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Q: Number of Patents Applied and Number of Patent firms in the U.S.A. ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Number of Patents Applied and Number of Patent firms in the U.S.A.
Category: Reference, Education and News > Consumer Information
Asked by: pat79-ga
List Price: $12.00
Posted: 01 Sep 2004 23:00 PDT
Expires: 01 Oct 2004 23:00 PDT
Question ID: 395900

For a research project, I am looking for the following information.

How many patent applications were submitted to the USPTO, based on
publicly available data/reports? This information may be for the most
recent year reported.

Also, what is the total number of patent firms in the U.S. This answer
should include patent firms with just one patent attorney or patent
agent. Please give me the actual number instead of mere links to
webpages from where I would have to do number crunching.

Please feel free to contact me if you need any clarifications.

Thanks, in advance.
Subject: Re: Number of Patents Applied and Number of Patent firms in the U.S.A.
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 04 Sep 2004 05:49 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Pat79,

In the 2003-2004 timeframe, there were:

*  366,043 patent applications in 2003, and

*  29,714 patent lawyers and agents registered at the US Patent Office

The details of these numbers are provided below.  But before rating
this answer, please let me know if you need any additional
explanation.  Just post a Request for Clarification, and I'll be happy
to assist you further.



You can conduct a search of patent attorneys and agents who have
registered with the US Patent Office at the following site:

If you enter an asterisk (*) in the "Last Name" field, and the click on the 
"Starts with" button, they system will conduct a wildcard search, and
will find all the names in the database.

The result reported from this search says: 


Office of Enrollment and Discipline > Patent Attorney and Agent Search 

You searched for Last Name: * 
  Displaying results 1-20 of 29714 found...


Hence, there are 29,714 names in the above database.

Summary statistics for the operations of the Patent Office can be found here:
U.S. Patent Statistics Chart
Calendar Years 1963 - 2003

According to the data presented here, there were 366,043 patent
applications submitted in 2003, across the various categories
presented in the table.  Of these, the greatest numbers were in two
almost equal-sized categories:

Utility Patent Applications, U.S. Origin  --    188,941  

Utility Patent Applications, Foreign Origin --  153,500  

Again, if you need any additional information, just let me know, and
I'm at your service.



Search strategy: Visited the bookmarked USPTO site and explored it for
relevant information.

Request for Answer Clarification by pat79-ga on 04 Sep 2004 11:25 PDT
Hello Pafalafa-ga:

Thanks for the information. However, this is the exact information the
Pinkfrued gave me a couple of days ago and was removed by your editor
as it did not fully address my question. I had then increased the
price by three dollars to $12. Please note that the second part of my
question deals with the number of Patent FIRMS - not just the total
number of individual patent attorneys or patent agents.

For instance, a patent firm may have 50 patent attorneys working for
the firm and some patent firms might be owned and operated by a single
patent attorney or patent agent. I am looking for the number of patent
firms to find out the market size for a patent search service that
would be priced (at a flat fee) per firm.

Hope this clarifies my question.

Thanks again.

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 04 Sep 2004 15:49 PDT

I hadn't seen the earlier answer posted (and withdrawn), and I wasn't
aware that the information on the number of individual patent
attorneys didn't meet your needs.

To zero in on the number of firms -- rather than the number of
individuals -- I ran a search on "patents" under business listings at
a comprehensive Yellow Pages site at:

The nationwide search shows that there are 17,206 firms listed under
the heading "Attorneys--Patent Law".  Perusing the actual listings, it
seems clear that the listing include patent attorneys as well as
patent agents.  Many of the listings appear to be for one-person
firms, but there are also a good many more traditional group-practice
patent agent firms listed as well.

Hope that meets your needs, but let me know if you're looking for
different type of data.


Request for Answer Clarification by pat79-ga on 04 Sep 2004 19:51 PDT
Hello Again!

Thanks for the clarification. I did go through the listing and while
it does list profiles of law firms in the 17,206 entries, there are a
good number of lawyer's profiles from a single firm that appear as
unique entries. For instance, going alphabetically, Ms. Acker (I'm not
mentioning the first names) and Ms. AdamsDraffen both work for the
same firm but appear as two unique entries that make these 17,206
results. There are several such examples - including more than ten
patent attorneys from a single firm being listed, as distinct entities
in this list. So, I do not think I can take 17,206 as the total number
of patent firms in the U.S. Can you suggest a more definite source?

Thanks, in advance.


Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 05 Sep 2004 08:21 PDT
Hi Pat79,

This is turning out to be tougher than I anticipated...but I guess
that's why you turn to the professionals, eh...?

I found a directory that lists only law firms, rather than individual
lawyers, so we're half way there, I think.

Thing is, though, if a firm has several offices, they all get listed. 
For instance:

Fennemore Craig, P.C.
1891 North Mastick Way, Suite A, Santa Cruz Co., Nogales, Arizona 85621-1081   
Fennemore Craig, P.C.
3003 North Central Avenue, Suite 2600, Maricopa Co., Phoenix, Arizona 85012-2913 

Is this OK?  If I provide a count, it would include Fennemore Craig
more than once, since they appear in the directory more than once.


By the way, if that DOESN'T work for you, please (if you can) let me
know what you are trying to accomplish with this list.  The better I
understand why you need it and how you hope to use it, the better I
can think through the options for getting you what you need.



Request for Answer Clarification by pat79-ga on 05 Sep 2004 09:16 PDT
Hello Again!

Yes, it would be fine to count different locations of the same patent
firm as distinct entities. You are right - I turned to Google answers
only after I realized that it wasn't going to be easy.

As I mentioned earlier, I am looking for the number of patent firms to
find out the market size for a novel patent search product that would
be marketed at a flat fee to each patent firm. Once we get this number
of patent firms, we would also have to do some number crunching to
project potential annual sales/market penetration for the product. So,
our projections would depend a lot on the number that you give us.
Hope this helps.

Thanks again.

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 05 Sep 2004 10:47 PDT
There are 2,990 law firms in the US.  I suggest that your marketing
plan NOT begin in Wyoming, however.

Here's how I arrived at that figure.

I used the Advanced Search function at the Find-A-Lawyer
service (which itself relies on the Martindale-Hubbell directory of
lawyers and law firms), which can be found here:

I selected "Show me a list of:  Firms Only"

and for the "Type of Lawyer" I choose from the pull-down menu:


I also selected "Any lanuage" for the "What language..." question.  

Unfortunately, the database doesn't allow for a nation-wide search, so
I had to do something I once promised myself I would never do -- get
results for each state individually, and them add them up for a
national total.

The results for an individual state look like this:

Your search for Patents, Firms in AK, found 2 listings. 

and for all states, here's the list:

AK	?..	2
AL	?..	14
AR	?..	8
AZ	?..	41
CA	?..	521
CO	?..	68
CT	?..	56
DC	?..	158
DE	?..	26
FL	?..	135
GA	?..	64
HI	?..	4
IA	?..	15
ID	?..	9
IL	?..	126
IN	?..	28
KS	?..	15
KY	?..	26
LA	?..	33
MA	?..	106
MD	?..	27
ME	?..	8
MI	?..	92
MN	?..	45
MO	?..	46
MS	?..	10
MT	?..	7
NC	?..	69
ND	?..	1
NE	?..	9
NH	?..	14
NJ	?..	136
NM	?..	7
NV	?..	18
NY	?..	243
OH	?..	97
OK	?..	19
OR	?..	24
PA	?..	125
PR	?..	6
RI	?..	15
SC	?..	29
SD	?..	1
TN	?..	29
TX	?..	206
UT	?..	32
VA	?..	111
VT	?..	3
WA	?..	54
WI	?..	35
WV	?..	17
WY	?..	0

TOTAL	?..	2990

By the way, I can't resist a comment.  Most product licenses to
professional firms are based on a per-user fee, rather than a flat
fee...a firm of 100 lawyers pays more for the use of a search product,
than a firm of just one or two lawyers.  Of course, you will market
your product as you see fit, but you might want to bear in mind that
your true market is perhaps a number in between the 2,990 patent firms
and the 29,714 patent lawyers out there.

All the best...

pat79-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $2.00
Truly Outstanding Research Work!

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