The 2020s – The Decade of Boutique Law-Firms! ARE THEY READY TO HANDLE THE INEVITABLE?

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  • The 2020s – The Decade of Boutique Law-Firms! ARE THEY READY TO HANDLE THE INEVITABLE?

The 2010s – The decade of ten-millionth US patent! The decade of “Alice Corporation vs CLS Bank!” The decade of excessive patent filings than ever before!

Over the last ten years, the number of utility patent application filings per year in the US has increased by 33%. The number was approximately 600,000 in 2019 as compared to approximately 450,000 in 2009.

The above trend showcases a steep graph over the decade. However, to the contrary, there has been just a meager increase of 2% in the head-count of lawyers in the full-service law firms in the US.

The above alludes towards the fact that the IP-industry over the years has shifted from the full-service law firms to the boutique ones, or as it is known as the specialized law firms.

With the patent filing trends indicating towards a continuous increase in the number of filings, which according to simple mathematics might reach up to 800,000 per year by the end of the 2020s, the billion-dollar question arises that are the boutique firms scaled-up, or even scalable, enough to handle the upcoming storm?

Down the line, would a boutique firm be in a position to handle all the patent prosecution in-house with the present stiff cost-competition around?

So how can a boutique law firm cater to the above?

A viable solution?

Techno-Legal vendors out there!

Yes, you read it right!

However, this statement might give rise to multiple first reactions like below

Can prosecution be outsourced?

Can the same high quality be achieved?


However, it may include criticalities and the utmost attention to detail.

But with the rapidly changing world, changing the way you outsource is the need of the hour.

Further, it is no longer merely about whom to outsource; instead, it is more about how to outsource patent prosecution.

The last decade of technology has already changed the ways of life.

Then why should the way of outsourcing be left behind?

The times have changed and tech has now made it possible to step up from the conventional email-based input-output outsourcing to the next level virtual collaboration.

The answer to all the questions about outsourcing patent prosecution lies exactly here, which would be best understood by the case study.

Case Study:

A client of ours, a single-attorney boutique law-firm, had been making good revenues for a couple of years by handling patent prosecution in-house single-handedly for a few start-ups.

The client had the bandwidth for handling 14-16 office actions a month working full stretch.

The work was manageable until he bagged a contract with a big corporation for handling its patent portfolio.

Now, the biggest hurdle was the bandwidth!

If he spends 10 hours on average on a single Office Action then in no way could he handle all of the work in-house, leave alone at the same price.

Here is where we came to the rescue!

The tech part of the Office Action was outsourced to us, TT Consultants a techno-legal firm.

How did we help?

We analyzed the technology part which included an in-depth analysis of prior art and rejections.

Multiple strategies using amendments or arguments or both were formulated to overcome the rejections followed by a detailed discussion about the findings with the client.

During the discussion, the multiple strategies were discussed, suggestions and inputs were taken from the client and a final strategy was mutually agreed upon. Based on the mutually agreed strategy, response to the Office Action was drafted by us.

The client spent another half an hour or so for reviewing and filing the draft response.

With this workflow, the time spent on an office action by the client reduced to just 2 hours which consisted of one-on-one discussion and the final review.

Consequently, this increased his total bandwidth for handling office actions from 14-16 office actions per month to around a hundred office actions per month!

Such an arrangement proved to be highly effective, courtesy to the advanced tech which makes virtual interaction just as reliable and coherent as a face-to-face one.


Over time, both the client and we became coherent in working styles as a result of which the work quality has been improving ever since.

The time spent by the client on each office action reduced to under two hours.

This hence is a live example that effective outsourcing is indeed possible and boutique law firms will have to eventually adapt to the new ways of outsourcing failing which the chances of a wipeout can increase exponentially.

Right outsourcing and collaboration can increase your productivity largely and can empower you to take on more projects head-on.

And for this, we can be your backbone!

We can help you avert the inevitable demand storm.

Collaborate with us for your Office Action responses!

Email us:

Author Name :

Nitish Singla

About TTC

TT Consultants is a leading partner in intellectual property (IP) management. Our worldwide service range comprises both legal and portfolio services, as well as strategic IP consulting and cutting-edge software solutions for effective IP management.
The TT Consultants offers a range of efficient, high quality solutions for your intellectual property management ranging from Patentability Search, Invalidation Search, FTO (Freedom to Operate), Patent Portfolio Management, Patent Monetization, Evidence of Use, Claim Chart Mapping, and much more. We provide both law firms and corporations in many industries with turnkey solutions.

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