Dr Matthew Rimmer is taking up the position of Professor in Intellectual Property
and Innovation Law at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in 2nd Semester,

Dr Matthew Rimmer is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow, working on
Intellectual Property and Climate Change. He is an associate professor at the ANU College
of Law, and an associate director of the Australian Centre for Intellectual Property in
Agriculture (ACIPA). He holds a BA (Hons) and a University Medal in literature, and a LLB
(Hons) from the Australian National University. Rimmer 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. He is a member of the ANU Climate Change Institute. Rimmer has
published widely on copyright law and information technology, patent law and
biotechnology, access to medicines, plain packaging of tobacco products, clean
technologies, and traditional knowledge. His work is archived at SSRN Abstracts and
Bepress Selected Works. 

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 has been 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), with Alison McLennan. 

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


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...



Trick or Treaty? The Australian Debate over the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), ACTA and The Plurilateral Enforcement Agenda: Genesis and Aftermath (2014)

The secretive 2011Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement – known in short by the catchy acronym ACTA –...



Plain Packaging for the Pacific Rim: The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Tobacco Control, Trade Liberalisation and International Co-operation: A Legal Analysis of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (2013)

Big Tobacco has been engaged in a dark, shadowy plot and conspiracy to hijack the...




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...



Lock the Gate: Fracking, Investor-State Dispute Settlement, and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Victoria University of Wellington - Working Paper (2014)

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



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...


Who Owns Your Body? Patricia Piccinini and the Future of Bioethics, Journal of Law and Medicine (2013)

This article analyses some popular cultural representations of biotechnology, especially the artistic work of the...



An Elegy for Greg Ham: Copyright Law, the Kookaburra case, and Remix Culture, Deakin Law Review (2012)

The ‘Kookaburra’ case was a tragic and controversial copyright dispute, highlighting the need for copyright...


Case Notes


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...



The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Brunei, Trade, and Human Rights, Medium (2015)

The Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott, has said that ‘Australia is Open for Business’....



Doctors for Divestment: Climate Change and Public Health, Medium (2015)

On the Global Divestment Day on the 13–14 February 2015, doctors and health professionals were...


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...