LWMTII-International and Comparative Intellectual Property Law

Module Provider: School of Law
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Mr Adrian Aronsson-Storrier

Email: a.m.storrier@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
The module explores the law and regulation of intellectual property from an international and comparative perspective. Subject to discussion will be the international instruments that offer the minima of protection in copyright, patents, trade marks, designs. These include the WIPO Internet Treaties, the TRIPS Agreement, the Berne Convention, the Rome Convention, the Madrid Agreement and Protocol, the Paris Convention. Although intellectual property protection has been harmonised at international level, intellectual property laws remain inextricably territorial. Some areas in which protection differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction will be discussed in the form of case studies.

This module aims to provide students with advanced knowledge of the international framework that defines the minimum standards of intellectual property protection at world-wide level. In particular, the module aims to enable students to appreciate and critically assess the rationale for offering an international system of protection, the tension that the minimum standards may generate and the persisting divergences among national systems of intellectual property (eg EU and US).

Assessable learning outcomes:
On completion of the module, students will be expected to be able to:
1. Demonstrate knowledge of the key legal issues of international intellectual property law and the ability to critically appreciate the rationale for offering minima of protection at an international level;
2. Demonstrate the ability to understand the historical evolution and rationale for an international system of protecting intellectual property rights;
3. Demonstrate the ability to ascertain the substantial laws from primary and secondary sources, from a comparative perspective.

Additional outcomes:
In addition to those listed in the School’s ‘core skills statement’, the module will encourage the development of:

• High-level oral communication skills through reflective, analytical class discussion.
• Advanced critical reading skills in relation to primary and/or secondary sources

Outline content:
(1) The historical development of international intellectual property law, the rationale and scope of international protection, the political economy of intellectual property.

(2) International copyright: from the Berne Convention to the WIPO Internet Treaties; the EU copyright harmonisation;

(3) International patent law: from the Paris Convention to the TRIPS Agreement; regional harmonisation: from the European Patent Convention to the unitary patent system;

(4) International Trade Mark protection: from the Madrid Agreement to TRIPS and the Community Trade Mark;

(5) Case studies on select issues of intellectual property law from a comparative legal perspective, such as the scope of permissible copyright use (EU exceptions v US fair use), the controversial issue of pharmaceutical patents, the provisions on the enforcement of intellectual property rights, or the protection of indigenous/traditional knowledge.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching in this module is designed to provide students with a range of resources on which they can draw in their learning. The main elements are:
•A list of required and recommended readings, with notes and questions that will be used to guide class discussion and reflection.
•6 seminars in the Autumn term. Seminars are discussion based classes.
•Assessed work that will be used to develop students' skills and knowledge.
•An electronic discussion board will be available for students enrolled in this module.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 12
Guided independent study 88
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Other information on summative assessment:
1 assessed essay of 8 pages (formatted in accordance with the School of Law's Assessed Work Rules)

Formative assessment methods:
1 optional non-assessed essay of 4 pages (formatted in accordance with the School of Law’s Assessed Work Rules)

Penalties for late submission:

Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the standard University policy.
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
See School of Law PGT Programme Handbook

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 31 March 2017

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