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A comprehensive survey of almost 400 IP professionals across IP law firms and corporate IP departments has revealed the pressures IP law firms are under. They need to grow profitably and, at the same time, are subject to client requests to reduce costs and increase strategic advice.

Challenges facing IP law firms

Conducted in collaboration with Managing IP and leading market research company B2B International, our survey ‘Strategies for success: how can IP law firms improve?’ offers a clear insight into the challenges IP professionals face in a fast-paced, ever-evolving IP-led economy.

The survey findings reveal the dynamics of the IP law firm market today, as well as offering law firms insights that will assist in creating strong client relationships and profitable growth for the future.

When asked what IP law firms perceive as their greatest challenge over the next three years, the top answers related to cost and profitability:

  • 59% of respondents indicated pressure to reduce prices
  • 44% of respondents identified maintaining or improving practice profitability
  • Increased competition among law firms

New opportunities

The three most referenced challenges for corporate IP departments were:

  •  51% of respondents indicated pressure to reduce costs
  • 40% of respondents cited aligning IP with business strategy
  • 37% selecting the right IP to protect and maintain

When asked what they would expect from a great law firm, the corporate IP departments identified realistic advice, commercial understanding and strategic thinking as the top items on their list.

The message is clear. Law firms need to demonstrate significant relevant IP experience to win business from corporate IP departments.

Transformative law firms: A winning future

Successful IP law firms of the future will need to be more aligned to the challenges facing corporates, and deliver the services that will help them succeed.

Law firms will need to be less focused on individual patent and trademark filings and renewals, and more focussed on the strategic value of an IP portfolio to a corporate client.

By delivering more efficient day-to-day processes, law firms can ensure they are closely aligned to the needs and demands of the corporate IP department, yet still have the time and resources to ensure their own growth and profitability.

For a copy of the full results of the survey visit Managing IP Magazine