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Thursday, 12 August 2004
Page: 26387

Senator HILL (Minister for Defence) (5:55 PM) —No, I am told that was another one. This was a PBS roundtable. I am more than happy if Senator Nettle wants to move onto the issue of the amendments before the chamber. Obviously, we have been very focused on the issue of the adequacy of our existing patent laws and whether there is any way in which practices that are sometimes utilised within the United States—and I think some argue Canada—could come into play in the Australian system. We are sure, as I have said earlier in this debate, that that could not occur.

I start to run into some personal experiences of sitting down with patent officials last week and others and discussing the operation of the system. I am satisfied that it is working well. The law is different to that in the United States, and I could go into that if it was really of interest to the chamber. The application of the law seems to be handled very efficiently. It seems to me that in the end even the Labor Party recognised that this would not become a threat to generics within Australia and that is why they switched tack onto injunctions from the patent listing procedures in this country.