Intellectual property is one of the most dynamic areas of the law. In this century it has become 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 specific, advanced 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, although developments abroad will be considered in some detail.
The topics may change depending on current controversies, but are likely to include:
- Moral rights and artists' resale rights
- Reform of copyright exceptions
- Online copyright infringement, the role of ISPs and website blocking procedures
- Controversies over patentable subject matter: business methods, software, and human genetic material
- The scope of trade mark law
- Protecting geographical indications in local and international trade
- Protecting privacy and publicity
- Ambush marketing legislation
- Innovation and competition policy
- Challenges to intellectual property