The Draft Report was released on 29 April 2016 and makes some firm recommendations including the following:

  • Improvements needed so Australia’s copyright and patent arrangements function effectively and efficiently.
  • Australia’s patent system grants patents too easily stymieing the efforts of follow on innovators. Necessary responses include the following:
    • Increase inventive step.to European level.
    • Abolish innovation patents.
    • Re-design extension of term for pharmaceutical patents.
    • Limit business method and software patents.
    • Use patent fees more effectively
  • Copyright protection a cost to consumers.
  • Bilateral and multi-lateral treaties limit flexibility on IP policy.
  • Review of IP governance needed.
  • Measures for IP enforcement could be reformed to improve access for SMEs.

The report definitely raises controversial issues so an opportunity to respond has been provided with a deadline of 3 June 2016.

The report, available Productivity Commission website at www.pc.gov.au, raises complex issues and runs to over 450 pages and we expect to write more on the report in coming weeks.