Special Topics in Intellectual Property

Subject 730-435 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

February, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

The subject will be taught intensively over the summer semester

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The subject will be taught intensively in the summer semester
Total Time Commitment: 120-140 hours

Legal Method and Reasoning; Principles of Public Law; Torts; Legal Theory; Obligations, Contracts; Property and any of the following: Copyright, Patents and Allied Rights, Trade Marks and Related Rights, Remedies

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Prof Megan Richardson
Subject Overview:

The principle topics covered will include:

  • theories of intellectual property and overview of relevant sources of protection;
  • topical issues such as copyright term extension, fair dealing versus fair use as a defence to copyright infringement, patents of business methods, trade mark dilution, passing off and unauthorised character merchandising
  • interface between intellectual property and other rights, such as privacy, free speech and freedom of competition;
  • implications of new technologies such as the internet;
  • international standards including TRIPs; the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement
  • the future of intellectual property law.

Note: The essay in this subject is regarded as a substantial piece of legal writing.

Objectives: The subject aims to promote:
- basic understanding of intellectual property law
- awareness of topical issues and legal solutions found to date
- appreciation of intellectual property rights as operating in a broader legal, cultural, economic and political context
- understanding of relevant legal theories
- exercise of critical skills

Research essay of 5000 words on a topic to be approved by the subject coordinator; 100%.

Prescribed Texts:

Printed materials will be issued by Melbourne Law School.

Recommended Texts:

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of the subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:

  • attitudes towards knowledge that include valuing truth, openness to new ideas and ethics associated with knowledge creation and usage
  • the capacity for close reading and analysis of a range of sources
  • the capacity for critical and independent thought and reflection
  • the capacity to solve problems, including through the collection and evaluation of information
  • the capacity to communicate, both orally and in writing
  • the capacity to plan and manage time

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