Part H. Other Intellectual Property Issues

Although the Inquiry focused on the patentability of genetic materials and technologies, there are related intellectual property issues that have a bearing on research, commercialisation and healthcare in this field. Chapter 28 discusses the application of copyright law to the written representation of gene and protein sequences, and to databases holding genetic sequence information. It discusses the application of the fair dealing exception to copyright infringement for the purpose of research or study; and the need to achieve an appropriate balance between the rights of database owners and researchers. The Report recommends that the Copyright Act be amended to provide that research with a commercial purpose or objective is research in the context of fair dealing for the purpose of research or study. Further issues arise in relation to the practical exercise of fair dealing. The ALRC also makes recommendations in relation to technological protection measures and contract. As with some other recommendations in the Report, these are not directed solely at genetic databases. The Inquiry considered it preferable to correct systemic weaknesses highlighted by issues concerning genetic databases.