The University of New South Wales

go to UNSW home page

Handbook Home

Advanced Topics in Intellectual Property - JURD7621

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:
36 UOC completed in Juris Doctor Program (9150)
Excluded: LAWS8021
CSS Contribution Charge:Band 3 (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


Intellectual property is one of the most dynamic areas of the law. In the past fifteen years or so it has been a field of major economic and social importance. At the same time, it has had to respond to a range of issues, for example the challenges posed by digitisation of copyright materials, the impact of biotechnological development, the intersection with competition law and increased concern over the social costs of extending the scope of intellectual property rights. Notwithstanding the fact that Australian intellectual property law has been the subject of major reform over recent years, there are still many unresolved issues impacting on this area of the law. The purpose of this course is to examine in detail some of these particular issues. Thus, rather than focusing on general principles, in this course we will look at particular topics that are the subject of current controversy. The focus of this course will be on Australian law.

Recommended Prior Knowledge

This course assumes a working knowledge of intellectual property based on completion of JURD7446 Intellectual Property 1. You will be expected to have an overview of intellectual property law and/or to have read a recent IP textbook (such as Davison et al, Australian Intellectual Property Law (Cambridge University Press, 2008) or Stewart et al, Intellectual Property in Australia (4th ed) (LexisNexis, 2010) and IP casebook (such as Bowrey et al, Australian Intellectual Property: Commentary, Law and Practice (Oxford University Press, 2010).

Course Objectives

The general aims of this course are to investigate why each of the studied issues have proven to be controversial, to assess the major doctrinal, theoretical and policy arguments relating to these issues and to canvass ways in which the law might be improved. On the completion of the course, students should:
  • Have a comprehensive understanding of the major issues affecting intellectual property law in Australia
  • Be aware of the major arguments and critical thinking that has impacted on these issues
  • Be able to explain why each of these issues has been difficult to resolve
  • Be able to identify potential for law reform in relation to these issues
  • Be able to articulate the above in the form of a cogently argued essay

Main Topics

  • Moral rights and artists' resale rights
  • Copyright exceptions
  • Technological protection measures
  • Authorisation of copyright infringement
  • Geographical indications
  • Trade mark law reform
  • Confidential information and the protection of privacy
  • Business method patents and claim construction
  • Innovation and competition policy
  • Intellectual property commercialisation
  • Challenges to intellectual property


Research plan 1,000 words 20%
Research essay 5,000 words 80%
Class Participation Preparation and engagement in class 20% (maximisable)

Course Texts

Course Materials will be handed out at the first class. These contain comprehensive details of the specific readings for each class.

Refer to Course Materials


Refer to Course Materials.

URL for this page:

© 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.