Postgraduate taught 

Intellectual Property & the Digital Economy LLM

Trade Marks and Brands LAW5160

  • 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

Are trade marks on their own sufficient to protect brands? This course will attempt to answer this question by looking at the legal means available to protect brands, not only trade marks, but also, for example, passing off or geographical indications, by considering the meaning of 'brand', and by looking at some of the policy arguments about the scope of protection which can be justified. This includes the rationales for trade mark registration and the interaction between trade marks and other forms of brand protection.


10 x 2 hour seminars in semester 2.

Excluded Courses

Intellectual Property and the Law (LAW5034)




The course is assessed by an take home exam with a 1500 word limit (25%) and a seen 2 hour final examination (75%).

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

The principal aim of this course is to provide students with an understanding of what is meant by a brand, to look at various legal means by which brands can be protected, considering examples from different jurisdictions, and to assess the justifications for such protection, particularly in the context of the creative economy. More specifically the aims are to:

■ Encourage students to reflect on the meaning of the term 'brand'.

■ Equip students with an understanding of the legal tools which can be used to protect brands.

■ Consider the possible limitations of these tools.

■ Consider the policy debates on legal protection and evaluate the positions taken in these debates.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course students should be able to:

1. Explain and assess different understandings of brands in the creative economy.

2. Apply the legal tools for protecting brands appropriately in specific contexts.

3. Critically evaluate the different methods available to protect brands.

4. Analyse the policy arguments surrounding protection of brands.

5. Construct a well-structured argument and present their views clearly.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

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