We recently completed a round of research showing that, compared to any other attorney in the State of Utah, Nicholas Wells of Wells IP Law, LLC has more than twice as many clients with active United States trademark applications.
Among cities of its size in the United States, the Salt Lake City, Utah metropolitan area contains a surprising number of law firms that focus their practice on intellectual property law, and among these, a large number of highly qualified IP attorneys. But our perception has always been that the majority of these focused their practice more on patent law than on other forms of intellectual property.
To test this idea, specifically in the field of trademarks, where Wells IP Law has been focused, we conducted a research study.
On April 9, 2012, we began with a list of 190 Utah-based attorneys who have (or had in the past) trademark applications on file at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. We conducted searches for each of these attorneys using the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS; see http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/index.jsp). The search string for each attorney was in this format:
firstname[AT] and lastname[at] and live[ld] and `rn =”0”
The output of this search string shows all records that are active (live[ld]), but that are not yet registered (`rn = “0”), and that have an attorney of record that includes both the firstname and the lastname (which corresponded to the first and last name of each of the 190 attorneys in the study).
This yielded a total for all 190 attorneys of approximately 3594 active federal trademark applications.
The total number of applications was sorted by attorney, and examined to count the number of unique trademark owners within each attorney’s list of applications. This count was performed manually. Minor differences were counted as a different client and any doubts were resolved in favor of counting another client for each attorney. For example, ClearOne and ClearOne Communications were counted as two separate clients.
The number of total clients for each attorney was then sorted.
The result showed that as of 9 April 2012, Nicholas Wells was listed as the attorney of record on active United States trademark applications for 138 different clients. The number-two Utah-based attorney was listed as the attorney of record on active United States trademark applications for 46 different clients. The remaining figures for number of client among the top-ten positions in the study were 44, 43, 41, 41, 39, 33, 32, and 28. (Similar research was conducted on March 8, 2012 and showed nearly identical results.)
We want to be clear about a few points:
- There were a few attorneys who had a larger number of active applications than Nicholas Wells. But it was common throughout the study for an attorney to have 5-10 active applications for a single client; one attorney had 150 active applications for a single client. Our purpose in highlighting the number of different clients was to show the the number of individuals and companies that had entrusted their work to each attorney in the study.
- This study does not total the number of active applications by law firm. We felt that it was appropriate to focus on the named attorney of record in this study, however, because attorneys in larger firms normally list their own names on trademark applications completed by associate attorneys or attorneys in non-IP sections of the firm, and because clients typically have a relationship of trust with a particular lawyer rather than with a firm.
- This study does not review trademark applications that an attorney has worked on previously and that have become registered trademarks. Attorneys with many years of practice will obviously have completed a larger number of trademarks in the past. Our intent, once again, was to show the number of clients that have entrusted new trademark work to their Utah-based attorneys. Past success does not count in this study, if current clients are not having new trademarks filed.
- Finally, this study does not seek to identify the location of the clients themselves—only the location of the attorneys (all based in Utah) and the number of clients. An anecdotal review shows that most of the trademark clients of Utah-based attorneys are also located in Utah, but many are not. Furthermore, Wells IP Law, LLC has previously highlighted the fact that it serves clients in many different countries.