Sydney corporate and communications law firm Truman Hoyle has helped LookSmart in the re-organisation and sale of its Asia Pacific intellectual property assets after the company lost the key Microsoft distribution agreement.
Shane Barber, lead partner in the deal, said the firm acted for LookSmart companies in the US, Australia and Japan — LookSmart Ltd, its wholly owned Australian subsidiary LookSmart International Pty Ltd and LookSmart Japan K.K.
LookSmart’s assets in Australia were sold to Telstra’s online unit, Sensis, which announced the sale on 21 January. It owns the White Pages Online and Yellow Pages Online, as well as the Citysearch and Whereis sites.
Barber said they had to coordinate the assignment of a “large number of intellectual property rights” around the world, “to ensure the preservation of LookSmart’s core business, while allowing use by acquirers of the relevant LookSmart interests.”
Truman Hoyle is also acting for LookSmart Japan on its proposed sale, which is due for completion at the end of March.
When announcing the sale, Sensis’ CEO, Andrew Day, said the “development of search marketing products” was a natural step in their “online evolution”.
He said the acquisition would help them “provide a deeper value proposition to our online customers and end-users by providing different, more effective ways to leverage this content,” he said. Access to the expertise of LookSmart employees in search technology development would also prove valuable assets.
As well as Barber, the Truman Hoyle team involved senior lawyer, Nick Finlayson and lawyer, Bridget Edghill. Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Melbourne acted for Telstra and Sensis.