By successfully concluding this course, the students are expected to:
- become familiar with the english legal terminology in the rapidly evolving field of intellectual property law
- understand the meaning as well as the impact of the presented legal institutions (i.e. EU trademark, European Patent v. Unitary Patent, European Patent Office, Unitary Patent Court e.t.c.) on the unification process of the single market and (on) its effective operation
- understand in depth the meaning and function of the general principles of IP Law and, in particular, realize the "fragile" relationship between the principal of territoriality (applicable to IP Law) and the fundamental principle of free movement of goods, that governs EU Law
- get to know the "enforcement measures" against the infringement of IP-Rights provided for in Directive 2004/48/EC and, as result, they will be in a position to critically evaluate the civil remedies enacted by the relevant domestic laws (i.e. L. 2121/1993, 4072/2014 etc.) in the context of their harmonisation to the above Directive.
Course Content (Syllabus)
A) General introduction to the nature of intellectual property, the rationale of protection and the different international legal instruments, including the Paris and Berne Convention, the TRIPS Agreement and the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT). Short overview of the current state of EU legislation on IP, mainly focusing on trademarks, patents and copyright, including the horizontal Enforcement Directive 2004/48/EC and the E-Commerce Directive 2000/31/EC, that regulates the conditions under which ISPs are to be held liable for content hosted by them. Brief explanation of the primacy of EU Law and the interplay between the international conventions and EU IP-Law.
B) Patents in Europe: Short overview of the development of patent law in Europe, focusing on the advantages and disadvantages of the European Patent vis a vis the (recent) Unitary Patent. Explanation of the legal framework underlying the European Patent, which is regulated by the European Patent Convention (EPC) of 1973, as well as of the developments of the unitary patent and the unitary paten court, which are regulated by Regulations 1257/2012/EU and 1260/2012/EU, respectively.
C) Trademarks in Europe: overview of the trademark law framework in Europe, explaining the two-tier system consisting of the Trademark Directive (TMD) and the Community Trademark Regulation (CTMR), as in force today. Since trademark protection in Europe is harmonized to the greatest possible extent, students will be guided through the most important substantive law provisions relating, for example, to the requirements of protection, absolute and relative grounds for refusal, scope of rights and loss of rights, whereas a short reference to the respective decisions of the ECJ, where it is deemed appropriate, will be made.
D) Copyrigh in Europe: A short historic overview of the objectives of copyright law followed by the presentation of the recent developments (i.e. the new communication technologies and, most importantly, the Internet) that changed the protectable subject matter of Copyright and facilitated its cross-border exploitation. In this context, the harmonization process of copyright law in Europe, as realised through the enactment of the relevant 9 (nine) Copyright Directives (as of January 2015), is discussed.
E) Short reference to adjacent areas of protection, which are of growing relevance in practice but do not fit into the scheme provided by the "classical" IP rights, such as: plant varieties, geographical indications, industrial designs etc.
F) Attempts for and significance of the harmonization of legal remedies that are available in cases of intellectual property infringement. In this context, the dual nature and content of the term "infringement" is discussed, whereas special emphasis is given to the Enforcement Directive of Intellectual Property Rights 2004/48/EC, that harmonizes the civil sanctions available to injured right holders.
G) The course ends up with a reference to the enforcement of IPRs on the Internet, outlining the particular difficulties that might arise for any right holder wishing to get hold of an alleged infringer. In this context, liability of Internet Service Providers (ISPs), as set out in Directive 2000/31/EC (E-Commerce Directive), is explained and illustrated by interesting ECJ case law.
intellectual property rights (IPRs), patents, trademarks, copyright, harmonisation, unification of IP-laws, territoriality, free movement of goods,