LL4BQ      Half Unit
Trade Mark Law

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Luke McDonagh


This course is available on the LLM (extended part-time), LLM (full-time), MSc in Law, Anthropology and Society and University of Pennsylvania Law School LLM Visiting Students. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course will be relevant to the following LLM specialisms: Intellectual Property Law; Information Technology, Media and Communications Law.

This course has a limited number of places and we cannot guarantee all students will get a place.



Course content

This course offers in depth analysis of legislation and case law concerning trade marks in the UK and EU. In so doing the module considers relevant developments in international and comparative law. Topics covered include: national, regional and international trade mark registration systems; absolute grounds and relative grounds of refusal; the scope of trade mark rights; trade mark infringement; exceptions and defences; and the ownership of brand image in the context of the interaction between consumers and corporate brands.


This course will have two hours of teaching content each week in Michaelmas Term, either in the form of a two hour seminar or an online lecture and one hour class. There will be a Reading Week in Week 6 of Michaelmas Term.

Formative coursework

One 2,000 word essay.

Indicative reading

Core Textbook - S Karapapa and L McDonagh, Intellectual Property Law 1st edition (OUP, Oxford 2019).   Students will be expected to read widely in designated journals and books. All of the recommended cases and journal articles are available in electronic form and additional materials will be made available on the Moodle website which supports this course. A detailed reading list will be provided for the course, but the following are indicative: Available in the Library: L Bently, J Davis, J Ginsburg (eds) Trade Marks & Brands: An Interdisciplinary Critique (CUP, Cambridge 2008); A Arvidsson, Brands. Meaning and Value in Media Culture (Routledge, London 2006);  C Lury, Brands. The Logos of the Global Economy (Routledge, London 2004); G Dinwoodie & M Janis (eds) Trade Mark Law and Theory: A Handbook of Contemporary Research (Edward Elgar, Cheltenham 2008); S Maniatis & D Botis, Trade Marks in Europe: A Practical Jurisprudence 2nd ed (Sweet & Maxwell, London 2010).


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the summer exam period.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2020/21: 27

Average class size 2020/21: 13

Controlled access 2020/21: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills