Ethics and Social Policy

Date Published

It is the role of Parliament to reflect community expectation in the development of legislation, for example, in exclusions from patentability.  Where a claimed invention falls within an established class of patentable subject matter (as outlined in Legal Principles), it is not appropriate to exclude patentability on the basis of separate notions of ethics or social policy that are not reflected in the legislation (Anaesthetic Supplies Pty Limited v Rescare Limited (1994) AIPC 91-076; 28 IPR 383).  Where the claimed subject matter relates to a “new class”, patentability is to be assessed according to the factors identified by the High Court in D’Arcy v Myriad Genetics Inc [2015] HCA 35 (as described in Legal Principles).