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Study information

Intellectual Property

Module titleIntellectual Property
Module codeLAW3028
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr James Griffin (Convenor)

Dr Andrea Wallace (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

You will learn about the ways in which the intellectual property system (IP) has developed, and why it operates as it does. In so doing, you will develop skills that will enable you to think about the system in an analytical manner. You will also cover the practical aspects, such as registration procedures where appropriate.


The IP module will also enable students to critically analyse the legal and policy framework for intellectual property law and to consider the effectiveness of the regulatory system, for instance, considering whether the intellectual property system achieves its purported aims.


The module will facilitate lively debate concerning potential proposals for legal reform, particularly in relation to the tests of IP infringement, and the application of the law to new areas such as, for example, 3D printing and biotechnological inventions.


The module will encourage you to pursue further study of the area, by looking at the application of the law to novel situations, and (subject to availability) by the involvement of practitioners during the module.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to examine the legal rules and principles involved in UK Copyright, Trademark and Patent Law. In addition to analysing the substantive copyright, patent and trade mark laws, the module will consider the underlying rationale of the law. By drawing on a number of legal and non-legal materials the module will explore the complex social, economic and political context in which the law operates.


The module aims to encourage you to critically analyse the operation of the law. Registration and similar procedures can encourage a descriptive approach, so this module will ensure that you will be able to place the systems within context. For instance, the development of the law is considered in depth so as to make you aware of the landscape of protection, so that the system can be analysed appropriately.


The module therefore aims to encourage you to think critically and analyse the broader policy framework underlying IP laws, to consider whether the system meets its purported aims, to become involved in debate concerning the possible proposals for reform, and consider the means by which the current rules may be applied to new technologies.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. critically evaluate and analyse the rules and underlying rationale of aspects of IP law;
  • 2. understand some of the challenges facing aspects of IP law.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. integrate and assess information from primary and secondary legal sources using appropriate interpretative techniques;
  • 4. define complex legal problems, identify their relative significance, and select appropriate methods for investigating and critically evaluating them.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 5. select, prioritise, analyse and organise your research to a strict deadline, in order to construct original argument;
  • 6. plan and undertake tasks, with minimum guidance, and reflect critically on the learning process and complete specified tasks.

Syllabus plan

Whilst the precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover all or some of the following topics:


  • Introduction to the principles and theory of IP Law
  • Copyright
  • Patents
  • Trade Marks
  • Passing Off

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching activities2828 x 1 hour lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching activities84 x 2 hour seminars
Scheduled Learning and Teaching activities128 x 1.5 hour workshops
Guided independent study120Individual reading and lecture preparation
Guided independent study40Workshop and seminar preparation
Guided independent study 92Formative and summative assessment preparation

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Examination (24-hour take-home, open book)1.5 hours intended duration (within a 24-hour submission window)1-6Written feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Examination 1 (24-hour take-home, open book)502 hours intended duration (within a 24-hour submission window1-6Written feedback
Examination 2 (24-hour take-home, open book)502 hours intended duration (within a 24-hour submission window)1-6Written feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Examination 1 (24-hour take-home, open book)(2 hours intended duration (within a 24-hour submission window))1-6August/September reassessment period
Examination 2 (24-hour take-home, open book)Examination 2 (2 hours intended duration (within a 24-hour submission window1-6August/September reassessment period

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:


  • Abbe Brown, Smita Kheria, Jane Cornwell and Marta Iljadica, Contemporary Intellectual Property: Law and Policy (5th edn, OUP 2019)
  • Lionel Bently, Brad Sherman, Dev Gangjee and Philip Johnson, Intellectual Property Law (5th edn, OUP 2018)


IP Journals:

  • European Intellectual Property Law Review (EIPR)
  • International Review of Intellectual Property and Competition Law (IIC)
  • Intellectual Property Quarterly (IPQ)
  • Journal of Intellectual Property Law and Practice (JIPLP)

Key words search

Intellectual property law, Copyright, Patents, Trade marks, Passing off

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date