Competition Policy Review

May 23, 2014 | Policy

The Federal Government is conducting a review of competition policy. The Issues Paper includes questions on intellectual property and parallel importation. Responses are due by 10 June 2014.

An issues paper was released on 14 April 2014. There is no reference to intellectual property in the terms of reference, but the issues paper canvases intellectual property and IT pricing issues.

The chapter in the issues paper titled ‘Regulatory impediments to competition’, lists the following as ‘regulatory restrictions’:

  • restrictions on where certain products can be sold (licensing)
  • restrictions arising from the granting of intellectual property rights

Questions in the Issues Paper include:

Are there restrictions arising from IP laws that have an unduly adverse impact on competition? Can the objectives of these IP laws be achieved in a manner more conducive to competition?

Should any current restrictions on parallel importation be removed or altered in order to increase competition?

Is there a case to regulate international price discrimination? If so, how could it be regulated effectively while not limiting choice for consumers or introducing other adverse consequences?

There is more information about the review, include the background and members of the review panel, here and here.

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