More than 100 years of records held by IP Australia are now publicly available, for free. The first release of data under the Intellectual Property Government Open Data (IPGOD) project contains information on patents, trademarks, designs and plant breeder’s rights, detailing each aspect of the application process, from application through to the granting of IP rights.
“It can also be interrogated to find out where innovation has occurred by geographic location, business size and technology,” IP Australia said.
Innovation crisis a matter of urgency, tax advisers say
The Australian government must act as a matter of urgency to fix an “innovation crisis” related to the use of patents, a top tax adviser warns.
Intellectual property and patent advisers Wrays has collaborated with R&D tax advisers Swanson Reed to propose a patent grant system as an interim measure until the deadlock on introducing UK-style patent-box incentives breaks.
Treasurer Joe Hockey echoed concerns by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development at the G20 finance ministers’ meeting that patent box incentives – tax breaks on profits made from patents registered in the home country – would result in tax erosion in countries without the incentives.
But Swanson Reed tax principal Damian Smyth said Australia needed to be seen to be doing something to stop IP leaving Australia to Silicon Valley and Singapore, where substantial incentives are available.
Australia: The BRCA1 Case: A Myriad Of Possibilities
In an interesting development, contrary to the finding of the US Supreme Court in a similar case in the United States, the Australian Federal Court in D’Arcy v Myriad Genetics Inc.  FCAFC 115 has unanimously upheld a previous Federal Court decision that isolated gene sequences are patentable.
As in the United States, the case in this matter involved a Myriad Genetics patent over an isolated, but naturally occurring, BRCA1 gene, which is used in diagnostic testing for breast and ovarian cancer. Australia does not allow patents to be granted over naturally occurring things, unless there is “human intervention that creates an artificial state of affairs”.
Although the appellants in this case contended that isolated nucleic acids are not materially different to naturally occurring nucleic acids and are hence products of nature that cannot form the basis of a valid patent, the respondents disagreed and argued that isolated nucleic acids in fact do differ from nucleic acids found in human cells chemically, structurally and functionally.
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