Module Identifier LA32510  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Miss Allison Coleman  
Semester Semester 2  
Pre-Requisite LA10110 or LA30110 or LA15710  
Co-Requisite LA15830 or LA35830  
Course delivery Lecture   20 Hours Two one hour lectures per week  
  Seminars / Tutorials   4 Hours Seminar. Four one hour seminars during the semester  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Essay: one assessed essay of 4000 words required by Week 11 of semester two  100%
Supplementary Assessment By retaking the failed element   
Professional Exemptions Not Required for Professional Purposes  

Learning outcomes

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

Students will acquire a knowledge of the statutory provisions and case law relating to copyright, patents and trade marks and understand the policy issues behind any decision to protect intellectual property or consign it to the public domain. Students will also be able to describe and and evaluate the conflicting interests of the creators, the rights owners and the users of intellectual property.

Intellectual skills

Seminars and assessment methods focus on the skills of problem solving and policy evaluation, plus the assessment and interpretation of source material and its practical application.
Much of the information is available only electronically. Study of this module will 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. Coca Cola Co. has a trade secret in its formula for Coke and a multi-billion pound trade mark. They pay 148,000 pounds per day to the inventor of the ring pull on drinks cans for the use of his patent. Bambi and Snow White were released on video so that Walt Disney Co. could maximise revenue from the copyright in the film before it expired. 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 aim of this course is to study the legal framework of patents, copyrights 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. It is hoped that it will also increase awareness of the economic importance of cultural property and technological advances.


Educational aims of the module

Lectures, seminars and the assessmment methods 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,
? 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.


1. Patents

1.1 Patents Act 1977 and European Patent Convention

1.2 Patentability

1.3 Animal Patents

1.4 Patentability of Computer Software

1.5 Novelty

1.6 Inventive step

1.7 Industrial application

1.8 Employee inventions

1.9 Patent application

1.10 Foreign filings

2. Copyrights

2.1 Copyright, Patents and Designs Act 1988

2.2 Copyright works

2.3 Ownership of Copyright

2.4 Duration

2.5 Primary and secondary infringement

2.6 Permitted acts

2.7 Assignment and licensing

2.8 Moral rights

2.9 Plagiarism in music

2.10 Digital sound sampling

2.11 Copyright and Computer Programs and Digitised Information

3. Trade Marks

3.1 Registered trade marks

3.2 Registered service marks

3.3 Community trade mark

3.4 Reform of English law

4. Passing Off

4.1 Common law rights

4.2 Warnick requirements

4.3 Extensions of rights in drinks cases etc.

4.4 Foreign plaintiffs - goodwill v reputation

4.5 Character merchandising

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Coleman Intellectual Property Law
Philips and Firth Introduction to Intellectual Property
Cornish Intellectual Property Law
Bainbridge Intellectual Property
** Recommended Consultation
Laddie, Prescott & Vittoria Modern Law of Copyright
Gurry Breach of Confidence
Flint A User's Guide to Copyright
Kerly's Law of Trade Marks
Dworkin & Taylor Blackstone's Guide to the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988
Copinger & Skone James on Copyright

European Intellectual Property (EIPR)
International Review of Industrial Property and Copyright Law (IIC)

Law Reports
Reports of Patent Cases (RPC)
Fleet Street Reports (FSP)


This module is at CQFW Level 6