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Thursday, 2 December 1965

Mr BUCHANAN (McMillan) . - There are a couple of matters on which I would appreciate a reply from the Attorney-General. 1 mention in passing the fact that activities such as research are dependent on an enterprise commanding a very large section of the available market. We must have monopoly conditions if we expect firms to put aside the necessary money for research. Today Australia is just beginning to get going with research in industry. We have been asked to make special taxation allowances to encourage research. This is one aspect of the building up of our secondary industries which is tremendously important.

I might also mention the matter of patents. A patentee may have an exclusive right to dispose of a franchise, or perhaps to sell his product, but certainly he should have the right to put a price on the product. Is that kind of right going to be inhibited because the patentee is in a dominant position? As I see it, this provision goes much further than the Patents Act. I would like some clarification of this. I am not familiar with the subject but this is what I understand. It seems to me that we are cutting across a facet of industry that is most important. There must be some guarantee of immunity if we are to encourage these great enterprises that Australia needs to establish themselves here, particularly when we have given them to understand that stable prices and stable government provide an atmosphere in which they can make a contribution to Australia. If this clause stays as it is, it will impose something on these concerns. The word " impose " goes both ways. The clause imposes a great handicap on them, and there is no appeal. To my mind, this is one of the areas in which the Bill falls down.

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