The intellectual property management company Lecorpio recently carried out its second annual “Trade Mark Management Study” where it asked corporate company chief executives about changes to their trade mark budgets (including both money and staff) and trade mark portfolio size over the past year.  73% of respondents said their portfolios had remained the same size while 27% said their portfolio had increased.  The results of the study found the following:

Money available this year compared to past year for

a) Registering trade marks

  • 82% of respondents said their budgets had remained the same
  • 18% said their budgets had increased

b) Trade mark policing

  • 64% said their budgets remained the same
  • 36% said their increased


  1. c) Trade mark watching and clearance
  • 90% of respondents’ budgets were the same
  • 10% budgets had increased

e) Trade mark prosecution

  • 18% said budgets had increased

Staff available this year compared to past year

  • 63% reported no change in the size of the internal team managing trade marks
  • 18% experienced cuts
  • 19% said they relied less on outside counsel for trade mark-related work
  • 9% increased outsourced work

The survey results suggest that although budgets are generally holding at stable levels they are also under increased scrutiny with executives under pressure to get a better return on investment.  Where there have been budget increases there is some evidence to suggest that these increases are not keeping pace with increases in portfolio size.  The tends for in-house vs outsourced work are interesting as for many work is being brought back in-house to save money while at other firms work is being outsourced where that is the more cost effective solution, particular for complex work.