Intellectual Property


This modules examines the principles of Intellectual Property law, looking at key substantive domains such as copyright, patents and trademarks in a critical way.


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with: the ability to analyse critically the rationale, substantive content, evolution and development of IP law in the UK, EU and the international domain.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student should be able to:

1.  critically analyse the rationale and substantive content of IP law in the UK and the EU

2.  critically examine the evolution of IP law in the UK and EU

3.  discuss the dynamics of IP development in the international domain

4.  demonstrate enhanced skills of critical, oral and written analysis and communication in constrained circumstances

Indicative Content

1 Introduction

The origin and rationales of IP law in the UK.

2 Copyright

Origins. The statutory framework of Copyright in the UK. The legislative and judicial rationales. The impact of the EU and International Treaties. Copyright in the context of IT applications. Competing paradigms of regulation of copyright. Potential futures. The critical commentaries.

3 Patents

Origins. The statutory framework in the UK. Patents in the context of IT applications. The judicial experience. The EU patent. The European Patent Convention. Challenges to the current patent regime.

4 Trade Marks

Origins. The statutory framework in the UK and the impact of EU law. Trade marks in the context of IT applications. The relationship between trade marks and the law of passing off.

5 Design Law

Origins, rationale in the UK and EU. The statutory framework. The relationship between design law and copyright.

6 Misuse of Private Information;Confidential Information

Origins, rationale in the UK .The impact of the Humans Rights Act 1998 and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. Development of the common law protection in the UK. Proposal for a Directive on trade secrets and confidential business information 2013/0402 (COD).

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Students engage in a seminar format, requiring the preparation of material from a leading list supplied by the tutor to be discussed and critiqued during class contact time. This is student led with the tutor offering support and focussing direction. High level critical analysis and synthesis of ideas from disparate areas, is required building on up to date legal academic commentary and case law, which the students have to research, acknowledging multiple perspectives, and engaging with contested knowledge. The module is assessed by the units described below, including'inline' presentations made by students to other students and staff during seminars. Students will submit slides for formative feedback ahead of their presentations. In week 7 formative feedback will be provided on structural and content issues in relation to the written opinion item.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 0
Tutorial/Seminar 28
Supervised Practical Activity 0
Unsupervised Practical Activity 0
Assessment 40
Independent 132

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/10 , and may be subject to change for future years.