Legal departments (or corporations) accounted for about seven percent of recent Patent Bar registrants
PatentBuddy.com maintains a database of employment statistics for registrants to the U.S. Patent Bar. For the six-month period ending March 30, 2008, the company identified about 1,000 new patent agent/attorney registrations. Among those, 69 (6.8%) were “affiliated with corporations.” For the following quarter, the 525 new registrants included 8.8 percent affiliated with corporations. The next two months, 5.8 percent of the Patent Bar registrants indicated they were affiliated with corporations.
My take-away from this data, provided by The Lawyers Competitive Edge, Vol. 11, March 2009 at 11, is that corporations house something on the order of 6-9 percent of patent lawyers, since the Patent Bar new registrants match that range (See my post of Aug. 14, 2006: assumes about 90,000 inside lawyers in the US.).