Submission to the Productivity Commission's Draft Report on Intellectual Property Arrangements
The creation and use of intellectual property occurs in the context of a broader innovation system.
The Commission has characterised the objectives of intellectual property policy as ‘[seeking] to balance the interests of rights holders and users, including follow-on innovators’. The draft report suggests balance is achieved by: encouraging investment in intellectual property that would not otherwise occur; providing the minimum incentives necessary to encourage that investment; and resisting impediments to follow-on innovation, competition and access to goods and services.
While the Business Council supports some of the conclusions and recommendations on the patent system, we suggest that two of the Commission’s recommendations in particular will likely have the unintended consequences of hindering the objectives of intellectual property policy. Specifically, these are the removal of patentability of all software and (depending on how it is designed) the introduction of an objects clause could increase the complexity, subjectivity and unpredictability of patent examinations.