International Intellectual Property Law


Course Objective

The course provides an overview of the international legal framework for
the protection of intellectual property (IP). Participants will acquire
the following knowledge and skills:
- a general understanding of the role of IP protection in international
trade, underlying policy considerations and the current debate on
imbalances in the international protection system;
- the ability to identify and solve problems arising from the
international nature of intellectual property, and the
ability to assess the current IP system critically in the light of
social, cultural and economic needs in developing and developed
- insight into the relationship between the main areas of international
IP law and general questions of business law, in particular the dynamics
of international trade negotiations and their impact on IP policy
- knowledge about the actors of the international intellectual property
community and how they interact with each other, while acknowledging
legal and cultural differences. In particular, participants will
understand the role of governments and their interaction with private
companies to achieve innovation and development goals;
- a thorough understanding of the legal positions of various parties in
the intellectual property arena and how the conduct of these parties
influences the further development of international intellectual
property law;
- analytical skills to apply acquired knowledge of IP rules to concrete
problems, such as access to medecine and access to knowledge;
- the ability to analyse and assess IP literature, case law and legal
and policy documents and critically reflect upon them.
- the ability to formulate an independent and well-substantiated opinion
on complex IP issues and take a
substantiated position within the existing debate on that issue.
Eindtermen: 1-10, 15.

Course Content

The course focuses on the principles and minimum standards of protection
established in the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and
Artistic Works, the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial
Property and, in particular, the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of
Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). In line with the Law in Action
approach, individual issues of intellectual property protection will be
placed in the context of broader societal problems and concerns, such
• patent protection and public health, in particular the issue of access
to medicine in developing countries;
• copyright protection and freedom to create, in particular the remix
and reuse of protected works in the digital environment and the room for
corresponding online platforms, such as YouTube;
• trademark protection of powerful brands and its impact on consumer
choice and purchase decisions of consumers;
• current topics on the international IP agenda and underlying policy
and development goals.
International intellectual property registration systems constitute an
additional topic of the course. The Madrid System for the International
Registration of Marks and the Patent Cooperation Treaty will be

Teaching Methods

The course is based on weekly lectures in which the norms of
international intellectual property law, underlying policies and the
current debate on the further development of the law will be discussed.
In working group sessions, the students will present and discuss
selected problems of current international intellectual property law.
For this purpose, student presentation groups will be established at the
beginning of the course.

Method of Assessment

Written exam (50% of final grade).
Presentation (50% of final grade): each participant of this Course will
have to give an oral presentation during one of the working group
sessions. For this purpose, student presentation groups (4 members) will
be established at the beginning of the Course. The presentation topics
and related literature will be made available on Canvas.


WIPO Intellectual Property Handbook - Policy, Law and Use, 2nd edition,
Geneva, 2004, WIPO Publication No. 489(E), ISBN 92-805-1291-7
available at:

In addition to this general overview of the international framework of
protection, academic articles on specific topics of international IP law
will be made available to the students as reading assignments during the

Target Audience

Apart from regular students, the course is also available for:
Students from other universities/faculties
Exchange students
Contractor (students who pay for one course)

Courses from a master at the faculty can only be taken as a secondary
course if you have a diploma that gives access to the relevant master/
specialization and if you are enrolled in a master.

Additional Information

A maximum number of 40 students may participate in this course.

Custom Course Registration

A maximum number of 40 students may participate in this course.

General Information

Course Code R_Int.prop.l
Credits 6 EC
Period P4
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Law
Course Coordinator prof. dr. M.R.F. Senftleben
Examiner prof. dr. M.R.F. Senftleben
Teaching Staff prof. dr. M.R.F. Senftleben

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Teaching Methods Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: