Intellectual Property law amends will add to business uncertainty

Medicines Australia supports efforts to strengthen Australia’s Intellectual Property arrangements to be consistent with international best practice, however, it is disappointing that the government has instead proposed legislation that undermines innovation and further weakens our attractiveness as an investment and innovation destination. By not accepting Medicines Australia’s recommendations Australia is missing an opportunity to demonstrate our desire to be a top destination for investment in research and development into the latest medical breakthroughs.

The Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Productivity Commission Response Part 2 and Other Measures) Bill 2019, introduced yesterday, will add to business uncertainty and signal that Australia is not interested in growing our economy through expansion of medical and biotherapeutic research and development.

Medicines Australia’s submission to the IP Australia consultation on the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill 2018 ( clearly outlined the significance of a strong, effective and stable IP system in fostering pharmaceutical innovation, investment, productivity and competitiveness. In our submission we reiterated the importance of:

  • Retaining innovation patents
  • If introduced, an unambiguous objects clause that is consistent with international obligations
  • The granting of compulsory licenses only in exceptional circumstances and only when in accordance with international rules
  • The application of Crown use provisions only where consistent with Australia’s obligations under international treaties

These recommendations would maintain and strengthen an environment that supports Intellectual Property and would encourage ongoing investment in research and development into medicines and biotherapeutics. A strong and stable IP system in Australia is crucial for the thousands of Australian scientists, research organisations, Universities and local Biotechnology companies who rely on this system for investment and innovation in medicines for the benefit of all Australians.