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Compulsory licensing of patents

Public inquiry

This inquiry has concluded. The final report was sent to Government on 28 March 2013 and released on 27 May 2013.

The Australian Government asked the Commission to undertake an inquiry into the compulsory licensing provisions in the Patents Act 1990.

The purpose of the inquiry was to assess, advise and recommend on the impacts and mechanisms of compulsory licensing invoked by the Patent Act's public interest and anti-competitive safeguard.

The Terms of Reference required the Commission to:

  • assess whether the current Australian provisions can be invoked efficiently and effectively
  • recommend any measures to efficiently and effectively exercise these safeguard provisions, in a manner consistent with Australia's international obligations
  • recommend any alternative mechanisms, to ensure that the balance between incentives to innovate and access to technology best reflects the objectives of reasonable access to health care solutions, maximising economic growth and growing the Australian manufacturing industry.

In undertaking the inquiry, the Commission was to have regard to recent changes to the intellectual property system reflected in the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment (Raising the Bar) Act 2012 (Cwlth), and the range of international approaches.

The Commission consulted widely with all relevant stakeholders and welcomed submissions from them.

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Media release: Balancing access to technology and innovation

Please note: The draft report is for research purposes only. For final outcomes of this inquiry refer to the inquiry report.

Draft report