Contemporary Issues In Intellectual Property Law LAW5011

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Law
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No

Short Description

This course offers students the opportunity to investigate and engage with specialist research, exploring the different facets of IP policy and decision-making processes situated within relevant international debates. Contemporary issues include for example the potential impact of intellectual property rights on - and their interacting with - markets and cultural expression, debates over the creation of new types of intellectual property and the extension of protectable subject matter across existing fields (e.g. product design and non-traditional marks), and interfaces with emerging technologies. 


10 x 2 hour seminars in semester 2.

Requirements of Entry

The course is open to all LLM students subject to the requirements of the LLM programme on which a student is enrolled.

Excluded Courses





The course is assessed by an essay of 1500 words (25%) and a 2 hour final examination (75%).

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

The principal aim of the course is to give students an insight into and a critical understanding of contemporary controversies in intellectual property law and to situate them within the international debates in this field.


Further aims are to:

■ develop the analytical and critical skills of students by examination of contemporary debates in IP law;

■ develop the communication skills of students;

■ instil in students an ability to constructively evaluate the positions taken in current debates, to suggest and consider possible reforms;

■ foster critical understanding and evaluation of areas of controversy within intellectual property;

■ encourage independent learning.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:


1. critically evaluate current debates within intellectual property;

2. make an informed contribution to these debates;

3. situate legal intellectual property issues within the broader context of creative industries, markets, and society.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course summative assessment.