find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Patent bill rejected

Patent bill rejected

Last night (22 September) a Senate Committee found that a bill to ban the patenting of biological materials should not be passed.The private member's bill, sponsored by senators Bill Heffernan,…

Last night (22 September) a Senate Committee found that a bill to ban the patenting of biological materials should not be passed.

The private member's bill, sponsored by senators Bill Heffernan, Nick Xenophon, Rachel Siewert and Helen Coonan, sought to ban the patenting of all biological materials, including genes, which are identical or substantially identical to those found in nature.

The committee found that the bill did not provide an effective solution to the problems articulated by the wider community in terms of access to healthcare.

It noted that, while well intentioned, the bill posed significant consequences to the healthcare, agriculture, food technology and livestock sectors, as well as to investment in drug research and development in Australia.

Dr Tania Obranovich, a patent partner at Davies Collison Cave and member of the Institute of Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys of Australia (IPTA), welcomed the Senate Committee's finding and said the bill's proposals did not correlate with the issues articulated by the public, especially in relation to regulating the abuse of monopolies.

"Banning the patenting of all biological material isn't going to change, in any way, access to method patents like diagnostics ... If we don't have patents available in Australia when the rest of the world does, there could be some very detrimental consequences," said Obranovich.

In their submissions to the Senate Inquiry, some pharmaceutical companies said if they could not patent in Australia, they would seek regulatory approval for their products and take them to the market overseas. Once they had recouped their investment overseas, the companies said they would then consider bringing it to Australia.

"This is really concerning," said Obranovich, "It's not that investment would dry up - the investment would just shift overseas. If there's no patentable protection available in Australia, but there continues to be in Europe and the US, development will be sent overseas and our researchers will go where the development is, where the money is, where the protection is."

Obranovich also said researches would be unlikely to continue with clinical trials in Australia if the bill was passed.

While the committee acknowledged there are ethical dimensions to patenting human genes and biological materials, it found that more consideration should be given to a general ethical exclusion to inventions - "the commercial exploitation of which would be wholly offensive to the ordinary reasonable and fully informed member of the Australian public".

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

Patent bill rejected
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice
Dec 15 2017
Timing ‘critical’ in unusual contempt of court ruling
A recent case could have interesting implications for contempt of court rulings, according to a Ferr...
Dec 14 2017
International arbitration and business culture
Promoted by Maxwell Chambers. This article discusses the impact of international arbitration on t...
Papua New Guinea flag
Dec 14 2017
World-first mining case launched in PNG
Citizens of Papua New Guinea have launched landmark legal proceedings against the country’s govern...
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 & ...