Patentees applying for patent term extensions (PTE) in Australia may be familiar with section 76A of the Patents Act 1990, which required that the Department of Health be notified of details of the amount and type of funds (both Commonwealth funds, and in total) spent in the research and development of the drug that is the subject of the PTE. The wording of this section caused confusion for Patentees as to what specific financial details were actually required, and the Productivity Commission’s 2016 Report on IP arrangements found that only about half of PTE applicants submitted details under section 76A.
The Government’s response to the Productivity Commission’s final Report was to note that a convincing rationale has not been provided for imposing this regulatory burden. We are now pleased to see that the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Productivity Commission Response Part 1 and Other Measures) Act 2018, commenced on 25 August 2018, has repealed section 76A.
The repeal of section 76A will come as a welcome relief to patentees.