This unit focuses on legal rights concerning the marketing of products, specifically, trade mark law and passing off, and legal rights concerning invention, specifically, patent law. Most aspects of the law of registered trade marks, including some references to passing-off and misleading and deceptive conduct will be covered in the unit, as will the effect of these areas of law on new marketing practices on the Internet. Some specific topics which will be covered in depth are: the differences between registered trade marks, passing-off and unfair competition; character merchandising and the protection of the celebrity persona; the nature of signs and the special problem of shape trade marks; counterfeiting and parallel imports; trade mark infringement; the badge of origin, private property and cultural resource functions of registered trade marks. In patent law, there will be a particular focus on the requirements for patentability under Australian patent law; the requirements for patent specifications; the concept of inventorship and ownership of patents; and patent infringement and defences. Although the unit of study emphasises legal doctrine and is taught from the perspective of a relatively depoliticised formalism, it is also recognised that the deployment and the regulation of intellectual property inevitably have substantial cultural and economic consequences, which in turn inform and shape the development of legal doctrine. So, for example, pharmaceutical patents are both valuable assets to their owners, who accordingly demand extensive legal protection for those assets, and also the target of vigorous criticism in the developing world for the patents' potentially detrimental effect on public health in relation to, inter alia, HIV. There will, accordingly, be some attention paid in this unit to the cultural and economic consequences of intellectual property laws, to the significance of access to the public domain and to the effects of international trade pressure in the area.
2x2hr seminars/week for 10 weeks
Two options: (1) 5,000wd research essay (50%) and final exam (50%) or (2) final examination (100%). Subject to change.
David Price, Colin Bodkin, and Fady Aoun, Intellectual Property: Cases and Materials, ThomsonReuters, 6th ed, 2017.
LAWS3472 or LAWS3033 or LAWS3479