119

99

20

Harness Dickey

117

106

11

Sterne Kessler

117

80

37

Alston Bird

114

101

13

Baker Hostetler

113

106

7

Qualcomm

112

96

16

Oblon

109

77

32

McDermott Will & Emery

105

83

22

Kirkland & Ellis

103

91

12

K&L Gates

101

90

11

Haynes & Boone

101

80

21

General Electric

101

75

26

McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff

100

73

27

Banner & Witcoff

100

89

11

Cantor Colburn

98

75

23

27 thoughts on “Firms with the Most Registered Patent Attorneys and Agents

  1. 7

    Do you have similar numbers for Australia? Seems the AU market is becoming very lopsided with the combination of FAKC with Spruson & Ferguson and Cullens.

  2. 6

    A lot of firms will provide a bonus for anyone who is eligible to sit for the patent bar, whether they have anything to do with patents or not. At my old firm, a few corporate attorneys, licensing attorneys and litigators sat for the bar, just to boost our numbers.

    The firm was in California, but paid 1st class tickets, top hotels and unlimited meals allowance in NYC for the patent bar review class, and cut your billables requirements, so basically anyone qualified went and took it. Fully half the people registered had never prosecuted a patent.

    1. 6.1

      I didn’t know that.

    2. 6.2

      Are there any firms still doing that? Seems like an enormous waste of money.

    1. 5.1

      Meh, while the nuclear rhetoric is alarming, this piece sounds like PC fluff (specifically as it slides in global warming as something related to the D00msday clock).

      1. 5.1.1

        “The Clock is recognized around the world as an indicator of the world’s vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change, and emerging technologies.”

        I’m pretty sure the doomsday clock measures more than just nuclear holocausts.

        1. 5.1.1.1

          I am pretty sure that this recent change is entirely PC.

          the Clock represents an analogy for the threat of global nuclear war. Since 2007, it has also reflected climate change and new developments in the life sciences and technology that could inflict irrevocable harm to humanity.

          See the origins explained at link to en.wikipedia.org

          1. 5.1.1.1.1

            See also: link to nbcnews.com

            and Hawking’s influence to add climate change (and by the by, Artificial Intelligence).

    1. 4.1

      Dude, you are trippin.

  3. 3

    Actually I missed this came from OED name registry. The numbers are probably not reliable.

  4. 2

    anon: that would be interesting to see.

    So, how many people on here is one of the patent attorneys or patent agents that work for one of those firms?

    I admit I am a patent attorney that works for one of those firms and has interviewed with probably all the top 10.

    1. 2.1

      It is also amazing that there is so little concentration of patent attorneys. That list amounts to what, 2,500 total. Aren’t there like 30,000 active patent attorneys.

      1. 2.1.1

        I doubt there are 30,000 active practitioners, if you define “active” as meaning having a full-time practice as an attorney or agent.
        There’s no annual fee for registration, no CLE requirement (despite talk of it many years back), and only minimal checkup on currency of information – the last time I was asked by OED to confirm my registration was 2012. So I expect that there are a fair number of people on the list who don’t practice any longer, and maybe even some who are no longer even living.
        But perhaps someone knows more about this.

        1. 2.1.1.1

          I am aware that there at least was an active effort by OED to cull the list (at least for the lower registration numbers, as those may be to attorneys who have become deceased).

          Another factor here (albeit I am not certain of its impact) is that there is no requirement that a practitioner must list the firm that he may be associated with.

          I have seen (at least in my geographical market) a rather heady “velocity” of practitioners changing firms, and I can quite easily imagine a number of impacts from such fluidity. One of which is the practice of simply not listing a firm (and avoiding the “need” to update) as well as – given your noted lack of ‘policing’ – I am quite sure that updates simply are not happening.

          The numbers simply lack the precision to do more than a “quick” analysis, and that’s how I had left my prior ‘tinkering.’

          That being said, I will periodically crunch the numbers through the same protocol that I developed, and trend the (admittedly limited) results.

          1. 2.1.1.1.1

            …as a quick example:

            link to oedci.uspto.gov

            Given: link to patentlyo.com

            I am not certain when (or even if) Mr. Iancu vacated his position at Irell & Manella (he is still listed as a partner on the firm website), but will an update happen there?

            Or perhaps more amusing (caveat – this may be merely a ‘same name’ case):

            link to oedci.uspto.gov

            (there is no Michelle Lee listed on the professionals links on the Fenwick & West website)

            1. 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Now that he is sworn in, let’s see how quickly the first link is updated….

          2. 2.1.1.1.2

            According to OED, currently, after weeding out the non-active practitioners, there are about 40,000 registered patent practitioners. Approximately 25% of the active registered practitioners are agents; the rest are attorneys.

            That still is a misleading statistic. I am a registered patent attorney and am presumably included in the 40k number, but I haven’t prepared or prosecuted a patent application in many years! So, to your point, still a very small number of “real” patent practitioners.

        2. 2.1.1.2

          Yes indeed, the absence of any CLE requirement [or annual fees] leaves a lot of rare-practitioners, non-practitioners and even actual dead bodies on the OED PTO patent practitioner list. Removals are mostly in response to occasional PTO mailed requirements for current addresses that remain unanswered. There are a few requests for removal by retirees (e.g., to avoid new inventor calls). But most retired patent attorneys just keep their names on the list, and there are a lot of them now.
          On the other hand there have been accidental removals from the Register of actual practitioners who changed employers or firms without changing their PTO address.

          1. 2.1.1.2.1

            P.S. DF, since you “define “active” as meaning having a full-time practice as an attorney or agent” that logically eliminates anyone filing up to 1000 comments per year on this and other patent blogs.

            1. 2.1.1.2.1.1

              hat logically eliminates anyone filing up to 1000 comments per year on this and other patent blogs.

              LOL – in your dreams, boy.

              (just because YOU decided to drop your registration and post here does not carry over as you would so wish)

              1. 2.1.1.2.1.1.1

                Your 4th for the day?

      2. 2.1.2

        It is indeed a very fractured market.

        Which only highlights the inanity of our “favorite” Malcolm who likes to portray patent attorneys as the “worst of the worst” (and of course, immediately brings to mind [sic] the cognitive dissonance that affects him so and drives the animus that he displays – and has displayed for twelve solid years now).

  5. 1

    A fun thing that I have done in the past is to then take the list you have and map out a spectrum (color density) breaking the numbers down into sets of registration numbers.

    Paints an interesting view of the spread of “representation” from firm to firm. Some firms were seriously “dinosaurs.”
    Some firms were bipolar split (dinosaurs and ultra-green).
    Far fewer firms exhibited a consistent spread of “age”

    1. 1.1

      Do you have an image or a link? That would be very interesting to see visually.

      1. 1.1.1

        It is, and it is easy enough to set up with Excel cell formatting options. Alas, I will hold back on sharing my particular results so as to not divulge my target market (appreciate the interest though).

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