LAW5628 - International and comparative trademark law - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

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



Not offered in 2017


This unit will provide an overview of the obligations under international law to provide protection to trade marks and a comparison of selected, key aspects of trade mark protection in Australia, the United States and the EU. Consequently, in relation to international law, it will examine the trade mark aspects of the TRIPS agreement (including consideration of geographical indications) and the Uniform Dispute Resolution Policy of ICANN relating to domain names. To a lesser extent, the unit will deal with the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and the Madrid Protocol relating to multiple filings of trade mark applications. Selected, key aspects of comparison will include issues such as jurisdiction specific approaches to ownership, the requirements for registrability of trade marks such as shape trade marks and the different approaches to infringement, including dilution of trade marks and parallel importing. Other topics may include the registration and control of domain names. It is likely that, in light of Australian legislation and WTO challenges, the unit will also critically examine the arguments of the tobacco industry that international trade mark obligations prevent the implementation of plain packaging of cigarettes.


On completion of this subject, students will be able to:

  1. Apply knowledge and understanding of the law relating to trademarks both internationally and in relation to selected jurisdictions, notably, Australia, the United Kingdom and the United State, demonstrating sophisticated awareness of the theoretical and policy concerns underpinning key areas of international and comparative trademark law;
  2. Investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information concerning the application of selected areas of trademark law, both internationally as manifested in the major international treaties of TRIPS and the Paris Convention and in the selected jurisdictions;
  3. Conduct research into issues relating to the application of comparative law and policy to trademark law; and
  4. Use cognitive, technical and creative skills to solve complex problems relating to trademark law and policy.


Attendance requirement: students who fail to attend at least 80% of the classes in this unit (ie who miss 3 or more classes) will receive a result of 0 N for the unit. Students who are unable to meet this requirement due to severe illness or other exceptional circumstances must make an application for in-semester special consideration with supporting documentation.

  1. Class participation: 10%
  2. One assignment (750 words): 10%
  3. One research assignment (6000 words): 80%

Workload requirements

Students will be required to attend 36 hours of seminars, and undertake approximately an additional 108 hours of private study, including reading, class preparation, assignment preparation and revision time over the duration of the course.

Chief examiner(s)


LAW7470/LAW5000 Australian legal reasoning and methods or LAW7436/LAW5081 Australian Legal Process and Research or LAW7212/LAW5080 Australian legal system