We posted yesterday about the apparent highly efficient organizational structure of the Schwegman, Lundberg, and Woessner law firm. Today, we will consider how their their throughput (and therefore revenue) has trended over the years. In the end, just for fun, we will make an educated guess as to how much revenue the Schwegman law firm brought in in 2018 limited just to their patent application preparation and prosecution business.
The blue bars in the graph above shows the number of patent grants on a year by year basis. The grant rate has increased steadily since 2002. It is worth noting that some of the data for 2018 was still coming in when this graph was generated. It is safe to say that they will have exceeded 2000 grants in all of the last three years. If the current rate of growth continues, they will likely reach 3000 grants within the next three years.
The gray bars in this graph represent the number of actively pending applications being handled by Schwegman, sorted by the year in which application was filed. The number of 2018 seems low because many of those applications have not yet been published. But it is probably a safe bet that the firm filed 2000 or more applications in 2018. Based on that assumption, a very rough revenue calculation would be:
For any firm, there will be an erosion of the docket of pending applications due to abandonment. The Schwegman portfolio is large enough that the number of applications abandoned each year is not an insignificant number. The black bars in this graph represent the number of patent abandonments on a year by year basis. As the number of active applications has increased, so has the number of abandonments. Even considering that the 2018 data is not yet complete, they probably still have not exceeded 1,000 applications abandoned in a single year. However, the milestone is getting closer and will likely be surpassed in the very near future.
Now the fun part. How much money is Schwegman making through the preparation and filing of responses to office actions in all of these applications. One thing we know is that the firm has filed an average of about 2.1 responses in each of the 33,2228 applications under their management since about 2002. The revenue for that activity breaks down to something like this:
Suppose the 69,800 responses were spread evenly over the approximately 18 years since the data for Schwegman begins to trickle in. That would mean an average of 3,878 responses filed each year. That would mean an annual revenue for response filing somewhere in the range of $6,000,000. And that is assuming a modest average of only $1,500 per response! In reality, the number of responses filed in the last three years is likely more likely to be somewhere close to 5,000. This would mean corresponding annual revenue of about $7,500,000.
All of these estimates are likely conservative. Further, the only revenue streams that have been considered are those associated with the filing of applications and responses. There are certainly other revenue streams. If we had to make an educated guess at the amount of patent preparation and prosecution revenue brought in by the Schwegman firm in 2018, we would go with an estimate of: