AusBiotech responds to Senate Inquiry on IP


AusBiotech has recently responded to the Senate Standing Committees on Economics’ Senate Inquiry on Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Productivity Commission Response Part 2 and Other Measures) Bill 2019.

The response was focused on three key issues of most relevance to AusBiotech members, and was led by AusBiotech’s Intellectual Property Expert Panel, which provides expert advice on intellectual property issues in relation to medical devices and diagnostics, pharmaceuticals and therapeutics.

In its submission, AusBiotech highlighted concerns about the “objects” clause, regarding the reference to “technological” innovation, and whether the use of this term restricts or narrows the definition. AusBiotech suggested that removing the word “technological” would be more appropriate, on the basis that “innovation” includes transfer and dissemination of technology in any industry.

It was suggested that factors of compulsory licensing should be further considered, to provide patentees and licensees with greater certainty, and to reduce the ambiguity within the Federal Court when determining the amount of remuneration to be paid to a patentee.

AusBiotech considers innovation patents worthwhile, and has supported the conduct of an Inquiry into alternatives that might improve the Innovation Patent system in three key areas: raising the innovation threshold; requiring examination prior to grant; and setting an examination deadline.

AusBiotech has a keen interest in the Australian patent system because it supports (or undermines) innovation, and it has made multiple submissions to previous, related consultations.

In April 2016, AusBiotech responded to the Productivity Commission’s (PC) Draft Report Intellectual Property Arrangements and in February 2017, AusBiotech provided a submission to the Federal Government in response to the PC’s resulting report. In November 2017, AusBiotech also responded to consultations on amending inventive step requirements for Australian patents (Paper 1 in August 2017) and introducing an objects clause into the Patents Act 1990 (Paper 2 in August 2017). Most recently, AusBiotech response to the consultation ‘Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill (Productivity Commission Response Part 2 and Other Measures) Bill 2018’ in August 2018.

Read the full submission here.

The Senate Inquiry report is due 4 September 2019.