The role of patent attorney in the filing process
The role of the legal representative in patent filing processes is, so far, under-explored in patent statistics. This chapter addresses the question of the role and the impact of the patent attorney in the filing process. One of the core assumptions is that more experienced attorneys have more in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of the patent system and, thus, are more likely to pursue more elaborate and successful filing strategies. The results show a high concentration of attorneys and filing action in absolute as well as in relative terms in some countries, namely Germany and the UK, and numbers worth mentioning also in other larger applicant countries like France, Italy, Sweden, or the Netherlands. Explanations for this biased distribution in Europe are language advantages in the case of the UK (and also lreland) and geographical proximity to the European Patent Office (EPO), as well as economies of scale in the case of Germany. The experience of the representative has a considerable impact on the outcome. Multivariate analyses suggest that the (financial) resource endowment is a decisive factor in the hiring of patent attorneys. lt was shown that the patents of more experienced representatives were significantly more often withdrawn (but neither refused nor granted with a higher probability), and they were less often opposed than the ones by less experienced attorneys.