Professor in Intellectual Property and Innovation Law, Queensland University of Technology

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 Institute.

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


  • 2015–present
    Professor , Queensland University of Technology
  • 2011–2015
    Australian Research Council Future Fellow, The Australian National University
  • 2001–2015
    Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor, The Australian National University
  • 2001–2015
    Research fellow, ACIPA


  • 2001 
    UNSW, Phd/ Law
  • 1997 
    ANU, LLB, First Class Honours
  • 1995 
    ANU, BA, First Class Honours and University Medal in English Literature

Grants and Contracts

  • 2011
    Intellectual Property and Climate Change
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council
  • 2009
    Promoting Plant Innovation in Australia: maximising the benefits of intellectual property for Australian agriculture
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council
  • 2005
    Unlocking Intellectual Property
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council
  • 2003
    The Protection of Botanical Inventions
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council
  • 2003
    Gene Patents In Australia: Options For Reform
    Chief Investigator
    Funding Source:
    Australian Research Council

Research Areas

  • Intellectual Property Law (180115)
  • Communication Technology And Digital Media Studies (200102)
  • Ethical Use Of New Technology (E.G. Nanotechnology, Biotechnology) (220103)
  • Environmental And Natural Resources Law (180111)
  • Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Law (180101)
  • Public Health And Health Services (1117)
  • Innovation And Technology Management (150307)