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date: 15 November 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides both an overview of the history of intellectual property (IP) laws in Australia and New Zealand, and pathways into existing and emerging scholarship in this area. It discusses convergence and divergence in copyright, patent and trademark legislation and case law between Britain and these two former colonies, from early colonial experimentation to the long period of closely mirroring UK reforms. In the late twentieth century, both countries developed more distinctive IP laws, and diverged on a range of fundamental questions. In the twenty-first century, trade policy—trans-Tasman and global—has created pressures for convergence, but as the countries have grown apart, more perhaps than many realize, so there is considerable resistance to unifying projects. The chapter closes with a discussion of the different trajectories in how IP and indigenous cultural and knowledge systems interface in Australia and New Zealand.

Keywords: Legal history, intellectual property, trademark, patent, copyright, British Empire, colonial history, TPP

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