BETHESDA, MD – (August 5, 2013) – Seventy-four percent of Chief IP Counsel are litigating against non-practicing entities (a.k.a. “patent trolls”) or expect to be in the next 12 months, according to a new survey by Consero Group, an international leader in creating high-level, invitation-only events for senior executives. In addition, 100 percent of respondents said they expect patent litigation to increase or remain steady over the next year. The results were reported as part of the 2013 Chief IP Counsel Survey, compiled by Consero Group.

“While the rise of patent trolls is a well-documented reality facing Chief IP Counsel worldwide, the extent of patent-troll litigation revealed by our survey was surprising,” said Paul Mandell, Founder & CEO of Consero. “With Chief IP Counsel expecting patent litigation to remain steady or rise in the year ahead, they will likely need more resources over time.”

Vast Majority Says U.S. Government Not Protecting Corporations From Patent Trolls

In addition, an overwhelming majority (91%) said the U.S. government is not taking the necessary actions to protect corporations against patent trolls and more than half (51%) said government protections against copyright and trademark infringement are also insufficient. 

Furthermore, 100 percent said governments of emerging markets are not doing enough to protect foreign companies against counterfeiting, although more than half (51%) said emerging-market governments are providing more protection today compared to 12 months ago.

“It is startling that a vast majority of Chief IP Counsel gave the U.S. government a failing grade on protection against patent trolls. It is less surprising but still troubling that they unanimously believe governments of emerging markets are not doing enough to protect against counterfeiting,” said Mandell. “However, there is reason for optimism since a majority says that governments of emerging markets are doing more now in this area compared to last year.”

Other findings included:

  • IP Protection Has Become More Challenging: Nearly half (43%) said IP protection had become more difficult for their companies over the past year, while just nine percent said that IP protection had become less difficult over the last twelve months.
  • Smaller Companies at Disadvantage: A majority (61%) believes smaller companies are unfairly disadvantaged in their patent protection efforts.
  • IP Protection Appreciated But Under-Resourced: While an overwhelming majority (94%) believe their company’s leadership sufficiently appreciates the importance of IP protection, just over half (59%) feel their companies apply sufficient resources to defend against online piracy and data security threats.

The 2013 Chief IP Counsel Survey included 11 questions that were posed to Fortune 1000 Chief IP Counsel in connection with Consero’s invitation-only Chief IP Counsel Forum in June 2013. A total of 47 responses were provided.


About Consero

Founded in 2010, Consero Group is an international leader in creating industry-specific events for senior-level executives in industries that include: Legal, Compliance, Shared Services, Customer Experience, Finance, IT, HR, Procurement, Higher Education Technology, and Brand Protection & Anti-Counterfeiting. With operations in the U.S. and in Europe, Consero is best known for transforming the executive experience through intimate, invitation-only programs in a sophisticated learning environment with high-level content. For more information on Consero, please visit


Mark Pasetsky
Mark Allen & Company