Module SXL-4004:
Intellectual Property Law

Module Facts

Run by School of Law

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Mark Hyland

Overall aims and purpose

The principal aim of this module is to examine copyright law, patent law and trade mark law in relation to the UK, the European Union and relevant international conventions such as the Berne Convention, the Paris Convention, the Madrid Agreement and the Madrid Protocol. As a separate exercise, the WTO aspects of IP Law will be examined, e.g. 1994 TRIPs Agreement. Students who take this module will develop a sound knowledge of the law and practice relating to copyright law, patent law and trade mark law at UK, EU and multilateral levels. This module will encourage a contextual study of the law in this area and will encourage students to take a proactive approach to legal learning in relation to intellectual property law. This module will also encourage a critical assessment of intellectual property law by reference to scholarship, research and proposals for reform. Independent and original thought is encouraged among the students during this module. This module provides students with an opportunity to develop advanced research skills and to develop professional communication skills.

Course content

The course will consist of seminars on the fundamentals of intellectual property law, the definition and scope of copyright, patents and trade marks. The rationales/justifications for each form of IP protection will be examined. The copyright part of the course will cover the following: ownership; a comparison of economic rights versus moral rights; primary and secondary infringement; copyright exceptions; TPMs and DRM; collective licensing agencies; the role and functions of the Copyright Tribunal; and, new threats posed to copyright by the internet. The patent part of the course will cover the following: patent procedures; protectable subject matter; excluded subject matter; revocation; biotechnological inventions; and software-related inventions. The trade mark part of the course will cover the following: registration and grounds for refusal of registration; trade marks and domain names; and, trade marks and personality merchandising. Infringements, defences and penalties will be covered in respect of all three classes of IPR.

Assessment Criteria

threshold

Displays ability within a specialized area of knowledge and skills, employing appropriate skills to conduct research. Work at threshold quality demonstrates an adequate knowledge and understanding of current issues in this field of study. It shows a critical awareness of current problems, some of which is informed by thinking at the forefront of the academic discipline. Work at this level shows a developing understanding of techniques applicable to the student’s own research. It shows an ability of apply knowledge in an original way, and to use established techniques of research and enquiry to interpret knowledge in the discipline. The conceptual understanding evidenced by the work indicates that the student can evaluate scholarship in the field.

good

Displays accomplished ability within a specialized area of knowledge and skills, employing good quality skills to conduct research. Good work in this module will demonstrate a systematic knowledge and understanding of current issues in this field of study. It shows a critical awareness of current problems, much of which is at, or informed by thinking at, the forefront of the academic discipline. Work at this level shows a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to the student’s own research. It shows an ability to apply knowledge in an original way, and to use established techniques of research and enquiry to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline. The conceptual understanding evidenced in the work indicates that the student can evaluate advanced scholarship in the discipline. The work shows an ability to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them, and, where, appropriate, propose hypotheses.

excellent

Displays mastery of a complex and specialized area of knowledge and skills, employing advanced skills to conduct research. Excellent work in this module will contain the qualities recognized in good work, but will show them in a more consistent way, and at all points. It will demonstrate a systematic knowledge and understanding of current issues in this field of study. It shows a critical awareness of current problems, much of which is at the forefront of this academic discipline. Work at this level shows a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to the student’s own research or to advanced scholarship. It shows throughout an ability to apply knowledge in an original way, and to use established techniques of research and enquiry to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline. The conceptual understanding evidenced in the work indicates that the student can critically evaluate advanced scholarship in the discipline, and do so in a consistent manner. The work shows an ability to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them, and, where, appropriate, propose hypotheses.

Learning outcomes

  1. Critically evaluate the main rules, principles and policies operating in the relevant areas of intellectual property law and set these in their appropriate context.

  2. Critically evaluate the main criticisms and proposals for the reform of the law which have been made in relation to these rules, principles and policies

  3. Identify and critically analyse the relevant legislation and case law governing the law of copyright, patents and trademarks, design law, performers' rights and related rights.

  4. Demonstrate an in-depth advanced understanding of the problems posed by developing technologies in this area such as the use of the internet and be aware of international, European and UK proposals to address any problems for the creative industries created by these developments.

  5. Critically demonstrate an in-depth, advanced understanding and knowledge of the role of the law of copyright, patents and trade marks in this area.

  6. Demonstrate an in-depth and advanced knowledge and understanding of the application of the law to complex problems relating to the creative industries.

  7. Critically evaluate and analyse the law relating to copyright, patents and trade marks, design law, performers' rights and related rights and where necessary draw on related economic, social, comparative and empirical research.

  8. Formulate, investigate and refine suggestions for the development and/or reform of the existing law

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Written assignment 100

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Hours
Private study 178
Seminar

The module will consist of 11 x 2 hour seminars. For each seminar students are required to prepare in advance and to look at essential reading together with preparation of problem questions, for which they will be expected to prepare outline answers which will enable them to participate in discussion of the questions in the seminars. The seminars will be taught by a combination of lectures and Socratic methods, with students required to consider hypothetical scenarios related to the seminar material. This will require advance preparation based on selected reading materials and legislation. This will provide students with the critical skills needed to assess the strengths and weakness of the legal regimes under examination.

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Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
  • Leadership - Able to lead and manage, develop action plans and objectives, offer guidance and direction to others, and cope with the related pressures such authority can result in

Subject specific skills

  • demonstrate the ability to work with others in a team to achieve reasoned, critical, comparative perspectives upon legal questions.
  • demonstrate the ability to work with others in a team to achieve reasoned, critical, comparative perspectives upon legal questions.
  • present reasoned, critical, comparative responses to the views of others on legal subjects within a Welsh, United Kingdom, European and/or global context;
  • present reasoned, critical, comparative responses to the views of others on legal subjects within a Welsh, United Kingdom, European and/or global context;
  • present to others from a specialist or non-specialist background, reasoned, critical, comparative presentations relating to legal subjects within a Welsh, United Kingdom, European and/or global context;
  • present to others from a specialist or non-specialist background, reasoned, critical, comparative presentations relating to legal subjects within a Welsh, United Kingdom, European and/or global context;
  • Students will acquire knowledge and understanding of advanced level theory containing the ongoing evolution of Intellectual Property Law and its response to industrial and commercial innovation. Students will acquire critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, informed by the latest literature, international legislation, international conventions, EU Law, and academic literature and international case law.
  • Students will acquire knowledge and understanding of basic principles, advanced level theories and explore the many traditional and contemporary challenges in International Law. They will receive a balanced education in the relevant law, theory, politics and practice.
  • Students will also acquire expertise within the particular programme on which they are enrolled. Careful guidance over optional module choices and close supervision of dissertations will ensure that the students fully develop expertise in the area of interest.
  • Students will be taught through a range of methods, balancing theory and practice, and aiming at developing critical thinkers able to respond to the intellectual and professional challenges facing contemporary International Lawyers.
  • write sustained critical expositions of any given area of the legal subjects studied and present the findings clearly, logically and coherently;
  • write sustained critical expositions of the legal subjects studied in International, Commercial and Business Law and present the findings clearly, logically and coherently;

Resources

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: