Plant Science Industry Welcomes “Raising the Bar” Bill

    22 June 2011

    The peak body for the plant science industry, CropLife Australia, has today welcomed the introduction of the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Bill, and calls on all members of the Australian Parliament to pass this Bill without delay.

    CropLife Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Matthew Cossey said “It is vital for local innovation that the Australian patent law establishes the correct balance between encouraging innovation and providing access to that innovation.”

    “This is a delicate balance to achieve and there is always room for improvement in the system.”

    “The Australian Government should be commended for incorporating in the Raising the Bar Bill many of the expert recommendations made by the Australian Law Reform Commission, the Australian Centre for Intellectual Property and relevant Senate inquiries.”

    “The Raising the Bar Bill makes redundant other potentially disastrous legislative proposals on patent law currently before the Parliament. These now superseded proposals were inferior because they were reactive, discriminatory and would have completely undermined the confidence of Australian research investors”

    “The Raising the Bar Bill applies a principled approach that is flexible and can be applied to all new technologies. For this reason it is a far superior piece of legislation and should be supported by all parties that believe in an innovative Australia.”

    “CropLife’s members are dedicated to providing farmers with access to modern, safe and innovative plant science tools. The crop protection and biotechnology solutions that our members provide require significant private investment, because the costs of bringing these technologies to market are high,” said Mr Cossey.

    CropLife member companies spend on average 8-10 years and $80-100 million to develop new GM crop products to the commercialisation stage. This is about 10 times the investment in time and money that is required to bring a non‑GM crop to market. It is even more expensive to develop a new crop protection tool. On average, globally it takes almost ten years and costs over $250 million to bring a single product to market.

    “Australian access to these inventions is protected by a stable and predictable intellectual property system. The Raising the Bar Bill is a predictable progression in patent law because it implements recommendations that have been discussed by the experts for nearly a decade.”

    “We commend the Government on this initiative and we hope that this important piece of legislation will be supported by all members of the Australian Parliament.”

    Plant Science Industry Welcomes “Raising the Bar” Bill.pdf