Until now, IP has been somewhat immune from the downturn that has hit other legal practice areas. But with infringement filings down in the first quarter of 2009 and companies being more cautious about investing in patent protection, some IP firms and practice groups are now facing layoffs.
When the economy turns the corner, this will undoubtedly cause big problems for law firms. Finding patent lawyers who have the right expertise has never been easy. I suspect it will be particularly challenging when corporations loosen the purse strings and want to start spending again. The increase in spending will probably happen faster than law firms can hire associates and tech specialists. So here’s my next prediction: that same bottleneck will create good opportunities for companies like IPEngine.