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This course, together with Intellectual Property 2: Trade Marks and Patents, collectively consider Australian intellectual property (IP) law.

IP—which encompasses the laws of copyright, designs, patents, breach of confidence, passing off and registered trade marks, as well as various related doctrines—has become one of the most important areas of commercial legal practice in recent years. It is vital to the marketing, advertising, entertainment, communications and science and technology industries. The two courses together aim to introduce students to each of the general law and statutory protections outlined above. For each of the heads of protection, the courses gives detailed consideration to the subject matter which is protected, the pre-conditions for protection, and the nature of infringement. Various justifications for IP are also considered, particularly in the context of new or developing forms of IP.

Intellectual Property 1: Copyright and Designs considers two key aspects of Australian IP law. The first, which is the focus of the course, is the law of copyright. Copyright primarily protects creative and entrepreneurial subject matter such as books, art, music, films and TV broadcasts. The course focuses on key issues such as the history of and justifications for copyright; copyright subject matter; requirements for subsistence; ownership and exploitation; infringement, defences and remedies; and moral rights. Attention will also be paid to emerging debates, policy issues and law reform proposals on such issues as the impact of digital technology, rights in entertainment franchises and indigenous artists’ rights. The second aspect of IP law considered in the course is registered designs, with a focus on requirements for registration, infringement, and the techniques used to manage the overlap between copyright and design protection.

Intellectual Property 1 and Intellectual Property 2 can be taken in any order.

Please be aware that students who take Intellectual Property 1 and/or Intellectual Property 2 will not be able to take LAWS3021 Foundations of Intellectual Property Law and/or LAWS3057 Advanced Intellectual Property Policy and Practice. Similarly, students who take Foundations of Intellectual Property Law and/or Advanced Intellectual Property Policy and Practice will not be able to take either Intellectual Property 1 or Intellectual Property 2.

Main Topics

  • Introduction to Copyright: History and Basic Principles
  • Subsistence and Duration
  • Copyright Subject Matter
  • Ownership and Exploitation
  • Direct Infringement
  • Authorisation of Infringement
  • Exceptions to Infringement
  • Performers’ Rights, Moral Rights and Artists' Resale Rights
  • Introduction Registered Designs
  • Requirements for Registration and Infringement
  • The Copyright/Designs Overlap
Faculty Faculty of Law
Study Level


Offering Terms

Term 1, Term 2, Term 3



Indicative contact hours


Conditions for Enrolment

Prerequisite: Completion of 36 UOC of JURD courses for students enrolled prior to 2013. For students enrolled after 2013, completion of 72 UOC of JURD courses. Exclusion: JURD7321, JURD7617 OR equivalent

Course Outline

To access course outline, please visit:


Pre-2019 Handbook Editions

Access past handbook editions (2018 and prior)

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