Intellectual Property :Copyright and Breach of Confidence - LAWS8010

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 7 20 (10) Jose Bellido checkmark-circle


Over the past few decades, the scope of intellectual property has grown significantly. The goal of the module is to provide an overview of copyright and the law of confidential information from different angles in order to be able to assess this expansion. In so doing, it will examine this area of law from historical, theoretical and practical perspectives. The emphasis throughout the module is on reflexive critique. That is, we will study the different modes of justifying copyright and the protection of confidential information; the different historical approaches to trace the ways in which we can understand the political economy of copyright and confidential information and we will look at the past to try to find ways of thinking about the present situation of international legal regimes. On a more contemporary level, we will study the interaction between copyright and freedom of expression, the problems posed by technological works, as well as the more practical question on the way of producing evidence in copyright and breach of confidence trials. No prior knowledge or study of intellectual property is required


Contact hours

Contact hours: 18
Private study hours: 182
Total study hours: 200


LLM in (Specialisation); LLM in Law; PG Diploma in (Specialisation); PG Certificate in Law.

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Essay - no more than 5000 words (100%)

Reassessment methods

100% coursework

Indicative reading

• L Bently & B Sherman, Intellectual Property Law (Oxford University Press, 2014)
• J Davis, Intellectual Property Law (Oxford University Press, 2012)
• Blackstone's Statutes on Intellectual Property (latest edition)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a systematic understanding of the main literature and sources relevant to the history of copyright law and breach of
2. Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the key justifications for copyright law and the protection of confidential information;
3. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the tensions between confidentiality and public interest and their connections to copyright in
unpublished material;
4. Demonstrate a critical awareness of, and sensitivity to, the economic, political and/or social implications that arise from copyright law and
the law protecting confidential information;
5. Critically understand and examine the role of copyright and confidentiality within society;
6. Critically examine the relations between the press and the copyright.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate new critical methods for understanding and evaluating knowledge in complex situations;
2. undertake advanced guided and independent legal research by taking into account a variety of sources of information.

They will also be able to demonstrate the following general abilities:

3. the ability to read carefully and efficiently both legal and non-legal texts;
4. argumentation skills;
5. the ability to engage critically with legal and non-legal sources.


Stage 1


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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