History

IPH is Asia Pacific’s leading intellectual property services group; a network of member firms working throughout eight IP jurisdictions, with clients in more than 25 countries.

Our firms have been an integral part of Asia Pacific’s IP sector for more than 130 years. Since listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in 2014, IPH has more than doubled its footprint across the region, a testament to the group’s strong record of successful strategic acquisitions and mergers. The IPH group now employs more than 900 people working in Australia, China, Hong Kong SAR, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand, and services a diverse client base of Fortune Global 500 companies and other multinationals, public sector research organisations, SMEs and professional services firms.

Some key dates in IPH’s History

In 2014 IPH acquired Spruson & Ferguson, one of the first Australian patent and trade mark attorney firms and with a history dating back to 1887. After a successful IPO in November that year, IPH listed on the ASX, becoming the first IP services group to do so.

In 2015, IPH acquired specialist IP data analysis and software applications businesses Practice Insight, which included autonomous time recording software WiseTime. That same year, IPH acquired a number of IP firms including Fisher Adams Kelly and Pizzeys Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys in September. In November 2015, Fisher Adams Kelly acquired the business of IP firm Callinans.

2016 saw the expansion of the IPH group into Asia, with Spruson & Ferguson opening offices in Indonesia and Thailand in March and May respectively, establishing itself as a regional IP hub. IPH also acquired Ella Cheong (Hong Kong) Limited and its subsidiary Ella Cheong Intellectual Property Agency (Beijing) Company Limited later that year, marking the group’s first international acquisition.

Cullens joined in 2016 and in 2017 IPH acquired New Zealand’s premier IP firm AJ Park; the group’s first acquisition in the New Zealand market.

In 2018 Fisher Adams Kelly, Callinans, and Cullens merged with Spruson & Ferguson to form one combined firm operating under the Spruson & Ferguson brand.

Xenith IP Group was the group’s next, and largest, acquisition, completing in August 2019. Xenith’s businesses included Glasshouse Advisory, Griffith Hack, Shelston IP and Watermark. Like Spruson & Ferguson, Griffith Hack’s history dates back over 100 years. Watermark was subsequently integrated into Griffith Hack in April 2020 to create a combined offering.

In May 2020, the divestment of Glasshouse Advisory’s R&D tax incentive and Export Market Development Grants practices to Grant Thornton took place, and in October AJ Park completed its acquisition of New Zealand IP firm Baldwins IP.

In July 2021, IPH’s digital and trade mark capability was expanded with the acquisition of Applied Marks Pty Ltd, a leading Australian online automated trade mark application platform and iIn November 2021, Shelston IP integrated with Spruson & Ferguson, further extending the brand’s position as a leading IP firm in Australia.

In July 2022 IPH finalised the divestment of its investment in WiseTime to Anaqua Inc.