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LLM Curriculum

Intellectual Property Law, Development and Innovation


Course Co-ordinator:

Dr Tobias Schonwetter 


See Rules for LLM and MPhil Degrees and Postgraduate Diplomas. A student is not permitted to register for this course unless he or she has either completed Principles of Intellectual Property Law (CML5678F) or, in the opinion of the course co-ordinator(s), otherwise has a sufficiently sound academic background in intellectual property law.

Course outline:

This course covers the relationship between intellectual property rights, innovation and development by examining the effect that the modern intellectual property system has on human development and welfare. It considers the tension between intellectual property rights (such as patents, copyright, trade marks) as drivers of innovation and creativity versus the potentially stifling effect they have on development. The focus will be on developing countries with an emphasis on Africa. The topics and case studies to be covered will be prescribed from year to year and will be chosen from the following, amongst others:

• Technology transfer and innovation

• Publicly financed development of intellectual property

• Copyright and access to knowledge

• The effect of intellectual property rights on rights to health food security, and education

• Patents and genetic resources

• Traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions

• Trade marks and geographical indications

• International intellectual property policy (eg WTO, WIPO Development Agenda)

Students are advised to visit the Faculty website at the start of the relevant semester for an indication of the specific topics for the year.

DP requirments:



Year mark : 50%

3-hour examination: 50%