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Unit information: Intellectual Property in 2015/16

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Unit name Intellectual Property
Unit code LAWDM0022
Credit points 30
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Subramanian
Open unit status Not open




School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit is designed to introduce students to the crucial policy debates surrounding the use and abuse of patents, copyrights and trademarks at the international level. The unit covers the new and emerging policy issues surrounding intellectual property rights that are largely influenced by rapid changes in the technological and economic landscape and examines the dynamics that shape the direction of intellectual property law and policy. Students will also have an introduction to the interaction between intellectual property law and competition law and will learn how intellectual property rights function in the context of world trade.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students would have
• gained an understanding of the rationale and significance of intellectual property rights to the economy and society in general
• been introduced to the crucial debates surrounding the use and abuse of intellectual property rights at the domestic, European and international level.
• been introduced to the relationship between intellectual property rights and international trade issues
• had the opportunity to examine the interaction between intellectual property rights and competition policy
• had the opportunity to examine the impact of digital technology to certain forms of intellectual property rights and explain how international copyright conventions have attempted to deal with the digital revolution
• been challenged to examine the balance between the grant of intellectual property rights and the wider public interest

Teaching details

10 x 2 hours seminars fortnightly

Assessment Details

100% exam (3 hour written examination).

The assessment will assess all the Intended Learning Outcomes for this unit.

Reading and References

As the topic covers contemporary debates, students should focus on journal articles and current news. However, the following books are useful reference points as it provides a good introduction to some of the key issues covered in this module.

Waelde et. al. Contemporary Intellectual Property: Law & Policy (OUP, 2013)

Graham Dutfield Global Intellectual Property Law ((Edward Elgar, 2008)

Bently and Sherman Intellectual Property Law (OUP, 2014)