Mastering Intellectual Property Law
You might think that swimwear, electric heaters, roulette wheel spindles and wines don't have much in common.
In fact they do - they represent just a small number of the myriad legal disputes involving intellectual property, specifically design and patents, which have played out in the courts in recent years.
Penfolds wines for example, learnt the hard way about the danger of overlooking intellectual property issues like trade marks when marketing products overseas.
The company had to go to court in China after an enterprising local businessman registered the Penfolds name in Chinese characters.
Penfolds had registered only the English language version but trying to trade without the rights to use the Chinese language version would have been almost impossible.
They eventually won back the right but not before a lengthy and time consuming court case.
Swimwear companies have battled over ownership of fabric designs.
Engineers, scientists and industrial designers have argued over who owns the rights to the smallest components of machines and other apparatus.
Recently in Australia, a company which designed electric heaters with simulated flames took four other companies to court for marketing heaters which it claimed infringed it's patent on the design of the simulation.
Director of Intellectual Property at UTS Law, Professor Natalie Stoianoff says it is a rapidly growing field of practice.
She says UTS Law is uniquely placed to offer specialist study through its Master of Intellectual Property.
It is the first course at an Australian university that fulfils the entire educational requirements for registration as a registered Trans-Tasman patent attorney in Australia and New Zealand under the Trans-Tasman IP Attorneys Board. It also covers registration as an Australian trade mark attorney.
A unique feature of the course is that it is done entirely online.
Professor Stoianoff says it is a highly sought after area of expertise.
In the age of innovation, it is increasingly important to understand the protections Intellectual Property can provide to entrepreneurs keen to bring their ideas to market.
It is not necessary to have studied law as an under-graduate to undertake the higher degree but practising as a patent attorney does require a science/technology qualification.
Completing the Master of Intellectual Property takes 18 months of full-time study or two and a half years, part-time.