A recent study published by university scholars in The Journal of Industrial Economics1 confirmed how important it is to work with highly qualified professionals to obtain a patent. Indeed, the results of the study confirmed that a higher-quality patent attorney firm can significantly raise the probability of a patent grant.

For their study, the authors considered 106,453 patent applications filed in at least three of five main patent offices, that is, the European Patent Office (EPO), Japanese Patent Office (JPO), Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), National Intellectual Property Administration of China (CNIPA, formerly SIPO) and United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The results reveal that attorneys have a significant effect at all offices on the probability of granting of the patent. The effect is even more pronounced at the USPTO where attorney quality is more important than invention quality in the likelihood of obtaining a patent.

The impact of attorney quality on the probability of patent grant was found to be statistically significant in the fields of Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Software, Chemical/Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology. No effect was seen in the Electrical and Instrument fields.

These results are not surprising to us considering that new inventions are generally complex and that the patenting process is a highly technical matter. For instance, the authors point out that the current manual of patent examining procedure is 4135 pages long in the United States, and 969 pages long in Europe.

In conclusion, as reported by the authors, the study clearly shows that "the choice of patent attorney firm has a strong effect on the probability of grant"2 . Furthermore, the study mentions that the benefits of high-quality patent attorneys are likely to extend well beyond grant since "high-quality attorneys are also more likely to write solid patent claims that will stand up if tested in a court of law"3. In a nutshell, for their own benefit, patent applicants should make sure to entrust their inventions only to qualified patent professionals from reputable firms.


1. Gaétan De Rassenfosse, Paul H. Jensen, T'mir Julius, Alfons Palangkaraya, and Elizabeth Webster: "Is the patent system an even playing field? The effect of patent attorney firms", The Journal of Industrial Economics, Vol. LXXI, March 2023, No. 1, p. 124-142.

2. Ibid, page 137

3. Ibid, page 137

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