Perth lawyer sells data firm for $8m

02/04/2015 - 14:28

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Patent attorney and software developer Thomas Haines has struck a deal with Sydney company IPH to sell his data analysis businesses for $8 million, but plans to continue running the operation from Perth.

Thomas Haines (centre) with IPH chairman Richard Grellman (left) and managing director David Griffiths.

Patent attorney and software developer Thomas Haines has struck a deal with Sydney company IPH to sell his data analysis businesses for $8 million, but plans to continue running the operation from Perth.

IPH, which listed on the ASX last November, is the parent company of long-running intellectual property services business Spruson & Ferguson.

It has agreed to buy Practice Insight, which Mr Haines established in 2009, and WiseTime, which he established last year, for $8 million, split 50:50 between cash and shares.

Mr Haines, who is a partner at West Leederville-based patent and trade mark attorneys Golja Haines & Friend, plans to join IPH after the purchase is completed.

He told Business News he was looking forward to expanding the software division with backing from IPH.

Mr Haines initially developed the software to improve operations at Golja Haines & Friend, which allows applicants to file attorney-certified procedural IP documents with IP Australia in real-time.

“We discovered that other firms were struggling with the same problems,” he said.

Practice Insight - https://practiceinsight.io - signed up its first paying customers 12 months after being established.

It has since developed a suite of products, underpinned by the creation of a consolidated relational database covering more than 90 per cent of the world’s patent and trade mark data.

WiseTime was set up more recently to develop software programs that help businesses where activity tracking is required.

Mr Haines said his clients were almost exclusively based in the Northern Hemisphere, and his new owners were based in Sydney, but he planned to hire more people in Perth to expand the software business.

IPH said the combined businesses are currently profitable, and are expected to accelerate their growth with the extra marketing and development resources it can provide.

Mr Haines has been a partner at Golja Haines & Friend since 2008.

Prior to joining the patent attorney profession, he worked as a developer for Microsoft Corporation, developing a component of the Microsoft Office software suite.

He previously worked on Nikon’s digital camera products, and worked for a digital asset management company in London.

IPH listed on the ASX last year after raising $166 million in its initial public offering, and currently has a market cap of $732 million.

It recently reported a net profit of $13.2 million for the half year to December 2014, on revenue of $42.5 million.

Its operating business, Spruson & Ferguson, was established in 1887 and has offices in Sydney, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

 

 

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