IP review the key recommendation in the Harper Review

April 1st,2015

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) welcomes recommendations in the Harper Review Final report that highlight the need for the Productivity Commission to undertake an overarching review of intellectual property.

REIA President, Neville Sanders said, “The recommendation follows REIA’s strong support in our response to the draft report in which we highlighted how intellectual property can be dominated by large corporations in a bid to stifle competition and specifically website domain names.”

“The experience of REIA is that big business trademark grabs not only have a major adverse impact on competition, particularly for small business but they are deliberately used to reduce competition.”

“The review should be all encompassing to include all forms of intellectual property under changing technologies.”

“A good example is the case of the REA group (which owns realestate.com) which has attempted to broaden its trademark application to include ‘real estate.’ REIA has vigorously opposed this move and has asked the application be withdrawn as it could potentially jeopardise the use of generic terms by other businesses, competitor web portals and professional bodies.”

“REIA would encourage the Government to act on the recommendations of the Harper Review including that on intellectual property to address the concerns of small business about the market power of larger corporations,” Mr Sanders concluded.

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