Postgraduate taught 

Intellectual Property & the Digital Economy LLM

International and Comparative Intellectual Property Law LAW5132

  • Academic Session: 2021-22
  • School: School of Law
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

The purpose of this course is the exploration of the international dimension of intellectual property law as it manifests itself in the intellectual property treaties and, especially with regard to copyright, the different protection philosophies in the Anglo-Saxon world as opposed to continental European countries which will be dealt with from a comparative perspective.


10 x 2 hour seminars in semester 2.

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 this course is an introduction to the international dimension of intellectual property law and its regulative framework, the European Union law of intellectual property rights and a comparative overview of different national jurisdictions in Europe. The focus of the course is on the main areas of intellectual property, patents, copyright and trade marks and their role in the market place.

The international aspect of this course will focus on particularly the Paris and Berne Conventions and the TRIPS agreement (in relation to patents, trade marks and copyright), while the comparative element will discuss and compare especially the copyright and droit d'auteur concepts.


Further aims are to:

■ Develop the analytical and critical skills of students by detailed examination of the relevant international conventions, EU legislation, national laws and case law in relation to IP law

■ Develop the students' ability to see this knowledge of international IP law in context with international policies and trends

■ Develop students' ability to criticise constructively current international and European IP law and to suggest and evaluate possible reforms

■ Develop students' ability to link the area of international IP law to other LLM courses in IP and to cognate courses within the School of Law LLM programme, such as International Commercial Law, and International Economic Law

■ Provide students with an understanding of the practical application of international IP law

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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


1. Identify the different layers and areas of international IP law and demonstrate an understanding of substantive IP law in a competent manner to constructing a coherent argument in discussion of topics arising in this field.

2. Differentiate between approaches taken in various legal systems to the protection of IP law.

3. Apply their knowledge of substantive IP law in a competent manner to constructing a coherent argument in discussion of topics arising in this field.

4. Learn independently and work towards deadlines.

5. Have transferable oral communication skills of students through the use of both staff-led and student-led seminars.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

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