Productivity Commission Inquiry into the Compulsory Licensing of Patents

    27 September 2012

    In responding to the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into the Compulsory Licensing of Patents, CropLife indicated its fundamental position as that of the status quo is working and existing compulsory licensing provisions of the Patents Act 1990 provide an efficacious remedy where a patentee is abusing their exclusive rights to exploit a patent or where the reasonable requirements of the public are not being met. Perhaps even more significant is that the minimal or negligible need to use these provisions is a testament to the effectiveness of Australia’s current legal framework for patents.

    The current incentive for the market to maximise profit and the ability to profit from licensing dictates against systemic anti‑competitive conduct. Recent, isolated incidents of abuse do not and should not justify transforming a remedial mechanism into a tool of general market regulation. Any amendment that lowers the threshold test for compulsory licensing will significantly undermine the efficacy of the system.