Matthew Rimmer

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, 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.

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), and an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant, "The Protection of Botanical Inventions (2003). He is currently a chief investigator in 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 (CUP, 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 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.

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