Intellectual Property Law

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Year 3 of 3 or Year 4 of 4
Module code
FHEQ Level
School of Law

Module overview

Intellectual property is a collective noun for an aggregate of individual disciplines of law: copyright, sui generis databases right, designs, patents, breach of confidence and trade marks. The only common theme among them is that all are concerned with intangible creation.  

Although the term intellectual property also includes plant and seed varieties, geographical indication, malicious falsehood and protection of performers, these will not be dealt with in this module.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

Aims of the module

  • to provide a comprehensive study of the nature and development of the UK intellectual property system
  • to examine the impact of international treaties and EU law on the intellectual property system of the UK
  • to assess whether the existing intellectual property system encourages creativity and innovation

At the end of the module a student should have a good knowledge and understanding of:

  • the evolution of the intellectual property system in the UK
  • the general principles governing copyright, sui generis database right, registered and unregistered designs, patents and trade marks law
  • the impact of new technologies on intellectual property
  • the impact of EU law on the intellectual property system of the UK

Method of assessment

  • Essay (UK law): 25% (2000 words)
  • Essay (EU law): 25% (2000 words)
  • Unseen written exam (2 hours): 50%

Suggested reading

  • Aplin, T and J Davis, Intellectual Property Law: Text, Cases and Materials 4th ed (OUP 2021)


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.