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LAW3055 : Global Intellectual Property Law and Policy

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Ben Farrand
  • Owning School: Newcastle Law School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
  • Capacity limit: 160 student places

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module focuses on intellectual property law in its global and comparative perspectives. It intends for students to gain an understanding of the role of copyright, patent, trademark and associated rights such as geographical indications through consideration of harmonisation agreements at the international level, as well as the role of regional harmonisations in regimes such as the EU, along with examples taken from domestic contexts in the UK, the US, China, and other major players as determined by contemporary topics and debates currently occurring in the field.

Outline Of Syllabus

The proposed outline of the syllabus is as follows, with the proviso that case studies will change each year dependent upon current issues, controversies and developments.

1.       An introduction to global intellectual property
2.       The international institutions of IP, from WIPO to the WTO
3.       Copyright 1: Structure, formalities and examples
4.       Copyright 2: Case study (this may change yearly depending on current events – it could consider interactions between copyright and AI, or copyright enforcement online)
5.       Patents 1: Structure, formalities and examples
6.       Patents 2: Case study (this may change yearly depending on current events – it could consider software patents, access to medicines, biotechnology, etc)
7.       Trademarks 1: Structure, formalities and examples
8.       Geographical Indications of Origin
9.       Global IP and international trade: FTAs, regional agreements and ‘ratcheting up’
10.       Conclusions and summing up

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture201:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading120:0020:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching41:004:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1102:00102:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Students’ main form of teaching contact will be in the form of lectures and small-group teaching sessions, which will combine elements of interactive lecture, teacher-directed dialogue, and student-led discussions. These will be facilitated by directed research and reading, where in advance of each case study session, students will be expected to read and take notes on one of the pieces provided on that particular issues in global IP, reflect on the main arguments of that piece, and then search legal databases or other available resources for academic articles providing contrasting opinions or other perspectives to the assigned paper. Students will be expected to use this structured research activity to present a position in the workshop, allowing for a dedicated student-led approach to the classes.

In addition to these formal classes, there will be a number of drop-in/surgery hours, where students can ask questions regarding course content, specific readings, or to prepare for the assessment for the module. Directed research and reading will be prepared for each session, which allows students to develop greater insight into the areas of technology governance discussed in each workshop, with an additional reading list provided on Canvas as further readings or a library list, which can then be used by students drafting their research proposal during their assessment preparation and completion.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M1003,000 word assessed research essay
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise2M1,000 word writing activity
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The formative assessment for the module provided in the form of a 1,000 word writing activity. Set at the beginning of semester and drawing from the content of the first four weeks of the module content, this activity both familiarises students with the expectations of the module, as well as allowing for students to be assessed on their understanding of the concepts of law, regulation and governance, in the context of IP. The feedback provided in this assessment will directly prepare students for their final assessed essay for the module, and has been designed as a summative with a clear formative dimension in order to ensure effective student engagement with the task.

The final summative component is a 3,000-word assessed research essay. Students will be expected to answer one of a number of assigned questions that each covers a range of issues covered in the module. This assessed essay will test their ability to think critically and reflect upon both module content and the substance of the interdisciplinary course content, so that they are able to then apply their law and governance knowledge to questions concerning a number of complex real-world scenarios or statements related to the course content. Students will be expected to go beyond ‘traditional’ doctrinal assessment, engaging with a wider body of materials (as discussed throughout the course), to provide a more holistic understanding of the challenges in governing IP globally.

Reading Lists