Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit


LAWS104 Foundations of Law and Legal Research

Teaching organisation

4 hours per week for twelve weeks or equivalent.

Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit will introduce the legal regime protecting creativity and innovation and which at the same time encourages access to these works in the public interest. It will consider and examine the relevant legal issues relating to the common law rules and statutory regulation of intellectual property including copyright, patents, registered designs, trademarks, trade secrets and passing off. It will examine the Australian law and regulation of intellectual property and also consider the special role of international regulators and international treaties. The unit introduces basic principles of intellectual property law, particularly as intellectual property becomes increasingly important and valuable to Australia's innovative economy.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Identify, explain and show understanding of the legal issues/problems relating to intellectual property law in Australia (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8). 

LO2 - Understand the nexus between the role of international regulators and international treaties on Intellectual Property (GA4, GA6, GA8)

LO3 - Explain the common-law rules and customs relevant to statutory regulation of intellectual property (GA4, GA6, GA8)

LO4 - Understand the impact of technological changes on the formulation and protection of Intellectual Property (GA4, GA6, GA8). 

LO5 - Explain the defences and remedies that are available for an action of infringement of copyright, patent, and trademarks (GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6) 

Graduate attributes

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 


Topics will include: 

  • Overview of Intellectual Property Law: Concept and Categories 
  • Role of International Regulators and International Treaties with Intellectual Property  
  • Copyright  
  • Trademark 
  • Patents 
  • Open Access  

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Mode: Lectures, tutorials, electronic consultation, library tasks and presentations or Online lectures and activities.  

Duration: 3 hours per week over 12 weeks or equivalent.  Students are expected to spend 150 hours in total for this unit.

This elective unit allows students to demonstrate knowledge, skills and understanding in a specialist area of law applying knowledge, skills and understanding acquired in Priestley units.  

Our strategy is to encourage students to creatively engage with unit content and to apply prior learnings to new legal problems.  

The unit is designed to be delivered in intensive, weekly or online. We have taken a blended learning approach to provide accessibility and flexibility to our students and a student focused approach that increases depth of learning and engagement through actively utilising LEO.   

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment strategy is designed to assess knowledge, skills and understanding in a specialist area of law, applying knowledge, skills and understanding acquired in Priestley units.  


The assessment tasks for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each of the learning outcomes listed.  

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

1. Knowledge Challenge:

Online Quiz 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5 

GA3, GA4, GA6, GA8

2. Cases Analyses 


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5 

GA3, GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8

Representative texts and references

 R. Reynolds & N. Stoianoff, Intellectual Property: Text and Essential Cases (5th ed) (Federation Press,  

 Kunle Ola, ‘Fundamentals of Open access’ (2014) 36 (2) European Intellectual Property Report 112-123 

 Brian Fitzgerald, Copyright in the age of access, (2017) 39 European Intellectual Property Report 131. 

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs