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This subject provides an outline of some of the more important or notable features of European intellectual property (IP) regimes and reform proposals, selected either for their unique nature or their comparative relevance to Australian law. The subject will deal with a variety of sources of European IP law, including: European Union (EU) Directives and Regulations on or relating to IP; non-EU IP treaties (such as the European Patent Convention), and domestic IP law in European countries, in particular the United Kingdom, Germany and France.
Principal topics will include:
- An overview of the European IP regime
- The European patent system under the European Patent Convention and the European unitary patent initiative
- Key features of European patent law: patentable subject matter (including the impacts of the 1998 EU Biotechnology Directive); claim construction, inventive step and sufficiency/claim support
- The EU supplementary protection certificate (SPC) system
- EU laws specifically protecting databases and software, and the ramifications of those protections upon copyright protection generally
- European legal protections of authors’ moral rights
- European graduated response initiatives directed at internet-based copyright infringement
- The registered and unregistered European Community designs regimes
- The relationship between European designs and artistic copyright protection
- European laws extending trade mark protection to mark dilution and unfair advantage
- Internet-related trade mark infringement in settings such as online marketplaces and search engines
- Trade mark issues relating to comparative advertising and parallel importation
- The interface between the European IP regime and European competition/free trade protections, in particular the question of exhaustion of rights within the EU.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject should:
- Understand the main sources of European intellectual property law;
- Understand the main issues of importance arising from European intellectual property law;
- Understand the comparative relevance of European intellectual property law to Australian law;
- Understand the interface between European intellectual property law and European competition/free trade protections.
Last updated: 6 December 2019