LAW30870 Patent Law and Trademarks

Academic Year 2022/2023

The first part of this module examines the law and policy of the patent system.

Topics covered may include: the justification for the patent system, the framework of patent law, including the European Patent Convention and the proposal for a unitary patent package, the criteria for obtaining a patent, exclusions from patentability, patent infringement, and the impact of the TRIPS agreement. Recent controversies concerning the relationship between vaccines and the availability of Covid vaccines and medicines will also be discussed

The second part of this module examines the law of Trade marks and passing off.

Topics covered may include: the justification and purpose of trade marks and passing off, the law of passing off, celebrity endorsements, the statutory trade mark system, the criteria for obtaining a trade mark, whether it is possible to get a trade mark over a sound / smell / colour / shape, exclusions, and trade mark infringement. There is also a focus on recent trade mark controversies and cases.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to

• discuss the function of intellectual property law, in particular patents and trade marks, and how the relevant rules of law promote those functions.
• apply the relevant principles of law in a practical context
• analyse the intellectual property laws currently applicable in Ireland and across Europe

Indicative Module Content:

Patent Law and Policy: The Patent system in Ireland and Europe, The Justification for Patents, The criteria for patentability, Exclusions to patentability, Infringement, Patents and Access to Medicine, The TRIPS Agreement, Patents in the Covid Crisis

Trademarks: Justification for trademarks, Passing off, Registration of Trademarks, Infringement of trademarks

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Where possible classes will be run as seminars, with students expected to prepare for class by completing readings and being ready to participate in discussions. Supporting material will be provided on Brightspace to complement the lecture discussions.

I aim to provide an inclusive learning environment, so please don't hesitate to contact me if I can help!

Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

It is recommended that student have studied Law of the European Union before taking this module. It is also recommended that students are familiar with basic legal skills, such as research and reading case law and legislation.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
LAW30740 - Intellectual Property Law

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: 800 word essay on aspect of patent or trademark law. Week 8 n/a Graded No


Group Project: Groups will create an "invention" and and create a portfolio outlining IP issues arising from this product, including patentability and trademarks. All students must demonstrate a contribution. Week 12 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Self-assessment activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Group feedback will be given in class throughout the semester, as students work on their assignments and class activities. This will include peer review activities in class, and tools to self assess their work. Individual feedback will be available during office hours. Individual and/or Group Feedback will be given when the assignments are submitted.

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 Thurs 14:00 - 15:50