The emphasis will be on the international and comparative aspects of the subject.
The module is divided into four parts.
The first part covers a historical and economic examination of the concepts of trade marks, designs, and unfair competition; an examination of the international trade mark regimes: the role and influence of the World Intellectual Property Organisation, the World Trade Organisation, the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property and other international or regional agreements in this field.
The second part examines how the laws of different countries have evolved in order to protect trade marks and other distinctive signs against unfair competition with particular reference to the UK and Commonwealth jurisdictions; the USA; Canada; France; Germany; and Japan.
The third part focuses on registered trade mark and design regimes with particular reference to the Community Trade Mark, the harmonisation of national laws in Europe, the USA, and comparative references to other national systems of protection.
The fourth part looks at specific topics from a comparative perspective. Amongst others it considers: international trade, trade mark rights and parallel imports; the protection of geographical indications; the regulation of comparative advertising; the exploitation of trade marks through licensing, for example in character merchandising; issues of use of trade marks on the Internet and the relation between trade marks and domain names; and trade mark rights and freedom of speech issues.
- The history, functions, and economics of trade marks
- Protecting trade marks: systems of registration and protection against unfair trading
- International agreements
- Protection against unfair trading under English, US, French, and German law
- Registered trade marks: European and US law
- The interaction between trade mark and design laws
- Geographical indications
- Parallel imports
- Trade marks and freedom of speech
- Group B - LLM in Commercial and Corporate Law
- Group I - LLM in Intellectual Property Law
- Group J - LLM in International Business Law
- General LLM
Mode of Assessment
3 hour written examination paper