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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Law : Law

Postgraduate Course: Advanced Issues in Registered Trade Mark Law (LAWS11492)

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
SummaryThis course will provide in-depth coverage of registered trade mark law in the UK under the Trade Marks Act 1994 and at EU level under the EU Trade Mark Regulation 2017 (and predecessor legislation). Comparison with the trade mark laws of other jurisdictions will be introduced where of interest to particular topics of study.

This course will foster a thorough understanding of substantive registered trade mark law through close examination of relevant legislation and case law. It will examine the principal theoretical and policy perspectives underpinning registered trade mark law, and will explore a number of cross-cutting underlying themes including: mechanisms for policing the boundary of the registered trade mark monopoly; preventing trade mark overreach; tensions between normative and empirical considerations; overlaps with other intellectual property rights; and the challenges posed by the evolution of modern commerce and brand strategies. The course will also encourage students to develop practical perspectives on registered trade mark filing, portfolio management and enforcement practices.

The objectives of the course are three-fold:
(1) to develop an advanced grounding in substantive UK and EU registered trade mark law;
(2) to develop students' abilities to thinking critically about registered trade mark strategies and practice;
(3) to develop critical awareness of and equip students to participate in contemporary debates surrounding registered trade mark law.
Course description The proposed schedule of seminar topics is as follows:

Seminar 1 ¿ The trade mark filing
Seminar 2 ¿ Absolute objections to registration: Distinctiveness, descriptiveness and customariness
Seminar 3 ¿ Absolute objections to registration: Functionality
Seminar 4 ¿ Absolute objections to registration: Bad faith, public policy and morality
Seminar 5 ¿ Revocation
Seminar 6 ¿ Infringement: Consumer confusion and the core zone of trade mark protection
Seminar 7 ¿ Infringement: Trade mark functions and extended protection
Seminar 8 ¿ Defences to infringement
Seminar 9 ¿ Enforcement: Cross-border jurisdiction, online infringement and remedies
Seminar 10 ¿ Non-standard trade mark rights: Certification and collective marks
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed:
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students must have prior knowledge of registered trade mark law demonstrated to the satisfaction of the course organiser through prior study or relevant experience gained through legal practice. Prior knowledge of registered trade mark law as applicable in the student's own, or any other, jurisdiction would be acceptable.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  25
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture 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) There will be two components of summative assessment on the course:«br /»
«br /»
¿ Student individual recorded presentation with slides (30%)«br /»
This presentation will be based on a choice of topics relating to the registrability issues discussed in the first part of the course. Students will record their presentation and upload it, with accompanying slides, for marking and feedback. «br /»
«br /»
¿ Essay of up to 4,000 words (70%)«br /»
The essay will be selected from a choice of titles examining cross-cutting themes relevant across the whole course.
Feedback There will be two formative elements on the course:

¿ Student group presentations
Students will work in groups to give short presentations, accompanied by slides, during the first part of the course. This will provide an opportunity for formative feedback to students in preparation for the 30% recorded presentation assessment.

¿ Second formative ¿ draft outline essay plan
Students will have the opportunity to submit a draft essay outline plan for feedback in advance of the 70% essay assignment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate a thorough understanding of substantive registered trade mark law in the UK under the Trade Marks Act 1994 and at EU level under the EU Trade Mark Regulation 2017 (and predecessor legislation).
  2. develop a critical understanding of the principal theories, concepts and principles underpinning registered trade mark law, will form practical perspectives on registered trade mark filing, portfolio management and enforcement practices, and will demonstrate a critical awareness of current issues in registered trade mark law.
Reading List
There is no single set text or textbook covering the subject matter of the course. Readings will include a range of books, book chapters, and journal articles available through the University¿s collections. More practical aspects of registered trade mark filing and practice will be addressed via Practical Law materials available via Westlaw. The aim of the course organiser is that all course readings will be available online. Indicative examples of the type of resources that will be used on the course include (all available via DiscoverEd):

G. Dinwoodie and M. Janis, Research Handbook on Trademark Law Reform (Edward Elgar, 2021);
I. Calboli and J. Ginsburg (eds), The Cambridge Handbook of International and Comparative Trademark Law (CUP, 2020);
I. Calboli and M. Senftleben (eds), The Protection of Non-Traditional Trademarks ¿ Critical Perspectives (OUP, 2018) [also open access];
L. Bently, J. Davis and J. Ginsburg (eds), Trade Marks and Brands ¿ An Interdisciplinary Critique (CUP,

Detailed reading lists for each seminar will be made available during the course.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will develop their legal skills in undertaking preparatory work for seminars, active learning exercises and in planning and executing formative and summative assignments requiring legal research and analysis. Students will apply critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to key legal and policy issues in registered trade mark law. Students will also develop skills in using the principal sources of registered trade mark information accessible via the UK Intellectual Property Office and EU Intellectual Property Office.

The course readings, active learning exercises and seminars will require students critically and autonomously to engage with legal materials, literature and practice-based resources. Individual assessed work will allow students to exercise intellectual autonomy, demonstrate their skills in delivery of research and analysis findings, and to develop their skills in argumentation.

The combination of active learning exercises, formative exercises and summative assignments will develop students¿ skills in planning and executing different tasks. Students will develop practical presenting and communication skills, as well as skills in legal research and writing, and more practice-focused use of relevant trade mark databases.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMs Jane Cornwell
Tel: (0131 6)50 2012
Course secretaryMiss Bethan Walters
Tel: (0131 6)50 2386
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