Official submissions for the IP STARS rankings and Managing IP Awards programme are made online through our firm submissions portal. Each year, we open the portal on September 1.
FIRM RESEARCH FORM SUBMISSION
Q1: How/where do firms submit their work highlights or case studies for your research?
A: We accept submissions via our online submission portal. Please make sure that you are using the current official research forms.
Q2: Do you have a Word document version of your forms?
A: Yes. See IP STARS research forms and guidelines.
Q3: When are your submission deadlines? Also, can you offer an extension?
A: See IP STARS research deadlines. Any deadline that falls on a Saturday or Sunday is automatically extended to Monday.
We can consider requests for extension of time, especially if there are extenuating circumstances.
Q4: Can we submit after the deadline?
A: It is not in your firm's best interests to submit late (that is if the submissions portal is still open) because your submission may not be considered.
Our researchers work towards strict internal deadlines and will proceed to compile their firm rankings, awards shortlists and the IP stars lists using information available before or on the relevant deadline day. Submissions after the deadline might be used for the firm's editorial, if ranked.
Q5: Can a sole practitioner participate in the research?
A: Yes. Our research is open to all law firms and IP practitioners. We feature recommended firms, regardless of size, and individuals who work for firms or on their own.
Q6: Is IP STARS survey the same thing as the Managing IP World IP Survey?
A: Yes. An annual survey of firms and practitioners worldwide is part of our research process. Our surveys are no longer titled ‘World IP Survey’.
Q7: Are you happy to receive the most recent form that we submitted to another legal directory?
A: This is not our preference and we advise against doing this. Always bear in mind that we are different, in many ways, from other legal directories so it is important to use our official research documents for the year. Using our documents means we can quickly process your forms and extract the information we need, making decision-making and research easier.
However, if you have very strong reasons for submitting another directory's form, please make sure that it matches our own form. If you do this, here are some guidelines:
Q8: From which month should our case studies or work highlights start?
A: We normally expect case studies or work done within nine to 12 months preceding the start of our research for the next edition, i.e. September each year.
The most important thing to note is that you aim to submit case studies that you have not previously submitted, unless there have been new developments or work done in that matter.
Q9: We have offices in Australia, UK and Germany and wish to be ranked in all three countries. Should we complete three separate questionnaires, i.e. one for each country?
A: Yes. Please ensure that the case studies in each questionnaire are work handled or at least led by practitioners based in that country.
Q10: We have IP teams based in offices in a number of states in the US. How should we approach our firm questionnaire?
A: First, please note that we have state rankings and national practice rankings. You can either submit one questionnaire to showcase your team/work across different offices or make separate national and state submissions, i.e. one to cover your national IP practice (for the national rankings) and the other to cover each state (for the relevant state rankings).
Firms that also submit by state typically select the states in which they have strong IP teams instead of submitting for all states where they have offices.
Q11: Apart from the areas stated in the firm questionnaire, can you consider other areas of IP work?
A: Yes. Please also note that the work we consider for each ranking is broader than the name suggests. For example, you can include patent term extension case studies such as supplementary protection certificate (SPC) work under the patent section because our patent ranking takes account of this type of work.
Alternatively, you can copy one of the case study sections and use it to provide information on a practice area not listed in our form.
Please read the information on our methodology page and in the firm questionnaire.
Q12: For contentious work, should we still provide a case study even if our client lost the case in court or the IP office?
A: Yes. It does not matter if your client lost or won the dispute. Losing a case does not affect your firm’s ratings score. We are particularly interested in learning how active your firm is, the quality of its services, and the level and breadth of the work you do.
Q13: Do we need to include ranked practitioners in our firm questionnaire in order to maintain their ranking?
A: It is up to firms to decide which case studies they would like to provide and the practitioners they would like to nominate for ranking. Please provide information that is true and accurate.
Q14: What is your key piece of advice concerning the information we should provide in our firm questionnaire?
A: First, please ensure you provide information you believe is true and accurate; be transparent.
Focus on your firm's core strengths or business. For example, if you are a firm of patent and trade mark attorneys then focus on providing IP office-related case studies, i.e. pre-and post- grant work. You can of course tell us about your disputes work, if you like, but that does not guarantee that your firm will be ranked for contentious work, which typically features law firms.
Our evaluation process considers where a firm's IP practice is today and its future plans. Therefore, where applicable, it is advisable to also tell us what your IP practice may look like in the medium to long term; for example, it may be about new hires or practice area. We will respect any confidential information.
Please make sure that all your research forms are correct and complete before you submit them. We cannot always guarantee that subsequent changes will be considered or implemented.
Q15: We are a PR/marketing agency that assists firms with directory submissions. Do you need authorisation from the firms we represent?
A: Yes. We will ask you to tell us who you represent, and we need written authorisation from the firm’s IP partner(s) or marketing contact. Please note that we will still maintain a contact with the firm and may ask for written authorisation each year.
Q16: Can you send us a copy of our submission for a previous edition?
A: No. We cannot do this because of our confidentiality/data protection rules. Firms complete and upload their documents and therefore we reasonably believe that they have kept a copy of their submission for future reference.
Q17: Which email address should we add to our safe senders list and how can we ensure we receive your research emails?
A: We send most of our research emails through our official email address, firstname.lastname@example.org. To ensure you receive our announcements, please make sure that you have not blocked our official email address and/or opted out of/unsubscribed from receiving emails from Managing IP or IP STARS.
From time to time research analysts send research-related emails from their corporate email address so please also make sure that they are not blocked.
Please also note that our email system has blocked some email addresses due to GDPR rules. To ensure you do not miss something, please check our website regularly for news and updates.
FIRM RANKINGS AND THE MANAGING IP AWARDS
Q1: Does feedback from ranked firms or individuals have more weight or influence on your ranking decision?
Q2: Does the size of a firm's IP team matter?
A: Not necessarily. Size is just one of the attributes we assess for the rankings. Team expertise, experience and client care are among the factors we evaluate. Visit our methodology page to learn more.
Q3: Do you have a limit on the number of firms you can ranked, especially in Tiers 1 and 2?
A: No. We review all the rankings each year so our rankings are subject to change. Any firm can be downgraded, upgraded, added or removed from our rankings.
Q4: Are filing and registration statistics influential for the prosecution rankings?
A: Filing and registration statistics are useful but only form part of a wider criteria for the prosecution category. Being the leading filer in your country does not guarantee a top tier ranking without evidence of other registration-related work, including IP Office proceedings and protection strategy advice, and of course positive market feedback.
We encourage firms to provide us with the latest, verifiable statistics on their registration work in the national and/or regional IP Office. This should be included in the section of our questionnaire where you are asked to provide general information about your firm’s IP practice. Alternatively, you can submit the statistics separately.
Q5: I have been ranked as an IP Star but why is my firm not ranked?
A: IP STARS publication features both firms and individuals. IP STARS is not a directory of all firms and practitioners that provide IP services and therefore there are firms and individuals, including those that participated in our research, that have not been ranked.
Q6: We participated in the research but have not been ranked at all, why?
A: Participating in the research, especially submitting your research forms, does not guarantee listing.
We understand that it can be frustrating not be ranked after making the effort to submit, but please do continue to participate each year so you can build up a strong profile with IP STARS. We review the listings each year, with a view to make appropriate changes. Please also remember that your submission is also considered for the IP Stars list and the Managing IP awards.
Please also note that listing in other legal directories does not mean you will be ranked in IP STARS.
Q7: Can you give feedback to an unranked firm or a ranked firm that is not happy with its ranking?
A: Yes, but this is subject to availability. Please also note that we research thousands of practitioners and firms and due to limited time/resources we’re unable to provide specific feedback to all of them.
Please send an email to email@example.com including detailed reasons why you think your firm's ranking is unreasonable or why your firm should be ranked.
Q8: Do you inform firms and individuals that participated in the research that they have not been ranked?
A: Unfortunately, due to time and other constraints, we cannot inform all the firms and individuals that we’ve not ranked. We don’t rank all firms and individuals that provide IP services, and submission doesn’t guarantee ranking.
Q9: Why have you not ranked our firm/practitioner (or ranked our firm higher) like other directories?
A: Managing IP started publishing its IP firm directory in 1994. We do not rank firms or individuals simply because other directories have ranked them.
Our rankings are based on all the information we have and our own assessment and opinion concerning that information. The rankings are subject to change each year so it is important to participate in our research each year by making a submission. We monitor/track firms and individuals over a period of time.
Q10: We deal with contentious IP matters, why have you not ranked our firm for any of your contentious categories?
A: The decision to rank a firm in any category is based on our methodology. Our ranking tables do not suggest that the service or expertise of the firm is limited to that practice area. We rank firms where we reasonably believe, based on available research information, that they have the strongest capabilities or expertise.
For example, a UK patent and trade mark attorney firm may not be ranked for any of our contentious rankings even if we are aware that it has suitably qualified practitioners for IP disputes.
Q11: You have featured our firm on your website without any ranking; should we treat this as a ranking or recognition by IP STARS?
A: No. Only the firms that appear in our ranking table (i.e. Tiers 1 to Other Notable Firms or Highly Recommended and Recommended) can claim to be ranked by Managing Intellectual Property IP STARS in the year in question.
As a general rule, we can add any firm or individual to our website without a ranking; normally we do this for research purposes (especially if they have made a submission), but it may also be that the firm voluntarily published a paid profile on our website.
Please do not treat a mere listing on website, with or without a profile, as ranking or recognition.
Q12: Why have you not shortlisted us for an award despite the fact that we are ranked in the top tier?
A: The Managing IP awards programme is not influenced by the IP STARS rankings. A top tier ranking or any ranking does not mean that the firm will be shortlisted for an award or win if shortlisted. In fact, a firm does not need to be ranked at all to be considered for the Managing IP awards.
Q13: Can firms be removed from the rankings if they do not submit work data this year?
A: It depends on the firm and whether we have other research information to justify the firm's ranking. Our research team obtain information about firms and their practitioners from a range of sources. Interviews, publicly available data and research data from previous editions also help us produce our rankings each year.
Q14: Do we have to make a separate firm submission for the Managing IP awards?
A: All information, including the firm questionnaire, obtained during the research for the year’s edition will be used to decide the awards for that year. This is why it is very important to use your questionnaire to explain why your firm's work deserves recognition at the awards. Where appropriate, we may ask selected firms to provide specific information before we can confirm the final shortlists.
Q15: Are there countries that you do not cover in your research/publication?
A: Each year our goal is to cover as many countries as practicably and reasonably possible, but this will be dictated by available research information.
INDIVIDUAL PRACTITIONER SURVEY AND RANKINGS
Q1: Who do you select as Stars and where do you get the information for your decision?
A: Individuals are selected and ranked based on the information we obtained from firm submissions, surveys, interviews, and our own independent research. We have three categories: IP Stars (practitioners in private practice that are at partner level or equivalent); Corporate IP Stars (in-house IP counsel); and Rising Stars (practitioners in private practice below partner level or equivalent).
Q2: We participated in your research but haven't been ranked, why?
A: Participation in our research (e.g. submitting your firm's questionnaire or completing the Practitioner Survey) does not guarantee ranking. We can, of course, rank individuals who did not complete the Practitioner Survey, though we strongly advise practitioners to complete the survey each year because it is part of our vetting process. Please also note that ranking in a previous edition does not guarantee that you will be ranked in the next edition. Needless to day, recognition in other directories does not mean that you will be ranked in IP STARS.
Q3: I am mentioned in your editorial/review this year but not ranked as an IP Star, why?
A: IP STARS is not a directory of all firms and individuals who provide IP services. There are hundreds of individuals and firms that have not been ranked as IP Stars, including those that participated in our research. The editorial highlights the pertinent information about the firm, including the notable senior and junior IP practitioners.
The fact that an individual is mentioned in our editorial does not guarantee or mean he or she will be ranked as an IP Star.
Q4: If I nominate my colleagues as Stars, would you consider them?
A: No. Please nominate peers outside your firm or company.
Q5: What would you do with the practice information I provide in the Practitioner Survey?
A: We use it during our research. If selected as an IP Star, we may publish some of the practice information in the handbook and/or online. Since we do not publish all the practice area information, we allow IP Stars to publish their own practice information in the handbook and/or on our website (see sample here). Any individual or firm (ranked or unranked) can publish a profile in our handbook or on this website.
Q6: Is there a survey to complete for the Top 250 Women in IP and Corporate IP Stars lists?
A: No. We compile both lists using the data from all the sources mentioned above. You can send your nominations through email or by completing the Practitioner Survey.
Q7: Is it possible for an individual to lose his or her ranking?
A: Yes. For example, a ranked practitioner will be removed from our website if we get credible evidence that he or she has been disbarred or penalised by their professional regulator. We conduct our research each year and regularly review our rankings. All rankings are subject to change each year based on the information we have.
Q8: What are your individual IP Star rankings?
A: Our standard ranking categories for the IP Stars list are patent star, trade mark star, copyright star, design star and transactions star. We also have the Rising Stars list. Read about our individual rankings on the methodology page.
Q9: What do you mean by 'Notable practitioner'?
A: The 'Notable practitioner' tag is a new recognition (introduced in October 2020) for noteworthy practitioners, especially partners and former partners who are not currently ranked as IP Stars. These individuals can be added at any time in the year based on research information. Read about our individual rankings on the methodology page.
Q10: Why do you tag individuals as ‘Unranked’?
A: The 'Unranked' tag helps our readers differentiate between those that are currently ranked or recognised and those that are not. Anyone can now be added to our website with this tag; for example, firms with profiles can add unranked individuals to their pages.
In the majority of cases, individuals with this tag were added or kept for research purposes, i.e. it helps us monitor or research them for ranking or recognition in the future.
The 'Unranked' tag is not a recognition or ranking and therefore individuals with this tag should not hold themselves out as currently recognised or ranked by us.
Q1: Is it mandatory to submit a firm questionnaire before an interview can be scheduled with our firm?
A: No. The main purpose of the interview is to get market feedback or views on other firms and practitioners.
Q2: When do you contact firms for interview? Is the interview mandatory?
A: Between September and January. Please do feel free to contact us for an interview.
The interviews are neither compulsory nor guaranteed. The most important thing is to submit your research forms each year.
Q3: Who in our firm would you like to interview?
A: IP partners or equivalent senior IP practitioners. Other practitioners who know the market are welcome to join the interview. We are interested in interviewees who can tell us about other firms.
Please note that our decisions on your firm will not be affected if you do not get an interview with us. However, failure to submit your research forms may influence our decision when considering your firm for the rankings, IP stars list and the Managing IP awards.
Q4: How many interviewees should we put forward?
A: We prefer to interview at least two practitioners together during the call or meeting. A researcher may allow for more interviewees. The most important thing is to put forward individuals that are knowledgeable about the IP community in your country and are able to provide feedback on our rankings.
Q5: How many interviews will you do with our firm?
A: In order to obtain views from as many firms as possible, our policy is to offer one interview per firm. In exceptional circumstances the researcher may conduct two interviews with a firm in the same research cycle.
Q6: What is the purpose of the firm interview?
A: The main purpose of the firm interview is to obtain your firm's feedback on our current firm rankings, Managing IP awards, and, time permitting, the IP stars lists.
It is not an interview to discuss your firm's submission (if you have already submitted) or IP practice. During the interview, firms will of course be given the opportunity to briefly talk about themselves, particularly to highlight or clarify significant recent developments or case studies.
The researcher may not have any questions about your firm or its submission so often the interview is just about other firms. Please note that the researcher reserves the right to end the interview if the interviewees are unwilling to provide reasonable market feedback.
Q7: How do your researchers handle negative feedback about firms?
A: Our researchers are trained on dealing with interviews and validating information received. Comments or feedback from interviews are strictly non-attributable. See 'Confidentiality' below.
Q8: Do you interview all IP firms, whether ranked or not?
A: Researchers interview as many firms as possible but may prioritise firms that we did not interview during the research for the previous edition. Interviews are booked on a first come, first served basis. The researcher’s aim is to interview firms from across the tiers so as to get a balanced perspective on the market.
Q8: Can we submit information or conduct the interview in another language?
A: We accept submissions and conduct interviews in English. However, a researcher may accommodate a request for an interview in another language if he or she is fluent in that language. Please ask the researcher for your country.
Q1: How many client referees should we provide per firm questionnaire?
A: You can provide as many client referees per firm questionnaire as you want but try to be selective. Most firms submit fewer than 25 referees.
Here are two important tips about referees: (a) ensure that the referees you provide are happy and willing to provide us with feedback, and (b) avoid submitting the same client referees to two or more legal directories in the same year.
Q2: Who would you like us to put forward as our client referees?
A: We need your key contacts in the company (in-house/direct client) or law firm (private practice/referral firm) that gave you the work. Sole traders or entrepreneurs are also welcome.
We need the referee's company email address, if available.
Ineligible referees: We do not accept certain professionals such as secretaries/personal assistants, judges and IP Office employees.
Q3: We have submitted more than one firm questionnaire covering different countries. Can we send you one client referees spreadsheet to cover all our firm questionnaires?
A: No, we require one client referees spreadsheet or submission per country for which you have submitted.
Q4: Our clients told us that they haven't been contacted, but it is possible that the emails were treated as spam by their email system. What is your advice on this?
A: Please tell your clients to add the email address of the researcher for your jurisdiction and our general email address firstname.lastname@example.org to their safe senders list.
Q5: Is it compulsory for client referees to be individuals from companies mentioned as clients in our firm questionnaire?
A: No, but feedback from the clients listed in your case studies section will be regarded as more influential. You can rest assured that we will not publish the names listed in your client referees document.
Q6: How long after our firm questionnaire submission will our clients be contacted?
A: We contact eligible referees after the submission deadline. They should expect our emails between November and March.
Q7: We are concerned that our clients will be overwhelmed by calls and emails from legal directories. Do you have any suggestions on how to mitigate this?
A: We understand this and will try to reduce any inconvenience to your referees. We recommend that you avoid submitting the same client referees to two or more legal directories in the same year and obtain their consent before you pass on their details to us.
Q1: Do you publish client names and work description listed in the case studies section?
A: We may publish this. Please write 'Confidential' before a client name or work description that you do not want to be made public. Anything not marked accordingly may be published without notice.
Q2: Do you publish the names in the client referees document/section?
A: No. However, if a client name in your referees document/section is also mentioned in your firm questionnaire and not marked confidential then we may publish it.
Q3: How do you treat the comments or feedback received during your research including interviews?
A: All feedback, positive or negative, will be treated with caution and we will endeavour to validate it. We never reveal the source.
OTHER QUESTIONS INCLUDING ADVERTISING AND THE CONTENT ON THIS WEBSITE
Q1: We write and publish a lot of articles on IP. Can we write articles for publication on your website or can you help us distribute our articles?
A: Any firm or individual, whether ranked or not, can write for us. We welcome informative and practical articles on our websites (managingip.com and ipstars.com) and these are shared via our newsletter and social media channels, i.e. Twitter (over 27,000 followers combined, IP STARS and Managing IP) and LinkedIn (over 11,000 readers).
If your firm is interested in writing for us, please share the article idea with us so that we can discuss and agree before you start writing. Send your article ideas or questions to the editor, Kingsley Egbuonu (email@example.com).
Articles on recent developments, including change in IP law or practice, or articles that analyse IP-related data and trends (such as statistics on IP filings and disputes) are particularly welcome. The author(s) of the article must be suitably qualified in the subject area.
Before we can accept to publish your article, you will also have to agree that the article will not be republished elsewhere until six weeks after our publication. You can publish a summary of the article including a web link to the full article published on our website. We do not accept articles that have been published elsewhere, including on the firm’s website.
Ranked firms with profiles are also allowed to share their articles and firm announcements such as job vacancies on our LinkedIn group page (moderation/conditions may apply).
Q2: Can an unranked firm or IP practitioner advertise in your print publications or online?
A: Yes. An unranked firm or IP practitioner can advertise in Managing IP magazine, IP STARS Handbooks or on this website provided they do not say or claim that they are ranked by us. For more information, please contact our advertising/business development team (see contacts here).
Q3: Can you make changes to your rankings or any other information you have published?
A: It depends. The firm rankings and IP stars lists published for the year's edition are final and cannot be changed until the next edition. However, we can update the names on our website.
Please note that we reserve the right to remove a firm or individual from our website if subsequent verifiable information suggests that the firm or individual should no longer be ranked by us; for example, we can remove an individual or a firm due to serious professional misconduct.
Q4: Do firms and individuals have pay to participate in the research and/or to be ranked or to win an award?
A: No. For the avoidance of doubt, commercial dealings with Managing IP (for example, paying for a subscription or advertisement) do not and will not influence our research results. Firms and individuals are recognised only on merit.
Q5: Can an IP star or ranked firm publish its own practice area information in your print publication and/or on your website?
A: Yes. Ranked firms and individuals can publish their own practice area information. See a sample of a firm's IP practice area profile here and an IP star's profile here. Please contact our business development team for details.
Q6: Our firm is ranked but why is there no editorial/review?
A: We prioritise ranked firms, especially firms in Tiers 1 and 2, with good quality case studies and notable market feedback. However, the decision to write about any firm is at the discretion of the researcher.
Q7: Where did you get the information in the firm's editorial/review?
A: We use the information obtained during the core research period, i.e. between September and January, for the firm editorial/review. This includes information submitted by firms, i.e. firm questionnaire, and other information we obtain through our own independent research.
Q8: How up to date are the firm editorials/reviews and when were they published?
A: The firm editorial is based on information obtained during the core research period, i.e. between September and January, and therefore it is possible that certain information may well be outdated. However, our aim is to update the editorial if we are made aware of developments, e.g. a practitioner leaving a firm. We encourage firms to contact us about subsequent developments that should be reflected in the editorial.
Please note that we publish some of the editorials in print (handbooks) and thereafter upload all of them to this website. The editorials are written a few months before we publish the handbooks (around January/February). The Trade Mark/Copyright Handbook is published in May while the Patent Handbook is published in July.
Q9: How can I be added or removed from your research mailing list and what is your policy on this?
A: Any contact in a firm can be added to our mailing list. To be added to or removed from our research mailing list, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also subscribe to our newsletter and research mailing list here.
Please be aware that we have a duty to inform all ranked firms and individuals about our research and ranking results. We send this email via our general research email address, email@example.com.
We may decide to remove a ranked firm or individual from our publication if we are unable to contact the firm or individual about our research and research/ranking results.
Ranked firms and individuals can of course opt out of receiving emails from our marketing/business development teams but should note that unsubscribing using the link in their email may automatically remove them from our research mailing list too.
Q10: Are we allowed to use extracts from IP STARS editorial and IP STARS logos in our marketing collateral?
A: Yes. When you do please attribute as follows: ‘Managing Intellectual Property IP STARS [year of publication]’ or 'IP STARS [year of publication]'. For the latest logos please contact the business development team or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Q11: I would like to see how my firm and/or others have performed in IP STARS rankings over the years. Do you have this information?
A: Yes. This information can be made available to firms. Please contact us to discuss your requirements. Firms that do not have profiles may be charged for this information.
Q12: Why do you not have one date for publishing all your research results and content?
A: Unfortunately, like other legal directories, we have limited resources and time to do all the things firms would like us to do and how they would like us to do them.
Our research covers more than seven IP practice areas and over 70 jurisdictions, the largest in the legal publishing industry.
Our researchers work very hard to produce the content on this website and at the same time support the Managing IP Awards programme (published on managingip.com).
We break up our research work/content publication because of the size of our research projects and the research process. For example, as part of our research process, we spend time reviewing our research findings before confirming and publishing the rankings.
Each year we provide a timeline for the research results/content publication for the edition in question. Furthermore, when any research content is available, we publish an announcement on our websites and inform firms/individuals via email.
Please make sure you read about our research and content publication timeline (see our News & Features page).
Q13: Who should I contact if I have more questions or feedback?
A: Please send your questions and feedback to email@example.com