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European and International Intellectual Property Law


Course Description
The course provides an introduction to the European legal framework governing trademark, patent, copyright, trade secrets and design right law, and the substantive requirements and characteristics of each of these forms of protection. The emphasis in the course is on the practical: students will learn how to recognise what aspects of a product are capable of being protected, and understand the advantages and limitations of the various forms of protection available.

Course Objectives:
The primary objective of this course is to provide students with sufficient practical and theoretical knowledge and background of European intellectual property law to allow them to recognise and identify whether and to what extent the tangible and intangible business assets they may come into contact with in a business environment are protectable by means of intellectual property rights. In addition to gaining an understanding of the characteristics and functions of intellectual property rights, students will learn how intellectual property rights can be obtained and enforced in practice.

Achievement levels:
The following achievement levels apply with regard to the course:

Knowledge and comprehension:
Acquiring knowledge of the main types of intellectual property protection.
Understanding the justifications advanced for intellectual property protection.
Understanding the international legal framework governing intellectual property protection.
Understanding of currently newsworthy topics in the area, including the emergence of a harmonised approach to trade secret protection in Europe, and the adaptation of copyright to the digital environment.

Students will be able to describe and explain the different types of IP protection.
Students will be able to apply their knowledge to identify and solve problems arising in the IP area.

Students will be able to determine whether a given asset or product is protectable by IP law and to explain their analysis from first principles.

Students will be able to present oral arguments in relation to protection and infringement of one or more types of intellectual property rights.

Mode of Instruction:
Students are expected to attend interactive lectures and seminars totalling 16 hours over three weeks. For each lecture, students are required to read the materials provided in the reader and on Blackboard.

Week 1

  • General introduction and introduction to copyright law

  • Copyright law and design law

Week 2:

  • Trademark law and trade secrets

  • Patent law

Week 3:

  • Mock trial; Q&A


Europa Institute Steenschuur 25 2311 ES Leiden Phone: 071-527 7760 Website: Sheena Bruce, Phone: +31 (0)71 527 7821

Dr. Ana Ramalho, Dr. José Paredes (patent attorney)

Course Materials

  • P.A.C.E. van der Kooij, D.J.G. Visser, C.J.S. Vrendenbarg and S.C. Dack, EU IP Law. A short introduction to European Intellectual Property Law, 2018 (e-version available for students to download.

  • Course Reader can be downloaded from blackboard


Final Examination: 50%
Mock trial: 50% - 25% written brief; 25% oral performance
The student will pass the course if the overall assessment grade is 6.0 or higher. Resits will be in the form of a written exam, which will replace both the grade of the first exam and the mock trial.

Course requirements

  • Master degree


  • Sheena Bruce, – Phone: +31 (0)71 527 7821


Currently these pages are being updated to reflect the courses for 2019 - 2020. Until these pages are fixed as per 1 September no rights can be claimed from the information which is currently contained within.