When measuring the overall success and efficiency of a law firm’s patent prosecution practice, there are several metrics available, including overall allowance rate, time to disposition, and average number of office actions. Allowance rate is one of the most common metrics, but allowance rate merely tells us how many applications received NOAs, and nothing of the quality of those applications. Besides merely getting an application allowed, clients are also concerned about the quality and scope of their claims. One way to determine this is by measuring how well a law firm preserves claims through prosecution. Below is a ranking of the top 10 firms that lose the fewest dependent claims in prosecution among IP Today’s top patent firms for 2015. All firms have at least 100 disposed applications. We measured claim preservation by determining a law firm’s average number of dependent claims per application at publication and comparing this to the firm’s average number of claims per application at allowance.

The following list is composed of firms that registered no change or a decline in number of claims and is ranked based on percent change between publication and allowance.

1. Millen, White, Zelano & Branigan, PC (-0.17%)

MWZB is a small firm focusing on IP, corporate, transactional, and entertainment law and is located in Arlington, Virginia. Its average number of dependent claims at publication is 16.72 and the average number at allowance is 16.69. MWZB’s main areas of expertise are the chemical, chemical engineering, and biotechnology fields, and its clients are primarily U.S. and foreign corporations.

2. Wolfe SBMC (-0.92%)

Wolfe SBMC is an IP boutique with offices in Spokane, Cincinnati, and Boise. Its average number of dependent claims at publication is 19.56 and the average number at allowance is 19.38. A forward-thinking firm, Wolfe is woman-owned and has demonstrated a commitment to environmental protection by going paperless. Wolfe’s partners and senior attorneys draft most of the firm’s applications and interview the USPTO on almost every office action, ostensibly explaining the firm’s high claim preservation rate.

3. Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, PC (-1.95%)

Wolf Greenfield is a midsize IP boutique located in Boston. Its average number of dependent claims at publication is 20.39 and the average number at allowance is 19.99. Founded in 1927, the firm has demonstrated a strong commitment to diversity in the IP field, including hosting the GLAD Annual Spirit of Justice Awards Dinner annually and serving as a judge for the National Black Law Students Association Thurgood Marshall Mock Trial Competition.

4. Christopher P. Maiorana, PC (-2.19%)

Christopher P. Maiorana, PC is an IP boutique located in the Detroit metro area, with a large portion of its work focusing on computer and semiconductor patent applications. Its average number of dependent claims at publication is 17.63 and the average number at allowance is 17.25. Despite its small size of only 3 attorneys, the firm has successfully obtained over 1,500 patents for its clients, placing it in the top 15% of firms for patents issued per attorney. Christopher P. Maiorana, PC also has the distinction of placing in the top 10 firms that lose the fewest independent claims, at number six.

5. Beyer Law Group, LLP (-3.42%)

BLG is an IP boutique with offices in Palo Alto and Minneapolis. Its average number of dependent claims at publication is 17.65 and the average number at allowance is 17.05. With its location in Silicon Valley, BLG has established relationships with some of the largest high technology companies in the world, with representative clients including Apple, Samsung, Pandora, and Sandisk.

6. Hamilton, Desanctis & Cha, LLP (-3.88%)

Hamilton, Desanctis & Cha is an IP boutique located in the Denver metro area. Its average number of dependent claims at publication is 19.30 and the average number at allowance is 18.55. The firm practices all aspects of IP law, with a focus on patent prosecution, licensing, and opinion work.

7. Davis & Bujold, PLLC (-4.48%)

Davis & Bujold is an IP boutique located in Concord, New Hampshire. Its average number of dependent claims at publication is 13.40 and the average number at allowance is 12.80. The firm represents clients in a wide variety of technologies, including 3D printing, computer software and hardware, machine vision, and wind power.

8. Walker & Jocke (-4.53%)

Walker & Jocke is an IP boutique located in the Cleveland metro area. Its average number of dependent claims at publication is 19.67 and the average number at allowance is 18.78. Two of the firm’s most notable matters are patents covering the seals that connect the modules on the International Space Station and the design patent for the solid rocket booster joints currently in use on the Space Shuttle.

9. Edwards Neils, PLLC (-5.29%)

Edwards Neils is an IP boutique located in Northern Virginia and provides a full range of IP services. Its average number of dependent claims at publication is 10.95 and the average number at allowance is 1037. Despite its small size, Edwards Neils draws clients from all over the world, including Japan, South Korea, and China.

10. Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, PLLC (-5.72%)

Sterne Kessler is a large IP boutique offering a full range of IP services, and is located in Washington, DC. Its average number of dependent claims at publication is 19.39 and the average number at allowance is 18.28. Sterne Kessler has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to public service, including establishing a first-of-its kind Intellectual Property and Human Rights Pro Bono Practice, which endeavors to protect and enforce IP rights as an element of economic, social, and cultural rights.

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