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Cambridge Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance

Master of Law (LLM), Paper 36


Henning Grosse Ruse-Khan

 The course focuses on how intellectual property (IP) is regulated under international law, primarily via treaties protecting copyright trade-marks and patents. Since IP touches upon a range of other areas of international law – such as trade, investment, human rights and biological diversity – the course also examines some of these interfaces. Ideally, students already have some acquaintance with IP law at a national level or are taking the IP paper but this is no prerequisite. Similarly, basic knowledge of public international law is an advantage, but not required.

1.        General

a)        Rationale, history, actors and main principles of the International IP system.

b)        International IP in the World Trade Organization (WTO): interpretation, dispute, settlement and compliance.

2.        Specific areas of IP protection

a)        The international system for copyright protection (the revised Berne Convention, TRIPS, the WIPO ‘internet’ Treaties and the Marrakesh Treaty); responses to thedigital, network environment

b)        International trade mark protection (Paris Convention, TRIPS) and registration (Madrid Agreement, Madrid Protocol); geographical indications; public policy challenges.

c)        Patent rights in international IP law (Paris Convention, TRIPS) and in other areas of international law (public health, human rights, biological diversity and traditional knowledge)

d)        The enforcement of IP rights

3.        IP in the wider context of international law

a)        IP protection under free trade agreements (FTAs)

b)        International Investment Law and IP rights

c)        Human rights and IP