This module is one of the electives available to students during Stage 2 of the Legal Practice Course and forms part of both the Commercial Route and General Practice Route elective groups. This module will be of interest to any student entering commercial practice or a niche intellectual property practice.

The law in this area is concerned with the protection of ideas and is growing in importance as individuals and businesses seek to identify and protect their intellectual property .On completion of the Intellectual Property vocational elective, students should have a general understanding of the law and practice involved in the identification, acquisition, protection, and enforcement of Intellectual Property rights.
The legal skills of drafting and practical legal research are also further developed in preparation for and during workshop sessions.

The module is delivered by a combination of large group sessions, small group sessions, directed and independent learning. The module is assessed by examination.


Main Text
David Bainbridge Intellectual Property

Supplementary Reading
Phillips, Durie and Karet Whale on Copyright, Sweet & Maxwell

A Michaels A Practical Guide to Patent Law, Sweet & Maxwell
A Practical Guide to Trade Mark Law, Sweet & Maxwell

E-Learning Portal Site and Materials
A range of materials to support both large and small group sessions and to facilitate directed learning will be provided via the Commercial Law e-learning portal site.


Element 1 Identification of Intellectual Property Rights
The law and practice involved in the identification of all types of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) including:
• the nature of IPRs and identification of IPRs in a given item or scenario
• situations where IPRs might be important and the commercial and economic importance of IPRs
Element 2 Acquisition of Intellectual Property Rights
The law and practice involved in the acquisition of all types of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) including:
• the categories of copyright, rules of authorship and ownership of copyright and the duration of copyright protection
• the criteria for protection and ownership of designs and a basic understanding of when design protection might be relevant
• the pre-requisites for patentability and ownership of inventions/patents
• the protection of trade marks and the criteria for registration
• The rules regarding breach of confidence and the use of confidentiality agreements
• the method of application applicable to any of the IPRs and drafting the appropriate forms
• the national and international context in which the various IPRs exist
Element 3 Protection of Intellectual Property rights
The law and practice involved in the protection of all types of Intellectual Property rights including:
• methods of protecting IPR’S
• ownership and exploitation of IPRs
• drafting appropriate documentation
Element 4 Enforcement of Intellectual Property rights
The law and practice involved in the enforcement of all types of Intellectual Property rights including:
• infringement of IPRs
• remedies and/or defences


This elective aims to :
introduce students to all areas of intellectual property law including breach of confidence.
ensure students are aware of the importance of identifying and protecting all forms of intellectual property.
familiarise students with the kind of commercial problems where intellectual property issues will be relevant.
introduce students to examples of forms and precedents commonly used in intellectual property matters.
enable students to identify relevant intellectual property issues in commercial situations.
give students the confidence to give basic advice when dealing with clients.

It is also designed to enable students to further develop:
practical legal research and drafting skills acquired during Stage 1;
negotiation skills;
an appreciation of the financial and commercial constraints on commercial client’s and how they influence the role of the solicitor.


On completion of the Commercial Law vocational elective, students should

1. demonstrate an understanding of the nature and importance of intellectual property rights
2. identify relevant intellectual property issues in commercial situations
3. demonstrate an understanding of the practice and procedure involved in the protection and exploitation of intellectual property rights
4. draft and review forms and precedents commonly used in intellectual property matters
5. Identify a clients goals and plan a clear strategy for achieving those goals taking into account constraints associated with a particular matter and any relevant conduct and regulatory issues
6. undertake research in the area using appropriate resources
7. give accurate and targeted advice to a client in a given scenario








The module will be delivered through a combination of large and small group sessions, directed learning and independent learning.

The large group sessions will be delivered to the entire module cohort and will be used in part to introduce students to the major principles of each topic. They will place these principles in context by examining them against relevant factual scenarios.

The small group sessions (which will consist of between 16 – 20 students), will, in conjunction with the directed and independent learning, expand on the material covered in the large group sessions with emphasis on the use of practical scenarios as the basis for relevant skills based and interactive sessions to apply that material to the scenario. Other sessions will require problem solving skills to identify key issues, plan strategies for taking problems forward and drafting aspects of the necessary documentation to do so. Where appropriate to the subject area students will be required to analyse and critique relevant legal material.

Students will be given directed learning which will both expand on the materials provided in the large group sessions and cover specific topics not dealt with in those sessions. This will be supported by formative self test. Students will also be expected to carry out independent learning to both expand on the materials covered in the large group sessions and directed learning and to prepare for the tasks in the small group sessions. Examples of independent learning will include locating and reading relevant legal source material.

Experiential learning is prevalent in the simulated practice exercises that take place in most of the small group sessions


a Summative assessment and rationale for tasks

Summative assessment will be provided by an examination made up of a three hour open book practical paper based on advance documents. The use of advance documents allows the subject team greater opportunity to test knowledge and application in the examination and allows greater use of realistic legal scenarios.

b. Additional formative assessment – detail of process and rationale

Formative assessment will be provided by a combination of self test questions questions which students will complete either after the workshop session through the module e-learning portal site and/or in small group sessions.
Students will also have the opportunity to sit a mock examination paper.

c. Indication of how students will get feedback and how this will support their learning

The self test questions are undertaken as preparation for workshop sessions and feedback is given either during the session or made available on the e-learning portal .Feedback on the mock examination will be given via the e-learning portal and in a large group session.



Course info

Credits 1

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time

Department Northumbria Law School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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