Below you will find answers to common questions concerning our research and publication. If you still have questions after reviewing all this information please contact research@managingip.com

Firm research form submission

Q1: Is IP STARS survey the same thing as Managing IP World IP Survey?
A: Yes. An annual survey of IP firms and practitioners worldwide is part of our research process.

Q2: I am a sole practitioner; can I participate in your research?
A: Yes. Our research is open to all IP practitioners. We understand that our research forms appear to suit larger firms but sole practitioners and small IP boutiques are encouraged to submit information to us, however little, because each year we review what we publish with a view to expand our coverage of IP practitioners who provide high quality advice to clients.

Please note that each year we are keen to find sole practitioners who we can recognise as IP stars.

Q3: Where do firms submit their work highlights or case studies for your research?

A: We currently use SurveyMonkey to host our research questionnaires and officially accept submissions. Please see IP STARS research form and guidelines.

Please make sure that all your research forms are correct before you submit them.

Q4: Do you have a Word document version of your questionnaires that we can use to prepare our answers before submitting through SurveyMonkey?

A: Yes. See IP STARS research forms and guidelines. Please make sure that all your research forms are correct before you submit them.

Q5: When are your submission deadlines?

A: See here. Please make sure that all your research forms are correct before you submit them.

Q6: Can we submit after the deadline?

A: It is not in your firm's best interests to do so as your submission may not be considered. Our researchers work towards strict internal deadlines and will proceed to do interviews, and compile firm rankings, awards shortlists and the IP stars lists using information available on the relevant deadline.

Submissions after the deadline may only be used for the firm's editorial, if ranked.

Q7: Are you happy to receive the most recent client work highlights that we've already submitted to other legal directories?

A: Yes, provided you use our firm questionnaire as explained below.

We are happy for you to complete our firm questionnaire in full or as much as you can and when it comes to the case study sections you can add the other IP case studies that you recently submitted to another legal directory this year.

If you do this, please pay attention to the following:

  • use the case study sections in our firm questionnaire for all other IP case studies that you did not send to the other legal directories;

  • be mindful of the date of each case study as we require work done in the last 12 months; and

  • make sure that the text fields of the case study sections from the other legal directory are the same or equivalent to the text fields found in our own firm questionnaire, if not add the missing text fields.

It is important to always bear in mind that, in a number of ways, we are different from other legal directories. Specificity is important to us. It is imperative to use our official documents each year. It is in your firm's best interests to do so: it makes our decision-making and research easier because we can pick out the specific information we need to assess your firm for each of the rankings and awards we have.Nevertheless, we want to help make annual participation easier by being flexible.

Q8: From which month should our client case studies or work highlights start?
A: From November. This is because we primarily consider client 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 these should be case studies that you have not previously submitted to us, 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 the country 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 relevant state (for the state rankings).

Firms that do also submit at state level typically select states in which they have strong IP teams instead of submitting for all states where they have offices.

Q11: I see the main areas of IP you cover are patent, trade mark and copyright. Would you consider other areas?

A: Yes. Our questionnaire may cover other practice areas that we do not currently rank. Moreover, the work we consider for each ranking is broader than the name suggests. For example, you can include supplementary protection certificate case studies under the patent section because our patent ranking covers this work. Please read the information on our methodology page.

Q12: 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 firm 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 work done.

Q13: What is your key piece of advice on the information we should provide in our firm questionnaire?
A: 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 would be ranked under the contentious category.

Our evaluation process considers where a firm's IP practice is today and its outlook. Therefore, where applicable, it is also advisable to tell us what your IP practice may look like in the medium to long term. We will respect any confidential information.

Lastly, please make sure that all your research forms are correct and complete before you submit them. We cannot always guarantee that subsequent changes or amendments to what you first submitted will be considered or implemented.

Q14: 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 provide written authorisation from the firm. Please note that we will still retain a contact from the firm and may ask for authorisation each year.

Firm rankings and awards

Q1: Does feedback from highly-rated firms have more weight or influence on your ranking decision?

A: Not at all. Feedback from all firms is equally weighted.

Q2: Does the size of a firm's IP team matter in terms of your rankings?

A: This is just one of the factors we consider for the rankings. Team expertise, experience and client care are among the factors we evaluate. Please learn more on our methodology page.

Q3: Do you have a limit on the number of firms you can ranked, especially in Tiers 1 and 2?

A: No. We research and review the rankings each year so our rankings are subject to change. Any firm can be downgraded, upgraded or even lose its ranking.

Q4: Are filing and registration numbers influential for the prosecution rankings? And if so, how should it be provided?

A: Filing and registration numbers 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 substantive IP office work (e.g. oppositions and cancellations) and, of course, market feedback and our independent research suggesting a top tier ranking.

Nonetheless, we encourage firms to provide us with the latest, verifiable statistics on filing and registration work in national and/or regional IP office. This should be included in the section of our questionnaire where you are asked to provide general information on your firm’s IP practice. Alternatively, you can submit the statistics separately.

Q5: I have been listed as an IP star but my firm is not ranked. Why is this?

A: It depends on the information we have on your firm. There are other stars whose firms are not ranked. IP STARS is not a directory of all firms that provide IP services and therefore some firms that participate in our research have not been ranked. Please see our methodology page.

Q6: We are not happy with our firm's ranking. What should we do?

A: Please send an email to research@managingip.com including detailed reasons why you think your firm's ranking is unreasonable.

We normally provide firms with feedback at the end of the research and publication cycle, i.e. July/August. This ensures you get holistic feedback on your ranking, awards and list of IP stars.

Q7: We handle contentious IP matters but you have not ranked us under any of your contentious categories. Why?

A: The decision to rank a firm under any category is based on our methodology, and the ranking does 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, 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 it has suitably qualified practitioners for IP disputes.

Q8: Since our firm is the leading filer in the country, should we not be in Tier 1 for prosecution work?

A: See the answer to Q4 under 'Firm rankings and awards' above. Our prosecution category covers both contentious and non-contentious work in the IP office. Filing and registration statistics are relevant and useful, but, where applicable, please also provide us with case studies on office proceedings (such as oppositions and cancellations), portfolio management and protection strategy advice. See our methodology page for more information.

Q9: We are in the top tier but have not been shortlisted for an award. Why is that?

A: The Managing IP awards programme is not influenced by IP STARS rankings. A top tier 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. Please see our methodology page for more information.

Q10: Do we have to make a separate firm entry or submission for the Managing IP awards?

A: No. All information obtained during the research will be used to decide the awards. This is why it is very important to use your questionnaire to explain why your firm's work deserves recognition at the awards. Please read our methodology page and research forms and guidelines page to learn more.

Q11: We participated in the research but haven't been ranked at all. Why is that?

A: Participating in the research, i.e. submitting your research forms and interviewed by us, does not guarantee listing. Please see our methodology page. It is likely that we have not received enough information from other sources, especially your competitors and clients, to warrant listing your firm.

We understand it can be frustrating not be ranked having made the effort, but please do continue to participate each year so you can build up a strong profile with IP STARS. Researchers review the listing each year and will make any appropriate changes.

Please also note that listing in other legal directories does not mean you will be ranked in IP STARS.

Q12: Are there countries that you do not cover in your research/publication?

A: Our goal each year is to cover as many countries as practicably and reasonably possible, but this will be dictated by available research information.

Q13: Are the firms or individuals you rank regulated by a professional body?

A: We ask firms and individuals to confirm whether or not they are regulated or licensed by a legal services professional standards body. The information we publish is based on available research information, and it is intended to serve an additional guide when you are researching a firm or individual to instruct to advise on an IP matter.

Managing IP does not endorse or approve any particular firm or practitioner listed, nor will we have any liability in connection with the use of any listed firm or practitioner. 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 handbook.

You must seek professional legal or financial advice and/or independently check the professional credentials of any firm or individual listed on this website.

Individual practitioner survey and listings

Q1: Who do you select as IP stars?

A: Only highly recommended practitioners. IP stars are normally practitioners in private practice that are at partner level or equivalent whereas Corporate IP stars are typically senior in-house IP counsel.

We do also recognise other practitioners in private practice, including junior practitioners, who play a very important role in sustaining a firm's reputation.

Q2: I participated in the Practitioner Survey but haven't been listed. Why is that?

A: The IP stars list is based on market recommendations and our independent research. Completing the practitioner questionnaire does not mean that you will be selected as an IP star. Additionally, having been listed as an IP star in a past edition does not guarantee that you will be listed in the next edition.

Please also note that listing in other directories does not mean you will be listed in IP STARS. See our methodology page for more.

Q3: Would you consider my colleagues if I nominate them as IP stars?

A: No. Please nominate peers outside your firm or company.

Q4: What do you do with the practice information I provide in the Practitioner Survey?

A: We use it during our vetting process and may publish some of the practice data in the handbook and/or online - if selected as an IP star.

Because not all practice area information will be published, IP stars are entitled to publish whatever practice information they want the public to see on our website (see sample here).

Q5: Is there a separate questionnaire for the Top 250 Women in IP?
A: No. We select the Top 250 Women in IP from our global list of IP stars for the year. We ask practitioners to nominate peers who should be recognised in our general list of IP stars as well as the Top 250 Women in IP publication.

Q6: Is it possible for an individual to lose his or her IP star ranking?
A: Yes. We conduct our research each year and regularly review the list. All listings are subject to change based on research findings.

Q7: Can you explain your individual IP star rankings?

The first thing to note is that we use the information provided by the stars and/or our own research data to decide which ranking to assign to a star. We publish three handbooks each year: a US edition, in which you will find all the IP stars based in the US; the Patent Handbook, in which you will find all the patent stars outside the US, and the Trade Mark/Copyright Handbook, which covers all non-US based soft IP stars, especially trade mark practitioners.

Where appropriate, some individuals will appear in both books. The stars are also tagged accordingly online, i.e. 'Patent Star' (Patent book stars) and 'Trade Mark Star' (Trade mark book stars). Those are the two main individual rankings we have, but in certain jurisdictions we also have 'Copyright Star' and 'Transactions Star' rankings. Currently, we do not have any other individual ranking category and, therefore, online we will use the most appropriate available ranking and practice areas to showcase where they have been recommended.

Please also note that all our firm rankings and IP stars lists are subject to change each year.

Firm interviews

Q1: Is it mandatory to submit a firm questionnaire before an interview can be scheduled with our firm?
A: No. This is because 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 and is the interview mandatory?
A: Typically between September and January. See our research timeline here. Please do feel free to contact us requesting 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: Partners or equivalent senior practitioners. Other practitioners who know the market are welcome to join the interview. We are particularly interested in interviewees who can tell us about other firms, their IP expertise and key practitioners.

Please note that not getting an interview with a researcher will not influence our decisions on your firm. However, not submitting a firm questionnaire and client referees document may influence our decision when considering your firm for the rankings, IP stars list and Managing IP awards.

Q4: How many interviewees should we put forward?

A: Our policy is to interview at least two practitioners together during the call or meeting. Ideally, please put forward two to four practitioners that are knowledgeable about the IP community in your country and able to provide feedback on our rankings. A researcher may allow more interviewees.

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.

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, IP stars lists including the Top 250 Women in IP.

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 talk about themselves, including significant developments or case studies, and clarify any information in their submissions.

The researcher may not have any questions about your firm or its submission so the interview may well just be about other firms. Please note that the researcher reserves the right to end the interview if the interviewees are unwilling to provide the required feedback.

Q7: How do your researchers handle negative feedback about firms?

A: Our researchers are trained by experienced journalists on how to handle interviews and comments received. The researchers are expected to validate all information received, be it negative or positive. This may include speaking to the firm concerned to allow them a right of reply.

More importantly, 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, prioritising those that submitted their research forms. The researcher’s aim is to interview firms from across the tiers so as to get a balanced perspective on the market.

Client referees

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.

When deciding your referees, please take note of two important tips: (a) ensure 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: We have submitted more than one firm questionnaire. Can we send you one client referees spreadsheet to cover all our firm questionnaires?
A: US-based firms can send us one spreadsheet with all the client referees to cover all the states for which they have submitted. This means that we would expect more client referees than usual.

Firms based outside the USA that have submitted for more than one country should submit one client referees spreadsheet per country.

Q3: Our clients told us they haven't been approached for feedback. The emails sent to them are treated as spam by their email systems. How do you deal with this?

A: Please tell your clients to add the email address of the researcher for your jurisdiction (and our general email address research@managingip.com) to their safe senders list. Also inform them to expect an email from us during the client survey/interview period.

Please also take note of these two important tips: (a) ensure 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.

Q4: Do the client referees we provide have to be the clients mentioned in our case studies?

A: No, but please note that the feedback of the clients listed in your case studies section will be more influential.

You can rest assured that we will not publish the names listed in your client referees document.

Q5: How long after our firm survey submission will our clients be contacted?

A: After the firm and client referees submission deadline. But note that we may contact your clients soon after you have provided us with your client referees document.

Q6: Who do you prefer to receive client feedback from as referees?

A: Only those involved in the work or to whom you are answerable. We prefer in-house counsel, and the size of the individual's company does not matter. In-house referees can also be senior business executives.

Individuals in private practice who referred the IP work to you are also acceptable referees. Private practice referees must be senior qualified lawyers or attorneys, especially partners. Individuals such as secretaries and paralegals are not acceptable.

Please also take note of these two important tips: (a) ensure 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.

Q7: We are concerned that our clients will be overwhelmed by calls from legal directories. Do you have any suggestions on how to mitigate this?

A: We understand this and will try to reduce the inconvenience to your clients through our process. We recommend that you avoid submitting the same client referees to two or more legal directories in the same year.

Q8: Can you tell us which of our client referees you will be contacting and when?

A: We will contact all acceptable client referees during our client survey/interview period.


Q1: Do you publish client names and work description listed under the case studies section?

A: Yes, we may publish this. If you would like us not to publish this then please write 'Confidential' before the client's name or work description. Anything not marked accordingly may be published without notice.

Q2: Do you publish the names in the client referees document?

A: No. We only use this document to obtain feedback. However, if the client name is also mentioned in the case studies section and not marked confidential then we may publish it.

Q3: How do you treat the comments received during your research including interviews?

A: All feedback, positive or negative, will be treated with caution and attempts will be made to validate them. We never reveal the source of the information to anyone.

Any comments published are non-attributable.

Q4: How do you treat other information in your firm questionnaire?

A: Although we may use our judgement and decide not publish certain information, we strongly advise that you write 'Confidential' next to any sentence or information you wish to flag up as not for publication.

Other questions

Q1: Can you make changes to your listings or any other information about firms and individuals?
A: The firm rankings, IP stars lists and editorials published for the year's edition are final. However, we can correct or update any information on our website. This will be treated on a case by case basis. Please send your request to research@managingip.com

Normally, our rankings do not change until we publish the next edition. However, we reserve the right to remove a ranked firm or individual from our website where subsequent verifiable information suggests the firm or individual should no longer be recognised by us. The two occasions where we are likely to do this are where a firm ceases to exist (or death or retirement of an individual) and where there has been serious professional misconduct.

Q2: Do firms and individuals have pay to participate in the research and/or to be ranked?
A: No. There is no relationship between engaging with Managing IP commercially or editorially and ranking in IP STARS. Firms are ranked on merit and in accordance with our methodology.

Q3: Can an IP star or ranked firm publish its own practice area information or an advert in your publication and on their page on your website?
A: Yes. See a sample of a firm's online practice area profile here and an IP star's profile here. But you can publish whatever practice area information you like on your page. Please contact our business development team for details.

Q4: We have been ranked but there is no analysis or editorial on our firm. Why is that?
A: We prioritise ranked firms (especially Tiers 1 and 2) with good quality case studies and notable market reviews. However, the decision to write about any firm is at the discretion of the researcher.

Q5: Are we allowed to use extracts from your editorial and your logos in our marketing collateral?

A: Yes. When you do please attribute as follows: ‘Managing Intellectual Property IP STARS [year of publication]’.

For the latest free logos please contact the business development team or research@managingip.com

Q6: I would like to see how my firm and/or others have performed in your rankings over the years. Do you have this information?

A: Yes. This information and more can be made available to firms that advertise in IP STARS. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Q7: We write and publish a lot of articles on IP. Can we write articles for publication on your website or can you help us share our articles?

A: We publish informative and practical articles on our website and they are widely shared via our newsletter and Managing IP's social media channels, i.e. Twitter (over 25k followers, combined) and LinkedIn (over 10k 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 Kingsley Egbuonu (kingsley.egbuonu@managingip.com)

Articles on recent developments (such as 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 in question.

Before we can publish, you will also have to agree that the article will not be republished or have not already been published on any other platform. You can publish a summary of the article including a weblink to the full article on our 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).

Q8: Can we submit information or conduct your interview in another language?

A: We are an English publication and therefore accept submissions and conduct interviews in English language. However, we may accommodate a request for interview in another language. For interview requests in another language, please note that we currently have a Spanish speaker in our Americas research team and Korean and Mandarin speakers in our Asia team.

Q9: Who should I contact if I have more questions?

A: Please send your questions to research@managingip.com