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Research_

Intellectual property, media and privacy law

Shaping and informing policy debates in Australia

Our research addresses increasingly difficult societal challenges in the media environment and in our systems for promoting creativity and technological development.

Intellectual property is concerned with the commodification, commercialisation and regulation of creative and marketing rights. The principal creative and marketing rights recognised under Australian law are copyright, trade marks, patents and designs, all of which are covered by complex statutory regimes.

Media law is concerned with the bodies of law – at common law, in equity and under statute – which have the most significant impact on the daily conduct of publishers, both traditional and new. These include defamation; privacy and breach of confidence; contempt of court and suppression or non-publication orders. These areas of law seek to balance – on the one hand – freedom of expression and matters of public interest with – on the other hand – competing rights to reputation, privacy, confidentiality, the proper administration of justice and the right to a fair trial.

Our work

Professor David Rolph is a leading Australian scholar addressing the value and role of reputation, privacy and open justice through laws of defamation, privacy and contempt of court respectively. Professor Kimberlee Weatherall’s research spans copyright and trade mark law and intersections between international law and domestic innovation systems. Dr Fady Aoun’s latest work tackles the intersection of property interests in trade mark and historically marginalised groups, including Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Our impact

The research produced by members of the intellectual property, media and privacy group covers a wide range of specialist areas: copyright; trade marks; patents; designs; defamation; privacy; breach of confidence; contempt of court; and suppression and non-publication orders. It adopts a wide range of approaches and methodologies, from the doctrinal to the empirical, from the theoretical to the historical.

A significant portion of the research conducted by members of the group is directed towards shaping or informing policy debates in Australia, as is demonstrated by Professor Barbara McDonald’s 2014 report for the Australian Law Reform Commission on serious invasions of privacy in the digital age. Given the globalised nature of intellectual property and media law in a networked world, a significant portion of the research conducted by members of the group is oriented towards international engagement.

Our experts