In Memory of Professor Ann Monotti

We are saddened by the death of our esteemed academic colleague and friend, Professor Ann Monotti. Professor Monotti was a highly admired teacher and scholar at the Faculty of Law at Monash University for more than 30 years.

Ann started her career in legal practice. She was a partner of a law firm for many years, practising in general commercial law, property law, wills and estates

In 1991 she made the move to academia and joined the Faculty of Law at Monash University. Starting as an assistant lecturer, Ann excelled through all levels of academia and was appointed professor in 2007.

Her areas of teaching included property and intellectual property. She was a dedicated and inspiring teacher who mentored generations of students across all Law programs - undergraduate (Bachelor of Laws), postgraduate (in the Juris Doctor and Master of Laws) and PhD students.

She loved teaching, and, during the pandemic, when classes were held remotely, she worked at producing perfect video clips to benefit her students.

Ann was an exceptional legal scholar and was passionate about her research. She was a recognised leader in intellectual property research in the Faculty, the University and beyond.

Ann was Chief Investigator on numerous ARC and other grants and the principal author of many leading books and publications on intellectual property, including Universities and Intellectual Property published by Oxford University Press, which has been cited extensively.

She was co-author of four editions of Australian Intellectual Property Law published by Cambridge University Press, of Innovation and Venture Capital Law and Policy published by Federation Press, and of Commercialisation of Intellectual Property published by LexisNexis. She also co-edited Business Innovation and the Law: Perspectives from Intellectual Property, Labour, Competition and Corporate Law published by Edward Elgar Publishing.

Ann’s other scholarly intellectual property work explored ownership and exploitation of intellectual property in universities, commercialisation of intellectual property and patents, and the tricky topic of legal protection of plant varieties. Her co-authored intellectual property books are valued by students, academics and the legal profession.

Ann’s scholarship was influential in policy-making. She was cited numerous times by the Federal Court of Australia and the High Court of Australia, as well as by the Australian Patents Office (for example, in University of Western Australia v Gray (No 20) (2008) 246 ALR 603 (French J)[158]-[159], [1367]; University of Western Australia v Gray (2009) 179 FCR 346, [149], [169], [187], [195]; and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co v F H Faulding & Co Ltd (2000) 170 ALR 439, 471).

We remember Ann as a dear friend, a formidable scholar, and a dedicated teacher. We remember her as a person who was always ready for a laugh and who was always there to come to another’s aid if support were needed."

Ann was an important part of life at Monash Law. Few people have served the Faculty and University in as many formal capacities as Ann did. She was a thoughtful and committed leader across a range of roles, including Associate Dean (Research), Associate Dean (Postgraduate Studies), Director of Higher Degrees by Research, foundation Director of the newly re-formed Centre for Commercial Law and Regulatory Studies (CLARS), and most recently Director of the JD program.

Ann was a committed leader and contributor to the Faculty and beyond the University. She was both generous and tireless in her time and work for the sake of others. She was a founder of the Diabetes Youth Foundation’s Melbourne branch, a member of the Intellectual Property Committee of the Law Council of Australia, contributing to intellectual property policy and reform, and the legal member of the Cancer Council Research Ethics Committee. Ann served as a member of the Monash University Intellectual Property Committee for many years from 1995.

On top of her official positions, Ann undertook many other responsibilities, such as securing accreditation for Monash Law by the Australian Professional Standards Board for Trade Marks and Patent Attorneys and then maintaining that accreditation over many years.

Ann undertook these roles and her Faculty leadership positions while having many other responsibilities: as a teacher and as a leader in her intellectual property and real property research disciplines, and, on a personal level, as a wife, a mother and more recently, a grandmother.

She was a generous mentor to junior researchers. Those lucky enough to know Ann were deeply moved by her support when they were junior academics and feeling uncertain about their roles or career direction. Over three decades, countless colleagues have been touched by Ann’s support and her warm, kind and caring nature.

Ann will be greatly missed, not only because of her outstanding scholarly leadership in her field, her enduring contribution to Monash Law, and the dedication she showed to the generations of students she taught and mentored in intellectual property and property law, but also because of her caring and generous nature, her intellect and collegiality, and her friendship to many colleagues and students over many years.

Ann demonstrated the best of professionalism and an ethic of service. We remember Ann as a dear friend, a formidable scholar, and a dedicated teacher. We remember her as a person who was always ready for a laugh and who was always there to come to another’s aid if support were needed.

Ann is survived by her husband, Alan Roberts, their two children, their grandchildren, and extended family. We extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to them.