Layoffs Hit an IP Boutique

townsend-townsend-crew-llp-abovethelaw-above-the-law-blogThe drumbeat of layoffs at large and mid-sized law firms has been slow and steady for months.  But for the most part, IP boutiques have not been reporting these staffing cuts…until yesterday when IP boutique Townsend and Townsend and Crew announced a layoff.  In a memo sent around to firm employees (published in  AbovetheLaw) the chairman raised the fact that patent filings were down in the first quarter of 2009 and clients are scaling back their spending.

As IP services have become more commoditized, its actually surprising that there have not been more announcements like this.  Firms are really facing the combined effects of a down economy (which is causing companies to be more judicious in their IP spending) with the fact that before the current slowdown, corporate counsel were already demanding lower fees for prosecution and related work.

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One Response to Layoffs Hit an IP Boutique

  1. Priyanka says:

    At the first instance it may be surprising that there have not been more announcements like this. However, if we are to learn from the past (especially since the current rate of recession is often being compared to the great depression of 1929), US-based patent filing and IP litigation actually went up at the onset of the great depression (ref: ‘A new set of rules for innovation during times of economic uncertainty’ on Thomson Reuters).

    Maybe this period is uncertain only because innovators are really shifting gears from inventing to re-inventing!

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