Freedom to Tinker: Patent Law and Scientific Research Symposium

In recent years, there has been some concern about patent rights inhibiting research and development, particularly in biotechnology and IT. There has been much discussion in Australia and overseas as to whether researchers should enjoy a defence in respect of patent infringement.
This symposium considered whether Australian patent law should have a defence for research use, and, if so, what its scope should be. It explored the impact of such an exemption upon a number of industries. It included representatives from the fields of agriculture, health-care, biotechnology, IT, and government.

Mr Bruce Alston
, Senior Legal Officer, Australian Law Reform Commission
Mr Geoff Budd, Counsel, Grains Research and Development Corporation
Dr Simon Easteal, Human Genetics Group, John Curtin School of Medical Research, The Australian National University, and Scientific Advisory Committee, Genetic Technologies Limited
Dr Thomas Faunce, Lecturer, Faculty of Law, The Australian National University, and the Medical School, The Canberra Hospital
Dr Ian Heath, Director-General, IP Australia
Ms Miranda Lee, Executive Officer, Australian Digital Alliance
Mr Brian Opeskin, Commissioner, Australian Law Reform Commission
Dr Matthew Rimmer, Australian Centre for Intellectual Property in Agriculture, The Australian National University
Mr Doug Waterhouse, Registrar, Plant Breeder's Rights Office, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

This symposium was sponsored by the Grains Research and Development Corporation and the Australian Research Council.