The University of Southampton
Courses

LAWS6137 Online Intellectual Property Enforcement

Module Overview

Creative works are increasingly produced in digital format and disseminated online. Even more traditional, analogue, goods, are increasingly sold in virtual marketplaces. Yet, in parallel to this augmented availability of works and goods, relevant rightholders appear to struggle to find effective solutions to repress and prevent online infringements of their intellectual property (IP) rights, notably copyright and trade mark. Actions against individual alleged infringers have proved ineffective, so alternative solutions to prevent access to infringing content or sale of counterfeit goods have been investigated. In particular, the possible role of internet service providers (eg, search engines, digital marketplaces, internet access providers, payment network operators) in contrasting infringements has become topical to discourse around online enforcement of IP rights.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

This course adopts a global perspective to investigate issues and possible solutions relating to online enforcement of IP rights. Particular emphasis is placed on the policy debate, legislative initiatives and case law developments across the world, with a particular emphasis on EU, UK, and US.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • The main principles of UK and EU law in relation to online infringement and enforcement on intellectual property rights;
  • The key policy issues relating to 1 above, and;
  • Current recommendations for reform.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Apply and critically analyse the law in relation to online infringement and enforcement of intellectual property rights.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Undertake critical analysis of legal material, and;
  • Have developed your ability to clearly communicate and discuss complex ideas and arguments in writing.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Developed research skills and knowledge of IP resources in preparation for classes;
  • Developed the ability to solve problems and undertake critical analysis of IP issues, and;
  • Developed competence in the use of key online and offline IP legal resources.

Syllabus

The module is divided into three parts. The first part provides an overview of main legislative solutions adopted to repress and prevent online infringements of IP rights, incuding but not limited to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act in the US and the Enforcement Directive in the EU. The second part reviews relevant judicial interpretations and applications of relevant pieces of legislation. The final part focuses on policy debate and reform proposals, notably in Europe, US, Asia and Australia, to ameliorate enforcement of IP rights over the internet.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: - Weekly seminars - Online materials with clickable links - A forum on Blackboard for the exchange of ideas and information Learning activities include: - Direct reading from a selection of primary and secondary materials followed by analysis of those materials - Presentation of prepared material in class and discussion of the issues raised - Analysis of online materials and embedded web links contained in seminar materials from the Blackboard online learning resource Preparation for and participation in weekly seminars will develop: - The knowledge required for satisfaction of ‘knowledge and understanding’ learning outcomes - Your ability to: (i) critically evaluate and assess the evolution and key debates surrounding copyright (ii) assess the nature of the various interests and rights at hand (iii) apply the rules studied to factual situations - Research, organisational and time management skills

TypeHours
Independent Study130
Teaching20
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Resources. There is no particularly recommended textbook: essential reading materials will be provided during the course, well in advance of relevant sessions.

Assessment

Formative

Essay

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4000 words) 100%

Repeat

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4000 words) 100%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Costs

Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Printing and Photocopying Costs

It is estimated that the estimated cost of printing out relevant sources and reference materials is approx. £20.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

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