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The University of Southampton

LAWS3169 Intellectual Property Law

Module Overview

This module will allow you to explore some key areas of intellectual property law, such as trademarks, copyright and patents. Emphasis is placed on the process of European Union (EU) harmonisation of intellectual property rights, and its implications for UK law, also in relation to Brexit. Some of the questions addressed in this course include: What is an ‘invention’ and is it industrially application? Who can be considered an author? What does ‘originality’ mean in a copyright context? Do you need permission from the copyright holder to provide links to his/her content over the internet? Can you resell your videogames, ebooks and iTunes music tracks? What form of IP protection is available to those businesses that use signs and symbols in the course of trade? What is a trade mark, and what are its functions? What is character and personality merchandising, and how can you have someone endorse your products? This module allows and encourages you to undertake a critical analysis of the state of the law in the field of trademarks, copyright and patents, as well as international influences and the impact of harmonisation at the EU level. Whilst seminar materials are provided, significant emphasis is placed on self-learning, enabling the seminars to concentrate on specific topics and issues.

Aims and Objectives

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 trademark, copyright and patents and the key policy issues related to them
  • Current recommendations for reform.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • apply the law in relation to trademarks, copyright and patents;
  • critically analyse the law in relation to trademarks, copyright and patents;
  • make use of developed research skills and knowledge of relevant legal resources in preparation for classes;
  • undertake critical analysis of legal material and relevant legal issues
  • demonstrate developed competence in the use of key online and offline IP legal resources.
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • solve appropriate problems
  • demonstrate your ability to clearly communicate and discuss complex ideas and arguments in writing indicating an appreciation of academic integrity.


The syllabus for the module is focused around three themes: trademarks, copyright and patents. Specific subjects to be covered may change subject to changes in law and staff availability.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching follows a seminar format with weekly 2-hour classes, unless there is significant number of students on the module. In that case the module will be taught by weekly 2-hourly lectures and fortnightly 2 hourly tutorials. Learning activities are partially directed by selective suggestions: but – as is felt appropriate for a Part 3 commercial law subject – you are also encouraged to engage in self-directed learning, particularly in preparation for classes. Preparation for and participation in classes will develop your: • Understanding of and ability to apply and critically analyse the laws of copyright and designs; • Skills in managing and researching diverse legal sources.

Independent Study130
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Brown, A, Kheria, S, Cornwell, J and Iljadica, N (2019). Contemporary Intellectual Property. 

Christie, A and Gare, S. Blackstone's Statues on Intellectual Property. 



Mock exam


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Written assessment 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Written assessment 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


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:

Books and Stationery equipment

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library but students are expected to purchase key texts as appropriate.

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

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