Interaction between compulsory licenses and international treaty obligations

Policy ID: 
Issue summary: 
The operation of the compulsory licensing provisions of the Patents Act 1990 need to take into consideration Australia's international treaty obligations. Section 136 of the Patents Act 1990 requires that a court must not make a compulsory licence order that is "inconsistent with a treaty between the Commonwealth and a foreign country". In its 2013 review of compulsory licensing, the Productivity Commission (PC) considered s 136 problematic, because it reduces the transparency and scrutiny of the legislative process, and can also be a source of uncertainty for the parties. The PC favoured repealing s 136 and incorporating any current and future treaty obligations directly into the Patents Act or its subordinate legislation. The proposed amendment seeks to improve transparency and certainty for the parties.
Policy Development 04-Sept-2017
High priority for further consideration due to public interest in ensuring compulsory licensing provisions are clear and accessible, as highlighted in the Productivity Commission's report. Public consultation is underway.
Compulsory Licensing
Productivity Commission

Policy feedback

Mandatory fields are marked with an asterisk *

More information
  • Files must be less than 10 MB.
  • Allowed file types: jpg jpeg png rtf pdf doc docx.
By clicking the submit button below, you consent to any personal information you provide through this form being handled in accordance with the Privacy Notice and the IP Australia Privacy Policy

Privacy Notice

The personal information you provide to the Policy Register (including through any submissions) is collected by IP Australia for the purposes of gaining stakeholder insights and feedback into various policy issues and feedback on the Policy Register trial. Your personal information is handled in accordance with our Privacy Policy and is protected by the Privacy Act 1988. Our Privacy Policy states how you may access and correct the personal information we hold; how we protect your personal information; how you may make a privacy complaint and how we will deal with your complaint; and the contact details for IP Australia’s Privacy Contact Officer. Please read our Privacy Policy for more information.

Any personal information you provide will be used for the purposes of administering the Policy Register and the Policy Register trial, responding to feedback, and contacting you in relation to any feedback. IP Australia may provide any personal information collected to IP Australia staff, the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and the relevant Ministers’ offices. IP Australia will not disclose your personal information to any overseas recipients.

Whilst your personal information may be provided anonymously, IP Australia may not be able to contact you or respond to your feedback.

IP Australia will not otherwise use or disclose your personal information without your consent, unless authorised or required by or under law. By providing any personal information to the Policy Register (including through any submissions), you consent to your personal information being handled in accordance with this privacy notice and the IP Australia Privacy Policy.