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Average number of IP holdings per company and their similarity, from a recent survey

Ninety-three of the responses to last year’s State of the IP Industry Survey, conducted by CPA Global, were from companies. Of that group, 63 percent were heads of IP or senior managers within the department, while the remainder were general counsel (9%) or “IP support (27%).” Much more important, however, is the distribution of intellectual property they reported. The percentages may not match how in-house lawyers allocate their time, but the numbers convey some aspect of that.

“The average number of IP holdings, including applications, per company that took part is: 12,644 patents, 13,564 designs, 13, 564 trademarks and 12,822 domain names.”

From this fascinating set of benchmark data a clear pattern emerges: an average of very similar numbers of these four important sources of intellectual property value (See my post of Sept. 22, 2005: patents, I thought, were primus inter pares.). I am especially awed by the average number of domain names (See my post of Sept. 27, 2005 #2: tracking domain names should not be a responsibility of the legal department.). Apparently companies buy domain names in many variations for each of their primary trademarks.