Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years
LA15830 or LA35830
LA10110 or LA30110 or LA15710
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 16 Hours. Two one hour lectures per week
Seminars / Tutorials 3 Hours. Three one hour seminars during the semester


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 1.5 Hours   100%
Supplementary Assessment By retaking the failed element 

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Demonstrate an understanding of the way in which intellectual property is regulated by the law with particular reference to the policy issues behind any decisions to protect intellectual property or to consign it to the public domain. Students will acquire knowledge of the statutory provisions and case law relating to copyright, designs, patents and trade marks. From this basis students will develop the ability to critically evaluate the often conflicting interests of the creators, the rights owners and the users of intellectual property. In particular students will develop the ability to interpret and apply statutory provision to a range of situations. The module draws extensively on interpreting current legislation and as such enables the students to develop the ability to apply the substantive provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act to practical situations.
In order to achieve the learning outcomes, the seminars and assessment method focus on the skills of problem solving and policy evaluation, plus the assessment and interpretation of source material and its practical application. A considerable amount of material relevant to the module is available electronically and therefore study of the module will also enhance students Information Technology skills particularly in terms of the use of electronic databases and the Internet.

Brief description

Intellectual property law looks at the legal protection of new ideas and new products. It is an area where law is constantly responding to technological change. Intellectual property is used by us all and operates in several layers, with rights and protection arising in a number of ways. For example, Coca Cola Co. has a trade secret in its formula for Coke and a multi-billion pound trade mark. They pay a considerable sum per day to the inventor of the ring pull on drinks cans for the use of his patent. Perhaps of less economic significance, but of no less importance in terms of intellectual property protection, students generate copyrights in all their written work and make constant use of the copyrights of others in books, journals, software, databases and the Internet.


The aims of this module are for students to develop an understanding of the legal framework of patents, copyrights, designs and trade marks; their exploitation in the market place; and the extent to which their use is restrained because of factors such the free flow of information and competition policies.

Lectures, seminars and the assessment method for this module focus on the key skills of statutory interpretation and problem solving, ensuring that students recognise and understand the policies underpinning the law at the national, European and international levels. In doing this the module emphasises the importance of intellectual property protection to industries such as sound recording, film, television, publishing and software engineering, and the public interest in the free flow of information in the digital age.
Through the study of Intellectual Property law, students will be required to critically analyse and evaluate how effective the law is in securing a balance between the interests of the creators, the rights owners and the users of intellectual property.



International and European framework and initiatives
National legislation: Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988
Categories of Works
Criteria for Protection
Duration of Copyright
Rights of the Copyright Owner
Exploitation of Rights
Infringement and Defences

Trade Marks

Unregistered trade marks
Common law action of Passing Off
Registered trade marks
International and Community registration
Requirements for registration
Rights conferred and scope of protection
Infringement of trade marks


Registered design system
Requirements for registration
Community protection
Unregistered design right


Inventive step
Industrial application
European initiatives
Patentability of computer software

Reading List

General Text
European intellectual property review. World Intellectual Property Organization. Fleet Street Reports Primo search International Review of Industrial Property and Copyright Law Primo search Reports of Patent, Design and Trademark Cases Primo search
Should Be Purchased
Christie, Andrew (2008) Blackstone's statutes on intellectual property /edited by Andrew Christie and Stephen Gare. 9th ed. Oxford University Press Primo search
Recommended Consultation
Bently, Lionel (c2008.) Intellectual property law /L. Bently and B. Sherman. 3rd ed. Oxford University Press Primo search Davis, Jennifer (2008) Intellectual property law 3rd ed. Oxford University Press Primo search Holyoak, Jon. (2008.) Holyoak and Torremans intellectual property law /Paul Torremans. 5th ed. Oxford University Press Primo search
Consult For Futher Information
Bainbridge, David I. ([2008], c2009.) Intellectual property /David I. Bainbridge. 7th ed. Pearson Longman Primo search Copinger, Walter Arthur (2005.) Copinger and Skone James on copyright. 15th ed. Sweet & Maxwell Primo search Cornish, W. R. (2007) Intellectual property :patents, copyright, trademarks & allied rights /by William Cornish and David Llewelyn. 6th ed. Sweet & Maxwell Primo search Cornish, William (2006.) Cases and materials on intellectual property . 5th ed. Sweet & Maxwell Primo search Laddie, Hugh (2000.) The modern law of copyright and designs /Hugh Laddie...[et al.] 3rd ed. Butterworth Primo search Phillips, Jeremy (c2003.) Butterworths intellectual property law handbook /consultant editor, Jeremy Phillips. 6th ed. LexisNexis UK Primo search Pickering, C. D. G. (1998.) Trade marks in theory and practice /C. D. G. Pickering. Hart Primo search Reid, Brian C. (1999.) A practical guide to patent law /Brian C. Reid. 3nd ed. Sweet & Maxwell Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6