The QANTM IP Group

QANTM Intellectual Property Limited (QANTM) is the owner of several  leading intellectual property (IP) services businesses IP services businesses operating under the following brands (together, the QANTM IP Group):

The Davies Collison Cave Group comprises:

  • Davies Collison Cave Pty Ltd, an incorporated patent and trade mark attorney business operating in Australia and New Zealand (DCC);
  • Davies Collison Cave Law Pty Ltd, an incorporated legal practice operating in Australia (DCC Law); and
  • Davies Collison Cave Asia Pte Ltd, an incorporated patent and trade mark attorney business operating in Singapore (DCC Asia).

FPA Patent Attorneys comprises:

  • FPA Patent Attorneys Pty Ltd, an incorporated patent attorney business operating in Australia and New Zealand (FPA); and
  • FPA Patent Attorneys Asia Pte Ltd, an incorporated patent attorney business operating in Singapore (FPA Asia).

Sortify.tm Limited is a New Zealand-headquartered trade mark legal technology company, that provides technology solutions incorporating artificial intelligence and automation to assist with filing of trade marks and management of trade mark portfolios.  It operates automated trade mark filing platforms in Australia (under the brand Trademarks Online), New Zealand (DIY Trademarks) and, through its subsidiary, Trademark Planet Ltd, the United Kingdom.

QANTM is a public company and listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in August 2016 (ASX code: QIP).

QANTM IP Group: Professional conduct, ethical standards, and corporate governance

Many IP services firms in Australia have incorporated as companies, and a significant proportion (in excess of 25%) of registered patent attorneys in Australia and New Zealand are now employed by firms which are themselves part of corporate groups publicly listed on the ASX.

QANTM’s listed corporate group structure brings significant benefits to clients and to QANTM employees, with a dual ethical and governance overlay:

  • Each of the businesses within the QANTM IP Group acts in accordance with the normal professional conduct rules and ethical standards applying to them as professional services providers.
  • QANTM also operates to the rigorous corporate governance, disclosure and integrity standards applicable to companies publicly-listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.

The professional services businesses within the QANTM IP Group will always act in accordance with the law and in the best interests of their clients, and discharge their professional and ethical duties according to the following principles:

Primary duty to act in best interest of clients, and lawfully:

QANTM IP Group members will always prioritise their overriding duties to act in accordance with the law and in the best interests of their clients, over all other duties. There is never a right or expectation for any of these businesses, or the professionals employed by them, to act in the interests of QANTM or its shareholders in preference to clients’ interests. This is expressly recognized in QANTM’s Constitution.  The QANTM Constitution is available at http://qantmip.com/about-qantm/governance/, and Article 4 establishes the primacy of these professional duties.

Conflict management:

The professional services businesses within the QANTM IP Group adhere strictly to the law, professional standards, ethical rules and duties, including the Code of Conduct for Trans-Tasman Patent and Trade Marks Attorneys, in managing actual and potential conflicts of interest.  DCC, DCC Law, FPA, Cotters,  and Sortify are also members of an “ownership group” for the purposes of the Code of Conduct (the QANTM Ownership Group).  Consistent with the requirements of the Code of Conduct, where a registered attorney within the QANTM Ownership Group is aware that a client of another registered attorney within the QANTM Ownership Group is involved in a matter before a court, tribunal, IP office or similar adjudicative body, and the clients’ interests are adverse, that registered attorney will only act where its client has given, in writing, its informed consent to the registered attorney so acting.

Lawyers’ professional conduct rules:

Employees of Davies Collison Cave Law Pty Ltd, and employees of other QANTM IP Group members who hold legal practicing certificates, act in addition in accordance with professional conduct rules and ethical standards applying to legal practitioners.

The Davies Collison Cave Group, FPA Patent Attorneys, Cotters Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys, Advanz Fidelis and Sortify.tm Ltd also operate from physically separate premises.

Public companies and corporate governance:

As a public company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, QANTM is required to operate in compliance with the Australian Corporations Act and the Australian Securities Exchange Listing Rules. These regulations applying to public companies ensure the highest standards of corporate governance, risk management, transparency, integrity and accountability, and establish a level of public reporting and accountability with respect to governance and ethical management.

QANTM Group reports publicly each year on its compliance with the ASX Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations (Note 1).

The recommended governance practices relate to matters such as:

  • respective roles and responsibilities of board and management,
  • diversity policy and measurable objectives with respect to gender diversity,
  • director independence and conflicts,
  • acting ethically and responsibly,
  • use of an audit committee to independently verify and safeguard the integrity of corporate reporting, and
  • establishment of a sound risk management framework and periodic review of the effectiveness of that risk management framework, including with respect to risks such as cyber-security.

Investment by QANTM in technology, systems and processes enable the independent businesses within the QANTM IP Group to operate in an efficient and innovative way to support its clients and its people.

Note 1: The ASX Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations is a set of recommended corporate governance practices developed by the ASX Corporate Governance Council (comprised of leading business, shareholder and industry groups in Australia – including:

  • the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia,
  • the Law Council of Australia,
  • the Business Council of Australia,
  • the Australian Institute of Company Directors,
  • CPA Australia,
  • the Institute of Public Accountants and
  • the Australian Financial Markets Association.

See https://www.asx.com.au/regulation/corporate-governance-council.htm.