AusBiotech calls for workable patent box design


Through its submission to Treasury, AusBiotech has called for a patent box design that works for the very industry it is intended to incentivise and takes account of the unique characteristics of medical and biotechnology development.  

An enthusiastically supportive voice for an Australian patent box, AusBiotech makes numerous recommendations, including an industry panel to support the design and implementation of the policy - with the current design unworkable if it wishes to achieve the goals of both government and industry.

CEO of AusBiotech, Lorraine Chiroiu, explained, for example, that “…it is critical that the Treasury notes that the companies eligible for the incentive at its start date, under the current design, will be nil, and access in the forward estimates is near impossible.”

Australia’s Patent Box should look to a tested regime in a comparable ecosystem, when considering key design elements. Notably, the UK Patent Box should be seen as an exemplar for design elements, such as (but not limited to) the competitive tax rate of 10 per cent, transitional or introductory arrangements, a government-industry working group and eligible patents.

AusBiotech warmly welcomed the Australian patent policy announcement that will apply to the medical and biotechnology sector, however, implored that getting the policy’s design right is tantamount to its future success.

The policy is intended as an incentive for companies to make long-term decisions and create long-term value for Australia, but due to biotech’s unique characteristics, most target companies will not be eligible anytime soon. It is estimated that it would take some three to five years for the first handful of companies to be eligible and up to 10 years to see any meaningful additionality created.

A well designed, accessible, and effective Australian patent box will support companies to keep the development of their IP and the value they create from it in Australia, to the economic and social benefit of all Australians.

AusBiotech has submitted its response to Treasury’s Australian patent box policy design discussion paper following broad and deep consultation with industry.

As the national peak industry body and voice of the life sciences industry, AusBiotech developed its submission in consultation with its Members, AusBiotech advisory groups, and through an information webcast that gathered and engaged more than 100 stakeholders.

Read AusBiotech’s final submission here.