14.1 Failure to patent genetic research may affect healthcare provision if it discourages development of new technology. This may occur where researchers fail to obtain patent protection through lack of experience with the patenting process; through resistance to the need to protect and commercially exploit research; or if the research is made public before a patent application has been filed, as the invention may no longer be novel.

14.2 This chapter considers the impact of patenting on research practice. It examines the role of academic researchers in the patenting and commercialisation process and considers some factors that may adversely affect this process.

14.3 This chapter also explores the relationship between the need for secrecy to protect the novelty of a new invention prior to obtaining a patent and the scientific tradition of peer review and replication of studies, and briefly considers how this affects research practice. The effect of the provisions for non-prejudicial disclosures and the grace period that are provided under the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) (Patents Act) are considered in relation to early publication of research results and the ability to obtain a patent.