QUT Intellectual Property and Innovation Law
Research Themes 2018
- International Trade and Sustainable Development
- Intellectual Property
- Privacy, Free Speech, and Human Rights
- Innovation Law and Policy
- Open Access to Knowledge and Culture
International Trade and Sustainable Development
Director — Professor Matthew Rimmer
We undertake research in the global governance of intellectual property, innovation, international trade, and sustainable development. The research team consider the role played by international organisations such as the World Intellectual Property Organization, the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization and other multilateral bodies. We explore the international legal response to global issues relating to innovation — including:
- Electronic Commerce and The Digital Economy
- Access to Essential Medicines
- The Plain Packaging of Tobacco Products
- Climate Change
- Food Security, Access to Genetic Resources, and Biodiversity
- The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
We evaluate bilateral agreements between Australia and key trading partners, such as the United States, China, Japan, South Korea, India, and Indonesia. We also explore the rise of regional trade agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA).
Director — Dr Kylie Pappalardo
We consider how well intellectual property law (including copyright, patent law, trade marks, designs and trade secrets) works for the people it purports to regulate: creators, inventors, intermediaries, companies and users.
The research theme covers several key projects:
· Copyright and creative communities — this project considers how creators and makers: understand and manage copyright law; relate to their creations and the creations of others, particularly in a technological-enabled remix and production culture; and derive value from their work, including through generating income and managing the economics of creation.
· Indigenous Intellectual Property — this project examines how Australia’s intellectual property system applies to Indigenous creations and traditional knowledge, and how that system can be improved to facilitate more culturally-appropriate and respectful interactions between Australian law and Indigenous value systems.
· Intermediary liability — this project analyses the circumstances in which intermediaries are held liable for the infringement of copyright law by others. This project also explores challenges in respect of intermediary liability under trademark law as well.
· New challenges in patent law — this project explores the way that new technologies, including 3D printing, artificial intelligence and robotics, and blockchain, impact the functioning of the patent system. It also considers the increasing global significance of trade secrets protection and the tension between patent law and trade secret law.
Privacy, Free Speech, and Human Rights
This research project explores freedom of speech, privacy, and human rights in a digital age. Key projects include:
- Human rights obligations of platforms — Internet Intermediaries distribute, host, and index online content. They play a crucial role in our digital economy and culture, providing key infrastructure for people and companies to communicate and access information online. Intermediaries are increasingly being asked to enforce law and social norms. These gatekeepers are in a powerful position to monitor user behaviour, remove content, and censor speech. Our research examines both the liability and the social responsibility of intermediaries as an increasingly important and powerful regulatory force in the online environment. We interrogate the balance between the pressure to enforce laws and the need for adequate safeguards for due process, freedom of speech, and innovation.
- Privacy, surveillance and encryption –The research project examines successive Australian Law Reform Commission inquiries into privacy law into Australia. It evaluates the operation of confidential information and trade secrets, and a proposal for a statutory cause of action for serious invasion of privacy. This research project also examines the protection of information privacy. This research project explores the threats posed to liberty, freedom, and privacy by data retention laws and mass surveillance. This study also examines the debate over encryption — the ‘war on maths’.
- Pathways to Ethical Data — In recent years, there has been an exponential increase in the collection, aggregation and automated analysis of information by government and private actors, and in response to this there has been a significant critique regarding what could be termed ‘bad’ data practices in the globalised digital economy. These include the mass gathering of data about individuals, in opaque, unethical and at times illegal ways, and the increased use of that data in unaccountable and potentially discriminatory forms of algorithmic decision-making by both state agencies and private companies. Issues of data ethics and data justice are only likely to increase in importance given the totalizing datafication of society and the introduction of new technologies such as artificial intelligence and automation.
Innovation Law and Policy
We explore the regulation of emerging technologies such as 3D printing, robotics and AI, life sciences and energy democracy. Our research cuts across a variety of areas of law including sector-specific regulation, IP, competition, human rights and criminal law. Areas of interest include:
- 3D Printing and the Internet of Things
- Robotics Law and Policy
- Artificial Intelligence Regulation
- Biometrics and Surveillance Technologies
- Regulating the Life Sciences
- Democratising Energy
- Bitcoin, Blockchain and Financial Technologies
Open Access to Knowledge and Culture
Director — Associate Professor Nicolas Suzor
For the first time in recorded human history, the technology exists to enable all people to access the cultural and knowledge goods they need to learn and flourish. Access to culture and knowledge, however, remains highly unevenly distributed. We study models for the production, distribution, and stewardship of information that can help ensure that all people have access to the wealth of human knowledge and the capabilities to participate in culture.
Our research projects for 2018 focus particularly on:
* Measuring the impact and value of open access publishing
* Free and open textbooks: business models and knowledge commons — what are the requirements for sustainable collective action?
Dr Matthew Rimmer is a Professor in Intellectual Property and Innovation Law at the Faculty of Law in the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). He is a leader of the QUT Intellectual Property and Innovation Law research program, and a member of the QUT Digital Media Research Centre (QUT DMRC), the QUT Australian Centre for Health Law Research (QUT ACHLR), and the QUT International Law and Global Governance Research Program (QUT IL GG). Rimmer has published widely on copyright law and information technology, patent law and biotechnology, access to medicines, plain packaging of tobacco products, intellectual property and climate change, and Indigenous Intellectual Property. He is currently working on research on intellectual property, the creative industries, and 3D printing; intellectual property and public health; and intellectual property and trade, looking at the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and the Trade in Services Agreement. His work is archived at QUT ePrints SSRN Abstracts and Bepress Selected Works.
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