Issue 17 No. 1


Associate Professor David Brennan (Swinburne Law School)

The first compulsory licensing of patents and copyright

This paper explains how compulsory licensing for intellectual property originated in British law in the 19th Century and the early part of the 20th Century for both patents and copyright. It is a history that is intricate, straddling the two regimes that comprise the main pillars of intellectual property, and requires consideration of contemporaneous developments occurring in the USA, North American colonies and Continental Europe. Through its exposition and analysis of the first five distinct compulsory licensing regimes, some concluding observations are made about the triggers for the first compulsory licences and the conditions that might help predict the desirability of compulsory licensing as a matter of modern public policy in any given setting.

Dr Catherine Bond (University of New South Wales)

‘Through the Dreadful Circumstances of Fate, A Broken Man’: Anton Reznicek, War and Australian Law, 1911-1930

This article examines the life of Anton Reznicek, an Austrian man who came to Australia to test a patented diving suit and was forced to remain in the country as a result of the outbreak of World War I. It traces Reznicek’s arrival, internment and deportation, and the 11-year campaign of correspondence he undertook seeking to receive either the restoration of, or remuneration under, his Australian patent rights. Reznicek’s story is unique on account of the fact that, through his choices, he managed to interact with, or be affected by, a majority of the most significant laws enacted in Australia during the war. This article pieces together a story scattered across archival records, newspaper articles and personal documents, providing an important case study into the individual legal experience in World War I Australia.

Dr Amanda Scardamaglia (Swinburne Law School)

Transplanting Trade Mark Law through the Empire

This article considers the historical development of trade mark law in Australia, with a special focus on the patchwork of statutes passed by the Australian colonies between 1863-1884, governing the use and registration of trade marks in those colonies for the first time.  In particular, it examines the influence of Imperial advances in statutory based trade mark protection, explaining how and why these developments did not transmit to the Australian colonies in their entirety.  In doing so, this article canvasses how the local Australian colonial governments forged their own path when it came to establishing a legislative framework for protecting trade marks – a framework which was made in the image of the British, but defied them at almost every turn.