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 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, raises complex issues and runs to over 450 pages and we expect to write more on the report in coming weeks.