• Offered by Law School
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest Law
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

This course will cover the principal international institutions dealing with substantive IP law, current international debates, and the practice of WTO dispute settlement. Topics include:  

  • The international framework for intellectual property law
  • Background to WIPO and the WTO TRIPS Agreement
  • Intellectual property as an international issue in relation to trade, development, technology transfer, the environment, and human rights
  • The law and practice of the WTO TRIPS Agreement
  • Current international responses to intellectual property issues Harmonisation and diversity in national intellectual property law

This course considers a number of key issues of the debate over intellectual property and development, including:  

  • the WIPO Development Agenda;
  • the World Trade Organization and the TRIPS Agreement;
  • bilateral and regional TRIPS-Plus Agreements, and the proposed Anti Counterfeiting Trade Agreement
  • the WIPO Copyright Treaties, access to knowledge (A2K) and the Creative Commons;
  • trade mark law, geographical indications, Fair Trade labels, and other certification schemes;
  • The Doha Declaration, the TRIPS Waiver, the WHO Global Strategy, and access to essential medicines
  • The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, intellectual property and climate change;
  • The Convention on Biological Diversity, access to genetic resources, and traditional knowledge; and

The UPOV Convention, the FAO Agreement on Plant Genetic Resources, agricultural intellectual property and food security. 

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

This unit will examine intellectual property law from an international perspective, ranging from current international policy debates on development, biotechnology, genetic resources and electronic commerce, to international dispute settlement under the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. It is expected that students will have on completion of the unit:  

  • An understanding of the history and comparative roles of the various elements of the international system which deal with intellectual property law
  • A capacity to analyse international policy issues concerning intellectual property, and the manner in which various international negotiations and institutions deal with these issues
  • A comprehensive knowledge of the issues concerning intellectual property and development
  • An understanding of the interaction between intellectual property law and legal mechanisms on trade, environment, and human rights
  • A practical grasp of the jurisprudence and procedure of the application of the WTO dispute settlement mechanism to intellectual property disputes

Familiarity with emerging issues and issues under negotiation, including those concerned with access to knowledge, biotechnology, climate change, trade marks and geographical indications, access to genetic resources, and the protection of traditional knowledge. 

Indicative Assessment

In keeping with the approach of the course, students can choose a topic in their area of interest or in consultation with the convenor.

Compulsory Research Essay.  Word length: 6,000 to 8,000 words.

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


26 Contact Hours (Intensive Delivery)

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying in one of the following programs; Master of Laws (7300) Master of Laws (Legal Practice) (7312) Master of Diplomacy/Master of Laws (7883) Graduate Diploma in Law (6300) AND have completed LAWS8182 OR You must be studying in one of the following programs; Master of Legal Studies (7305) Master of Environmental Law (7309) Master of Government and Commercial Law (7313) Master of International Law (7310) Master of Law, Governance and Development (7317) Master of International Security Law (7318) Master of Diplomacy/Master of International Law (7893) Graduate Diploma in Law, Governance and Development (6317) Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies (6305) Graduate Diploma in Environmental Law (6309) Graduate Diploma in Government and Commercial Law (6313) Graduate Diploma in International Law (6310) Graduate Diploma in International Security Law (6318) Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (6303) Graduate Certificate in Environmental Law (6351) AND have completed LAWS8015 OR LAWS8182

Preliminary Reading

Jeremy de Beer, (ed.) Implementing the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Development Agenda (Ottawa, Wilfred Laurier University Press, 2009).

Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, Integrating Intellectual Property Rights and Development Policy (London: United Kingdom Government, 2002).

Daniel Gervais, (ed), Intellectual Property, Trade and Development: Strategies to Optimize Economic Development in a TRIPS-Plus Era (2007); and

Amy Kapczynski, ‘The Access to Knowledge Mobilization and the New Politics of Intellectual Property’ (2008) 117 Yale Law Journal 804-885

Thomas Pogge, Matthew Rimmer and Kim Rubenstein, (ed.) Incentives for Global Public Health: Patent Law and Access to Medicines. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010, (forthcoming), http://www.cambridge.org/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521116565

Neil Weinstock Netanel (ed.) The Development Agenda: Global Intellectual Property and Developing Countries (2008)

World Intellectual Property Organization. 45 Recommendations under the World Intellectual Property Organization Development Agenda. Geneva: World Intellectual Property Organization, 2007, http://www.wipo.int/ip-development/en/agenda/recommendations.html#c


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Students continuing in their current program of study will have their tuition fees indexed annually from the year in which you commenced your program. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee Description
1994-2003 $1626
2014 $2808
2013 $2808
2012 $2808
2011 $2778
2010 $2718
2009 $2670
2008 $2670
2007 $2670
2006 $2646
2005 $2298
2004 $1926
International fee paying students
Year Fee
1994-2003 $2916
2014 $3762
2013 $3756
2012 $3756
2011 $3756
2010 $3750
2009 $3426
2008 $3426
2007 $3426
2006 $3426
2005 $3234
2004 $2916
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

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