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Unit information: Introduction to Intellectual Property in 2020/21

Unit name Introduction to Intellectual Property
Unit code LAWD20043
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Cheng-Davies
Open unit status Not open




School/department University of Bristol Law School
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


The unit will provide an overview of the UK/EU intellectual property regime, focusing on the legal instruments and principles relating to copyright, trade marks and patents. It will situate UK law within the international and European intellectual property system and examine the implications of harmonization for the enforcement of intellectual property rights.

Topics covered are:

  • History, function and justification of intellectual property rights
  • Foundations of the international and European intellectual property rights system
  • Core legislation and cases relating on UK/EU copyright, trade marks and patents
  • Overlapping jurisdiction of courts and Implications of harmonization for enforcement of IP rights

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this unit a successful student will be able to:

1. Describe the main features of the UK Intellectual Property Rights system and its relationship to the European and International Property Rights system.

2. Explain the basic principles of protection and enforcement of copyright, patents and trademarks in UK law.

3. Identify and apply relevant legislation and leading case law to factual scenarios and problems

4. Analyze and compare how UK and EU law are applied to the determination of IP disputes

5. Critically appraise the impact of EU harmonization on national IP law.

Teaching details

Teaching will be delivered through a variety of asynchronous and synchronous activities

Assessment Details

1 x summative assessment: Timed Open Book Assessment with a specified word count (100%)

The assessment will assess all of the intended learning outcomes for this unit.

Reading and References

  • Lionel Bently and Brad Sherman, Intellectual Property Law. (OUP 2014)
  • William Cornish, Gordon Ionwy, David Llewelyn, and Tanya Aplin, Intellectual Property: Patents, Copyright, Trade Marks & Allied Rights (OUP 2013).
  • Susy Frankel and Daniel J. Gervais, Advanced Introduction to International Intellectual Property, (Edward Elgar Publishing 2016)
  • Justine Pila & Paul Torremans, European Intellectual Property Law, (OUP 2016)
  • Elizabeth Norman, Intellectual Property, (OUP 2nd edition)
  • Waelde, Brown, Kheria and Cornwall, Contemporary Intellectual Property (OUP 4th edition)