School of Law

Certificate in Intellectual Property Law Modules

Read about the Certificate in Intellectual Property Law programme.


IPLC020 – Competition Law

Aims of Module

  • Overview of aims and relevant institutions of the European Community
  • Understanding of role of Competition Law within framework of EC law
  • Appreciation of the relationship between EC and UK competition laws
  • Detailed understanding of relationship between EC/UK Competition Law and EC/UK Intellectual Property Law

Lecture format

Ten three-hour lectures (with a break)
Mondays for three hours usually between 09.00-13.00 (see timetable)

Lecture Topics (subject to change)

  • Lecture 1 Introduction to course; introduction to Competition Law and its relationship with IP; Institutions and Sources; EC v.UK; Aspects of enforcement
  • Lecture 2 Restrictive agreements: common law; Articles 81(1) EC; chapter I prohibitions
  • Lecture 3 Restrictive agreements, continued; Article 81(2) and (3)
  • Lecture 4 Licensing of intellectual property; Art 81 and IP agreements.
  • Lecture 5 Technology Transfer and related Agreements; the block exemption regulations
  • Lecture 6 Trade Mark and Copyright Licensing; Franchising
  • Lecture 7 Article 82 – Abuse of Dominant Position; chapter II prohibitions
  • Lecture 8 Article 82 and IP Rights.
  • Lecture 9 Free movement and intellectual property
  • Lecture 10 Revision

IPLC021 – Law or Trademarks and Unfair Competition

Lecture 1

  • Introduction
  • Function
  • Economics
  • Methods of Protection
  • International Agreements (Introduction)

Lecture 2

  • Passing Off

Lecture 3

  • Passing Off continued
  • Brief Overview of Other Systems of Protection against Unfair Competition

Lecture 4

  • Introduction to Systems of Registration
  • UK/CTM Absolute Grounds

Lecture 5

  • UK/CTM Relative Grounds

Lecture 6

  • Dilution

Lecture 7

  • UK/CTM Opposition
  • Cancellation
  • Revocation
  • Maintenance

Lecture 8

  • Commercialisation of Trade Marks

Lecture 9

  • International Registrations
  • Other Systems of Registration

Lecture 10

  • The UKIPO’s Perspective

Lecture 11

  • Trade Marks and the Internet

Lecture 12

  • Revision
  • Olympic Symbols

Lecture 13

  • Revision

IPLC022 - Copyright and Designs Law

Objectives and Learning Aims of the Course


  • Subject matter
  • Criteria for protection
  • Authorship and first ownership
  • Nature of the rights
  • Duration of copyright
  • Infringement
  • Defences
  • Moral rights
  • Exploitation

Registered Designs (RDA 1949)

  • Registration systems (including outline of the Community Design system)
  • Registrability of designs
  • Rights granted through registration
  • Cancellation and invalidation of registered designs
  • Remedies and related matters

Design right (CDPA 1988, Part III)

  • Relationship with copyright
  • Nature of design right
  • Ownership and duration of design right
  • Remedies and related matters

IPLC023 - Patents

Objectives and Learning Aims of the Course

General Knowledge of:

  • History of the Patent System
  • Introduction to Confidential Information and Trade Secrets
    • Confidential information, know-how and trade secrets
    • Transactions involving know-how
    • Protection of confidential information – grace period
    • Breach of confidence
    • Action for breach of confidence
    • Defences and remedies
  • Ethics
  • Utility Models
  • International Treaties  - procedure and practice
    • Patent Cooperation Treaty
    • Patent Law Treaty
  • Substantive law, procedure and practice, including filing, prosecution and objection to grant by opposition or otherwise when available, and under EPC and PCT

Detailed Knowledge of:

  • Patentability
    • Patentable Inventions
    • Novelty (Prior Art, Disclosure)
    • Inventive Step and Obviousness
    • Person Skilled in the Art
    • Industrial Application
  • Sufficiency of Specification
  • Exclusions
    • UK, EPC, TRIPS
  • Infringement
    • UK
    • Infringement actions
    • Proceedings for infringement by a co-owner
    • Proceedings for infringement by exclusive licensee
    • Effect of non-registration
    • Infringement of rights conferred by publication of application
    • Burden of proof in certain cases (infringement of process)
    • Defences
    • Remedies
  • Revocation and Invalidity
    • Revocation of patents
    • Threats
  • Ownership and Employee Inventions
    • Entitlement to grant
    • Inventors and joint inventors; inventors’ rights
    • Patentees and co-patentees
    • Employees and employee inventions
  • Formalities, Filing and Prosecution
    • Territoriality
    • Service by post; hours of business and excluded days
    • Applications
      • EPC
      • PCT
      • Effect of PLT
    • Priority Dates
    • Restoration of patents and resuscitation and reinstatement of applications
    • Basics of amendment
    • Rectification of register
  • Exploitation
    • Use
    • Assignment
    • Voluntary licensing
    • Involuntary licences
      • Crown use
      • Compulsory licences
      • Competition issues
    • Surrender of patents
  • Transactions Relating to Patents
    • Formalities for patent transactions
    • Registration of transactions.
  • Trade Secret Protection
    • Confidential information, know-how and trade secrets
    • Transactions involving know-how
    • Protection of confidential information – grace period
    • Breach of confidence
    • Action for breach of confidence
    • Defences and remedies
      • Claim Interpretation
      • Information from Patents
      • Computer-Related Inventions and Business Method Patents
      • Chemical and Biotechnological Inventions

Outline Knowledge of designated overseas jurisdictions with respect to:

  • Designated countries:
    • United States; Japan; Canada; European jurisdictions (eg Germany, Sweden)
  • Types of patent available (including utility models, inventor’s certificates, certificates of invention)
  • Patentable inventions
  • Entitlement to patent and who may apply
  • Novelty
  • Opposition
  • Interference proceedings and working requirements

IPLC024 - Basic Principles of English Law

Objectives and Learning Aims of the Module

Upon completion of this course, candidates will be expected to demonstrate:

General Knowledge of the English Legal System

  • Differences between civil and criminal jurisdictions and remedies

Outline Knowledge of:

  • Court structure in England and Wales
    • Appeal Courts
    • Divisions of the High Court
    • Role of Patents County Court
  • Doctrine of precedent and relevance of decided cases
  • Manner in which decisions of courts and tribunals may be challenged
    • Routes and main grounds for appeal
    • Availability, procedure and main grounds for seeking judicial review
    • Circumstances in which references to the European Court of Justice and European Court of First Instance may be made
  • Sources of law and effects on intellectual property
    • Statute
    • Secondary legislation
    • International convention and custom
    • Precedent
  • Relevance of European law in the UK
    • Directives
    • Regulations
  • Legislative procedure in the UK
    • Parliament
    • Institutions of the EU
  • Hierarchy and roles played by different actors in the legal system
    • Registered patent agents
    • Registered trade mark agents
    • Solicitors
    • Barristers
    • Judges
  • Court of procedure
    • Standards and burdens of proof in civil and criminal procedures
  • Civil Procedure Rules
    • Pre-action procedure to start of trial
    • Particularly:
      • The over-riding objective
      • The multi track, fast track and small claims track and the allocation of IP disputes to those tracks
      • The applicability of pre-action protocols to IP disputes
      • Where and how to issue proceedings
      • An outline of how proceedings can be served
      • A timetable for an action and a counterclaim
      • An outline of disclosure obligations and procedure
      • A good understanding of the reasons and applicability of privilege to communications, with particular reference as to how this applies to the candidates’ individual professions
      • An outline of the obligations of an expert witness
      • An outline of Part 36 CPR and a good understanding of the term “without prejudice”, the reasons for and rules relating to its use
  • Interim orders restraining infringement of IP rights until trial, search and seizure orders and freezing orders
    • Differences between these interim remedies
    • The circumstances when it might be appropriate to seek them
    • Main issues that the Claimant will need to deal with in order to obtain such remedy
  • Remedies in IP related legal proceedings
    • Differences between legal and equitable remedies
    • General principles governing the award of costs made by the court at the end of trial and at interim hearings, including those governing the court’s power to assess costs for immediate payment
  • Evidence
    • General outline
    • Varieties or types of evidence, including the difference between evidence of fact, evidence of opinion, hearsay evidence, etc, with particular reference to expert evidence and to the conduct and presentation of evidence obtained in market surveys.
    • Rules of admissibility of written evidence and hearsay evidence in civil proceedings
    • Rules governing the form of evidence in proceedings involving intellectual property law cases i.e. whether it should be in affidavit or statutory declaration or witness statement form
  • Personal property and trust
    • Ownership of intellectual property right
    • Difference between legal and equitable title
    • Joint tenants and tenants in common
    • Differences between oral and written agreements to transfer IP
    • How defects in legal title can be perfected
  • Taxation and IP
    • Any taxes which may arise on the transfer of IP rights
  • Relevant law of companies
    • Limited liability company
    • Principal differences between limited companies, limited liability partnerships, limited partnerships, partnerships and sole traders
    • Differences in liability for the proprietors of those businesses
    • Obligations and liabilities of directors of incorporated businesses
    • How investment can be made in businesses
    • Terms debenture
    • Fixed and floating charges
    • Right to object to a new company name
    • Rights that may or may not exist to use a company name once it has been registered
  • Professional matters and ethics
    • Practitioner’s ethical, legal and financial responsibilities to his/her clients
    • Rules of professional conduct (including those on advertising) governing the Patent and Trade Mark professions
    • Nature of contractual, tortious and fiduciary duties to clients
    • Conflict of interest
      • When a conflict arises
      • Whether or not one can continue to act in such circumstances

Detailed Knowledge

  • Evidence
    • Rules governing the form of evidence in proceedings involving intellectual property law cases
    • Law of contract
    • Basic elements necessary for the formation of a valid contract
      • Offer
      • Acceptance (plus an outline knowledge of the rules for acceptance)
      • Consideration
      • Intention
    • Concepts
      • Invitation to treat
      • Offer and counter-offer
      • Differences between these invitation to treat and offer/counter-offer and their effects
      • Privity
      • Condition
      • Warranty
      • Innominate term
      • Misrepresentation
      • Mistake
      • Assignment and novation of a contract
    • Remedies available for enforcement of a contract (outline knowledge only)
    • Law of tort
    • Tort of negligence
      • Duty of care
      • Breach
      • Causation
      • Remoteness
      • Negligent mis-statement
      • Economic loss (outline knowledge)
    • Tort of malicious falsehood
      • Elements of malicious falsehood in a claim