The Australian Patent Attorney landscape – what does it look like now…

Well, after all the kerfuffle, what is the state of play in the Australian patent attorney sector?  Hmmm, let’s take a look at the landscape, shall we, as the sun slowly sets…

Over there, dancing and whooping it up? it’s FB Rice, Phillips Ormonde & Fitzpatrick, and Wrays. They are independent and proud of it, originally partnerships and now privately held companies. Each of them has about 10% of the market.

What’s that I hear? – sonorous snoring and occasional burps. Ah, yes. That’s the sound of the mighty IPH digesting its prey, XIP. Let’s let them rest for now – they are insatiable and cantankerous when aroused. They have about 30%, maybe 35% of the Australian market. But it’s in Asia where they really shine. Like the cane toad, they adapt to any environment.

Look, who’s that in the shadows? their eyes shining with reflected light. It’s QANTM IP, stomach growling as it looks around for further acquisitions. The three big “independents” would be nice but they are tough fare and not that tasty. It is also looking to SE Asia. It has about 14% of the Australian market and some good gains in Asia (Malaysia (through acquisition) and Singapore). It is growing organically but somehow that does not keep it sated. Its hunting strategy is to win the hearts and minds of its acquisitions. It is slow going.

And that skittering in the grasses as the light fades? that’s your smaller firms and sole practitioners. There’s a lot more of them then there used to be!  The environment is changing.  There’s good hunting for these little fellers because they don’t need much, but it’s very hard to grow.

Let’s leave them for now.  Let them sleep.  We can talk about them again later….

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