HKU Lecture in Intellectual Property: Trademarks and Private Governance

Date: May 12, 2017 (Friday)

Time: 6pm – 7pm

Venue: Academic Conference Room, 11/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, HKU

Speaker: Professor Graeme W. Austin (Professor of Law, Melbourne University; Chair of Private Law, Victoria University of Wellington)

Abstract: This lecture explores the growing importance of information-based “private governance” that incorporates elements of intellectual property and environmental law. Trademarks are deeply implicated in forms of private environmental governance that have emerged in response to economic globalization. These developments challenge the prevailing theory of trademarks and its viability in a world where markets, politics, and social policy are intertwined. At the same time, battles over the scope of trademark rights— ignited by overreaching corporate branding strategies—have elevated a reactionary turn in trademark theory that reduces trademarks solely to their source-identification function. The paper argues that public interests, specifically environmental quality and sustainability, impacted by globalized markets also merit consideration, and that the normative ends of private environmental governance should factor into trademark policy.

About the speakerGraeme Austin is a Professor of Law, Melbourne University and Chair of Private Law, Victoria University of Wellington. He is a graduate of Columbia University Law School (JSD and LLM) and from Victoria University of Wellington. At Columbia he was the Burton Fellow in Residence in Intellectual Property. Before returning to New Zealand in 2010, he was the J. Byron McCormick Professor of Law at the University of Arizona, where he co-convened the intellectual property programme.  In 2014, he was the Yong Shook Lin Visiting Professor of Intellectual Property at the National University of Singapore teaching private international law and intellectual property, and, in 2017 he will be the Lionel Sheridan Visiting Professor at NUS.   An elected Member of the American Law Institute, he was appointed as an Advisor to its panel on Principles Governing Jurisdiction, Choice of Law, and Judgments in Transnational Disputes.  He has been a Herchel Smith Lecturer at Cambridge University, and in 2017 he will be a visitor at Oxford University under the Myers/Oxford fellowship.

1 CPD point will be granted to eligible participants. This talk has been accredited by The Law Society of Hong Kong for 1 CPD point.

All are welcome!