Intellectual Property in Commercial Settings


This module is designed to introduce you to the workings of intellectual property (IP) in commercial settings. When creating or using IP in a commercial, it is important to pay particular attention to ownership and contractual agreements. The knowledge that you acquire in this module will help you identify these issues and enable you to make commercial decisions surrounding your IP. 

  • In topic 1, you will be introduced to the general principles of ownership under copyright and patent laws. You will learn how the ownership of creative content and inventions varies under different settings, including commissioned works, employment and university settings. At the end of this topic, you will understand your rights better as a creator and/or as an IP owner in different commercial arrangements.
  • In topic 2, you will gain in-depth knowledge about trademarks – the law applying to marks and names used by businesses to identify their products/services in the market. You will learn about the scope of trademark use; how to differentiate between a trademark, company name and a URL; the requirements of trademark registration; and the rights of a trademark owner. You will also learn how to search Australia’s trademark register to find out whether a trademark over a word, phrase or sign has already been registered by someone else. 
  • In topic 3, there is a detailed explanation of why it is important to identify IP in your business/project at the earliest opportunity. You will then be introduced to the meaning and significance of legal terms around which IP contracts are usually drafted, such as ‘licensing’, ‘exclusive’ and ‘assignment’. This will enable you to read and understand an IP contract and help you with your IP collaborations and management.


You will learn through a variety of media, including the written form, images and videos. At the end of each topic, there will be a short (formative) quiz to test your learning.