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The practice of intellectual property (IP) dispute resolution has a number of special features which mark it out from general civil litigation. Obtaining (or resisting) interim remedies can be crucial. IP disputes can take place in non-court settings – e.g. in opposition proceedings before IP Australia – and so may be heard by a non-legally qualified decision-maker. The disputes can – and in the case of patents, invariably will – concern technology. Careful and persuasive explanation of the technology will be required, especially before a tribunal without a scientific training. IP disputes can require specific evidence-gathering – such as experiments and surveys, and special approaches to discovery – for which particular rules and practices have developed. Expert witnesses of the highest calibre often give evidence. Challenging a Nobel Laureate on his or her own subject may be required, and the legal team has to prepare for that. IP disputes are often highly international in nature. Essentially the same dispute can be litigated in numerous jurisdictions, constraining the presentation of the case and generating foreign decisions on the same case. The ability to compare and contrast Common Law and Civil Code systems is useful.
Through a combination of instruction and hands-on application, this subject teaches and develops the skills and practices of advocacy and evidence-gathering used across the range of IP disputes.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Develop the skills for presenting a range of different kinds of IP case, including disputes involving patents, trade marks, copyright and designs.
- Identify the main sources of evidence likely to be required in order to argue and defend an IP dispute.
- Understand the main differences between major international IP jurisdictions and apply that knowledge in the preparation and presentation of a case.
- Analyse technical subject matter and develop the skills to communicate technical issues to specialist and non-specialist tribunals.
Last updated: 2 December 2019