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Intellectual Property Law II (Patents and Trade Marks)


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 6
  • Convenor and tutor: Dr Henrique Carvalho
  • Assessment: a 500-word formative essay plan (0%) and 3000-word research essay (100%)

Module description

Once a relatively obscure area of legal practice, intellectual property has recently become one of the most publicly debated areas of law. Central to these debates are the ways in which patent and trade mark law affect production, distribution and access to valuable goods and services. In this module we will cover core concepts and doctrines in patent and trade mark law with the aim of stimulating a critical reflection on how intellectual property affects our lives.

This module will appeal to you if you are planning to specialise in commercial law or you are interested in the intersection between law, technology, global justice and political economy. You do not need to have taken Intellectual Property Law I (Copyright, Privacy and Publicity) to enrol on this module, but the two modules can be seen as complementary, especially if you are planning to write a dissertation on intellectual property law.

Indicative syllabus

  • Registration and intellectual property: historical origins and contemporary relevance
  • Patent law: justifications, reading patent specifications, subject matter, requirements of patentability, ownership, infringement
  • Trade mark law: understanding registration, subject matter, ground for refusal of registration, infringement and defences

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • read patent specifications and trade mark registration documents
  • understand the territorial dimension of intellectual property rights
  • engage with contemporary debates about requirements of patentability and trade mark registration
  • problematise the allocation of resources engendered by contemporary patent and trade mark law.