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A Crowning Glory: Patent Law and Public Health
The Conversation (2013)
  • Matthew Rimmer, Australian National University College of Law
Australian patent law reforms are critical to ensuring Australians have access to vital health-care services and technologies and that people in developing countries have access to affordable, life-saving medicines.
This week, the Australian Parliament is debating a bill on patent law and public health entitled the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill 2013 (Cth).
The legislation gives Australian governments greater powers to exploit patents without authorisation from the patent owner via stronger provisions for Crown use and compulsory licensing.
Crown use allows federal and state governments to access patents without the patent owners' permission. Compulsory licensing compels patent owners to provide access to patented inventions. Both require adequate compensation to be paid to the patent holder.
The reforms will improve access to cancer testing and treatment and essential medicines for diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria.
The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs handed down its report yesterday recommending the bill be passed. The House of Representatives is debating the bill today.
The reforms implement the recommendations of the Australian Law Reform Commission, the Advisory Council on Intellectual Property, the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties, and the Productivity Commission.
  • Patent Law,
  • Crown Use,
  • Access to Essential Medicines,
  • Tuberculosis,
  • Malaria.
Publication Date
June 20, 2013
Citation Information
Matthew Rimmer. "A Crowning Glory: Patent Law and Public Health" The Conversation (2013)
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