Intellectual property needs urgent review before TPP is agreed - Joint Media Release

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY NEEDS URGENT REVIEW BEFORE TPP IS AGREED

Joint media release with Shadow Minister for Trade Penny Wong

With intellectual property set to be an important issue in negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Abbott Government should urgently complete a Productivity Commission inquiry on this before any deal is signed.

Reports suggest the Government is preparing to task the Productivity Commission with reviewing intellectual property holders’ rights and user conditions.

This was a key recommendation of the Harper Competition Review which delivered its report to the Government many months ago. The Harper panel called for a review both of Australia’s current IP laws and the process for negotiating IP clauses in international trade deals.

The Abbott Government needs to review both these issues as a matter of urgency to better inform negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Intellectual property issues are central to these negotiations, with key parties like the US Government pursuing expanded IP rights for their major corporations.

We need a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses in Australia’s current IP regime before the Abbott Government agrees to any significant changes.

We also need to set some benchmarks for protecting Australia’s national interest on intellectual property issues when our government goes to the negotiating table with other countries.

For there to a significant benefit for Australia from the conclusion of a Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, it must be a high-quality agreement that boosts exports and national income.

The Abbott Government must now bring forward this Productivity Commission review to ensure it has the latest evidence and analysis on intellectual property rights when negotiating this decade’s biggest trade deal.  

TUESDAY, 7 JULY 2015

MEDIA CONTACTS: JENNIFER RAYNER 0428 214 856


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