Intellectual property in Australia Essay Example

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Intellectual property in Australia

April 13, 2011.

Intellectual property in Australia


Intellectual property can be defined as the highbrow term given to laws which create rights that have the purpose of protecting products of human mind as their common thread. The field of intellectual property law is quickly developing and transforming in Australia, increasingly moving into the mainstream and the sphere of consciousness of the public. Back in 1880s, the term intellectual property was used for artistic and literary creations protected by the law of copyright; it is the same term which is currently almost exclusively employed in Australia and across the globe to describe the whole gamut, nowhere demonstrated better than in the overarching world agreement, TRIPS. The term TRIPS stands for trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights. This agreement played a very significant role in the protracted negotiations eventually resulting in the World Trade Organization (WTO), which was Marrakesh in early 1990s (Stewart, Griffith& Bannister, 2010). The TRIPS agreement set standards which countries that are signatory to the World Trade Organization, including Australia, ought to comply with regarding the scope, availability and use of intellectual property rights.

Intellectual property rights play a very important role in facilitation of local and international trade in Australia. Because of it geographical location, Australia is singularly dependent on exchanging its mainly agricultural products in return for the material bounties of modern consumer society. A discussion paper that was recently issued by the Australian government states that any changes in legislation should not only be appropriate to the circumstances of Australia but should also be aligned with those of its trade partners to assist in creating a conducive environment to domestic and foreign investments (Stewart, Griffith& Bannister, 2010). Therefore, investment and trade are major drivers of intellectual property law in Australia. Intellectual property law in Australia ought to comply with international standards in order for the country to be part of the World Trade Organization team. An indication that the country complies with the international rules of intellectual property laws is reflected in the statutory provisions themselves as well as in court rulings which interpret these laws.

Moral theory is one major general rationale underpinning intellectual property in Australia. This theory is evidently related to the incentive theory, and it has always been trendy with Australian judges in spite of its bootstraps nature (Stewart, Griffith& Bannister, 2010). Flavoring several intellectual property cases in Australia, especially the ones concerning copyright plagiarism and stealing trade marks, are veiled or express references to the illegal reaper cashing in on the efforts of the original creator.


Since intellectual property law in Australia has grown rather haphazardly, and entails quite unlike subject matter, there are contradictions, overlaps and inconsistencies among the numerous categories of intellectual property law. An attempt to come up with a coherent justification for all intellectual property laws in Australia is doomed to fail. In fact, the laws at macro level are characterized by politics, on national fronts as well as international fronts.


Stewart, A., Griffith, P. & Bannister, J. 2010. Intellectual property in Australia. Sidney:

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