Competition Law & Intellectual Property

Subject LAWS70208 (2012)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2012.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 7 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2012:

July, Parkville - 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

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: The total class time is between 24 and 26 hours.
Total Time Commitment: Not available




Recommended Background Knowledge:

Applicants without legal qualifications should note that subjects are offered in the discipline of law at an advanced graduate level. While every effort will be made to meet the needs of students trained in other fields, concessions will not be made in the general level of instruction or assessment. Most subjects assume the knowledge usually acquired in a degree in law (LLB, JD or equivalent). Applicants should note that admission to some subjects in the Melbourne Law Masters will be dependent upon the individual applicant’s educational background and professional experience.

Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

Visit the Melbourne Law Masters website for more information about this subject.


For more information, contact the Melbourne Law Masters office.

Email or phone +61 3 8344 6190.

Alternatively, visit our website:

Subject Overview:

Intellectual property (IP) rights support growth by promoting innovation through the offer of a temporary monopoly to creators and inventors. But such rights can also stifle growth where transaction costs are high or rights are fragmented in a way that makes them hard to access. Poorly designed Intellectual property rules can help established players in a market obstruct new players by impeding their access to technology and content. A carefully designed and dynamic Intellectual property system can, by contrast, complement the spur that competition gives to innovation by enabling follow-on innovation. The interface of Intellectual property and competition law is especially crucial to this goal. Taught by two experts in the fields of competition law and Intellectual property, this subject examines the interface, looking both at how competition law regulates Intellectual property and ways in which competition policies may be found within the Intellectual property systems. Relevant Australian and comparable law will be examined along with special case studies on book publishing, news media and luxury brands.

This subject provides an examination of the interface between the legal property rights created by intellectual property statutes (and at common law) and the body of law that controls and regulates anti-competitive practices.

Principal topics will include:

  • Theoretical approaches to the accommodation of intellectual property rights to competition law
  • Policy goals of intellectual property and competition law
  • Limitations and controls placed over the grant, subsistence, scope and infringement of intellectual property rights under statutory and common law regimes
  • Statutory and compulsory licensing under the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) and Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)
  • Part IV of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth): Outline, concepts and special provisions in respect of intellectual property
  • Dealings in intellectual property under intellectual property and competition statutes.

A student who has successfully completed this subject should:

  • Understand the policy goals that underlie the legal recognition of intellectual property and competition law
  • Have a broad familiarity with economic concepts such as 'competition', 'market power', 'public good', and 'property right' which define the interaction between intellectual property and competition law
  • Be aware of the extent to which intellectual property laws limit the exercise of intellectual property rights in the interests of competition
  • Be able to analyse the provisions of Part IV of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) and apply them to dealings in intellectual property.

Class participation (10%)

Take-home examination (90%) (12 pm 24 August to 5 pm 27 August)


9,000 word research paper (90%) (15 October) on a topic approved by the subject coordinator

Prescribed Texts:

Core subject materials will be provided free of charge to all students. Some subjects require further texts to be purchased. Visit the Melbourne Law Masters website for more information about this subject.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information:

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