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2020/21 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

LAW5694M Contemporary Issues in Intellectual Property: Health, Food and Biotechnology

15 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Professor Graham Dutfield
Email: G.M.Dutfield@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: 1 Jan to 31 May View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module aims to provide students with insights into debates concerning the relations between intellectual property and health, food, agriculture and modern biotechnologies. One of these debates concerns the high prices of patented drugs in developing countries. With respect to food security, concerns have been raised that intellectual property may on balance have negative implications for food security if rules are inappropriately designed. The module will present the arguments and the proposals being made at the WTO and elsewhere to address these and related concerns.

Objectives

This module aims to provide students with insights into debates concerning the relations between intellectual property and health, food, agriculture and modern biotechnologies. One of these debates concerns the high prices of patented drugs in developing countries. WTO members have agreed to amend TRIPS in order to improve access to these life-saving medicines, and we will consider the feasibility of this settlement.

With respect to food security, concerns have been raised that intellectual property empowers large corporations at the expense of poor farmers and distorts agricultural systems in developing countries, turning them into exporters of cash crops, unduly raising the costs of doing farming, and curtailing the supply of inexpensive food for domestic consumers.

On the other hand, carefully designed intellectual property rules could be beneficial and improve food security.

The module will present the arguments and the proposals being made at the WTO and elsewhere to address these and related concerns.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students will:
- be familiar with the literature relating to the intellectual property rights as they relate to health, food security and agriculture;
- be able to assess the reasons informing and the implications of the mainstreaming of these debates;
- be able to appreciate the theoretical and policy context underpinning many of these debates;
- be capable of assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the various arguments put forward by academics, governments and non-governmental organisations;
- have developed the ability to research, analyse and communicate in an informed and critical way the relevant theoretical accounts and empirical studies;
- be able to relate the issues in the literature and in intergovernmental negotiations to law and policy developments within their own and a variety of other countries.

Skills outcomes
The student will:
- develop an understanding of how to study the linkages between intellectual property and public health;
- develop an understanding of how to study the linkages between intellectual property and food security;
- be cognisant of the relevant critical issues;
- be able to organise their research endeavours productively;
- be able to write cogently about the subject of the module.


Syllabus

The course will cover the following subjects:
- the links between patents and data exclusivity rules and drug price and accessibility
- the TRIPS Agreement and the public health amendment
- intellectual property and food security - empirical analysis
- TRIIPS, the UPOV Convention and the FAO International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Seminar11.001.00
Seminar72.0014.00
Private study hours135.00
Total Contact hours15.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

75 hours - 15 hours reading and preparation for each seminar.
60 hours - preparation for writing essay.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Attendance will be monitored to provide early warning of possible extra-curricular problems that may be inhibiting progress.
- The lecturer will strive to ensure active and equitable participation by all who follow the course.
- The assessed essays will provide an objective measure of student progress and performance.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 3,000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 10/08/2020 09:50:06

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