Michael is a Professor in the Faculty of Law. He researches in the field of intellectual property law, focusing in particular on national and international trade mark law, the international regulation of geographical indications of origin, and copyright law.
Michael is the co-author, with Professor Robert Burrell, of Australian Trade Mark Law (Oxford University Press, 2nd ed, 2016), one of the leading texts on the topic. He is also the co-author, with Professors Kathy Bowrey, Dianne Nicol, Jane Nielsen and Kimberlee Weatherall, of Australian Intellectual Property: Commentary, Law and Practice (Oxford University Press, 3rd ed, 2021). He has written numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on various aspects of local and international intellectual property law, in publications including the Modern Law Review, Melbourne University Law Review, Federal Law Review, UNSW Law Journal and the Trademark Reporter. He has also co-authored influential submissions to government law reform inquiries.
Michael was also a co-investigator, with Professor Kathy Bowrey, on the Australian Research Council funded project 'Entertainment Rights in the Age of the Franchise: A Reappraisal of Personality Rights under Australian Intellectual Property Laws' (2009-11), the key output of which was the acclaimed edited collection, Law and Creativity in the Age of the Entertainment Franchise (Cambridge University Press, 2014).
A. Steel, C. Picker, L. Bennett Moses, M. Handler and C. Tisdell, UNSW Strategic Education Development Funding Grant, Aligning Learning, Assessment and Technology: Trialling Use of Computers by Students to Complete Examinations (2016-17)
M. Handler, UNSW Strategic Education Development Funding Grant, Building Legal Research Skills through the Development of Online Legal Research Modules (2014-15)
K. Bowrey and M. Handler, ARC Discovery Grant DP0985948, Entertainment Rights in the Age of the Franchise: A Reappraisal of Personality Rights under Australian Intellectual Property Laws (2009-14)