Inovia recently surveyed over 150 US companies to assess the impact of the economic downturn on their global IP strategy and their outlook for 2010. The company issued a follow-up report that summarizes the results and trends identified in the received responses. The respondents for the survey are alleged to represent a broad range of industries and sizes with most being small to medium-sized enterprises.
Overall, the report confirms that most in-house patent departments were hit significantly during 2009. Over 60% of respondents indicated that their IP budgets were cut in the last 12-18 months: 38% indicated that the budgets were hit by cuts exceeding 30%; 29% indicated that budgets were cut between 16-30%, and 33% indicated that budgets were cut between 5-15%.
Also, when asked "will you allow more granted patents to lapse in 2010 than you have in recent years?", the respondents answered
Yes - 23%
No - 52%
Not Sure - 25%
When asked if the lapses were directly related to budget cuts, 69% answered "yes".
72% of the respondents indicated that they brought more work in house in the last 12-18 months; surprisingly, U.S. prosecution, foreign filing and foreign prosecution were some of the least mentioned work taken in-house. For 2010, 51% responded that no further work would be pulled in-house.
The cost-saving measure most cited for 2009 was to reduce the number of foreign countries entered. Specifically, between 2008 and 2010 there was an overall decrease in the average number of countries entered - from 6.6 countries in 2008 to 6.3 countries planned for 2010.
To obtain a copy of the survey, click here (link)