IAM Patent 1000 – The World’s Leading Patent Professionals recommends those it considers to be the leaders in the field: only those delivering top-quality patent services make the cut. However, even among this elite group, in many markets it is possible to discern a degree of stratification.

While all firms and individuals included in the guide have made the winners’ podium, some are considered to have an edge over their competitors in terms of reputation. We have thus devised bandings to reflect this diversity at the top end of the market.

For litigation, where appropriate, recommendations in the IAM Patent 1000 are presented in gold, silver and bronze bands. The bands reflect the reputations of teams and professionals relative to their peers in the field, according to the research:

Gold – firms and individuals in the gold band are those that attract the most positive comments from sources. We have identified them as the crème de la crème; their success hinges on reputations established over lengthy periods of time, something which enables them to secure the most high-profile, big-ticket instructions from the most demanding of clients.

Silver – these eminent practices and individuals also attract extensive feedback and are renowned for their top-end work. However, the consensus from commentators is that for whatever reason – less specialised, newer to the marketplace, smaller client base and so on – their reputations and their visibility in the patent sphere do not quite match those at the apex.

Bronze – like their gold and silver peers, those designated bronze are highly praised by sources and are among the most competitive in the field. However, while those included in the bronze band are uniformly strong, their profiles are typically somewhat lower for patent work than those of their competitors in the gold and silver bands.

For prosecution and transactions, the amount of peer interaction – and therefore commentary – is limited. In these areas of practice, firms and individuals are listed alphabetically, not organised by bands. In instances where certain individuals or firms attracted significantly greater positive feedback, they have been listed as "highly recommended", to distinguish them from their "recommended" peers.

We have also included "luminaries" – individuals who have scaled back the extent of their day-to-day work, yet remain important figures in the marketplace.

Within the chapters themselves, firm editorial appears in alphabetical order due to the number of tables in many jurisdictions.

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Issue 82