Module Catalogue 2023/24

LAW3043 : Intellectual Property Law (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Prof. Andrew Griffiths
  • Lecturer: Dr Bronwen Jones
  • Owning School: Newcastle Law School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



Intellectual Property (IP) law deals with the grant of exclusive rights, or monopolies over a range of different subject matter. As rights over the use of creative and inventive products of the mind, Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) are rights over intangible subject matter. They recognise the value of, and reward the creator or inventor with limited monopolies. The legal boundaries of such monopolies form the subject matter of IP law. Patents and Trade Marks, are known collectively as Industrial Property. They form two of the three main branches of Intellectual Property Law (the other being Copyright).

To impart knowledge and develop critical awareness of the law of Patents and of the law of Trade Marks in the United Kingdom, these being two of the three major branches of Intellectual Property Law.

The aims of this course are:

To enable students to understand the fundamental principles and law governing both Patent and Trade Mark law.

To enable students to appreciate and understand the complex interaction between international, regional (European), and domestic (UK) law in the areas of Patent and Trade Mark law.

To enable students to develop a critical appreciation of the recent history of these areas of law and of the policy objectives that have informed this history.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics covered include the following, although the order and precise content may vary:

An Introduction to Patent Law and Trade Mark Law as major branches of Intellectual Property Law.

The Foundations of Patent Law.


Biotechnology, Gene Patenting and Ethical Issues in Patent Law

Patents and Access to Medicines

Plant Breeders’ Rights

The Foundations of Trade Mark Law

Registration of Trade Marks.

Infringement of Trade Marks

Trade Marks and Passing Off

Trade Marks and the Free Movement of Goods.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

On completion of this module students should:

• Understand the basics of the law of Patents in the United Kingdom, its International and European context, its underlying principles and its rationale.

• Understand the basics of the law of Trade Marks in the United Kingdom, its International and European context, its underlying principles and its rationale.

• Understand the relevance of the law of patents to innovation and topical issues, its International and European context, its underlying principles and its rationale, as well as some of the controversies around, for example, the issue of Access to Medicines.

Intended Skill Outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to:

• Identify issues, apply concepts, principles and rules, make judgments and reach supported conclusions on the basis of sound and informed reasoning.

• Apply a detailed knowledge of Patents and Trade Marks as forms of intellectual property.

• Recognise and discuss legal and policy issues associated with Patents and Trade Marks.

• Develop their knowledge and understanding through critical reading and discussion.

• Draw upon and critically analyse the relevant literature.

• Write and speak with care and precision in the analysis and synthesis of the law.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture181:0018:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials61:006:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading181:0081:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching51:005:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion11:001:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study55:0025:00Preparing for seminars
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The Teaching Methods are based on those that have worked successfully before, but are adapted for delivery post Covid 19. However, they are also based on the assumption that some face-to-face delivery may be possible, though there is flexibility as indicated in case this is not the case. Delivery is therefore based on lecture-type materials and commentary and if possible some lecture delivery to give students a solid framework of knowledge and a good base for their independent study and preparation for seminars and assessment. The seminars will aim to consolidate this by identifying key themes and issues arising from each topic with the aim of stimulating students’ interest and enthusiasm for the subject, their engagement with it, and helping them to become active, independent, and reflective learners.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination14402A100Answer three questions from a choice of six. 24 hour take home paper
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The examination will be designed to test students' ability across both forms of IP and ensure that they have met the learning objectives and knowledge outcomes by the end of this module.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes

Patent Law and Trade Mark Law are two of the three major branches of Intellectual Property Law. The School already has a module for the other branch, Copyright Law, and the proposed module will therefore be complementary to but independent of the current module. It will also complement and build on topics which students may encounter in core Stage 2 modules such as Tort Law (passing off) and EU Law (free movement and competition law) and in other Stage 3 modules, such as Competition Law.

The proposed module will also involve research-led teaching since all the proposed contributors have published and will continue to publish in this area.

Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023/24 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.