Australian Government's Productivity Commission Draft Report on Intellectual Property


The Australian Government’s Productivity Commission (“The Commission”) has released a draft report on Australia’s Intellectual Property Arrangements. The report can be found on The Commission's website

The Commission is charged with providing quality, independent advice and information to governments on key policy or regulatory issues which influence Australia’s economic performance and community wellbeing.

In the context of intellectual property (IP), the Australian Government wishes to ensure that there is an appropriate balance between incentives for innovation and investment and the interests of both individuals and businesses in accessing ideas and products. The Commissioner was asked to:
  • examine the effect of the scope and duration of protection afforded by Australia’s intellectual property system; and
  • recommend changes to the current system that would improve the overall wellbeing of Australian society, which take account of Australia’s international trade obligations.

Details of the scope of enquiry can be found at http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/current/intellectual-property/terms-of-reference.

The draft report concludes:

  • Australia’s IP arrangements are not as effective as they could be;
  • Australia’s IP arrangements fail to strike an efficient balance between incentives for creators and innovators and costs to users;
  • binding international rules limit the adaptability of Australia’s IP arrangements;
  • there is room to improve accountability; and
  • Australia’s stance on IP rights is out of kilter with its position as a net importer of IP.

Below, we discuss the key findings and recommendations of the draft report. Submissions made by interested parties (due by Friday 3 June 2016) can be viewed at: http://www.pc.gov.au/inquiries/current/intellectual-property/submissions#post-draft.  

Forms of IP rights:

Copyright

The Patent System

Social Value of Patents

Innovation Patent System

Business Methods and Software Patents

Pharmaceuticals 

Registered Designs

Trade Marks and Geographical Indications 

By Carolyn Harris
Principal, Patent & Trade Marks Attorney
c.harris@watermark.com.au 


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