The Federal Government has today released its response to the Competition Policy Review ('the Harper Review').

 The Harper Review's Final Report made 56 recommendations for reforms across three key themes: competition policy, laws and institutions and included two recommendations relating specifically to intellectual property:

Recommendation 6

The Australian Government should task the Productivity Commission to undertake an overarching review of intellectual property. The Review should be a 12 month inquiry. The review should focus on: competition policy issues in intellectual property arising from new developments in technology and markets; and the principles underpinning the inclusion of intellectual property provisions in international trade agreements.

and

Recommendation 7

Subsection 51(3) of the Competition and Consumer Act (which exempts certain conduct relating to the exploitation of some intellectual property rights from the effects of the competition laws) should be repealed.

The Federal Government has already requested the Productivity Commission to undertake an overarching review of intellectual property and the Government will await the outcome of that review before committing itself in relation to the potential repeal of s 51(3).

The response is available here.

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