Patent & Trade Mark

A year in review - IP and FB Rice during 2018

Date: 11 January 2019

As we have entered the new year, it is an opportunity to reflect on 2018. It certainly has been a busy year and the Australian IP landscape has shifted, impacting our clients on a number of fronts.

Externally to FB Rice, there have been several market shifts in the Australian patent firm ownership structures as well as some pivotal regulatory changes. Internally, we have been pleased to receive several industry awards. Some of the past year’s developments and highlights include:

Changing corporate ownership in Australian IP firms

A significant development in 2018 was the continuing activity that has occurred as a result of changes allowed a few years back to the corporation of and ownership of Australian patent attorney firms.

In recent years, a number of FB Rice’s competitors in Australia have opted for public listings where partners have sold their shares to parent companies listed on the stock market. At present, all of the firms that have taken this path are owned by one of the three following companies: IPH limited (IPH); Xenith IP Group Limited (Xenith) and Qantm Intellectual Property Limited (Qantm). It has been announced that Xenith and Qantm will merge (possibly as early as April 2019) forming an even larger conglomerate of commonly-owned IP firms in Australia.

FB Rice, by contrast continues to be committed to private ownership. We consider this provides us with an unfettered capability to deliver flexible service and pricing options whilst maintaining a top tier quality offering. One of the key benefits to private ownership has been our ability to retain and foster our core values, and strengths. We are committed to maintaining a firm culture that our staff enjoy which affords the opportunity for staff development, and client relationships.

Most read news about regulatory and IP changes for 2018

Every year we seek to deliver commentary concerning interesting developments across the IP landscape. The following were some of the most read articles online in 2018:

Graphical user interface designs

in Australia

New Zealand to introduce a

one-year grace period


R&D Tax Incentive Budget 2018 |

Changes you need to know

AU Change to patent examiners

manual creates uncertainty


FB Rice in 2018

We have grown both in size and office location during 2018, with new offices in Brisbane, Parramatta and Adelaide - in addition to our already established offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. We are looking forward to working with you no matter where you are based, and our office expansion makes this even easier.

We were also pleased to be the recipients of several awards in 2018 in recognition of the service our attorneys deliver, including:

  • AFR Beaton Client Choice Award as “Best IP Specialist Firm 2018”
  • ManagingIP (MIP) Award of “Australian Patent Prosecution Firm of the Year 2018”
  • Several of our team were recognised as “MIP IP STARS”
  • Highly Recommended for Patent Prosecution from IAM Magazine
  • Highly Recommended for Trade Mark Prosecution and Strategy from WTR 1000.
  •  “Australian Trademark Firm of the Year” by Asia IP

For the New Year

We are excited about the year ahead whilst acknowledging the challenges which an ever changing economy can bring. Our team is looking forward to working with you this year, and continuing to deliver the best possible IP service.

Tags:  IP, intellectual property, corporate ownership, private ownership, Australian IP landscape, regulatory changes

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