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Intellectual Property Law and Innovation - LAWS8046
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Faculty: Faculty of Law
School:  Faculty of Law
Course Outline: See below
Campus: Kensington Campus
Career: Postgraduate
Units of Credit: 6
EFTSL: 0.12500 (more info)
Indicative Contact Hours per Week: 2
Enrolment Requirements:
Prerequisite: Academic Program must be 5265
CSS Contribution Charge:Band 3 (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


This course provides a practical overview of the legal regulation of innovation. Its primary focus is on the role of Australian and international intellectual property law, especially the laws of copyright, designs, patents, trade marks and related rights, in rewarding and protecting innovations in both product appearance and function. The course also locates this discussion of legal regulation within a broader framework of innovation strategy, government policy and international trade. It will be of particular interest to those with an interest in the workings of the cultural, scientific and technology industries, both in Australia and internationally.

LAWS8046 is compulsory for Graduate Diploma in Applied Intellectual Property students, unless an exemption is obtained from the Program Director, based on previous study of intellectual property law or comparable work experience.

Recommended Prior Knowledge

No prior knowledge is required

Course Objectives

A candidate who has successfully completed this course should:
  • Have a clear understanding of the operation of, and relationships between, the various branches of the law that impact on the protection of innovation
  • Be able to define and understand the law regulating innovation within the broader context of government policy and innovation strategy
  • Be able to demonstrate a practical understanding of the above by successfully completing one or more problem question exercises, as well as presenting clear, cogent argued written arguments in a research essay.

Main Topics

  • Introduction: what is innovation law?
  • Government strategies and their relationship with the law
  • Protecting innovation as trade secrets
  • Protecting innovation through patent law
  • Protecting innovation through copyright law
  • Protecting designs
  • Branding law
  • Sui generis legal regimes
  • International protection of innovation
  • Innovation strategies: commercialisation and IP management issues


Class participation 20% (maximisable)
Problem Question(s) (approx. 3,000 words) 50%
Research essay (approx. 3,000 words) 50%

Course Texts

W. van Caenegem, Intellectual Property Law and Innovation (Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 2007)

L. Bently and B. Sherman, Intellectual Property (3rd ed) (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009)
W. Cornish and D. Llewelyn, Intellectual Property: Patents, Copyright, Trade Marks and Allied Rights (6th ed) (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2007)
M. Davison et al, Australian Intellectual Property Law (Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 2008)
M. Leiboff, Creative Practice and the Law (Sydney: Thomson Lawbook Co, 2007)
J. McKeough et al, Intellectual Property in Australia (3rd ed) (Sydney: LexisNexis Butterworths, 2004)
S. Ricketson et al, Intellectual Property: Cases, Materials and Commentary (4thed) (Sydney: LexisNexis Butterworths, 2008)


Refer to the course outline which will be provided by the lecturer at the beginning of the relevant semester.

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© The University of New South Wales (CRICOS Provider No.: 00098G), 2004-2011. The information contained in this Handbook is indicative only. While every effort is made to keep this information up-to-date, the University reserves the right to discontinue or vary arrangements, programs and courses at any time without notice and at its discretion. While the University will try to avoid or minimise any inconvenience, changes may also be made to programs, courses and staff after enrolment. The University may also set limits on the number of students in a course.