Intellectual Property: Patents and Trade Marks - LAWS9340

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Spring Term 7 20 (10) Georgia Jenkins checkmark-circle


The goal of the module is to provide an in-depth introduction to the laws of patents and trademarks (including passing off). Particular emphasis is placed on the political, socio-historical, cultural and economic contexts in which these laws operate, as well as on the implications of legal concepts on proprietary strategies.

The module will take a distinctive approach towards the study of intellectual properties by focusing on concepts and their practical effects: the module will focus on key concepts in patents, trademarks and passing off and critically examine their implications for political economy, culture and science. Such key concepts may include: patents, novelty and invention; in trademarks and passing off: brands, sign and goodwill.

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, 5000 words (100%)

Reassessment methods

Reassessment instrument: 100% Coursework

Indicative reading

• L Bently & B Sherman, Intellectual Property Law (Oxford University Press, 2014)
• L Bently & J Davis (eds) Trade Marks and Brands: An Interdisciplinary Critique (Cambridge University Press, 2008)
• L Bently & B Sherman, The Making of Modern Intellectual Property Law (Cambridge University Press, 1999)
• C. Lury, Brands: The Logos of Global Economy (Routledge, 2004)
• A Pottage & B Sherman, Figures of Invention, A History of Modern Patent Law (Oxford University Press, 2010)

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 an advanced scholarly understanding of the concepts, principles and practices of patent and trademarks laws, including the
law of passing off.
2. Engage in informed scholarly debate over the principles and practices of patents and trademarks.
3. Evaluate different views on the nature and practical effects of patent and trade mark concepts.
4. Gain a critical understanding of the theoretical and socio-historical contexts in which patents, trademarks and passing off operate and are
5. Critically analyse how intellectual property law and policy interact with economic and technological developments.

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

1. Present relevant knowledge and understanding in the form of an integrated, reasoned argument through seminar discussion and written
2. Identify and evaluate complex legal and policy problems according to their historical, political and cultural contexts.
3. Carry out independent further research, synthesising material from a variety of sources to inform a sustained and detailed argument.
4. Appreciate that legal forms arise and operate within complex historical and political conditions.
5. Develop an awareness of the economic, political and/or social implications of legal forms and remedies.


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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