Intellectual property (IP) law has a reputation as a hidebound corner of the legal field, but that's not the case for Caldwell Intellectual Property Law. Just like the firm's clients, many of whom are famous for being iconoclasts and innovators, founder and managing member Keegan Caldwell has developed a unique approach to the practice of IP law.

He started the firm in 2016 to provide quality and strategic IP services focused on monetization. With a foundation built on the core values of transparent trust, team first, and empirical strategy, the firm aims to maximize its clients' profitability.

Caldwell qualified to take the bar exam not by attending law school but by reading the law. He credits the collaborative ethos of his client base as the source of his firm's team-first spirit.

BRIDGING THE GENDER GAP

And while a recent American Bar Association diversity report found that women comprise just 22 percent of registered patent attorneys and agents, at Caldwell IP Law, women accounted for 36 percent of new hires in the latest recruitment round. 

Over the past three years, Caldwell IP Law has grown into a multi-office enterprise, with a presence on both U.S. coasts and in London. Revenue has grown by more than 1,300 percent, the employee roster has mushroomed from two to more than 30, and this is the second year in a row it's been in the top 500 of the Inc. 5000 list. 

Last year, the top 10 IP law firms in the U.S. had an average patent application allowance rate of 61.7 percent and an abandonment rate of 29.5 percent, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Caldwell IP Law's numbers were 100 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

HELPING OTHERS SUCCEED

Caldwell finds even greater reward in the role his firm plays in helping other businesses succeed, especially those that are underserved. "The arc of my life story includes some real low points, and I'm indebted to those who helped me get a second chance," he says.

The firm works with organizations that help mentor aspiring entrepreneurs who are currently incarcerated. Right now, it is helping one such individual who reached out after reading the firm's profile in Inc. last year. "He has come up with an innovative idea to fundamentally improve a specific area of health care, and we are happy for the opportunity to help him pursue that dream," Caldwell says.