LLM Intellectual Property Law

Module leader: Dr Chen Zhu

Teaching and assessment (2016-17): Semester 2, Essay - 6,000 words

Module description:

Intellectual Property Law examines the legal protections available for new ideas and new products. This is one area where the law is constantly responding to technological developments. Everyone one of us uses some form of intellectual property every day, and it operates at different levels and in different ways. One example of this is the secret ingredient in Coca Cola; and the multi-billion pound trademark associated with it. Coca Cola pay the inventor of the ring pull a significant amount each day to use ring pulls on their cans. Cadbury is another example of this, as is Microsoft. The list is endless, but each of these is an example of intellectual property law at work.

This module will consider examples such as Coca Cola, Apple and Cadburys as the law of copyright, patent and trademark is considered.

Seminar topics:

  • The national and international frameworks of intellectual properties
  • EU competition law and policy and its relationship with intellectual property
  • Copyright; categories of works, criteria for protection, authorship & originality, moral & economic rights, infringement & defences, remedies, digital copyright (databases, internet and software) and international copyright (TRIPS, WIPO etc)
  • Trademarks; registered trademarks, international and community registration & requirements, rights & infringement, unregistered trademarks & passing off
  • Patents; scope & objectives, novelty & ‘the inventive step,’ infringement & EU initiatives and biotechnology.
  • Contemporary Issues in IP; patent, copyright and trademark current issues & reform
  • Hot topics; file-sharing, privacy, cybercrime and online gaming.

Students will also gain knowledge of the main legislative instruments at both a national and international level, and develop familiarity with the major cases in these areas.