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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

LAW5697M Patent Law

15 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Professor Graham Dutfield

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Module replaces

LAW5685M Patents and Copyright

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The module covers the key principles of patent law, the major cases that helped to shape the modern law of this intellectual property right, and the convergence of patent laws towards harmonised European and international standards of protection. It also considers the economic and philosophical rationales and shows why patents are so controversial in today's globalised economy.


This module aims to provide students with a thorough grounding in British, European, United States and international patent law. Accordingly, and in order to solidify students' understanding of patent law and its role in the modern globalised economy, it considers the evolving economic and philosophical rationales for this right and investigates how far these rationales genuinely reflect present-day realities.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students will:
- be familiar with the literature on patent law;
- be able to assess the reasons informing and the implications of the growing internationalisation of patent law;
- be able to appreciate the theoretical and policy context (particularly with regard to notions of globalisation) underpinning many of the debates concerning the internationalisation of patent law and also the contemporary policy relevance of such inquiries;
- be capable of assessing the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to the study of patent law and the analysis of comparative policy convergence;
- have developed the ability to research, analyse and communicate in an informed and critical way theoretical accounts and empirical studies within the field of patents;
- be able to relate the issues in the literature to their understanding of patent law policy developments within their own and a variety of other countries.

Skills outcomes
The student will:

- develop an understanding of how to study patent law from an international and comparative perspective;
- be cognisant of the critical issues relating to patents;
- be able to organise their research endeavours productively;
- be able to write cogently about patent law.


The course will cover the following subjects:

Patent Law: Justifications, Subject Matter, Disclosure, Claims
The Main Criteria: Novelty, Inventive Step, Industrial Application
Inventorship and Ownership
Nature of Rights, Infringement, Defences
International and Comparative Patent Law

Teaching methods

Private study hours150.00
Total Contact hours0.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

The School is committed to providing an excellent student education and experience. This will involve a variety of teaching methods and follow a blended learning model, including meaningful on-campus in-person teaching for all students. Further information regarding teaching delivery will follow.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

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

Methods of assessment

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: 02/09/2021 17:02:41


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