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Jean Monnet Module: European Union Intellectual Property Law and Policy

In 2016, Dr Benjamin Farrand was awarded a Jean Monnet Module on behalf of the University of Warwick’s School of Law. This postgraduate teaching seeks to bring together legal and political education concerning the EU’s actions in the field of intellectual property law through content delivered by resident academics and guest lecturers expert in the field, with transversal skills development through the use of innovative high impact activities, allowing students the opportunity to prepare for a range of different employment opportunities. Intellectual property law is often taught in a national context, with references to the necessity of implementing international and EU-based obligations. The added value of this Module is in making the EU dimension the core focus of legal study – providing a holistic account of the development of the EU’s particular approaches to copyright, patents, trade marks, geographical indications of origin and trade secrecy, and how they have both been shaped, and in turn shape the national and international arenas. Furthermore, the Module provides for a further contextualisation and analysis of the EU’s intellectual property laws and policies by exploring the political dimension of law-making, the different stakeholders involved in the legislative process, and the interaction between intellectual property laws specifically and the broader internal market and Common Commercial Policy goals identified by the EU.

The Jean Monnet Module comprises lectures, seminars, and formal training in advocacy, negotiation and legislative drafting. Through this diverse range of activities, students are provided with the opportunity to gain a deep, proactive knowledge of EU intellectual property laws and policies, and the ability to then advocate reforms of the existing system from a range of different stakeholder perspectives. The combination of this expert knowledge and skills development will aid students in a range of professional activities subsequent to the completion of their studies, including (but not limited to) legal practice, lobbying and advocacy, and working for national, European and international organisations. For non-EU students, many of whom come from the EU’s Partner Countries, a more nuanced understanding of the role, function and day-to-day activities of the EU institutions will be hugely beneficial for their own professional development. The range of assessments for the Module are tailored to the range of knowledge and skills harnessed by students, including the writing of policy documents, stakeholder position papers, legislative drafts and the participation in a ‘simulation exercise’, similar to the Model UN, in which students represent a stakeholder in a Commission Working Group Meeting prior to the drafting of a legislative proposal.

Students also have the opportunity to engage in a range of optional activities, such as the preparation of blog posts on current developments in the field of EU IP law, and participation in an event planned for early 2018, in which a range of speakers will be brought together to consider the relation between the EU and UK in the field of intellectual property in light of the UK referendum on withdrawal from the bloc, and the challenges facing the EU’s Common Commercial Policy in light of growing scepticism regarding the value of globalisation and free trade. This event will also be open to the public, as will a series of recorded lectures made available to further awareness of EU intellectual property law and policy. More information on the content of the Module can be found here (http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/law/current/pg/modules/LA9F6) and here (http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/law/current/pg/modules/LA9FD).

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union