Yesterday’s announcement of the completed acquisition of yet another Australian Intellectual Property (IP) firm by a listed company is the latest dramatic change in the Australian IP industry. There are now three public companies listed on the Australian Securities Exchange that collectively hold nine Australian IP firms. Reaction to these changes has been mixed, with share prices declining in recent months.
POF is now one of the few remaining independent IP firms of significance in Australia.
POF’s decision to remain independent and privately owned is a deliberate choice and one it believes positively differentiates it in what is now a highly corporatised market. POF’s Managing Partner, Ross McFarlane says, “We have made the strategic decision to remain a proudly independent specialist IP firm. Our focus is on partnering with our clients to achieve business success rather than feeling the need to respond to short term market pressures.”
These public companies each hold two or more IP firms that continue to do business as completely separate, and competing, operating entities. This creates potential concerns about whether there may be conflicts between their duties to clients and to shareholders, and/or between the clients of different firms within the same operating group.
Ross says, “We have seen instances where a company is represented by one IP firm within an operating group and one of their major competitors is represented by a sibling firm within that same group. This is causing quite a bit of discomfort and has led to our acquisition of a number of new clients due to their dissatisfaction with this situation. Our independence ensures we’re always able to completely focus on our clients’ interests.”
At POF, clients come first.