Duty to conduct academic research does not include a duty to invent

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2 September 2010

On 17 April 2008, Justice French delivered the Federal Court’s decision in University of Western Australia v Gray. The decision raises doubts regarding a university’s ability to claim ownership of inventions created by its research staff.

The decision also casts into doubt the effectiveness of university regulations which purport to assign to the university the rights in intellectual property produced by its staff.

This article discusses the decision in the first instance and the decision in the Full Federal Court appeal handed down in September 2009. Corrs Partner Frances Wheelahan investigates.


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The content of this publication is for reference purposes only. It is current at the date of publication. This content does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be obtained before taking any action based on this publication.


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Frances Wheelahan

Partner. Melbourne
+61 3 9672 3380

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