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Thursday, 30 April 1987
Page: 2379

(Question No. 5156)


Mr MacKellar asked the Minister for Science, upon notice, on 26 February 1987:

(1) Has the Australian Institute of Marine Science discovered a chemical compound in corals which has potential as a commercial ultraviolet light blocking agent.

(2) Has the Institute patented this discovery; if so, when were patent applications made.

(3) Has the Institute entered into a licensing arrangement for the commercial exploitation of this discovery; if so, with whom and from what date.

(4) Under the licensing arrangement, will the licensee or licensees pay royalties on all active constituents sold (a) in Australia and (b) overseas.

(5) What are the conditions of the royalty arrangements which relate to (a) income payable on sales of active constituents and (b) sub-licensing.

(6) What income was received by the Institute from any licensee in (1) 1985 and (b) 1986.


Mr Barry Jones —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes, I announced the Institute's discovery by media release on 18 October 1984.

(2) Yes, the Institute has registered four provisional Patent Specifications:

PG 7572 on 10 October 1984

PG 7681 on 17 October 1984

PH 5148 on 21 March 1986

PH 9230 on 28 November 1986

The first two were consolidated to lodge Australian Patent Application PCT/AU85/00242 on 3 October 1985. Work continues to support the other two provisional patents.

(3) Yes, the Institute entered a license agreement with ICI-Australia Operations Pty Ltd on 6 June 1985.

(4) (a) Yes; (b) Yes.

(5) (a) 5 per cent royalties, ex-factory cost manufactured in Australia;

(b) The Institute and ICI-Australia Operations Pty Ltd will receive an equal and undivided share of the income derived from any sub-license overseas or in Australia.

(6) The research has not yet yielded any products to the stage where one would have sales of active consti-tuents. However, (a) in 1985, the institute received from ICI-Australia Operations Pty Ltd the sum of $35 000 as an ex-gratia payment to support research at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) to complete patent specifications; and (b) in 1986 the Institute received from ICI-Australia Operations Pty Ltd the sum of $49 805 as a research grant to expand the study of AIMS.

Additionally, the Institute has received indirect income from ICI-Australia Operations Pty Ltd in their registration and maintenance of international patent applications of the Institute Patent Application PCT/AU85/00242, under provisions agreed in the license agreement.