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 survey

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

Q2: Where do firms submit their work highlights or case studies for your research?

A: We currently use SurveyMonkey to host our research questionnaires and accept submissions. Please see IP STARS survey links & documents.

Q3: Do you have a PDF or Word version of your questionnaires that we can use to prepare our answers before submitting through SurveyMonkey?

A: Yes. See IP STARS survey links & documents.

Q4: When are your submission deadlines?

A: See here.

Q5: 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.

Q6: Are you happy to receive client work highlights or case studies we've already submitted to other directories?

A: Yes, provided they are within the date range we require.

Q7: From which month should our client case studies or work highlights start?
A: From December or January. This is because for our rankings and awards we consider client case studies or work done within nine to 12 months preceding the start of our research for the year, i.e. September.

The most important thing to note is that these should be case studies that you have not previously submitted to us. However, we can consider previously submitted case studies with new developments.

Q8: We have offices in Australia, UK and Germany and wish to be ranked in all three countries. Should we complete three distinct questionnaires, i.e. one for each country?

A: Yes. Please ensure the case studies in each questionnaire are work handled or at least led by practitioners based in that country.

Q9: We have offices in several states in the US. How should we approach our firm questionnaire?

A: First, please note that we have a separate questionnaire for firms based in the US and national rankings for the US.

The minimum we expect is that you complete one detailed questionnaire to showcase your national IP practice for our national rankings.

It is in your firm's best interest to submit one questionnaire for each state in which you have an IP department. This allows you to demonstrate your firm's strength in that state. However, you will not be penalised for not submitting for each state.

Q10: I see the main areas of IP you cover are patent, trade mark and copyright. Would you consider other areas?

A: Yes. Our questionnaire covers other practice areas not currently covered by our rankings. Furthermore, 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 our methodology page.

Q11: 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 and capabilities. Alternatively, you can send the statistics through email.

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 mean that the firm will be shortlisted for an award or even win it. Please see our methodology page for more information.

Q10: Do we have to make a separate firm entry or submission to be considered for the 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 is exceptional. Please read our methodology page to learn more.

Q11: My firm submitted a questionnaire or information to your researcher. Why are we not ranked at all?

A: Submitting a questionnaire 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.

Individual practitioner survey and listing

Q1: Who do you select as IP stars?

A: Only highly-recommended practitioners. For those in private practice you will notice they are normally partners or equivalent whereas Corporate IP stars are typically senior in-house IP counsel.

We do recognise other practitioners, including junior practitioners e.g. associates, who play a very important role in sustaining a firm's reputation.

Q2: I participated in the Practitioner Survey, why have I not been listed as an IP star?

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: What if I nominate my work colleagues, would you consider them?

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 also use the practitioner questionnaire to obtain practice area information, some of which will be published in the handbook if you are eventually selected as an IP star.

Please note that not all practice area information will be published in the book but you can publish whatever you like on your page online (see sample here).

Please be aware that if we do not receive a submission then your practice area information may be left blank e.g. see here. If we have already received a submission from you in the past and you have confirmed your practice area information then you do not have to complete the practice area section of the practitioner questionnaire.

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. In our individual practitioner questionnaire, 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.

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?
A: See our research timeline here. Please do feel free to contact us requesting for an interview.

Q3: Who in our firm would you like to interview?

A: Partner or equivalent senior practitioner. 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 may influence our decision on your firm's rankings, IP stars' list and awards.

Q4: How many interviewees should we put forward?

A: No more than four. A researcher may allow more in certain circumstances.

Q5: How many interviews will you do with our firm?

A: One. 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 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 make submissions. 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: Up to 15 clients per firm questionnaire. Please feel free to give us more if you wish. The most important thing is to make sure the referees you provide are happy and willing to provide us with feedback.

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.

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.

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 you avoid putting forward the same clients to two or more legal directories.

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 spreadsheet?

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.

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: Who should I contact if I have more questions?

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