Intellectual property law is a demanding but enjoyable subject. It covers a range
of rights, some of which have little in common with others. Students should keep
in mind that, although some rights may be quite different to others, a number of
rights may exist in respect of the same subject matter. For example, a new design
of plastic bottle for tomato ketchup may be protected by design law (registered and
unregistered), trade mark law and the law of passing off. The label attached to the
bottle may be protected by artistic and literary copyright. Students are likely to get
extra marks if they can demonstrate that they understand the overlap between the
different intellectual property rights.
This book is a revision guide. It is intended to help focus students on the key areas
in which they are likely to be examined. It also acts as an aide memoire, picking
up key cases and statutory provisions. It is no substitute for textbooks and other
materials with which students should be familiar. Students should also be aware that
this revision guide cannot cover all the ground which may be covered in a module
on intellectual property. For example, it has not been possible to cover areas such as
rights in performances.
Students should frequently check the syllabus of the module they are taking and refer
to lecture notes, handouts and virtual learning materials provided by their lecturer and
module leader. As intellectual property is such a big subject, most lecturers are likely
to concentrate on some parts of the subject and deal with others in less detail. By
reviewing the content of the course as taught or subject to directed learning, students
will have a much better idea of the areas they are likely to be examined on. Past
examination papers also provide a rich form of guidance but students must be aware
that, in a fast moving subject like intellectual property, older examination questions
may have been overtaken by recent developments.
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