Dr Matthew Rimmer is a Professor in Intellectual Property and Innovation Law at the
Faculty of Law, at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). He is a leader of the
QUT Intellectual Property and Innovation Law research program, and a member of the QUT
Digital Media Research Centre (QUT DMRC) the QUT Australian Centre for Health Law
Research (QUT ACHLR), and the QUT International Law and Global Governance Research
Program. Rimmer has published widely on copyright law and information technology, patent
law and biotechnology, access to medicines, plain packaging of tobacco products,
intellectual property and climate change, and Indigenous Intellectual Property. He is
currently working on research on intellectual property, the creative industries, and 3D
printing; intellectual property and public health; and intellectual property and trade,
looking at the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment
Partnership, and the Trade in Services Agreement. His work is archived at SSRN Abstracts
and Bepress Selected Works. 

Dr Matthew Rimmer holds a BA (Hons) and a University Medal in literature (1995), and a
LLB (Hons) (1997) from the Australian National University. He received a PhD in law from
the University of New South Wales for his dissertation on The Pirate Bazaar: The Social
Life of Copyright Law (1998-2001). Dr Matthew Rimmer was a lecturer, senior lecturer, and
an associate professor at the ANU College of Law, and a research fellow and an associate
director of the Australian Centre for Intellectual Property in Agriculture (ACIPA) (2001
to 2015). He was an Australian Research Council Future Fellow, working on Intellectual
Property and Climate Change from 2011 to 2015. He was a member of the ANU Climate Change

Rimmer is the author of Digital Copyright and the Consumer Revolution: Hands off my iPod
(Edward Elgar, 2007). With a focus on recent US copyright law, the book charts the
consumer rebellion against the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act 1998 (US) and the
Digital Millennium Copyright Act 1998 (US). Rimmer explores the significance of key
judicial rulings and considers legal controversies over new technologies, such as the
iPod, TiVo, Sony Playstation II, Google Book Search, and peer-to-peer networks. The book
also highlights cultural developments, such as the emergence of digital sampling and
mash-ups, the construction of the BBC Creative Archive, and the evolution of the Creative
Commons. Rimmer has also participated in a number of policy debates over Film Directors’
copyright, the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement 2004, the Copyright Amendment
Act 2006 (Cth), the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement 2011, and the Trans-Pacific
Partnership. He is an advocate for Fair IT Pricing in Australia. 

Rimmer is the author of Intellectual Property and Biotechnology: Biological Inventions
(Edward Elgar, 2008). This book documents and evaluates the dramatic expansion of
intellectual property law to accommodate various forms of biotechnology from
micro-organisms, plants, and animals to human genes and stem cells. It makes a unique
theoretical contribution to the controversial public debate over the commercialisation of
biological inventions. Rimmer also edited the thematic issue of Law in Context, entitled
Patent Law and Biological Inventions (Federation Press, 2006). Rimmer was also a chief
investigator in an Australian Research Council Discovery Project, “Gene Patents In
Australia: Options For Reform” (2003-2005), an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant,
“The Protection of Botanical Inventions (2003), and an Australian Research Council
Discovery Project, “Promoting Plant Innovation in Australia” (2009-2011). Rimmer has
participated in inquiries into plant breeders’ rights, gene patents, and access to
genetic resources. 

Rimmer is a co-editor of a collection on access to medicines entitled Incentives for
Global Public Health: Patent Law and Access to Essential Medicines (Cambridge University
Press, 2010) with Professor Kim Rubenstein and Professor Thomas Pogge. The work considers
the intersection between international law, public law, and intellectual property law,
and highlights a number of new policy alternatives – such as medical innovation prizes,
the Health Impact Fund, patent pools, open source drug discovery, and the philanthropic
work of the (Red) Campaign, the Gates Foundation, and the Clinton Foundation. Rimmer is
also a co-editor of Intellectual Property and Emerging Technologies: The New Biology
(Edward Elgar, 2012). 

Rimmer is a researcher and commentator on the topic of intellectual property, public
health, and tobacco control. He has undertaken research on trade mark law and the plain
packaging of tobacco products, and given evidence to an Australian parliamentary inquiry
on the topic. Rimmer is the author of a monograph, Intellectual Property and Climate
Change: Inventing Clean Technologies (Edward Elgar, September 2011). This book charts the
patent landscapes and legal conflicts emerging in a range of fields of innovation –
including renewable forms of energy, such as solar power, wind power, and geothermal
energy; as well as biofuels, green chemistry, green vehicles, energy efficiency, and
smart grids. As well as reviewing key international treaties, this book provides a
detailed analysis of current trends in patent policy and administration in key nation
states, and offers clear recommendations for law reform. It considers such options as
technology transfer, compulsory licensing, public sector licensing, and patent pools; and
analyses the development of Climate Innovation Centres, the Eco-Patent Commons, and
environmental prizes, such as the L-Prize, the H-Prize, and the X-Prizes. Rimmer is
currently working on a manuscript, looking at green branding, trade mark law, and
environmental activism. 

Rimmer has also a research interest in intellectual property and traditional knowledge.
He has written about the misappropriation of Indigenous art, the right of resale,
Indigenous performers’ rights, authenticity marks, biopiracy, and population genetics.
Rimmer is the editor of the collection, Indigenous Intellectual Property: A Handbook of
Contemporary Research (Edward Elgar, 2015, forthcoming). 

Rimmer has supervised four students who have completed Higher Degree Research on the
topics, ‘Secret Business and Business Secrets: The Hindmarsh Island Affair, Information
Law, and the Public Sphere’ (2007); ‘Intellectual Property and Applied Philosophy’
(2010); ‘The Pharmacy of the Developing World: Indian Patent Law and Access to Essential
Medicines’ (2012); and ‘Marine Bioprospecting: International Law, Indonesia and
Sustainable Development’ (2014). He has also supervised sixty-seven Honours students,
Summer Research Scholars, and Interns, and two graduate research unit Masters students. 

Dr Matthew Rimmer received the ANU Vice-Chancellor's Award for Public Policy and
Outreach at the annual Awards Ceremony on the 26 November 2013:

Dr Matthew Rimmer was one of Managing IP's 50 most influential intellectual property
people in 2014

Dr Matthew Rimmer received an ANU Strategic Communications and Public Affairs Award in

Dr Matthew Rimmer was named one of the Top 100 Eco-Influencers by Corporate Knights in



Intellectual Property and Climate Change: Inventing Clean Technologies, Cheltenham (UK) and Northampton (Mass.): Edward Elgar. (2011)

'A historically grounded study on a cutting-edge topic, Intellectual Property and Climate Change has it...



Intellectual Property and Biotechnology: Biological Inventions, Cheltenham, UK, and Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar. (2008)

"Dr Rimmer's book is a marvellous introduction to a crucial topic of our time. He...



Digital Copyright and the Consumer Revolution: Hands off my iPod, Cheltenham, UK, and Northampton, MA, USA: Edward Elgar. (2007)

‘Rimmer brings the tension between law and technology to life in this important and accessible...



The Pirate Bazaar: The Social Life of Copyright Law, Sydney: The Faculty of Law, The University of New South Wales. (2001)

This thesis provides a cultural history of Australian copyright law and related artistic controversies. It...


Edited Collections

Indigenous Intellectual Property: A Handbook of Contemporary Research (2015)

In light of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 2007, this...



Intellectual Property and Emerging Technologies: The New Biology (with Alison McLennan) (2012)

This unique and comprehensive collection investigates the challenges posed to intellectual property by recent paradigm...



Incentives for Global Public Health: Patent Law and Access to Essential Medicines. (with Thomas Pogge and Kim Rubenstein), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (2010)

This portrait of the global debate over patent law and access to essential medicines focuses...



Patent Law and Biological Inventions, Law in Context (2006)

In response to scientific breakthroughs in biotechnology, the development of new technologies, and the demands...


Contributions to Books

The Legacy of David Unaipon, Indigenous Intellectual Property: A Handbook of Contemporary Research (2015)

The historical case of David Unaipon is a good starting point for a wider discussion...



Mary Robinson's Declaration of Climate Justice: Climate Change, Human Rights, and Fossil Fuel Divestment, Ethical Values and the Integrity of the Climate Change Regime (2015)

In a biographical and institutional case study of Mary Robinson and the Mary Robinson Foundation...



Just Label It: Consumer Rights, GM Food Labelling, and International Trade, Intellectual Property and Genetically Modified Organisms (2015)

In the United States, there has been fierce debate over state, federal and international efforts...



Intellectual Property and Global Warming: Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice, The Sage Handbook of Intellectual Property (2014)

Engaging in a close analysis of legal and political discourse, this chapter considers conflicts over...



The High Court of Australia and the Marlboro Man: The Battle Over The Plain Packaging of Tobacco Products, Regulating Tobacco, Alcohol and Unhealthy Foods: The Legal Issues (2014)

In 2012, the High Court of Australia handed down a landmark decision on the plain...




The Culture Wars of Climate Change, Interpellations, Law and Literature Conference, Working Paper (2015)

Of late, there has been a growth in cultural expression about climate change – with...



Intellectual Property and Biofuels: The Energy Crisis, Food Security, and Climate Change (with Griffith Hack), Working Paper (2015)

In light of larger public policy debates over intellectual property and climate change, this article...



Lock the Gate: Fracking, Investor-State Dispute Settlement, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Victoria University of Wellington - Working Paper (2015)

There has been much debate about the relationship between international trade, the environment, biodiversity protection,...



From Kafka to KAFTA: Intellectual Property, and the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement, Korea Legislation Research Institute Issues Paper (2014)

The Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement 2014 (KAFTA) is a Kafkaesque agreement – with its secret...



The Empire of Cancer: Gene Patents and Cancer Voices, Journal of Law, Information, and Science (2013)

In his book, The Emperor of All Maladies, Siddhartha Mukherjee writes a history of cancer...


Case Notes


Will the Trans-Pacific Partnership #TPP Destroy our Health System?, Crikey News (2015)

Could the TPP force Australia to adopt an American-style model of private health? Dr Matthew...



Cross-party Avengers tackle the mysterious Trans-Pacific Partnership #TPP and future of the Pacific Rim, Crikey News (2015)

A group of three cross-party MPs has been taking the slated Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement...



New Trans-Pacific Partnership #TPP Leak Reveals How We're Trading Our Sovereignty for Tariffs, Crikey News (2015)

Last Wednesday, WikiLeaks once again broke the secrecy surrounding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), releasing the...



Can the Gates Foundation be convinced to dump Fossil Fuels?, The Conversation (2015)

This week, The Guardian newspaper has campaigned for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to...



Who Killed Fair Use? A Copyright Murder Mystery Down Under, Fair Use Week 2015, Harvard Library (2015)

Fair Use Week has been celebrated this week in the United States, with great gusto...


Policy Submissions


A Supplementary Submission on The Commonwealth's Treaty-Making Process, The Senate Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Defence References Committee, Australian Parliament. (2015)

This supplementary submission highlights two new developments, which have arisen since the initial submission. First,...



A Submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee on the Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2015 (Cth) (2015)

Executive Summary

The film company, Roadshow, the pay television company Foxtel, and Rupert Murdoch’s News...



The Commonwealth's Treaty-Making Process, Senate Committee for Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade References (2015)

Considering both the situation in Australia and the United States, the Commonwealth’s Treaty-Making Process is...



A Supplementary Submission on Trojan Horse Clauses: Investor-State Dispute Settlement (2014)

Executive Summary This supplementary submission considers a number of new developments in Investor-State Dispute Settlement...



A Supplementary Submission to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties on the Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement, Australian Parliament (2014)

This supplementary submission responds to new developments regarding Investor-State Dispute Settlement; questions about transparency and...


Book Reviews


'Stay Brave': This Changes Everything - Capitalism vs the Climate (2014) by Naomi Klein (2014)

During the New York Climate Week in 2014, I saw Naomi Klein speak about her...



Intellectual Property, Innovation, and the Environment (2014) edited by Peter Menell and Sarah Tran (2014)

Peter S. Menell and Sarah M. Tran (ed.), Intellectual Property, Innovation and the Environment, Cheltenham...



Environmental Technologies, Intellectual Property and Climate Change (2013) edited by Abbe Brown - a Review (2014)

Abbe Brown from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, is one of the leading international researchers...



An Unlikely Climate Activist: A Review of Bill McKibben's Oil and Honey, New Matilda (2013)

The COP19 talks are underway in Warsaw. What led world leaders to take climate change...



'Not all Rights Are Reserved; A Book Review of Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright by Patricia Aufderheide and Peter Jaszi' (2012)

This lively book, Reclaiming Fair Use: How to Put Balance Back in Copyright, is designed...