In early 2011, the Corporate Surveys Project Team of INTA’s In-House Practitioners Committee conducted a benchmarking survey to obtain a variety of information on the operations of global corporate trademark departments across all major industries.
The survey collected compensation data, as well as statistics on staffing and management of trademark portfolios, trademark searching, clearance, registration and enforcement strategies, the role of the Internet, dispute resolution, docketing, litigation, filing, marketing and much more.
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- Nearly 80% of respondents indicated they answered on behalf of their entire company, as opposed to a corporate subsidiary.
- The majority of respondents were from North American countries (80%). The remaining 20% of respondents were from Europe, South America and Asia.
- Just over 1/3 of respondents possessed 15+ years of experience, followed by 23% mid-level and about 5% young practitioners.
- Nearly 25% of respondents identified themselves as Chief Level Officers and just over 25% identified themselves as trademark paralegals, with the rest being attorneys and trademark managers.
- Almost all of the respondents are permanent, full-time employees in their organizations, typically working 40-59 hours per week.
- Nearly 40% of respondents indicated a salary in the range of US $50,000—$100,000. The remaining respondents were equally divided between US $100,000—$150,000 and $150,000—$200,000.
- The respondents indicated their typical annual raise in 2010 was between 1% and 4%. Nearly 1/5 of the respondents indicated they did not receive any bonuses in 2010, while another 1/5 indicated their bonus was less than US $5,000.
- 30% of respondents received stock options as part of their compensation package in 2010.
- The majority of respondents represented the following major industry groups: Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals, Consumer and Household Goods and Services, Manufacturing and Food and Beverage.
- The respondents indicated a majority of their in-house trademark staff spent most of their time on enforcement, clearance, filing, general counseling and education, and review of marketing materials.
- The annual sales for the companies represented by a majority of respondents were between US $1—$9 billion, followed by an almost equal division between US $10—$24 billion, US $25—$50 billion and more than US $50 billion.
- A majority of respondents indicated their organizations have mid-size portfolios, between 1,000 and 10,000 trademark registrations and applications.
- Slightly more than 25% of respondents indicated owning between 1,000 and 5,000 domain name registrations.
- Nearly 70% of the respondent’s organizations had participated in ICANN dispute resolution proceedings, with the majority preferring WIPO as a resolution provider.
- 35% of respondents indicated that less than 25% of the trademarks in their portfolio are watched by an outside vendor.
- Nearly 25% of respondents indicated that 76-100% of the trademarks in their portfolio are handled externally.
- Nearly 30% of respondent’s organizations had occasional problems with counterfeiting, while 25% had frequent issues, with 12% reporting extensive issues.
- Nearly 60% of respondents indicated an increase in their company’s total trademark expenses, while just over 25% reported a decrease.