JUVE Patent

JUVE Patent Research Criteria

What are the JUVE Patent rankings?

The JUVE Patent rankings are compilations of patent law firms that, according to JUVE Patent research, have a leading reputation in their field. Produced annually, our rankings are independently researched and written by an editorial team that provides daily coverage on the European patent law market at www.juve-patent.com. This alongside reports and analyses of the German legal market for JUVE, our German-language publications (see www.juve.de).

Up to now, we have only produced rankings for the patent market in Germany. You can find these rankings here.

From 2019 JUVE Patent intends to produce rankings of patent law firms in other European countries, beginning with the Austrian and UK markets.

 

What do JUVE Patent rankings look like?

Our main rankings list those firms that, according to JUVE Patent research, enjoy a particularly good reputation in patent filing, litigation and prosecution. These are grouped into tiers, with firms appearing alphabetically within their tier. Each law firm featured in the main ranking tables is accompanied by a short analytical text evaluating the firm’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as its development over the past year. This includes recommended lawyers and, where possible, examples of clients. We also list leading individuals, patent attorney firms and their recommended specialisations.

JUVE Patent rankings are primarily intended for clients but are also of great advantage to law firms. Our aim is to aid commercial businesses by increasing transparency within a diverse and often confusing legal market.

You can find more rankings of commercial law firms active in other areas of the German legal market in our German-language publication JUVE Handbuch Wirtschaftskanzleien in print or online.

 

How does JUVE Patent conduct research?

As part of our research, JUVE Patent’s editorial team sends out an annual questionnaire to patent law firms. We also send out questionnaires and conduct interviews with lawyers, clients, legal academics and judges. This is to ascertain their perception and assessment of the market and of patent law firms.

Statements from clients are particularly important. The quotations by clients (and competitors) concerning individual lawyers and law firms are carefully selected from numerous statements.

The patent law firms that stand out in our research are ranked accordingly. However, JUVE does not imply in any way that this list is exhaustive.

The editors at JUVE Patent take the utmost care in reporting the information provided but can nevertheless accept no responsibility for the quality of the recommendation or for the absence of a reference. The portrayal of the selected patent law firms is not an advertisement and cannot be bought in any way.

 

Patent Law Firm Rankings

There is no such thing as ‘the best patent law firm’. The claim that there exists such a thing as completely objective criteria for the comparison and evaluation of patent law firms would be entirely mistaken. Unlike consumer goods, law firms do not provide tangible objects on which their quality can be independently judged. They are service providers. Their activities can only be judged subjectively by clients and colleagues.

The JUVE Patent rankings have therefore one aim only. They attempt to reflect how clients and lawyers view the market. They describe certain law firms as ‘leading’ and rate some ‘above’ others. Such statements represent subjective opinions. Therefore the JUVE Patent rankings are simply a way of expressing the subjective evaluations from numerous clients, lawyers and academics in Europe.

The editors at JUVE Patent aim to depict the cumulative impression in the legal market concerning the reputation of a patent law firm as accurately as possible. The most important resource for this is the great depth and breadth of our research. However, translating such a huge number of evaluations into a table is also a subjective process. The reader should therefore also take into account the corresponding texts for each patent law firm.

The criteria which play a role in such subjective assessments depend on what the client requires from the advisor and as these requirements change, so do the criteria. In over ten years since the first JUVE rankings were published (originally in the German language), the following have become increasingly important for both midsized law firms and corporates:

Development: the way a law firm has developed and the quality of its client base, i.e. which companies (sector, size, and significance) are advised by a firm on complex legal issues and to what extent.

Stable and successful international contacts: It is significant how a law firm has reacted to increasing globalisation, whether the lawyers regularly develop and nurture client relations to foreign companies, financial investors and partner firms.

Team work: Firms which form synergies to the benefit of their clients are usually more highly regarded than firms whose practice fields have no connection to one another.

Consistent quality: Some firms give the impression that they have a consistently high standard of quality in all areas of activity and consequently enjoy a good reputation among clients and colleagues.

The number of practitioners considered to be outstanding in a given practice field or specialisation.

Quality of service: There are noticeable differences in the speed, friendliness, reliability and organisation with which patent work is handled in the market.

Strategic forward planning: To what extent a firm instigates and influences trends in the legal market with regard to its future plans.

Firm culture: This relates to the (also external) stance, through which the lawyers of a firm are united and convey the firm’s philosophy and concept as a whole. This includes a balanced age structure as well as a promotion system and opportunities for lawyers to establish themselves with clients. This is the only way a firm can acquire and retain the best lawyers.

For each firm in the ranking table, one or two offices are listed which focus on that particular field. However, that does not mean to imply that the field is not covered at other offices.

 

Analysis

Each text evaluating a patent law firm consists of a combination of the following sections:

  • The comment discusses the reputation of a firm and its practice. Typical features of the practice and sometimes also current developments are also described here.
  • The strengths in a practice area/regional office are highlighted.
  • The development potential section discusses the potential of a particular field, for example, or points out gaps or challenges in the practice.
  • The recommended section lists those lawyers that come highly recommended in a particular field or region by clients, competitors and other market participants.
  • The description of the specialties relates to the activities of a firm during the previous year and its ongoing work in a particular field/regional office.
  • The team section details how many lawyers are at least 50% active in patent law. Unfortunately, we have not managed to obtain statistics for every firm.
  • Under partner moves we list any significant lateral moves to or from that particular firm over the past year.
  • The section European strategy discusses the firm’s setup, approach and preparation with regard to the Unified Patent Court and its jurisdictions.
  • Each evaluation also contains a section on clients. The JUVE Patent editors asks firms to provide specific references (with the clients’ permission) either by name or description. Where no references are provided it states “no client details given”. In most cases the information does not come from the law firms themselves but is public knowledge (e.g. through daily newspapers, public court cases, the internet or was disclosed by the client).