Special Topics in Intellectual Property

Subject LAWS40049 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

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

This subject is not offered in 2011.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The subject will be taught intensively.
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 requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills, and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to providing support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/.


Melbourne Law School Student Centre
Email: law-studentcentre@unimelb.edu.au
Tel: +61 3 8344 4475
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.

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 5,000 words on a topic to be approved by the subject coordinator; 100%.

Prescribed Texts:

Printed materials will be available from the Melbourne Law School.

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.

The essay in this subject is regarded as a substantial piece of legal writing for honours purposes.

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