find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Competition, Policy & Regulatory
Category: Other | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Work with a well regarded Partner · Sydney CBD
View details
Commercial Litigation Senior Associate
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Lawyers Weekly Australia Partner of the Year 2016, Insolvency
View details
MULTIPLEX Regional Legal Counsel (Vic) | 7 to 10 years + PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Career defining in-house role · Tier One international contractor
View details
Junior Lawyer - Personal Injury Law
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Parramatta & Western Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Highly specialized practice · Challenging role with great opportunities
View details
IR Advisor/Member Advocate
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: St Leonards NSW 2065
· Permanent (0.8-1.0 FTE) role in a developing team
View details
'Anti-IP initiatives' slammed by firm

'Anti-IP initiatives' slammed by firm

Proposals to reform Australia’s intellectual property scheme contradict the government’s innovation agenda and sell out the national interest for short-term consumer gains, according to Shelston IP. 

Responding to the Productivity Commission’s draft report on IP Arrangements in Australia, Shelston IP patent attorney Jack Redfern said the proposed measures undermined the rights of IP holders.

It seems the Commission is taking the attitude that Australians cannot compete and should just take what they can, while they can, from those who do innovate,” Mr Redfern said.

“Undermining the rights of IP holders may result in reduced costs to consumers in the short-term, but will come at a cost to the country in the medium to longer term. Rather than being tempted by the allure of short-term gain, our collective efforts should be tackling the more challenging option of making Australia a net exporter of IP,” he said.

Shelston IP has made a submission to the Productivity Commission in response to the draft report, which identifies 10 recommendations it describes as “anti-IP initiatives”.

Mr Redfern warned that implementation of these recommendations will hinder Australia’s entrepreneurs and investors. He also believes they contradict the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

Flagging a particular proposal to remove patents for software-related inventions, he said: “The absence of patents [which] support local software developers raise funds from investors will either stifle or stop the development, or simply impart further incentive to undertake the development in the US or another country where patent protection is available.”

He added: “The Commission’s reasoning ignores the fact that it is entrepreneurs and investors, not the government, that commercialise innovations produced by our local software developers.”

The IP lawyer is so critical of the recommendations that he has dubbed the Productivity Commission’s interim publication as the ‘anti-intellectual property draft report’In his view, boosting the international competitiveness of local innovators, who range from small business to universities, cannot be achieved by curtailing the rights of IP holders.

“There are plenty of Australian software companies doing the hard slog to develop valuable products here in Australia for local use and export,” Mr Redfern said.

“Political leaders of all persuasions have consistently demonstrated that they understand the need for Australians to innovate and compete, not to give up. And yet we have the Commission recommending that one of the key supports for our innovative digital future be taken away, which is completely at odds with the government’s innovation and science agenda policy imperatives.”

“We can choose to be lazy and effectively ignore IP, or we can choose to compete with other countries to generate and protect our IP,” Mr Redfern added.

The Law Council of Australia also underscored the dangers posed by IP policies that handcuff innovators’ interests.

The group described the approach endorsed by the draft recommendation as one that “subjugates the interests of Australian innovators seeking to protect intellectual property in Australia (and elsewhere)”.

The Law Council went on to warn that the long-term consequence of abolishing patents for software and business methods would be a detrimental effect on global innovation or “lead to increasingly prescriptive treaties and trade agreements as a condition of trade in the goods and services which Australia wishes to export”.

The Productivity Commission is expected to release its final report later this year.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

'Anti-IP initiatives' slammed by firm
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Human body, illegal organ trafficking, ALHR
Sep 22 2017
Australia poised to combat illegal organ harvesting: ALHR
The Australian Lawyers for Human Rights are calling for changes to the law so that organ trafficking...
Online service, barristers, BarristerSELECT, Stephen Foley
Sep 22 2017
New online service leverages barristers’ clerks to aid briefing
A new online tool has been launched to help NSW solicitors find the most suitable barristers for the...
NSW District Court judge, Tim Gartelmann SC, next appointment,
Sep 22 2017
Silk replaces outgoing NSW District Court judge
A barrister has been named as the next appointment to the NSW District Court, following the retireme...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...