Our News Alert of 25 November 2010 reported on the introduction of the Patent Amendment (Human Genes and Biological Materials) Bill 2010 to the Australian Parliament. The Bill proposes significant amendments to the Patents Act (1990), specifically to exclude gene sequences and other biological materials from patentability in Australia. The Bill was immediately referred to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee for further inquiry and report.
The deadline for submissions to that Committee was 25 February 2011, and well in excess of 100 submissions were received. The Committee held public hearings on 28-29 April 2011 and was originally set to hand down their Report today, 16 June 2011. At the request of the Committee, the Senate voted yesterday to extend the reporting date of that inquiry to 25 August 2011.
We will continue to keep you updated as any further news breaks.