Australian Institute of Criminology

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Public enforcement of intellectual property rights

Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice no. 177

Gregor Urbas
ISBN 0 642 24194 5 ISSN 0817-8542
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, November 2000


The role of traditional public law enforcement agencies in the protection of intellectual property has become subject to increasing uncertainty. This paper assesses that role through recent experiences of Australian customs, police and prosecution agencies. It does that by considering the impact of the creation of criminal offences in Commonwealth legislation dealing with copyright and trademarks.

This is a revised version of a larger AIC report entitled Parallel Importing and CD Piracy written for the Intellectual Property and Competition Review (ICPR) Committee, which reported to Federal Parliament in September 2000. This research was considered by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs in its December 2000 report Cracking down on copycats: Enforcement of Copyright in Australia, and by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Legislation Committee in its May 2001 Inquiry into the Provisions of the Copyright Amendment (Parallel Importation) Bill 2001.