• Offered by ANU Legal Workshop
  • ANU College ANU College of Law
  • Classification Advanced
  • Course subject Laws
  • Areas of interest Law, Legal Practice
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Brett Walker
  • Mode of delivery Online
  • Offered in Second Semester 2016
    See Future Offerings

Commercialisation is the process by which an intellectual property owner (or a person authorised by the intellectual property owner) takes the intellectual property to market. Technology transfer is the process of transferring skills, knowledge, technologies, methods of manufacturing, samples of manufacturing and facilities among governments or universities and other institutions to ensure that scientific and technological developments are accessible to a wider range of users who can then further develop and exploit the technology into new products, processes, applications, materials or services.

There are a variety of ways that commercialisation and technology transfer can be achieved including licensing, assignment, start-up companies, spin-off companies and joint ventures.  Each of these paths or modes of technology transfer and commercialisation takes place against a backdrop of legal rules and the contractual provisions dealing with how ownership of the commercialising entity is determined and divided (including when the entity is wound up) and the rights of the participants in the commercialising entity.

In addition, most modes of technology transfer and commercialisation are ultimately dependent on the transfer of intellectual property to another entity or the granting to another entity the right to use the underlying intellectual property – that is, granting a licence or assigning a right. The licensing or assignment of intellectual property requires a thorough knowledge of contract law and intellectual property law and excellent drafting skills.

Having a broad understanding of the technology transfer and commercialisation is critical for a range of professionals in the modern economy. These include:
(a) lawyers who advise policy makers, business owners, entrepreneurs, authors, researchers, performers, software developers, website and content managers and other creators and users of intellectual property;
(b) lawyers who advise clients who trade in or take security interests over business assets (for example, financial institutions and the buyers and sellers of businesses);
(c) government and business executives who purchase, sell or licence goods or services which have intellectual property embedded in them (for example, procurement managers and research managers);
(d) government or business executives who are responsible for the production or use of information, artistic works or other content in which intellectual property rights may reside (for example, communications professionals, website managers, application developers and media managers);
(e) scientists, engineers and researchers who are interested in learning how scientific breakthroughs and research outcomes are disseminated to a range of users including the research community, business and consumers; and
(f) government or business managers who are increasingly assuming responsibility for identifying, managing and commercialising intellectual property developed in their organisations (see for example the Australian Government Intellectual Property Manual issued in 2012):

The course will have a strong emphasis on providing students with a practical framework for analysing technology transfer and commercialisation issues in various transactional settings. Students will also learn how to draft and review key commercialisation documents.

The course will examine technology transfer and commercialisation from the perspectives of the different participants in the commercialisation process. These include:
• inventors / creators;
• financiers;
• licensees and assignees;
• licensors and assignors; and
• investors and shareholders.
 The course will have a strong focus on problem solving and the practical and  pragmatic application of legal knowledge to particular fact scenarios through a  number of advice drafting exercises.

While the course will primarily focus on technology transfer and commercialisation in the Australian context, transnational issues will also be considered.

Learning Outcomes

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

By the conclusion of this course, it is intended that students who have successfully  completed all the course requirements will be able to:

1. demonstrate mastery of the principles of employment law, contract law, corporations law, trust law, competition and consumer law and intellectual property law in so far as they relate to technology transfer and commercialisation;

2. demonstrate specialised knowledge of technology transfer and commercialisation techniques;

3. demonstrate mastery of theoretical knowledge of technology transfer and commercialisation law and practice to generate complex solutions and reflect critically on the theory and practice of intellectual property transfer and commercialisation;

4. investigate, critically reflect on and effectively communicate in plain English to inform diverse audiences of complex theoretical and practical ideas, concepts, strategies and courses of action concerning technology transfer and commercialisation;

5. demonstrate relative cognitive and creative skills to analyse and synthesise complex information and problems at a theoretical level to then develop, justify and apply solutions at a practical level, particularly to advise on transactions or interactions involving technology transfer and commercialisation; and

6. autonomously design, theorise, plan, execute and evaluate a substantial research-based project on a technology transfer and commercialisation topic.

Modules, teaching, learning activities and assessment are designed to develop the student’s / participant’s cognitive, technical and practical skills and knowledge to be able to draft and review documents and advise on transactions and interactions. Students / participants will engage in simulated client scenarios for the purpose of advising on specific dealings involving technology transfer and commercialisation issues.

Indicative Assessment

Assessment will comprise:

(a) Short Essay 10% (800 words)

(b) Advice to Client: Students will be required to analyse a hypothetical fact scenario, undertake research and provide practical advice to the client drawing on the learnings from Modules 2 and 3. 25% (2,000 words)

(c) Advice to Client: Students will be required to analyse a hypothetical fact scenario, undertake research and provide practical advice to the client drawing on the learnings from Modules 4 and 5. 25% (2,000 words)

(d) Research Project: Students will be required to select one of three research topics which draw on the learnings from Modules 1 – 6. 40% (4,000 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.


The course will be conducted online in a module format over a 10 week period.  

This is a 6 unit course which is considered to have the equivalent full time student load (EFTSL) of 6/48 = 0.125.  The number of hours allocated to an EFTSL of 0.125 is 10 – 12 hours per week.

All course materials will be available online.

The course requires continuous online participation throughout the course, as students must participate in discussion forums and other activities.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must be studying a: Master of Laws (7300XLLM, MLLM), Master of Laws specialising in International Law (7300XSINTL), Master of Laws specialising in Law, Governance and Development (7300SLGD), Master of Laws specialising in Environmental Law (7300SENVL), Master of Laws specialising in Government and Commercial Law (7300SGCL), Master of Laws specialising in International Security Law (7300SISL), Master of Laws in Migration (NLLML), Master of Laws in International Law (NLLIL), Master of Laws in Environmental Law (NLLEN), Master of Laws in Law, Governance & Development (NLLGD), Master of Laws in International Security Law (NLLSL), Master of Laws in Government and Regulation (NLLGR), Master of Laws (Legal Practice) (7312XLLMLP), Master of Diplomacy/Master of Laws (7883SINTL, 7883XLLM), Master of Legal Practice (MLEGP). OR Must be studying a: Master of Diplomacy/Master of International Law (7893MDIPL, 7893XMINTL), Master of International Law (7310XMINTL), Master of Environmental Law (7309XMENVL), Master of Law, Governance & Development (7317XMLGD), Master of International Security Law (7318XMISL), Master of Government and Commercial Law (7313XMGCL), Master of Legal Studies (7305XMLEGS), and completed LAWS8015 Fundamentals of Government and Commercial Law or LAWS8587 Legal Framework of Regulation. OR Must be studying a Juris Doctor (7330XJD, 7330HJD or MJD) and have completed or be completing five LAWS1000 level courses or five LAWS6100 level courses. OR Must be studying a Graduate Certificate of Law (CLAW) and have completed or are completing LAWS8586 Law and Legal Institutions and LAWS8587 Legal Framework of Regulation. OR Must be studying a Master of Military Law (MMILL) OR Must be studying a Juris Doctor (MJDOL) and have completed the course LAWS8712 Australian Public Law & International Law B

Prescribed Texts

There is no prescribed textbook.

Preliminary Reading

The following texts and websites will be useful reference sources.
General Reference Textbooks
• M. Davison, A. Monotti and L.Wiseman, Australian Intellectual Property Law (2nd ed 2012 Cambridge)
• P. McGinness, Intellectual Property Commercialisation – A Business Managers Companion (Lexis Nexis Butterworths 2003)
• A. Stewart, P.Griffith J. Bannister and A.Liberman Intellectual Property in Australia (5th ed Lexis Nexis 2014)
• S.Ricketson, M.Richardson and M.Davison, Intellectual Property Cases, Materials and Commentary (5th ed Lexis Nexis 2012)
• M. Calvert, Technology Contracts, A Handbook for Law and Business in Australia (Butterworths 2nd edition 2002).

Textbooks for Specific Areas
• R.Miller Miller’s Australian Competition and Consumer Law Annotated (36th ed Thomson Reuters)
• N.Byrne and A.McBratney Licensing Technology – Negotiating and Drafting Technology Transfer Agreements (3rd ed Jordans 2005)

Australian Government Manuals and Guides

Australian Internet Resources
IP Australia http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au
Australian Copyright Council http://www.copyright.org.au
IP Whiteboard http://www.ipwhiteboard.com.au/

International Internet Resources
World Trade Organisation https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/trips_e.htm
Researching Intellectual Property in an International Context   http://www.llrx.com/features/iplaw.htm

Assumed Knowledge

It will be assumed that students or participants (CPD and audit) have some knowledge of, or experience in contract law, intellectual property law, corporations law, trust law, legal drafting or related study or experience.

Successful completion of Intellectual Property Law in Practice would provide an excellent foundation for students in this course as it will be assumed that students have a sound understanding of the key features of the protection afforded to inventions and creative works by the laws governing copyright, patents, designs and breach of confidence.

Those who do not will be provided with links on the Wattle site to information and be expected to manage their own learning to attain basic background knowledge.


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. Tuition fees are indexed annually. 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
2016 $3252
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $4638
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
9673 18 Jul 2016 29 Jul 2016 31 Aug 2016 28 Oct 2016 In Person N/A

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