Intellectual property, patent litigation still in demand

By Christina Thomas

It’s no surprise intellectual property is near the top of the list for the Robert Denney Associates’ annual report of  “What’s Hot and What’s Not in the Legal Profession.” The practice area has been on the list since at least 2008.

Bob Denney, president of RDA explains in the report that patent applications increased during the last year and a half, since Congress passed the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (AIA). The AIA converted the patent system from a “first to invent” to a “first inventor to file” method in September 2011.

Similarly, patent litigation was also a hot practice area on the list

“There has been substantial increase in the formation of non-practicing entities (NPEs), often referred to as “patent trolls”, which buy portfolios of patents and then bring suits against companies that appear to be infringing on them,” Bob Denney, president of the company, stated in the report.
He said the new AIA means the courts now play the primary role in determining damages.

“The Justice Department has just started examining whether NPEs may be disrupting competition in high-tech markets,” he stated.

Proof that intellectual jobs are hot is in the numbers. Leopard Solutions, a legal recruiting and research company, had 431 intellectual property jobs posted in early January out of 2,200 total jobs. It had an additional 41 intellectual property jobs outside the U.S. Of the 472 total IP jobs, 71 require patent litigation, and there are an additional 38 litigation jobs with a specialty of patent litigation.

The company pulls its jobs from 655 law firm websites and 110 Fortune 500 companies.

To see the complete report for “What’s Hot and What’s Not in the Legal Profession,” go to