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2010/1 Module Catalogue
Module Provider: School of Law Short Name: LAWM069
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: FIRTH A Prof (Schl of Law)
Number of credits: 30 Number of ECTS credits: 15
Module Availability

1st Semester


Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment


Weighting towards Module Mark (%)






Oral presentation




Module Overview

Application of intellectual law in commercially important areas – employment, fashion, catering trade.



Previous exposure to intellectual property law, e.g. undergraduate course


Module Aims

To deepen students’ understanding of how intelectual property rights are protected at national, European and International levels by applying intellectual property principles in specific contexts and to develop an appreciation of the commercial significance of intellenctual property.


Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding


At the end of the course, students should:


·             Be able to discuss and analyse the varieties of intellectual property and their rationales for protection under and EC law


·             Be able to demonstrate understanding of the interplay of intellectual property law with other areas of commercial law


·             Show critical appreciation of the relative importance of different forms of intellectual property in different commercial sectors


·             Be able to understand and discuss the policy behind legislative developments and to assess their commercial significance





At the end of the course, students should have furthered their command of the following skills so as to have the ability to:


·             Carry out research on a topic which has both doctrinal and commercial aspects and use a variety of sources


·             Demonstrate an appropriate choice of methodology and appreciation of the relative authority of sources


·             Appraise the legal impact of intellectual property on businesses in the fashion and catering sectors


·             Construct a sustained legal argument using statement, explanation, analysis, criticism and proposal


Module Content

Survey/Review of Intellectual Property Law



Intellectual Property in Employment


·             Nature of employment, distinction employment/contracts for services/agency


·             Employees’ inventions


·             Employees and confidentiality


·             Employees and copyright works


·             Problems in the international sphere



Intellectual Property in Fashion


·             Background scenario of industry (fast-moving nature, need to follow trends, commercial reluctance to sue)


·             Drawbacks to all IP rights in this area


·             Copyright in fashion creations


·             Confidentiality


·             Problems of passing off


·             Trade marks and brands



Unfair Commercial Practices – B2C Directive and B2C and B2B Regulations



Intellectual Property in the Restaurant and Catering Industries


·             Passing off, especially as regards get-up of outlets and appearance of food products


·             Trade marks, especially non-traditional signs


·             Geographical indications


·             Copyright



Note, although the emphasis will be on UK/EU law, the course will draw upon case law from other jurisdictions by way of illustration and example.


Methods of Teaching/Learning

8 x 3-hour seminars.  The seminars will be interactive and students will be expected to come prepared for the seminar and engage actively in discussions


Selected Texts/Journals

One of the main intellectual property textbooks from:


Bainbridge, D. I. Intellectual Property (7th Edition, Pearson Longman, 2009)


Bently, L. & Sherman, B. Intellectual Property (3rd Edition, OUP, 2009)


Colston, C. & Middleton, K. Modern Intellectual Property (2nd Edition, Cavendish, 2005)


MacQueen, H., Waelde, C. & Laurie, G. Contemporary Intellectual Property (OUP, 2008)


Torremans, P. Holyoak & Torremans Intellectual Property Law (5th Edition, OUP, 2008)



Other selected texts


Dinwoodie, G. B. & Janis, M. D. Trademark Law and Theory: A Handbook of Contemporary Research


Flint , M., Fitzpatrick, N. & Thorne, C. A User’s Guide to Copyright (6th Edition, Tottel, 2006) (selected chapters)





Copyright World (This journal has a number of excellent items on copyright and design rights by Simon Clarke.  It is not available on the usual law databases; we envisage obtaining licensed copies of the relevant articles for the library)


European Intellectual Property Review (available of Westlaw)


Intellectual Property Quarterly (available of Westlaw)


Journal of Business Law (available on Westlaw)


Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice (one of the Oxford journals available via Athens )


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