units

LAW7657

Faculty of Law

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

To find units available for enrolment in the current year, you must make sure you use the indexes and browse unit tool in the current edition of the Handbook.

LevelPostgraduate
FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedPrato Term 2 2013 (Day)

Synopsis

This course examines patentable subject matter across Canada, the US, the UK and Australia. It examines the most fundamental question in patent law: namely, what is an 'invention'? In other words, is this the type of "stuff" that patent law should protect with a twenty (20) year monopoly?
Indeed, the meaning of "invention" is far from a doctrinal topic "bedevilled by verbal formulae" and "sterile argument about the meaning of words". For, "whoever controls the meaning of 'invention' controls what can be patented and hence an important aspect of industrial policy." (Peter Prescott QC, sitting as deputy judge, in CFPH LLC, (Patent Applications Nos. 0226884.3 and 0419317.3), [2005] EWHC 1589).

This course will therefore cover novel aspects of patentability: from software and business methods to higher life forms (including even half-monkey half-human chimeras).

No technical background required or expected, nor is any previous work in patent law needed.

Seminar 1: Introduction to patentable subject matter, and basic patent law principles.
Seminar 2: Patentable subject matter in Canada.
Seminar 3: Patentable subject matter in Canada (cont'd).
Seminar 4: Patentable subject matter in the US.
Seminar 5: Patentable subject matter in the US (cont'd).
Seminar 6: Group work and/or presentations.
Seminar 7: Patentable subject matter in the UK.
Seminar 8: Patentable subject matter in the UK (cont'd).
Seminar 9: Patentable subject matter in Australia.
Seminar 10: Patentable subject matter in Australia (cont'd).
Seminar 11: Group work and/or presentations.
Seminar 12: Revision

Outcomes

At the end of the course, it is expected that students will:

  1. be familiar with the existing body of jurisprudence and major academic writings in the area of patentable subject matter;
  2. extrapolate and critically assess the evolving principles and themes embodied in that jurisprudence and literature;
  3. be able to better articulate, understand and apply those principles in practice.

Assessment

Research assignment (6,000 words) 80%
Critical case comment (1,500 words) 20%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

36 contact hours per teaching period (either intensive, semi-intensive or semester long, depending on the Faculty resources, timetabling and requirements)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Prerequisites

LAW7212 for non-law LLM students or LAW7470 for JD students or equivalent

Co-requisites

LAW7212 for non-law LLM students or LAW7470 for JD students or equivalent