Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

LAWS6137 Enforcement of Intellectual Property rights over the Internet

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 the main principles of UK and EU Law in relation to online infringement and enforcement on intellectual property rights;
  • current recommendations for reform, with focus on relevant debates in selected jurisdictions.
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 material;
  • clearly communicate and discuss complex ideas and arguments in writing.
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • research IP resources more effectively;
  • solve problems and undertake critical analysis of IP issues more effectively;
  • use of key online and offline IP legal resources more effectively.


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, including 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

Independent Study130
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Pila, J and – Torremans, P, (2016). European Intellectual Property Law. 

Further essential reading materials will be provided during the course, well in advance of relevant sessions.. 





MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4000 words) 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:

Printing and Photocopying Costs

For the printing of relevant sources and reference materials.


Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase the core/ recommended text 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

Share this module Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.