Intellectual Property & Information Law

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LLM

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Part Time, Full Time

| Admissions status: Open
With this specialist LLM you will gain a detailed insight into the fast-growing field of Intellectual Property & Information Law. Expect interactive classes focusing on topical issues concerning the regulation of innovation and creativity, in which the issues of the day are explored in detail. Covering the latest practical and theoretical perspectives you will learn about the access to and use of data in a global context.

KEY BENEFITS
  • A strong IP Law community, with both informal and formal social and networking events, guest lectures by leading scholars/practitioners in the field and participation in the annual International IP moot competition.
  • Breadth and depth of teaching expertise; a reputed mix of dedicated full-time King's academics and internationally-acclaimed practitioners who all contribute to the extensive module offering.
  • Combines rigorous analytical and critical approaches with practical perspectives and practice-generated problems.
  • New exciting scholarship offerings for our LLM programme for entry 2015: The Yeoh Tiong Lay Scholarship Programme, The Bosco Tso and Emily Ng Scholarship Programme and the Nigerian Law Scholars Fund. Please note that the new Norman Spink Scholarship Fund has recently been announced for 2015 entry. For more information, please see our Law Scholarship information page.
  • For UK/EU applicants, please note our King's Master's Support Scheme 2015-16 (deadline for application 29 May 2015), exclusively aimed at widening access to PG study, where up to 273 new awards of £10,000 will be available to students looking to pursue master’s study in 2015. For more information on this scheme and other available King's PGT funding, please visit our funding webpages
  • For more information about the LLM IP & Information Law community at King's, have a look at our Intellectual Property & Information Law LLM brochure (pdf).
KEY FACTS
Student destinations
In a competitive world we can give you the competitive edge to take your career to the next level. Thatís why youíll find our LLM programme is supplemented by opportunities to develop your skills and professional networks. The result is that students are presented with a wide range of employment destinations when they leave; from positions at the European Central Bank, European Commission and UN to commercial roles as investment bank analysts, tax or public affairs advisers, as well as careers in the legal profession; accountancy; management consultancy; human rights organisations and other voluntary bodies; academia.
Programme leader/s
Professor Tanya Aplin
Accreditation
Law Society CPD points
Awarding Institution
King's College London
Credit value (UK/ECTS equivalent)
UK 180/ECTS 90
Duration
One year FT, two years to four years PT, September to September.
Location
Strand Campus.
Year of entry 2015
Offered by
The Dickson Poon School of Law
Closing date
The deadline for applications is 11 September for 2015 entry. Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier. Applications will be considered subject to availability of places, so we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. International applications are now closed to allow sufficient time for visa processing.
Intake
360 overall for the LLM (FT and PT)
Fees
PT Home: £6,500 (2015)
PT Overseas: £9,425 (2015)
FT Home: £13,000 (2015)
FT Overseas: £18,850 (2015)
CONTACTS
Contact information
Admissions Office
tel: +44 (0) 20 7848 2097 / 2711
fax: +44 (0) 20 7848 7200
Email

PURPOSE
For those who want to work in legal practice (in a variety of capacities - solicitor, advocate on in-house counsel) in the following sectors: the cultural and creative industries (music, film, art and publishing); 'brand' management for medium to large corporations; innovation industries, such as information and digital technology, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. Those from both EU and non-EU countries where the 'knowledge economy' is either developing or already rather crucial will be attracted to this pathway. This pathway allows you to deepen or to broaden your knowledge of law as an academic subject and assists your professional development by enhancing your problem-solving skills in a transnational context. Designed to maximise students' intellectual potential, it also keeps you grounded by drawing on the real world experiences of staff and other practitioners. The LLM offers a sharpened focus on our key areas of excellence and a commitment to offer a premier programme and a world class student experience. Aimed at recent law graduates (or graduates of joint degrees with a significant law content) as well as established legal professionals who may have graduated a number of years ago, the programme is rigorous and demanding and requires serious commitment.

DESCRIPTION

Download the LLM Intellectual Property & Information Law brochure (pdf)

Innovations, creative works, collections of data and communications infrastructure are central components of our digital, global society. How the law is and should be applied to the regulation of these intangible assets are important questions for government and commerce around the world.

That is why the LLM in Intellectual Property & Information Law attracts students from a diverse range of jurisdictions and backgrounds. This is matched by a teaching faculty at King's that comprises a diverse mix of leading academics and practitioners - offering a wide variety of perspectives on  the role of Intellectual Property & Information Law today.

There is a strong international, European and comparative focus to the course and all of our students benefit from access to the wider legal community. Guest speakers, networking events, attendance at external seminars and participation in international mooting competitions are just some of what you can expect on this LLM.

Many members of The Dickson Poon School of Law have made a significant contribution to IP Law and are influential in this area:



STRUCTURE OVERVIEW
Core programme content

You may choose to study one of our specialist LLMs or create a unique programme tailored to your areas of interest. At the start of the semester you will have the opportunity to attend taster lectures and to speak to module leaders before you make a decision on whether to undertake a specialist or tailored LLM.

For all options, you will need to study full or half-modules that add up to a total of 180 credits. A list of all modules is shown below. Each module is worth 40 credits (with half modules worth 20 credits). You will need to select modules of your choice that add up to 120 or 140 credits in total.

To achieve the additional 40 or 60 credits you need to choose between three options: a research project, a practice project or a dissertation.

 

The modules listed below are those related specifically to the LLM in Intellectual Property & Information Law pathway. The general Master of Laws entry lists all available LLM modules.



FORMAT AND ASSESSMENT

In the first and second semester you study your selection of taught modules (half and full). These are in most cases assessed in the third semester (May/June) by written examination, or in some cases by the submission of an assessed essay. Please see further details for each individual module in the module list below.

Dissertation or research essays must be submitted in September, after the May/June examinations.



MODULES
More information on typical programme modules.
NB it cannot be guaranteed that all modules are offered in any particular academic year.


Teaching staff: Dr Barbara Lauriat
Module code: 7FFLA532
Credit level: 7
Credit value: 20
Semester:  Semester 2 (spring) 
Assessment:  written examination/s 

Increasingly, international disputes involving intellectual property issues are being resolved through arbitration, despite some disapproval of the use of alternative dispute resolution for IP cases in the past. The module is aimed helping law students understand this developing situation and exploring some of the particular issues that arise from the application of arbitration as a dispute resolution process in international IP cases. Issues of arbitrability, drafting, choice of law, procedure, broader policy considerations and enforceability specific to international IP cases will be discussed. When possible, the lectures will be supplemented by short presentations from experienced practitioners. This is a specialized module; students are expected to either have studied arbitration before, to be enrolled in International Commercial Arbitration or the Introduction to the International Dispute Resolution or to engage in a series of recommended readings independently. Students need not have previously studied intellectual property law.
Teaching staff: Professor David Llewelyn, Mr John Hull
Module code: 7FFLA555
Credit level: 7
Credit value: 20
Teaching pattern: 

Two-hour lecture.

Indicative/suggested reading: Llewelyn, Invisible Gold in Asia: Creating Wealth through Intellectual Property (Marshall Cavendish, 2010), available on Amazon.


Assessment:  written examination/s 
Two-hour exam.

Module description

Today, intellectual property rights (IPR) are potentially valuable assets. You look at ownership, commercialisation and value protection through dispute resolution and the licensing of patents and know-how, trade marks and copyright, as well as hybrid areas such as merchandising. Covered are: introduction to IP law; patents; know-how and trade secrets; plant varieties; copyrights; trademarks; registered and unregistered designs; IP due diligence in M&A transactions; IT/IS; IP valuation and taking security over IP; the internet and IP; antitrust and IP; protecting value.
Teaching staff: Perry Keller
Module code: 7FFLA519
Credit level: 7
Credit value: 20
Semester:  Semester 1 (autumn) 
Assessment:  written examination/s 

This module offers students a comparative introduction to selected topics in the law of freedom of speech in the European Union (including both European human rights law and member state law with particular attention to English law) and the United States. Developments in legal rights to freedom of speech in other countries are included where particularly significant. The module principally concerns restrictions on the publication of words and images imposed to protect personal reputation or privacy or to safeguard national security and public order. The module places these legal and regulatory restrictions in various contexts, including changing social and political ideas about the purposes of free speech and its legitimate boundaries in liberal democratic societies and market economies; the effects of new communication and other information technologies and services on law and policy; and the significance of distinctively and sometimes radically different constitutionalised doctrines of freedom of speech not only as between European and American law but also with regard to other liberal democratic states.
Teaching staff: Andrea Appella
Module code: 7FFLA576
Credit level: 7
Credit value: 20
Semester:  Semester 2 (spring) 

tbc
Teaching staff: Johnson Okpaluba
Module code: 7FFLA597
Credit level: 7
Credit value: 20
Semester:  Semester 2 (spring) 
Assessment:  written examination/s 

Given the cultural and economic significance of the music industry, music copyright issues are arguably the most pressing of the day in contemporary intellectual property law. This module concerns the music industry and copyright law in the digital age. By 1999, the music industry had endured a period of growth that had endured for the best of a quarter of a century. However since the late 1990s, profits have reportedly been in sharp decline. Some would have us believe that online piracy is responsible for this downturn. However, more nuanced explanations would suggest that there are other factors at play that need to be considered. The music trade media and law journals have in recent times become like a battlefield for music ideology, brought on directly and indirectly by the disruptive technology of digitisation and the Internet. In order to understand the nature of this disruption, we will examine: the historical development of the traditional music industry and its value chain and the rights that underpinned this value chain: and how these rights have been challenged and the legal responses and strategies employed to combat these challenges. In examining these claims we will focus on key turning points for the music industry, namely:
1. MP3 and Napster
The development of music files in MP3 format effectively marked the death knell for physical media distribution of music, CDs and served to introduce new enterprises and competitors to the music industry. Prior to the advent of Napster the music industry had experienced online piracy, but not on the scale represented by Napster. The profitability of the music industry is largely based on exclusive rights of distribution and what Napster served to do was to wrest this control from the music industry in a manner that threatened the very core of the music industry’s value chain. The music industry’s legal response to Napster and similar services will be examined through the case law as it sought to control this disruption and protect its interests.
2. ITunes
With CD sales peaking towards the end of the century, the launch of the Apple Inc. owned iTunes online music service in 2003, has been said to have singlehandedly rescued the music industry and led to the development of the online music market. The music industry having attempted to curtail the potential of technology to disrupt its interests sought to establish alliances with Apple amongst others to utilise the same technological innovation for distribution and copying of music but to make it subordinate to its own interests.
3. Spotify.
Streaming services such as Spotify raise issues such as the shift from ownership of music to access to music, as consumers change their music consumption preferences. This change has served to highlight record label business practices and artist contracts as artists and songwriters seek fairer distribution of revenues from these services. For some artists and songwriters, streaming represents the final nail in the coffin. Whereas record companies are beginning to feel that the record industry is on the road to recovery as revenues grow. This is a constantly changing dynamic as new services move into the streaming environment.

The underlying aim of this course is to examine the effect of the Internet and digitisation on the music industry through the lenses of the actors involved, in particular artists, songwriters, publishing companies and record companies. By music industry, what we will see is that there are really three distinct yet closely related areas of the music industry. First, there is the recorded music industry, which is largely dedicated to the distribution of music to consumers. Second, the music licensing industry, which is focused on licensing music to end users and consumers. Finally, there is the live music industry, which is focused on the promotion and production of live music tours and concerts. The focus will be on the first two aforementioned areas.

We will not only look at the disruptive technologies and the legal responses to them, but we will also examine recording agreements, many of which were in place before the Internet and streaming services existed. Attention will be paid to the copyright aspects of these agreements, but in particular we will look at the construction of contracts that has generated contention between artists and record companies concerning the payment of royalties accrued from streaming services. As revenues have diminished across the music industry, we will highlight how revenue streams have been sought from other avenues, such as the growing trend for record companies to seek so-called 360-degree deals with recording artists. In regards to songwriters we will explore the potential import to them of specific legislation, namely, The Copyright and Rights in Performances (Personal Copies for Private Use) Regulations 2014.

Teaching staff: Professor Kevin Madders
Module code: 7FFLA589
Credit level: 7
Credit value: 20
Semester:  Semester 1 (autumn) 
Assessment:  written examination/s 

The Information Age has transformed society. As mechanical systems powered by coal, steam and later oil and electricity gave us the Industrial Society, so now information and communication technologies (ICT) are giving us an Information Society – the society defining the 21st century.
To an extent, its law breaks down according to familiar technological systems – computers and networks. Cybercrime, specific kinds of intellectual property (e.g. open source software) and often overlooked but important technology-control regimes are thus investigated in a part of the course devoted to the computer. A part on networks in turn introduces general types of electronic communications network for regulatory purposes globally and then examines in particular the EU regulatory system applicable to network and service provision.
But there are further dimensions to Information Society Law. One is the administration of “public good” resources needed for telecommunications, from internet addresses and telephone numbers to the radio frequencies used to carry information over mobile, satellite and other networks. This distinct, transnational “resources” branch of law is today recognized as becoming ever more pivotal, as society becomes more and more dependent on the resources concerned and their management.
The relationship between the Digital State and Citizen intertwines issues of technology, security and liberty. How power and interests play out in this basic relationship will affect us all into the future. The student in this part of the course will also explore a third point in what has become a societal triangle: the role of corporations that control access to services and use of data. Some of today’s keenest legal debate revolves around this triangle's themes and we will bring it into the classroom.
Finally, we will probe into key legal challenges raised by expanding new areas such as robotics, geoinformation, cloud computing and “Big Data”. And students will uncover fundamental information society drivers that “regulate” our world no less than – indeed, more profoundly than – many laws students are usually exposed to. It is vital for the student to understand the changing nature of law-making that such drivers entail; this will be an emphasis across the course’s teaching.

Teaching staff: Professor Tanya Aplin
Module code: 7FFLA025
Credit level: 7
Credit value: 40
Semester:  Full-year 
Teaching pattern: Two-hour lecture.

Indicative/suggested reading: Ricketson and Ginsburg, International Copyright and Neighbouring Rights: The Berne Convention and Beyond 2nd ed. (OUP, 2005).


Assessment:  written examination/s 
Three-hour exam.

Module description

This module is designed to provide an international and comparative study of copyright and authors’ rights. The international Conventions (in particular the Berne Convention and TRIPs) will be examined together with the major features of copyright laws in the leading copyright systems (UK, France and the United States).

The module also has regard to special matters of contemporary interest: for example, moral rights, cable and satellite broadcasting, peer-to-peer file-sharing, software and databases. Although it would be desirable to have a prior knowledge of copyright law, it is not essential.

Teaching staff: Dr Barbara Lauriat and Prof. David Llewelyn
Module code: 7FFLA026
Credit level: 7
Credit value: 40
Semester:  Full-year 
Teaching pattern: Two-hour weekly lecture, one-hour tutorials from week 4/5.

Indicative/suggested reading: There is no textbook for this subject and materials will be posted online as required. Chapters 1, 2 and (particularly) 16 of Cornish, Llewelyn & Aplin Intellectual Property: Patents, Copyright, Trade Marks and Allied Rights (7th edition, 2010) are useful background reading.


Assessment:  written examination/s 
Three-hour exam.

Module description

An historical, economic and comparative examination of the common law and civil law concepts of trademarks, passing off and unfair competition, with particular reference to the UK and commonwealth jurisdictions; the USA; Canada; France and Germany; by looking at the international trade mark regimes and the role and influence of relevant conventions, agreements, protocols and treaties.

Teaching staff: Tanya Aplin
Module code: 7FFLA552
Credit level: 7
Credit value: 20
Semester:  Semester 1 (autumn) 

The aim of this module is to provide you with a detailed understanding of European and UK patent law and the UK law of confidential information (or trade secrets), with particular reference to new technologies, such as biotechnology and information and communication technologies. The key features of European and UK patent law – registration, validity, infringement, exploitation and enforcement - will be examined, taking into account theoretical, policy and practical perspectives. The module will also cover recent developments to the UK law of confidence, both in relation to commercial information (trade secrets) and privacy. It is not essential to have a prior knowledge of patent law or trade secrets.
Teaching staff: Mr Perry Keller & John Hull
Module code: 7FFLA076
Credit level: 7
Credit value: 40
Semester:  Full-year 
Assessment:  written examination/s 

The module concerns the impact of information technologies on the private lives of individuals. The digitisation of information has brought about a multitude of data harvesting and processing technologies that now operate on a global scale. Information processing has become essential not just to finance and commerce, but also to advances in public health, education, crime prevention and economic growth.

In this module, you will study the legal concepts and rules that are used to determine the limits of personal autonomy and consent in the new world of 'big data'. It will focus on rights to privacy and confidentiality as well as countervailing rights and interests in freedom of speech, public order and security and collective well being. We will also examine laws that enable individual access to personal information, such as freedom of information law, and other means of controlling personal information. The module will focus on European legal standards, including their implementation in member states and states outside the European Union, as well as comparison with alternative legal models and concepts, such as those prevailing in the United States and China.


ACADEMIC ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
General entry advice

Minimum requirements to be considered for the LLM:

2:1 degree (or equivalent international qualification) in law (or a degree with at least 70% law content).

Exceptionally, you may be considered where a comparable academic level has been achieved through other graduate studies (such as a Graduate Diploma in Law) and where work or experience (at least three years legal work experience) has made you a suitable candidate for the LLM.

A pdf download of equivalent entry requirements by region is available from the "further information" tab.

NOTE: Meeting the minimum requirements for your application to be considered does not guarantee an offer. Applications for this programme are competitive. See "Applying, fees and funding" for further guidance. 

NON ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS
Enhanced criminal conviction check
Occupational Health clearance required?

APPLYING TO KING'S
To apply for graduate study at King's you will need to complete our graduate online application form. Applying online makes applying easier and quicker for you, and means we can receive your application faster and more securely.
King's does not normally accept paper copies of the graduate application form as applications must be made online. However, if you are unable to access the online graduate application form, please contact the relevant admissions/School Office at King's for advice.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

Applications must be made online using King's online application portal and an application fee of £30 applies (non-refundable). Applications may be submitted from 1 October 2014.
All applications must be made to the generic Master of Laws (LLM) programme. If accepted, and once you have enrolled onto the LLM programme, you will have the opportunity to choose one of our specialist LLMs. At the start of the semester you will have the opportunity to attend taster lectures and to speak to programme/module leaders before you make a decision on whether to do a specialist or tailored LLM.


Please see the LLM FAQ's pdf document for further information on the LLM application process.

 



PERSONAL STATEMENT & SUPPORTING INFORMATION

Please see the LLM FAQ's PDF document for further information on how to complete your application.



FUNDING
We have three exciting scholarship opportunities available for the LLM programme, namely The Yeoh Tiong Lay LLM Scholarships, The Bosco Tso and Emily NG Scholarship Programme and the Nigerian Law Scholars Fund. Please also note that the new Norman Spink Scholarship Fund has recently been announced for 2015 entry. For further information about these scholarships and other available funding for the LLM, please visit http://www.kcl.ac.uk/law/study/scholarships.aspx For UK/EU applicants, please note our King's Master's Support Scheme 2015-16 (deadline for application 29 May 2015), where up to 273 new awards of £10,000 will be available to students looking to pursue masterís study in 2015. These awards are exclusively aimed at widening access to postgraduate study and are joint-funded by the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) and Kingís. For more information on this scheme and other available King's funding, please visit http://www.kcl.ac.uk/study/pg/funding/sources/pgt.aspx


Student profiles

Intellectual Property & Information Law LLM
LLM student: 2009-10

For anyone contemplating pursuing an LLM; King's College London has always been the foremost option. King's global reputation for academic excellence has always attracted a diverse body of talented and motivated international students from all corners of the world. To add to it King's 175 years of legacy and its ranking amongst the World's Top 25 Universities influenced my decision to apply for an LLM at this esteemed institution.

No doubt that the Law School's ideal location, amidst the British Legal World, in my opinion provides a challenging academic environment. But amongst all this, what mattered the most to me was the rich portfolio of modules that the LLM programme offered. The option to tailor your own course so as to allow each student to pursue his or her particular academic interests is really encouraging. For me, the International and Comparative modules with respect to Trademark and Copyright laws allowed me to develop a multi-disciplinary and holistic approach toward my area of specialisation.

In order to ensure that I maximised my intellectual potential to the fullest I was encouraged to attend various seminars and other IP related events. King's also offered me the life time opportunity to be a part of the team that represented King's College London at the Oxford Intellectual Property Moot Court Competition in Oxford. But the most crucial part of my study so far has been my dissertation, wherein my supervisor who is himself an authority on the subject, not only guided me but at all times encouraged me to discuss my ideas and opinions.
Intellectual Property & Information Law LLM

LLM student: 2011-12

I chose King’s due to the excellent reputation of its School of Law and the many different courses available within the Intellectual Property pathway that I am pursuing. Obviously, the central location in the most dynamic city in Europe is a great added bonus.

Although King’s offers a variety of fun social events, interesting seminars and valuable networking events the most rewarding thing about my stay here has undoubtedly been the quality of teaching. King’s professors John Phillips, Tanya Aplin and David Llewelyn are all prominent figures within the world of IP and apart from being talented academics they have been enthusiastic teachers. They make you work hard but the reward is equally great. Further, King’s shares IP courses with other top London universities, inter alia University College London, which has allowed me the pleasure of being taught by arguably the most renowned IP judge in Europe; Professor Sir Robin Jacob.

I was already a practicing IP lawyer in Denmark before coming here but my studies have allowed me to take my knowledge of this complex area of law to a new level. I believe that any student choosing this pathway at King’s will gain a considerable competitive advantage.

Intellectual Property & Information Law LLM
LLM student: 2008-10 (part-time)

My practice as an intellectual property ("IP") solicitor benefited immeasurably from my LLM studies at King's. King's gave me the opportunity to think in detail about the law and its underlying policy. This is not something that you typically get the time to do when managing a busy city practice.

The quality of the lecturing staff was one of the main advantages of studying at King's. I was fortunate to have lecturers in my courses who were all well known academics and practitioners in the field which enhanced my learning experience. The lectures were on the whole engaging and motivated me in my studies.

In terms of facilities, the location of the King's campus was important. I work in the City of London at a leading law firm. At a practical level, it was important that I was able to easily get to and from lectures without too much disruption to my work day. The majority of my lectures were held at King's Strand campus which was an easy 20 minute walk from the office.

London is a fantastic environment for work and study. Many of the leading figures in IP law are based in England so working/studying here gives you the opportunity to meet them in person.

After the programme, I will continue to work in IP/commercial law but would like to continue my interest in European legal policy or academic studies in some form or another.

Staff profiles

Intellectual Property & Information Law LLM

Professor Tanya Aplin specialises in the area of Intellectual Property Law, having joined the Dickson Poon School of Law in September 2002 as a Lecturer. She was previously a Lecturer in Law at Robinson College, Cambridge, and a Research Fellow at Murdoch University. Professor Aplin graduated from Murdoch University, Western Australia with LLB and BA degrees and from the University of Oxford with a BCL and D Phil. She has been a visiting scholar at Boalt School of Law, UCB; a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland; a Senior Visiting Fellow at the School of Law, University of New South Wales and a Senior Fellow at Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne.

Professor Aplin was formerly Head of Education in the School of Law (2008-2012) and is presently Director of the King’s Postgraduate Diploma/MA in UK, EU and US Copyright Law and Director of the LLM in Intellectual Property and Information Law. Professor Aplin’s research lies in the field of intellectual property law. She has published extensively on how digital technologies are regulated by copyright law at an international, European and UK level. Her most recent work concerns the protection of trade secrets and confidential information, with a particular emphasis on the way in which privacy-based decisions are affecting the shape of the action as a whole.