Welcome to IP STARS, the leading specialist guide to IP law firms and practitioners worldwide. Managing IP’s legal directory has evolved over the years: the publication started in 1994 but was rebranded in 2013 as IP STARS. The research for IP STARS covers a variety of IP practice areas and more than 70 jurisdictions, making it the most comprehensive and widely respected IP guide in the legal profession.

IP STARS does not rank all firms and individuals offering IP services. There is no cost or fee to pay to participate in our research, but participating in our research does not guarantee ranking.

Click here to learn how to participate and why it is important to do so each year. Below you will find an overview of IP STARS and other important information you need to know.

The research

IP STARS covers contentious and non-contentious IP work. The research is conducted by an experienced team of research analysts in our offices in Hong Kong, London and New York.

Each year our research analysts obtain information from thousands of firms, IP practitioners and their clients through interviews, email and online surveys. Before compiling the rankings, we also conduct independent research, including an analysis of publicly available information (such as court or IP office data) and the existing data we hold on firms.

The aspects assessed for the firm rankings include expertise, workload, market reputation, track record, outcomes achieved for clients, and unique strengths in a given practice area. Judgements about which firms to include in the rankings, and which tier and practice area they should be in, take account of all this information. The data from the IP STARS research is also used for the Managing IP awards.

The research is rigorous and impartial. No firm or individual can pay to be ranked or to win any of our awards. There is no fee to pay to participate in our research.

You can find more information about our process on our methodology page. Guidance and answers to common questions can be found on our FAQ page

The research timeline

  • September 1: We start accepting firm submissions and conducting research including interviews*
  • October 31: Firm questionnaire and client referees submission deadline (see the submission instructions and forms here)
  • February 28: End of research and the start of results publication

*See other dates for our research and results publication here.

The firm rankings

For most jurisdictions, we publish firm rankings for prosecution and contentious work, whereas in smaller jurisdictions we rank firms for their IP practice as a whole. We also publish special national rankings for the United States and cover all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

Firms are ranked alphabetically using the ‘Tier’ ranking system or the ‘Recommended’ ranking system. The number of firms, jurisdictions and practice areas featured is subject to change each year. The total number of firms listed varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

To contextualise the rankings, we also provide editorial commentary on many ranked firms. The editorials highlight pertinent information about the firms, including their key practitioners, available market feedback, and recent developments.

The individual rankings

IP STARS also ranks individuals who are highly regarded by their peers and/or clients or those that are integral to their firm’s success or reputation. There are two distinct rankings for individuals in private practice: IP star and rising star. We also publish two special lists titled Top 250 Women in IP list and Corporate IP Stars list. Read more about the individual rankings on our methodology page.

Publication and distribution

IP STARS is available in print and online. The firm rankings for trade mark and patent work are first published in the Managing IP magazine and thereafter on this website. During the year, we also publish three IP STARS Handbooks, which include all the rankings and our independent editorials on many of the ranked firms. Readers should note that more content are made available online and there are rankings that are not published in print.

IP STARS Handbooks are widely distributed. You can find copies at Managing IP events or any major industry events we attend such as the INTA Annual Meeting. The handbooks are also offered to those who participate in our research.

Using our content

Please only take the market feedback quotes and/or an excerpt from our editorial instead of copying the entire editorial. Please contact us if you need our latest ranking logos or if you would like to discuss article publishing or advertising opportunities.

The rankings and editorials on this website are based on the information available when the research for the edition was conducted. Subsequent developments or information concerning any firm or individual are normally considered during the research for the next edition, but we may remove a firm or individual from our website anytime. We are also happy to consider making appropriate or essential updates, particularly firm name changes.

For the avoidance of doubt, the rankings do not suggest or indicate that the IP expertise or services of the ranked firm or individual are limited to the practice area in question. Managing IP does not endorse or approve any particular firm or practitioner listed. Managing IP will not be liable for any damages or loss whatsoever, direct or indirect, arising from the use of or in connection with any content on this website or in the IP STARS Handbook. You must seek professional legal or financial advice and independently check the professional credentials of any firm or individual listed on this website or in the IP STARS Handbook.

By using this website you accept our terms and conditions. The contents, and arrangement thereof, on this website and in the IP STARS Handbook are protected by intellectual property and other related rights.