University of Technology Sydney

76521 Intellectual Property and Traditional Knowledge

Requisite(s): 70517 Equity and Trusts
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses.
There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.
Anti-requisite(s): 78186 Intellectual Property and Traditional Knowledge AND 78187 Intellectual Property and Traditional Knowledge


Much has been written about traditional or Indigenous knowledge, its nature, its value, the desire to access that knowledge and the need for its protection. Such knowledge has also been the subject of much international debate and law-making in relation to its protection, and access on mutually agreed terms with the communities that hold that knowledge, including the establishment of benefit-sharing arrangements.

This subject considers the nature of traditional knowledge, how intellectual property in this area is protected under the Australian legal framework, and the development of strategies for its protection. The subject includes an overview of the international treaty framework, relevant Australian legislation and concerns for Australian Indigenous peoples such as appropriation of Indigenous arts and culture, language, spirituality, biodiversity, biotechnology, medicinal knowledge, film and music.

Students are also introduced to comparisons with protection regimes in other nations such as China and India and have an opportunity to explore other nations through the major assessment task of a research project. This subject is taught through intensive seminars that enable students to immerse themselves in this exciting field of legal research through reading, discussion and independent research. Students consolidate their understanding of the law and issues in the field, and also have time for their own in-depth research project design and for presentation of their initial findings.

Detailed subject description.

Access conditions

Note: The requisite information presented in this subject description covers only academic requisites. Full details of all enforced rules, covering both academic and admission requisites, are available at access conditions and My Student Admin.