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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: International Intellectual Property System (LAWS11142)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis module will examine the International Intellectual Property System (IIPS) with a particular focus on patents, copyright and trade marks and within the domains of information and communication and international trade.

Having analysed the architecture of the IIPS and considered the ways in which the laws are developed and the tensions that have been brought about through linking IP with trade, this module will go on to look in depth at formal and substantive aspects of the Treaties as well as current developments.
Course description The International Intellectual Property System (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 ensuing 150 years, was the establishment of a number of international bodies responsible for the development and oversight of a variety of Treaties and Agreements providing both formal and substantive norms which were (and are) in turn translated into domestic law. These measures have had a significant impact on the shape of domestic intellectual property laws, the development of which has quickened with the growth in international trade coupled with innovative technological advances. However, there are significant tensions within the system. Many of these have been brought about through the incorporation of intellectual property into international trade law via the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement).

This module will examine the IIPS mainly from a legal perspective. However, policy and institutional perspectives will also be considered. Crucially, the course aims to train students to think critically about intellectual property within the context of international law. In this regard, the international rules for the protection of different types of intellectual property rights (such as copyright, patent rights, and trademarks) will be critically examined. Moreover, the international institutions where these rules are made and administered (such as the World Intellectual Property Organisation and the World Trade Organisation) will also be considered. Importantly, a major theme that will run through the entire course is a critical examination of the policy space available to states under international intellectual property law. Furthermore, apart from studying some of the key treaties and cases in the field of international intellectual property law, students will also critically examine the interface between international intellectual property law and other areas of international law such as international trade law and international investment law.

Sessions will cover the following topics:
¿ The historical development of, and the institutions involved in, the IIPS
¿ The principles of, and tensions, within the IIPS
¿ The TRIPS Agreement
¿ International Copyright Law
¿ International Patent Law
¿ International Trademark Law
¿ International rules for the enforcement of intellectual property rights
¿ The national security exception
¿ The investor-state dispute system and the IIPS
¿ Traditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions, and the IIPS.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
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, as well as the tensions being wrought on the 'international system' through technological developments.
  4. Comment on the utility of the enforcement system through which states are encouraged to meet their international obligations.
  5. Critically consider whether the IIPS has a future, and if so, what shape it might take.
Reading List
1. The World Trade Organization¿s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (as amended in January 2017).
2. Peter Drahos, 'Global Property Rights in Information: The Story of TRIPS at the GATT,' (1995) 13:1 Prometheus 6.
3. UNCTAD-ICTSD, Resource Book on TRIPS and Development (Cambridge University Press, 2005).
4. Andrew Mitchell and Tania Voon, 'TRIPS' in D Bethlehem et al (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of International Trade Law (Oxford University Press, 2009) 186.
5. Susy Frankel and Daniel Gervais, Advanced Introduction to International Intellectual Property, (Edward Elgar, 2016).
6. Laurence Helfer, 'Regime Shifting in the International Intellectual Property System'(2009) 7(1) Perspectives in Politics 39-44.
7. Bryan Mercurio and Daria Kim (ed.), Contemporary Issues in Pharmaceutical Patent Law: Setting the Framework and Exploring Policy Options (Routledge, 2017).
8. Christophe Geiger, Research Handbook on Intellectual Property and Investment Law (Edward Elgar, 2020).
9. Daniel Gervais (ed.), Fairness, Morality and Ordre Public in Intellectual Property, ATRIP Intellectual Property Series, (Edward Elgar, 2020).
10. WIPO, ¿Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property,¿ Background Brief.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will develop their skills and abilities in:
* Application of knowledge, skills and understanding, through e.g. development of legal and other critical analysis skills, selecting and deploying appropriate research techniques;
* Personal and intellectual autonomy, through e.g. developing the ability to independently assess the relevance and importance of primary and secondary sources;
* Communication, e.g. skills in summarising and communicating information and ideas effectively in written form, articulating, evidencing and sustaining a line of argument, and engaging in a convincing critique of others' arguments;
* Personal effectiveness, through e.g. organising personal study and participating in class activities.
KeywordsInternational Intellectual Property System,IIPS,Intellectual Property,Law,Level 11,Postgraduate,IP
Course organiserDr Emmanuel Kolawole Oke
Tel: (0131 6)51 4586
Course secretaryMiss Bethan Walters
Tel: (0131 6)50 2386
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