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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: International Intellectual Property System (LAWS11179)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe international intellectual property law system ('the IIPS') began developing in the 19th century in response to the then advances in cross-border trade. As intellectual property laws are territorial, so some mechanism had to be found through which protection could be accorded to authors and inventors as their works were traded abroad. The response over the subsequent years was the establishment of a number of international bodies responsible for the development and oversight of a variety of treaties and agreements. These measures have had a significant impact on the shape and growth of domestic intellectual property laws. However, there are significant tensions within the systems, including those pertaining to the relationship between IP and trade (especially the TRIPs Agreement) and to the interests of developing nations and autochthonous communities, and the negotiation of new instruments (such as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, ACTA) has proven to be difficult and controversial.
We will examine the IIPS, primarily from an institutional perspective, across a range of forms of intellectual property and at the margins of IP, within the domains of information, communication, and international trade. This will encompass the analysis of the architecture of the IIPS, the consideration of the ways in which the laws are developed and debated, and the study of formal and (selected) substantive aspects of selected treaties alongside current developments and emerging issues.
Please note: we will not be looking in depth at substantive aspects of IP law except where they are relevant in the context of the IIPS. It is assumed that you have a basic knowledge of IP law prior to taking this module.
Course description Session titles

1. The IIPS: institutions and actors
2. The IIPS: principles
3. The Berne system
4. IP and the World Trade Organization
5. Human rights and the IIPS
6. Culture, heritage and folklore
7. Trade marks, domain names, and geographical indications
8. Current issues in international patent law
9. Enforcement and dispute resolution
10. Emerging technologies and the IIPS
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Please contact the distance learning team at
Additional Costs Students must have regular and reliable access to the Internet.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 40, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 156 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One essay of up to 4,000 words (80%); contribution to weekly online discussions (20%).

Requirements for all module assessments will be outlined to students at the start of each semester.
Feedback Students can expect to receive timely feedback on their assessments
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Conceptualise the IIPS and understand how the constituent parts fit together.
  2. Critically comment on the tensions in the IIPS being wrought by linking IP with international trade and the consequences in the international arena.
  3. Understand the most important aspects of the Treaties and how those relate to regional and domestic intellectual property laws.
  4. Understand the tensions being wrought on the 'international system' through technological developments.
  5. Comment on the utility of the enforcement system through which states are encouraged to meet their international obligations and critically consider whether the IIPS has a future, and if so, what shape it might take.
Reading List
A list of key module readings will be available in advance of the module. Detailed reading lists are then available each week.
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will develop their skills and abilities in:

1. Research and enquiry, through e.g. selecting and deploying appropriate research techniques;

2. Personal and intellectual autonomy, e.g. developing the ability to independently assess the relevance and importance of primary and secondary sources;

3. Communication, e.g. skills in summarising and communicating information and ideas effectively in written form;

4. Personal effectiveness, e.g. working constructively as a member of an online community;

5. Students will also develop their technical/practical skills, throughout the module, e.g. in articulating, evidencing and sustaining a line of argument, and engaging in a convincing critique of another's arguments.
Special Arrangements This course is taught by online distance learning.
Additional Class Delivery Information This course is taught by online distance learning.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Emmanuel Kolawole Oke
Tel: (0131 6)51 4586
Course secretaryMs Clare Polson
Tel: (0131 6)51 9704
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