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Intellectual property (IP) rights support growth by promoting innovation through the offer of a temporary ‘monopoly’ to creators and inventors. However, such rights can also stifle growth where transaction costs are high or rights are fragmented in a way making them hard to access. Poorly designed intellectual property rules can help established players in a market obstruct new players by impeding their access to technology and content. A carefully designed and dynamic intellectual property system can, by contrast, complement the spur that competition gives to innovation by enabling follow-on innovation. The interface of intellectual property and competition law is especially crucial to this goal. Taught by two experts in the fields of competition law and intellectual property, this subject examines the interface, looking both at how competition law regulates intellectual property and ways in which competition policies may be found within the intellectual property systems. Relevant Australian and comparable law will be examined, along with case studies in topical areas such as book publishing, news media, large datasets, file-sharing and luxury brands.
This subject provides an examination of the interface between the legal property rights created by intellectual property statutes (and at common law) and the body of law that controls and regulates anti-competitive practices.
Principal topics include:
- Theoretical approaches to the accommodation of intellectual property rights to competition law
- Policy goals of intellectual property and competition law
- Limitations and controls placed over the granting, subsistence, scope and infringement of intellectual property rights under statutory and common law regimes
- Statutory and compulsory licensing under the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) and Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)
- Part IV of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth): outline, concepts and special provisions in respect of intellectual property
- Dealings in intellectual property under intellectual property and competition statutes.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Have an advanced and integrated understanding of key principles of competition law and intellectual property in Australia and comparable jurisdictions
- Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the effectiveness of these legal principles
- Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently examine, research and analyse existing and emerging legal issues relating to competition law and intellectual property
- Be an engaged participant in debate regarding emerging and contemporary issues in the field
- Have a sophisticated appreciation of the factors and processes driving law reform
- Have the cognitive and technical skills to generate critical and creative ideas, and to critically evaluate existing legal theories, principles and concepts with creativity and autonomy
- Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding competition law and intellectual property to relevant specialist and non-specialist audiences.
- Be able demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a practitioner and learner in the field of competition law and intellectual property.
Last updated: 6 December 2019