Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Intellectual Property Law

Course unit fact file
Unit code LAWS30322
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


     Understand general principles and concepts that shape intellectual property law to solve legal problems.

Ability to use this knowledge in sophisticated ways to support critical analysis of jurisprudence and scholarship.

Enhance transferable skills, for example proficiency in use of legal databases, oral and written communication.

Enhance capacity for independent learning.

Teaching and learning methods


The course will be articulated around three classes per week with tasks to be performed ahead of classes every week. These include reading key materials and completing short, assigned activities for discussion in class. There will be a weekly rolling pattern of content release to ensure students receive course material in a timely manner and can engage with course materials at an appropriate pace.


There are five seminars designed to help you fully get to grips with core ideas and principles of substantive patent law, trade mark law and copyright law. The question format is not typically problem/essay, covered by the relfections (see below).


Upon completion of each seminar cycle a problem or essay-style question on the topic of seminar cycle will be posted on Blackboard, with a recorded podcast of the lecturer speaking to that question. These podcasts are designed to help you reflect on the material you covered in the seminars and how best to use it for assessment purposes. They are intended to help you with your revision and preparation for the examination, so you do not need to listen to these during the semester, though they will be available to you if you wish to do so.

Intellectual skills

On completion of this unit successful students will:

Explain the sources of intellectual property law, the formal relationship between each of the instruments and have a basic knowledge of the institutions within which IP law is administered.

Acquire knowledge and understanding of the fundamental doctrines and principles which underpin intellectual property law in England and Wales.

Show the intellectual skills needed to research and analyse intellectual property law from primary resources on matters covered on the course; and to apply the findings of such work to the solution of legal problems.

Write critically and analytically according to published criteria for undergraduate assessment on issues raised by the course.

Gain conceptual understanding to evaluate research and scholarship in the field of IP law.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

On completion of this unit successful students will:

Apply knowledge to complex situations in IP law.

Use legal terminology in IP law with care and accuracy.

Recognise potential alternative conclusions for particular situations and provide supporting reasons for them.

Make a personal and reasoned judgment based on an informed understanding of standard arguments in the area of IP law.


Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 100%

Feedback methods

     Students will receive regular feedback via engagement in class discussion and seminars.

There are two optional formative assessments: one online multiple choice test with answers and feedback for patent law, and one written submission (1500 words) which receives detailed written feedback on structuring and application/analysis.

Individual support and feedback is available for 2 hours during office hours.


Recommended reading

Students can find reading materials in the 'Reading List Online' tab on Blackboard. These are grouped into the three areas covered on the course. All reading materials are otherwise available online via library services and/or Westlaw. The core text book is L Bently, et al, Intellectual Property Law (2022) 6 ed, OUP (freely available via Kortext).

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2.3
Lectures 30
Seminars 5
Independent study hours
Independent study 152.7

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Amanda Odell-West Unit coordinator

Additional notes

This course is restricted to: LLB (Law); BA (Law with Politics); LLB (Law with Criminology); LLB (Law with Politics). Other students could be enrolled at the discretion of the course director.

This course is available to incoming study abroad students.

There are no pre-requisites for law students.

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