University of Technology Sydney

77898 Patent Law

6cp; offered wholly online and requires no on-campus attendance
Requisite(s): ((22 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C07122 Graduate Diploma Legal Studies OR 22 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04264 Master of Legal Studies)) OR 77905c Preparing for Intellectual Property Practice OR ((94 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04236 Juris Doctor OR 142 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04250 Juris Doctor Master of Business Administration OR 94 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04363 Juris Doctor Master of Intellectual Property OR 94 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04364 Juris Doctor Graduate Certificate Trade Mark Law and Practice) AND 70106c Principles of Public International Law AND 70107c Principles of Company Law) OR (94 credit points of completed study in spk(s): C04320 Juris Doctor Graduate Certificate Professional Legal Practice AND 70106 Principles of Public International Law)
The lower case 'c' after the subject code indicates that the subject is a corequisite. See definitions for details.
These requisites may not apply to students in certain courses. See access conditions.
Anti-requisite(s): 76085 Intellectual Property: Trade Marks and Patents AND 78190 Patent Law


This subject provides an understanding of the principles of patents and the patent system in Australia and New Zealand. Patents have been the subject of much controversy in recent times. Biotechnology challenges our traditional distinction between nature and invention; the health demands of developing countries come into conflict with the private interests of patent owners; the use of traditional knowledge of Indigenous communities in biodiscovery processes can complicate the availability of patent protection; the computer software industry demands patent protection to supplement their rights in copyright; and in a growing number of cases patents can be granted for 'business methods'. In this subject, students are introduced to the law of patents – what patentable subject matter is, what the threshold requirements of patentability are, what level of disclosure is required to justify the grant of the patentee's monopoly rights, the rights of the patent holder, exploitation of patent rights, and actions for infringement. There is some attention to plant breeders' rights and the law relating to breach of confidence.

Students develop legal knowledge and analytical skills through problem-solving activities that mirror the legal and factual issues that arise in legal and business practice. These activities provide opportunities for students to develop commercial skills and become solution-focused practitioners. The subject builds students' skills of critical analysis and oral communication through discussion of different theoretical, jurisprudential and policy issues underlying areas of patent law. Students also undertake research that enables them to critically evaluate laws, practices and policies. The subject combines a practical with a theoretical approach, enriching students' understanding of the complex public and private interests at play, and preparing them for a career in professional practice or general commerce.


This subject is accredited by the Professional Standards Board as fulfilling part of the qualifications for registration as a Patent Attorney in Australia.

Detailed subject description.

Fee information

Information to assist with determining the applicable fee type can be found at Understanding fees.

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.