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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Intellectual Property Law, Innovation and Creativity (LAWS11370)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Law CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryIntellectual Property laws are often associated with the aims of promoting 'innovation' and 'creativity'. But how do Intellectual Property laws actually impact upon innovation and creativity? Do they promote or hinder them? What is the relationship between Intellectual Property Laws and the variety of activities that they are designed to affect in everyday life? Are there gaps between what Intellectual Property laws aim to achieve and what they actually achieve? Why do these gaps exist and how can they be filled? How should Intellectual Property policy be formulated? This course explores these questions by examining a selection of recent empirical legal research that has investigated the role and impact of IP rights in the ¿real world¿.
Course description The course will build on the legal knowledge acquired by the students from existing courses on the legal and international aspects of IP law and will provide a complementary inter-disciplinary perspective to the subject. It will do so by introducing various studies and enquiries which have used, amongst others, historical, legal & economical, socio-legal and anthropological approaches to question and critique important concepts and policy questions within Intellectual Property law. It will centre on several existing empirical studies to enable the students to gain an awareness of the perceptions and implications of IP law in the real world. These examples will give some insight into the application and role of IP law for the various stakeholders, i.e. creators, rights owners, users, the general public and the public interest, and will serve as case studies for the students to develop their own critical and empirical research.

The course will require the students to address a real or hypothetical question in the field of IP law using any one or more of the above approaches. This will give them hands-on experience to examine IP law in society by relying on secondary or primary source materials from non-legal areas and relating them to legal materials.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements To enrol in this course students must have prior knowledge of the core elements of Intellectual Property Law meaning that students must have a basic understanding of the main Intellectual Property rights (i.e. copyright, patents, trade marks, and design rights) . This knowledge can be demonstrated through any prior studies undertaken, or training or experience gained, in the student¿s own, or another jurisdiction. This course is not suitable for those who have no previous knowledge of Intellectual Property rights.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  25
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) This course will be assessed by the following component(s):

1) A short assignment due during the teaching term. This may take the form of a short essay; a poster; a response to a policy consultation; or other form of assessment designed to meet topical subjects arising during the currency of the course. The assignment will be no more than 2,000 words and, will be worth 20% of the final mark.

2) Students will be able to choose between the following two end of term 80% assessment options:
a) a written essay of 4,000 words at the end of term worth 80% of the final mark
b) a written report of 4,000 words (undertaken in a team of two students) and an oral presentation of the report undertaken at the end of the term worth 80% of the final mark. The written report and presentation will each be worth 50% of the total mark.
Feedback Each course will provide the opportunity for at least one piece of formative assessment with associated feedback. This will be provided within an appropriate timescale to enable students to learn from this prior to the summative assessment.

There will be two formative feedback opportunities for this course. Student presentations during the course and a group exercise towards the end of the course.

Feedback on the formative assessment may be provided in various formats, for example, to include written, oral, video, face-to-face, whole class, or individual. The course organiser will decide which format is most appropriate in relation to the nature of the assessment.

Feedback on both formative and summative in-course assessed work will be provided in time to be of use in subsequent assessments within the course.

Feedback on the summative assessment will be provided in written form via Learn, the University of Edinburgh's Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. An awareness of the role and importance of the law and society perspective for IP law in addition to the doctrinal approach, in understanding many key questions and concepts.
  2. An appreciation of how such perspectives contribute to an evaluation of IP policy and practice.
  3. A deeper understanding of the concepts and normative questions permeating IP law.
  4. A practical understanding of policy questions in IP law through carrying out a piece of non-legal research and setting it appropriately within its legal context.
Reading List
Please note that there is no one text or textbook which covers the subject matter of the course and reading on the course will include a range of books, book chapters, and journal articles available through the University library, as well as online materials including governmental and institutional reports, journals, blogs, and news items.

Some examples of the type of reading covered in the course is indicated below:

Academic empirical scholarship analysing a range of primary and secondary data on the role of IP e.g. S Kheria, ¿Copyright in the Everyday Practice of Writers¿ in J Jefferies and S Kember (eds), Whose Book is it anyway? A View from elsewhere on Publishing, Copyright and Creativity (Open Book Publishers, 2019), pp. 141-180; T Sichelman and SJH Graham, ¿Patenting by Entrepreneurs: An Empirical Study¿ [2010] 17 Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review 111; E Fauchart and E Von Hippel, ¿Norms-based Intellectual Property Systems: the case of French Chefs¿ [2008] 19(2) Organization Science 187

Academic and policy reviews which evaluate a range of IP evidence or empirical scholarship on the role of IP e.g. K Raustiala and CJ Sprigman, ¿When are IP rights necessary? Evidence from innovation in IP¿s negative space¿ (Chapter 11) in B Depoorter and PS Menell (eds) Research handbook on the economics of intellectual property law, Vol.1 (Edward Elgar, 2019) pp. 309 ¿ 329; L Orsenigo & V Sterzi,¿Comparative Study of the Use of Patents in Different Industries¿ [2010] 33 Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies (KITeS).

Reports by institutions, industry bodies, and governments on the role of IP e.g. WIPO, ¿World Intellectual Property Report 2015: Breakthrough Innovation and Economic Growth¿ (2015)

Detailed reading lists for each seminar will be made available during the course.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills (a) communication skills, oral and written
(b) intellectual skills in identifying a non-legal approach to address a legal problem, the ability to gather and engage
with non-legal materials, organise, evaluate and present them
with relevant arguments
(c) Managing time and taking responsibility for their work
(d) team work skills
KeywordsIntellectual Property Law,Law and Society,Socio-legal studies
Course organiserDr Smita Kheria
Course secretaryMiss Bethan Walters
Tel: (0131 6)50 2386
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