Big law and the strategic importance of trademark work

Some international law firms now view trademark work as having strategic importance. We consider why, and the implications for those who compete against them.


Trademarks have long been considered a steady specialism within law firms. Registration volumes generally follow trends in economic growth, and the registry processes and matters for obtaining, maintaining and defending IP rights have changed little over time. So not where the action is.

So why do some now consider trademark work to be of strategic importance to their firm?


The number and size of law firms is increasing, and so is competition to be on panels and to see RFPs. This is putting downward pricing pressure on some types of routine work, such as IP portfolio management and maintenance of rights. But rather than making trademark work less attractive, some firms see trademarks as an area of growing importance for winning new work and differentiating their service offerings.

Client acquisition and retention

Switching costs for corporates to move their trademark mandate from one law firm to another are high relative to other corporate work. So once the portfolio is with a law firm, it’s theirs to lose and they are on the panel for RFPs for other corporate work. So a law firm with a strong position in trademarks sees more RFPs.

Show me the…..innovation!

Secondly, trademarks and IP are specialisms where firms can demonstrate innovation, through how they engage with clients, structure services and bill for these. And the client experience has long been ripe for improvement, with shared work spaces, clients being able to view the status of matters and portfolios, and run their own reports. So they can enjoy a more responsive service, and visibility on their matters and the status of their IP rights.

Which is why leading firms are placing an increased focus on the software they use. And moving on from the old clunky docketing databases that have been the workhorse for several decades, to innovative, streamlined, user friendly platforms like LawPanel.

For an unparalleled client and firm experience with tools for all parts of the IP lifecycle. As well as being future proof, cloud native, API first and super-secure.


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