Survey from CPA Global and Managing IP highlights the changing relationship between IP law firms, in-house IP and their technology providers

LONDON, 4 JUNE 2019: Despite strong loyalties from corporate clients, pressure is growing for IP law firms to step up their game when it comes to responsiveness, sophistication and the use of technology, according to new research published by IP technology leader CPA Global and Managing Intellectual Property.

The new report – Speaking a Common Language – sheds new light on the global IP ecosystem, noting that corporate clients are generally reluctant to switch law firms, showing high levels of loyalty to existing advisers. More specifically, the vast majority (86%) of in-house respondents said that changing their law firm was between “somewhat” and “very” unlikely.
When it comes to choosing an external IP law firm, the two most important factors are “practice area knowledge” (18%) and “responsiveness” (11%), according to the report. Once the choice has been made, clients say that their biggest challenge to managing external law firms is “ensuring they understand our IP strategy” (24%), along with “billing within budget” (19%) and “communication” (15%).

However, one of the implications of such high levels of client loyalty is that IP law firms targeting significant growth in the future will need to focus on attracting new and emerging clients, given that existing relationships appear unlikely to be displaced. In that context, survey respondents report that networking and communication are now more important than ever.
The research also notes the importance of law firms embracing technology to help drive efficiency, enhance reporting, and enable closer integration of systems and databases. In fact, many firms do not appear to be using IP management software as strategically or efficiently as they could be, with a remarkable 59% of law firm respondents (and 32% of in-house respondents) say they use multiple IP search service providers, while just 18% (and 35% of in-house) have one main search provider.

Anthony Brennand, Director of Innovation at CPA Global, comments:
“It’s clear that there is a great deal of loyalty between clients and their legal advisors in the IP industry, which is no doubt reassuring for law firms seeking to maintain and enhance their client relationships.

However, the research puts into stark relief the fact that clients have increasingly sophisticated needs and expectations, to which law firms and other service providers must respond and adapt. Enhancing efficiency is, of course, one critical factor driving decision-making for clients and law firms alike, an outcome which will benefit greatly from better and more strategic utilisation of technology.”

The report, commissioned by CPA Global and conducted by Managing IP and Thought Leadership Consulting, is drawn from survey responses from more than 1,000 patent and trademark practitioners, including 603 in-house counsel and 434 IP law firm respondents from 80 countries.


Notes to Editors:

About CPA Global
CPA Global is the world’s leading IP management and technology company, trusted by many of the world’s respected corporations and law firms. Delivered by an outstanding global team of 2500 people, our integrated offering sets the standard for reliability and secure, verified IP data. For our customers, we minimise risk and deliver actionable IP intelligence for better decision making. Put simply, we take the hassle out of IP management, liberating our customers to focus on what they do best. For more information, please visit www.cpaglobal.com.

About Managing IP
Managing IP is the leading source of analysis on all IP developments worldwide. We cover cases, legislation, trends, strategies and other issues, explaining why they have practical relevance for lawyers. Our approach focusses strongly on analysis from in-house counsel so that we can track the IP strategies of corporate lawyers. In addition, we publish high-value content from exclusive industry surveys, produce leading global events and provide informative webinars. To find out more, visit www.managingip.com.


Michael Golding
VP, Global Industry & Investor Relations
CPA Global
+44 7949 293492

Tal Donahue / Etienne Bataille, Infinite Global (UK)
+44 20 7269 1430

Nicole Tackley, Infinite Global (US)
+1 646 893 3086