LAW4641 - Intellectual property: Theory, copyright and design - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.




Dr Rebecca Giblin

Not offered in 2017


The following topics will be studied in detail:

  • General characteristics of intellectual property
  • Policy underlying copyright and designs in Australia, Hong Kong, the PRC and other relevant jurisdictions
  • Trade-related Intellectual Property Provisions of the World Trade Organisation
  • General nature of copyright law
  • The conceptualization of a work
  • Duration, fixation, ownership, licensing, fair dealing with regard to copyright
  • Copyright infringement, remedies and defences
  • Moral rights
  • International copyright system
  • General characteristics of design law


At the end of this unit, students will have:

  • an appreciation of the economic, cultural and political contexts in which intellectual property is used and be able to take these factors into consideration when dealing with the legal aspects of the subject
  • an understanding of the international context of copyright and designs laws
  • knowledge of the legal principles governing copyright and designs law in Australia and some comparative knowledge of the equivalent regime in Hong Kong and the PRC
  • the ability and capability to explain the requirements for protection under the laws of intellectual property and related registrations for purposes of providing advice to clients
  • the ability and capability to explain the elements of the causes of action of copyright and registered design and the related defences to clients
  • the ability and capability to discuss the legal considerations regarding the assignment and licensing of copyrighted works to clients
  • the ability and capability to analyse the major cases and legislation relating to copyright
  • the ability and capability to advise a client about the likely application of copyright rules in novel situations
  • become familiar with the special difficulties that can arise from conflicts between national interests and legal systems when conducting trade involving relevant intellectual property.


Research essay (max 1500 words): 30%

Assessed tutorials (3 tutorials x 10% each): 30%

Final exam: 40%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. The unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)


This unit is offered to specific cohort students only