Module Information

Module Identifier
LAM6610
Module Title
Intellectual Property Rights in Computer Software and Related Products
Academic Year
2020/2021
Co-ordinator
Semester
Distance Learning

Course Delivery

 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Module Assessment  Written Assignment of 5,000 words  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

Explain the nature of the legal challenges posed by the application of existing legal regimes for the protection of intellectual property right to computer software and related products.

Explain the development of legal regims protecting intellectual property rights in software and related products such as databases.

Demonstrate an understanding of the differences between literal and non-literal copying and the way in which these concepts have affected the interpretation and application of the law in the UK and US.

Assess the differences between literal works and computer software and their impact on the application of the relevant rules in different jurisdictions.

Explain in which situations patent protection for computer software might be granted.

Explain the nature of the intellectual property rights in databases.

Critically evaluate and compare the use of copyright, patents and sui generis schemes for the protection of intellectual property rights in computer software and related products.

Brief description

This module will consider the way in which traditional legal regimes for the protection of intellectual property rights, notably copyright and patents, have been applied to computer software and related products such as computer databases. It will assess the novel problems which advances in this technology have posed for the courts and legislatures in a number of jurisdictions but with a particular focus on the UK, EU and US. The efficacy of these existing methods will be evaluated and compared with the perceived benefits of sui generis protection.



Content

1. Introduction to the necessary legal and technical concepts including a consideration of the nature of computer software and computer programming. A comparison of computer software, literary works and utilitarian products. The advantages and disadvantages of the use of copyright and patent law for the protection of intellectual property rights in computer software and a comparison with sui generis schemes.
2. Approaches to literal and non-literal copying as demonstrated by comparing the copyright protection for computer software in the US and the UK.
3. Issues of decompilation and interoperability and how they have been approached in the Software Directive, the courts and the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
4. Patent protection for computer software under the European Patent Convention and the law of the UK and US.
5. A consideration of a sui generis method of protection of intellectual property rights ? the Database directive and its implementation in a number of EU states and a comparison with the database protection in the US.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 7