Owning Ideas: Creation, Innovation & Law

Subject LAWS30017 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 36 hours (one 1.5-hour lecture and one 1.5-hour workshop per week)
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

It is strongly recommended that students have completed at least 100 points of undergraduate study before enrolling in this subject. The subject level is an indicator as to the difficulty of the subject and expected workload.

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 Andrew F. Christie


Contact Stop 1

Subject Overview:

The capacity to generate ideas is both a fundamental characteristic of human beings and the source of humankind's cultural and economic advancement. This subject is concerned with the law's response to the issues of when, how and by whom ideas can be owned. In particular, it explores the rationale for and operation of intellectual property regimes - copyright, patent and trade mark laws - as they apply to the creative arts, the sciences and the business world.

The principal topics covered are:

  • Why protect ideas?
  • What rights are provided to the creators of literature, art, music and film?
  • How can innovators protect their inventions?
  • When can a brand owner prevent a competitor from making a similar-named or similar-looking product?
  • When should others be able to make use of protected ideas?
Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students should:

  • Appreciate the cultural and economic objectives and challenges in protecting the products of human creativity and innovation;
  • Recognise the types of creations and innovations protected by the law; and
  • Understand the basic features of the protection provided by the law to those creations and innovations.
  • Class participation (5%);
  • Multiple-choice test undertaken in week 5 (10%);
  • Written assignment of 2,500 words, due no later than the end of week 6 (25%);
  • A 2-hour written examination (60%).

The due date of the above assessment will be available to enrolled students via the LMS.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available from the University Co-Op Bookshop.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

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

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

  • The capacity for close reading and analysis of a range of textual materials;
  • The capacity to engage in critical thinking and to bring to bear a range of conceptual analyses upon a given subject matter;
  • The capacity for independent thought and reflection;
  • The capacity to articulate knowledge and understanding of complex ideas in oral and written form; and
  • The ability to confront unfamiliar and challenging issues and to consider appropriate legal and policy responses to them.
Related Breadth Track(s): Law - Media and Intellectual Property Law

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