Objet trouve benchmarks from a factoid about Unilever’s patent function

The chief patent counsel at Unilever, Matthew Goodwin, directs “one hundred people in seven offices worldwide,” according to InsideCounsel,June 2010 at 44. That is all the piece says about metrics but with a few minutes research what can we build off that single quote?

Unilever’s revenue in 2009 was about $57 billion, so it had roughly two patent staff for every billion dollars of revenue. Unilever had about 163,000 employees, so one patent staff for every 1,630 employees. The company’s patent portfolio (granted and in various stages of prosecution) is on the order of 25,000 patents, which means approximately one patent staff for every 250 records in the portfolio. If we knew a typical ratio of lawyers to non-lawyer patent staff, these rough-hewn benchmarks would double since we could calculate each of them per attorney. The seven locations invite more metrics.

In short, we can generate an array of metrics from a single “datalet” and a bit of online research. Now, to build on that start!

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