The Schwegman Firm is incredibly well diversified!

client breakdown

We posted the last couple of days about business aspects of the Schwegman, Lundberg, and Woessner law firm.  The goal here is not to beat a dead horse but the data around this firm is no less than fascinating.  Today, we will consider the Schwegman business model through the lens of client diversification.  The question is whether the bulk of their business coming from one or two key clients, or is it coming from a broader set of key clients.

The pie chart above is a client specific breakdown of a vast collection of applications believed to be managed by Schwegman and filed since the beginning of 2010.  Of course, the firm has many more clients than those listed.  This is simply a top 15 of sorts.  In order to give the chart further context, here is a numerical breakdown:

Client breakdown2

This is an impressive client portfolio.  The bulk of the work, perhaps not surprisingly, comes from relatively high tech companies.  There is also a spattering of medical device work, which makes sense in light of the Minneapolis region’s deep history and reputation in that industry.  At least some of the companies on this list certainly operate in directly competitive market segments.  The Schwegman firm has seemingly done a nice job of carving out work from a large number of big corporate players without encountering conflict.  Few firms in the country likely have as well a diversified client portfolio as as Schwegman.

If you are tired of talking Schwegman, have faith.  Tomorrow we will move on to a different center of focus.  ; )


The Schwegman Firm is Printing Cash?

patent graph

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.

pending graph

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:

app filing dollars


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:

40 guess

The Schwegman Firm Runs a Tight Ship?

schwegmen efficiency

Have you visited the website for Schwegman, Lundberg, and Woessner lately?  Their employment directory includes a listing of 172 employees.  That number is not particularly surprising.  What is surprising is that 132 of those employees are identified as being either an attorney or an agent.  That leaves a support staff of only 40 people.  If this picture painted by their website is accurate, they are operating in an extremely efficient ($$$:) manner.

As is shown in this chart, an area in which the firm is lacking is in the number of Michael Schwegmans.  They only have one of those.  If you have not met him in person, this video clip from the firm’s fairly cool website will give you an idea of his old school coolness.  What a jerk, right? (just kidding…seems like a nice guy)


New Year – New Blog

The beginning.  Of what, you ask?  The beginning of the greatest blog every created.  Okay.  That might be an overstatement.  But it will at least be the greatest blog ever created specifically for patent prosecution attorneys from Minnesota.  That is likely a safe bet.

What will we do here?  Patent prosecution humor.  And gossip.  And data visualization.  Odd mix?  You will see.  Just keep coming back.  You might like it.  It’ll be unique.  You can count on that.     – K.H.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton