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


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?

A: See IP STARS research deadlines.

Q4: Can we submit after the deadline?

A: It is not in your firm's best interests to submit late as 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 client work highlights that we submitted to other legal directories?

A: Yes, provided you use our firm questionnaire as explained below. 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 IP case studies that you recently submitted to another legal directory this year. If you do this, please note:

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

  • 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 firm questionnaire, if not add the missing text fields; and

  • write each case study in the relevant or most appropriate section.

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 makes decision-making and research easier for our research analysts.

Q8: From which month should our case studies or work highlights start?
A: From November. This is because we primarily consider 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 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 patent, trade mark and copyright, do you consider other areas of IP?

A: Yes. Please also note that the work we consider for each ranking is broader than the name suggests. For example, you can include supplementary protection certificate (SPC) case studies under the patent section because our patent ranking takes account of SPC work. 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: What is your key piece of advice concerning 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 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.

Lastly, 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.

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 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.


Q1: Does feedback from ranked firms or individuals have more weight or influence on your ranking decision?

A: No.

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 listed 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 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. Please send an email to research@managingip.com including detailed reasons why you think your firm's ranking is unreasonable or why your firm should be ranked.

Subject to availability, we normally give feedback in July/August. This ensures you get holistic feedback on everything we published in that year.

Q8: We dealt with contentious IP matters but 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.

Q9: 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.

Q10: 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.

Q11: 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.


Q1: Who do you select as Stars?

A: We select individuals based on market recommendations 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: I participated in the practitioner survey but haven't been listed. Why?

A: Participation in our research does not guarantee listing. Please also note that listing in a previous edition does not guarantee that you will be listed in the next edition and recognition in other directories does not mean that you will be listed in IP STARS.

Q3: If I nominate my colleagues as stars, would you consider them?

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

Q4: 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).

Q5: Is there a separate questionnaire for the Top 250 Women in IP list?
A: No. We select the individuals from our general IP stars list for the year. You can send your nominations through email or by completing the Practitioner Survey.

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 each year based on research findings.

Q7: What are your individual IP star rankings?
Our standard ranking categories for the IP stars list are patent star, trade mark star, copyright star, design star and transactions star.


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 it 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.


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 do you prefer as client referees?

A: Only those involved in the work or the individuals to whom you were answerable. 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, most notably partners. Certain individuals at junior level roles such as secretaries and paralegals are not acceptable.

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. It is possible that the emails were treated as spam by their email system. What is your advice?

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.

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.


Q1: 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.

Q2: Do firms and individuals have pay to participate in the research and/or to be ranked or to win an award?
A: No. Furthermore, commercial dealings with Managing IP do not influence our research results. Firms and individuals are recognised on merit.

Q3: 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.

Q4: Our firm is ranked but why is there no editorial?
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.

Q5: 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]’. For the latest 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 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.

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 distribute our articles?

A: 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 26k followers, combined) and LinkedIn (over 11k 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 at kingsley.egbuonu@managingip.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).

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.

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

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