Last Updated S022021


Unit Code DENG602
Unit Duration 12 weeks


Doctor of Engineering

Duration: 3 years
Year Level One
Unit Creator / Reviewer Dr. Srinivas Shastri and Dr. Arti Siddhpura
Core/Sub-Discipline: Core
Pre/Co-requisites  N/A
Credit Points




Total Program Credit Points 120
Mode of Delivery Online or on-campus. 
Unit Workload

10 hours per week:

Lecture - 1 hour

Tutorial - 1 hour

Assessments / Practical / Lab - 1 hour (where applicable)

Personal Study recommended - 7 hours (guided and unguided)

Unit Description and General Aims

This unit is a foundation unit for the professional doctorate.  Technology, its evaluation and potential intellectual property implications are critical for the candidate in his/her professional life.  The unit presents the complexities of Intellectual Property and the care that is required in handling and using information and data.  The content is broad and the key learning outcomes will stand the student in good stead as she progresses in her career.  Integrated into the intellectual property content is an appropriate technology selection as it is important for every organisation. 


Learning Outcomes


On successful completion of this Unit, students are expected to be able to:

  1. Evaluate patents and copyrights in terms of Australian and International Law

Bloom’s Level 5

  1. Appraise the legal framework for Intellectual Property in an engineering context

Bloom’s Level 5

  1. Evaluate appropriate technology for a specific (mainly industrial) context/application

Bloom’s Level 5

  1. Compose and present at an advanced level technical reports on technology evaluation and IP.

Bloom’s Level 6

Bloom’s Taxonomy

The cognitive domain levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s Level Bloom’s category Description
1 Remember Retrieve relevant knowledge from long-term memory by recognising, identifying, recalling and retrieving.
2 Understand Construct meaning from instructional messages by interpreting, classifying, summarising, inferring, comparing, contrasting, mapping and explaining.
3 Apply Carrying out or using a procedure in a given situation by executing, implementing, operating, developing, illustrating, practicing and demonstrating
4 Analyse Deconstruct material and determine how the parts relate to one another and to an overall structure or purpose by differentiating, organising and attributing.
5 Evaluate Make judgments based on criteria and standards by checking, coordinating, evaluating, recommending, validating, testing, critiquing and judging.
6 create Put elements together to form a coherent pattern or functional whole by generating, hypothesising, designing, planning, producing and constructing.

Student assessment

Assessment Type

(e.g. Assignment - 2000 word essay (specify topic)

Examination (specify length and format))
When assessed (eg Week 5) Weighting (% of total unit marks) Learning Outcomes Assessed

Assessment 1


Type: Research based report as well as short questions

Word length: n/a

Topic: Questions that test the ability of the student to carry out literature search, construct logical arguments, understand research ethics and analyse and apply Australian and international law to the analysis of patents and IP. 

after topic 7 20%

1, 2

(Topics 1 - 5)

Assessment 2


Type: Analysis of IP Cases

A detailed synthesis or evaluation as well as  a presentation of two case studies highlighting issues discussed in the webinar.

Word length: 3000

Topic: This will be advised by the instructor.

after topic 9  40%

1, 2

(Topics 4 - 7)

Assessment 3


Type: Research based reports covering various aspects including research ethics, patent application, patents infringement, copyrights and IP valuation and commercialization.

Word length: 4000

Final week  40%

3, 4

(Topics 5 - 12)

Prescribed and Recommended Readings

Required textbook(s)

  1. Davison, Mark J., et al. Australian Intellectual Property Law, Cambridge University Press, 2008
  2. Irish, Vivien. (2005). Intellectual Property Rights for Engineers (2nd Edition). Institution of Engineering and Technology.
  3. Intellectual Property in Academia : A Practical Guide for Scientists and Engineers, edited by Nadya Reingand, Taylor & Francis Group, 2011.


Reference Materials

Number of peer-reviewed journals and websites as advised below (and during lectures);

  1. Baura, Gail D.. Engineering Ethics : An Industrial Perspective, Elsevier Science & Technology, 2006.
  2. D'Angelo, John G.. Ethics in Science : Ethical Misconduct in Scientific Research, Second Edition, Taylor & Francis Group, 2018.
  3. Oliver, Paul. EBOOK: the Student's Guide to Research Ethics, McGraw-Hill Education, 2010
  4. Howard B. Rockman, Intellectual Property Law for Engineers and Scientists , IEEE, 2004, pp.i-xxviii, doi: 10.1002/0471697400.fmatter.
  5. Mcbratney, A., & Tarr, J. (2010). Faculty and employee ownership of inventions in australia. Nature Biotechnology, 28(10), 1019-22.
  6. Ethics Toolkit,
  7. Intellectual Property: Law and the information society, Cases and Materials, available in the public domain at [Please respect copyright]
  8. Intellectual Property: Law and the information society, Cases and Materials, available in the public domain at [Please respect copyright]
  9. MIT open Course, [An excellent source, and please be mindful of copyright] [ Additional readings are also provided]
  10. Other material to be advised during the lectures


Unit Content

One topic is delivered per contact week, with the exception of 24-week units, where one topic is delivered every two weeks.

Topic 1 

Introduction to Integrity and Ethics in Research

  1. What is Engineering Ethics?
  2. Ethical Theories
  3. Engineering Ethic Codes
  4. Ethics and Research Aims
  5. Moral Justification of Research


Topic 2

Ethical Misconduct in Scientific Research and Penalties for Research Misconduct

  1. What Constitutes Scientific Misconduct
  2. Crimes against science and other researchers
  3. Other types of violations
  4. Bad Ethics vs Bad science
  5. New results that prove old results wrong
  6. Penalties for committing research misconductTopic3


Topic 3

Overview of Intellectual Property Law

  1. The nature of Intellectual Property
  2. Theory of Intellectual Property
  3. Intellectual Property Regimes
    1. Passing off
    2. Registered Trade Marks
    3. Copyrights and related Rights
    4. Designs
    5. Confidential Information
    6. Patents
    7. Plant Breeder’s Rights
    8. Trademarks and Service Marks
    9. Copyrights
    10. Trade Secrets
  4. Impact of New Technology
  5. Internationalisation of Intellectual Property
  6. Intellectual Property law in Australia


Topic 4

Introduction to Patents

  1. Introduction
  2. Brief History of Patent Protection
    1. Early European Patent Custom.
    2. British Patent System.
    3. The U.S. Constitution and the Development of the Present U.S. Patent Examination System
    4. Development of Patent law in Australia
  3. Rationales of Patent Protection
  4. Types of Patent
    1. Standard and Innovation Patents
    2. Patents of Addition
    3. Selection Patents
    4. Combination Patents
  5. What can be patented?
    1. Article or Apparatus Patent
    2. Method or process patent
    3. Design Patent
    4. Plant Patent
    5. New Technologies
  6. What cannot be patented?
    1. A discovery, scientific theory or mathematical method
    2. Aesthetic Creations
    3. Mental Concepts
    4. Presentation of Information
    5. Computer Programs
    6. Immoral Innovations
    7. Other Exclusions
  7. The invention must be new
  8. The invention must not be obvious

Topic 5

The Patenting Process

  1. Types of Application
    1. Convention Application
    2. PCT Application
    3. Divisional Application
  2. Procedure for Obtaining a Standard Patent
    1. The Application
    2. Pre-Examination
    3. Examination
    4. Acceptance and Publication
    5. Opposition
    6. Re-Examination
    7. Grant
  3. Processing an application for an Innovation Patent
  4. Patent Term
  5. Requirement of claims to Have a Priority Date
  6. The Role of Priority Dates
  7. Withdrawal and Lapsing of Applications
  8. International Aspect
    1. Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property 1883
    2. TRIPS (1994)
    3. The Budapest Treaty 1977
    4. European Patent Convention (1973)
    5. Patent Law Treaty (2000)
    6. Australia–USA Free Trade Agreement 2004
  9. Patent Cooperation Treaty



Topic 6

Patents: IPR and ownership

  1. Entitlement to apply
    1. Criteria for Inventorship
    2. Entitled to have patent assigned to person on grant
  2. Ownership and Co-ownership
  3. Employee Inventions
  4. Crown Use of Patents for inventions
  5. UWA vs. Gray Case
  6. Ownership Rights and Bayh – Dole in USA
    1. Introduction to the Patent Law of Universities
    2. The History and Ethics of University Patent Law Policy
    3. The Bayh-Dole Act


Topic 7

Patent Exploitation, Infringement and revocation

  1. The role of the patent specification
  2. General principles for construction of patent specification
  3. Claim construction
  4. Exclusive rights of the patentee
  5. Direct infringement
  6. Contributory infringement
  7. Defences to infringement
  8. Infringement proceedings
  9. Relief for infringement
  10. Non-infringement declarations
  11. Unjustified threats of infringement proceedings
  12. Revocation of patents

Topic 8


  1. Introduction
  2. History
  3. Types of Copyright
  4. Ownership and Duration of Copyright
  5. Marking
  6. Moral Rights
  7. Copyright Use and misuse
  8. Copyright Internationally - General and Non-Technical Works
  9. Technical Copyright
  10. Exploitation of Copyright
  11. Direct and Indirect Infringement of Copyright

Topic 9

Registered Trademarks

  1. Introduction
  2. History
  3. Registrable Trade Marks
  4. Unregistered Trade Marks, 'Get-up' and 'Passing-off'
  5. Functions of trade marks
  6. Overview of the registration process
  7. Definition of a trade mark
  8. Overview of Infringement of Trademarks
  9. Trademark Infringement and Internet

Topic 10

Practical Framework for IP Valuation

  1. Introduction
    1. Definitions
    2. The Valuation Principle
    3. Features of IP Valuation in Academia
  2. Cyclic nature of Inventions and Technologies
    1.  Life Cycles
    2. Diffusion Model
    3. Innovation and Imitation Coefficient
    4. Multiple Sales to the Same Customer
  3. Value and the Internal Structure of the Invention
  4. Review of the Valuation Methods
  5. Practice
    1. Tracking the Market Dynamics
    2. Market Potential
    3. Valuation without uncertainty
    4. Employing Uncertainty
    5. Estimating Value of the IP Project
  6. Hands-on Valuation

Topic 11

Commercializing Inventions through an Office of Technology Transfer

  1. Typical Mission and Standard Operating Procedures of an Office of Technology Transfer          
  2. Invention Disclosure Submission and Evaluation
  3.  Working with a Patent Attorney on the Patent Application Draft
  4. Commercializing the Invention
  5. Post-licensing Activities

Topic 12

Case studies/ Presentations/ Unit Review

  1. University Patent Case Studies: Some Patents Hang on the Wall, Others Go to Work
  2. National and Individual Case Studies
  3. Ethics Violation Case Studies

Engineers Australia

The Australian Engineering Stage 1 Competency Standards for the Professional Engineer, approved as of 2013. This table is referenced in the mapping of graduate attributes to learning outcomes and via the learning outcomes to student assessment.

Stage 1 Competencies and Elements Competency
1. Knowledge and Skill Base
1.1 Comprehensive, theory based understanding of the underpinning natural and physical sciences and the engineering fundamentals applicable to the engineering discipline.
1.2 Conceptual understanding of the mathematics, numerical analysis, statistics, and computer and information sciences which underpin the engineering discipline.
1.3 In-depth understanding of specialist bodies of knowledge within the engineering discipline.
1.4 Discernment of knowledge development and research directions within the engineering discipline.
1.5 Knowledge of engineering design practice and contextual factors impacting the engineering discipline.
1.6 Understanding of the scope, principles, norms, accountabilities and bounds of sustainable engineering practice in the specific discipline.
2. Engineering Application Ability
2.1 Application of established engineering methods to complex engineering problem solving.
2.2 Fluent application of engineering techniques, tools and resources.
2.3 Application of systematic engineering synthesis and design processes.
2.4 Application of systematic approaches to the conduct and management of engineering projects.
3. Professional and Personal Attributes
3.1 Ethical conduct and professional accountability.
3.2 Effective oral and written communication in professional and lay domains.
3.3 Creative, innovative and pro-active demeanor.
3.4 Professional use and management of information.
3.5 Orderly management of self and professional conduct.
3.6 Effective team membership and team leadership.

Software/Hardware Used


  • Software: N/A
  • Version: N/A
  • Instructions: N/A 
  • Additional resources or files: N/A


  • N/A