Productivity Commission’s broad IP review in Australia – Submissions due 30 November

By Naomi Pearce

There are two weeks left to make submissions to the Productivity Commission (the Commission) on the Commission’s Intellectual Property Issues Paper published in October.

The IP Issues Paper can be found here and the process for making a submission (by 30 November) is outlined here.

The terms of the Commission’s inquiry are very broad.  The Commission has been tasked with conducting a “high level and holistic consideration of Australia’s IP arrangements” bearing in mind policy, market, economic and international considerations.  The IP Issues Paper includes focused questions inviting input on legal, economic and policy considerations relating to patents, data protection, copyright, designs, trade marks, plant breeder’s rights, circuit layout rights, and geographical indications.

The Commission will consider the recommendations of the many recent IP law reviews in Australia (including the 2015 ACIP Innovation Patent System Review, the 2015 ACIP Designs System Review, the 2013 Pharmaceutical Patent Review, and the 2013 ALRC Copyright and Digital Economy review) but will not be constrained by the issues addressed in, or the findings of, those reviews.

For organisations with pharmaceutical/biopharmaceutical interests, the Inquiry provides an opportunity to revisit issues raised in the 2013 Pharmaceutical Patent Review which have not been actioned.  Recent developments such as the October 2015 High Court decision in Myriad, and the finalisation of the TPP may provide a fresh discourse for unresolved issues.

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