Press release | 2012-04-03 08:17:59

inovia Announces the Findings of its Annual U.S. Global Patent and IP Trends Survey

Report Shows Significant Increase in IP Outsourcing as U.S. Patent Owners Look to Keep Costs Down, Maximize Portfolio Value and Adjust to America Invents Act

inovia, the leading foreign filing platform provider, today announced the release of its annual report, “The 2012 U.S. Global Patent & IP Trends Indicator,” the industry’s most in-depth look at how the economy has impacted global IP strategy for 2011 and its influence on foreign filing plans for 2012 and beyond. Now in its third year, the Indicator has become a definitive resource for identifying the trends having the greatest impact on the foreign filing strategies of U.S. patentees.

Throughout the month of January, inovia surveyed 150 companies and universities both quantitatively through an online survey and qualitatively with follow-up interviews among a select cross section of respondents. Organizations spanned industries and ranged from small enterprises filing a single patent family to multinational organizations filing more than 100 patent families in 2011. All survey participants are involved in the IP strategy and patent filing activity of their organization, with job functions ranging from patent manager, to general counsel and up to executive leadership positions.

The mood for 2011 was cautiously optimistic compared to previous years, with fewer organizations experiencing budget reductions and a greater percentage of IP tasks going in-house or being outsourced in order to reduce costs and retain control. Compared to 2011 findings, there was a 300 percent increase (4 percent in 2010 vs. 16 percent in 2011) in organizations outsourcing foreign patent filing in the 2012 study, demonstrating that U.S. patent holders are being more strategic about their approach to foreign filing with an eye for keeping IP costs low.

While budget reductions was the main takeaway from previous Indicator reports, this year saw less than half of those surveyed working on a reduced IP budget going into 2012, compared to nearly two-thirds of respondents in last year’s survey. However, the bulk of respondents don’t expect to increase the number of patent families filed in 2012, indicating the persistence of a “do-more-with-less” attitude as the economy slowly recovers.

U.S. patent reform and the passing of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act made headlines in 2011. The changes brought by U.S. patent reform, mostly the move from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file system, were overwhelmingly cited by respondents as the most important topic for the IP industry in 2011. Patent reform will be the driving trend in 2012 as in-house legal departments and universities in particular struggle to adjust to the cultural shift required from first-to-file, which goes against the peer-review nature of the higher education and research community.

Other key findings from the Indicator include:

“The cautious optimism first identified in the 2011 Indicator is back this year, with U.S. patent owners taking a prudent, yet strategic, approach to foreign filing with a huge jump in outsourcing as a means to keep IP rates low, reduce overall costs and maintain control,” said inovia founder and Australian patent attorney Justin Simpson. “While cost containment during harsh economic times was the driving motivator in the past, this year’s results saw less budget cuts, more optimism and a desire to gain the necessary knowledge to best handle patent reform brought by the America Invents Act.”

Click here to download a copy of inovia’s 2012 U.S. Global Patent & IP Trends Indicator.

About inovia

inovia is the global leader in foreign patent filing, having served more than 1,500 clients. Its global instruction platform,, simplifies the PCT national stage entry, direct (Paris Convention) filing and European validation processes. inovia, a member of the RWS Group, has headquarters in New York, offices in London, Munich and Sydney, and agents covering over 130 countries, providing support in all major time zones and IP jurisdictions. inovia's patented technology pioneered online foreign filing and is recognized among WIPO's most notable inventions. For more information visit and follow the company on Twitter @inoviaIP.


Elizabeth Curtin

Marketing Coordinator

+1 (646) 237 3864