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Fundamentals of Intellectual Property provides a good introduction to intellectual property (IP) for students wishing to pursue more specialised graduate studies in this area. It also provides a general overview of IP law for students studying an overall commercial and trade law program.
The objective of this subject is to provide an introduction to, and general overview of, the various Australian and New Zealand legal regimes protecting IP. IP laws, including patent, design and copyright laws, are directed at the encouragement and protection of innovations in science, technology and cultural goods. IP laws, including trade mark and unfair competition laws, also protect brands, reputations and other important commercial interests. There is a potential for conflict between these laws and competition laws, and this interface will be discussed. The subject will also introduce the international framework of treaties under which the owners of IP from one country can seek protection in another country.
Completion of Module 1 of this subject (Overview of Intellectual Property; two half-day seminars) meets the requirements of the Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board (TTIPAB) for ‘Topic Group A2’.
Note: If you enrol in Fundamentals of Intellectual Property (LAWS90125), you do not need to enrol in Overview of Intellectual Property.
Principal topics include:
- Introduction to the concept of IP and rationales for IP laws
- Patents, including:
- Subject matter
- Registration process
- Conditions for protection
- Exclusive rights and infringement
- Protection of confidential information and trade secrets under general law
- Registered designs
- Copyright and neighbouring rights, including:
- Subject matter protected
- Conditions for protection
- Exclusive rights
- Licensing and exploitation
- Trade marks and unfair competition, including:
- Protection for registered marks
- Protection for unregistered marks
- Sui generis regimes of protection: geographic indications, plant breeder's rights and circuit layouts
- International IP treaties
- IP and competition law
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Have a general and integrated understanding of the legal regimes concerned with the acquisition, maintenance, protection and exploitation of IP in Australia and of the policy objectives underlying these regimes
- Have a general appreciation of the international framework of protection for IP
- Have an appreciation of the interface between IP and competition laws
- Be able to critically examine, analyse, interpret and assess the effectiveness of these different legal regimes
- Have the skills and ability to apply their knowledge to new situations encountered in their professional lives, whether as practising lawyers and attorneys or otherwise
- Have a sound appreciation of the factors and processes driving rIP law reform in Australia.
Last updated: 11 February 2021