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What is intellectual property? Who benefits from these laws? What types of subject matter are protected in the global perspective under patent, copyright, trade mark, etc. laws? What are the main I.P. treaties and conventions? What is the connection between trade (WTO-TRIPS) and intellectual property law? What are the main justifications and criticisms in relation to IP law? By looking at national and global IP laws, the course gives a fundamental grounding in patents, copyright, trade marks, as well as international hybrid rights such as geographical indications, plant and seed protection, utility model, design, and unfair competition protection. The module also examines the global nature of intellectual property law and policy as it is affected arising from emerging technologies, and the consequential impact on the rights and obligations of peoples and corporations. Concentrating on the jurisprudence of major countries, including the EU and US, the course also examines the conflicting positions adopted as to the propertisation of (i) drugs, biological organisms and gene technologies; and (ii) traditional knowledge and cultural heritage. The module further examines the controversial clashes which have emerged between IPRs and international norms in various fora including competition law, human rights, development and environmental agendas.

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