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Competition Law and Intellectual Property - LAWS8074

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 either 9200, 9210, 9230, 5740 or 5265
Excluded: JURD7474
CSS Contribution Charge:Band 3 (more info)
Further Information: See Class Timetable


This course considers the crucial interface between competition law and intellectual property and whether they are complementary or in conflict. It looks at the rationale for each and problems which exist in the relationship in a global context. Issues to be discussed will likely include misuse of intellectual property and market power; refusals to license; patent pools, tying arrangements and standard setting organisations; industry specific issues in pharmaceuticals, computer software and hardware; compulsory licensing; collecting societies. Worldwide there is no consensus on how to deal with many of these issues, which have generated intense conflict between the European Union and the United States, and China and many other countries.

LLM Specialisation

Recommended Prior Knowledge


Course Objectives

A candidate who has successfully completed this course should be able to:
  • Understand the roles of competition law and intellectual property law against their economic background
  • Identify the likely complements and conflicts between competition law and various areas of intellectual property
  • Identify particular problem areas arising from these two areas
  • Understand the conflicts between the differing approaches to these problems in selected jurisdictions globally

Main Topics

  • Basics of competition law and economics
  • Basics of intellectual property law and economics
  • Theory: conflict or complement?
  • Misuse of patents to acquire or maintain market power
  • Specific arrangement such as patent pools; tying arrangements; standard-setting organisations and issues arising
  • Refusals to license by the dominant firm- comparative views
  • Industry specific issues: pharmaceuticals; computer software and hardware
  • Compulsory licensing (a) as a remedy for other antitrust violations; (b) as a response to social problems (AIDS drugs in Africa
  • Collecting societies
These issues and others are the focus of competition enforcement agencies worldwide. There is no consensus about how to deal with them and they have generated intense conflict between the US and EU. China has yet to refine its approach to dealing with these questions, but as it does it will no doubt become a very important part of the discussion.


Essay plan: 20%
Essay: 70%
Class Participation: 10%

Course Texts


S.G. Corones, Competition Law in Australia, 2007 Thomson


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.