2019-2020 / DROI2316-2

International aspects of the proctection of intellectual property


20h Th

Number of credits

 Specialised master in European law3 crédits 


Bernard Vanbrabant

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

The subject of the course concerns the protection of intellectual property at the international level. This subject rests on two pillars: on the one hand the conventions of Paris and Berne, administered by WIPO, and on the other hand the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), agreed upon in the context of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). We begin naturally by evoking the history of these conventions, the reasons that lie at their foundation and their value in the respective national legal orders.
Subsequently, the course will consider the registration of international industrial (patents and designs), or commercial (trade marks) property titles, from a practical viewpoint (explication of procedures of registration and online search).
Questions regarding private international law - competent court and applicable law - will be addressed afterwards with support of the relevant (mainly EU) legislation.
In this litigation context, we will dedicate special attention to the protection against the influx of counterfeit goods at the borders of the European Union. One class will be attributed to the question of exhaustion of intellectual property rights, which lies at the heart of the relation between this field of the law and the law of international trade. On this occasion, a comparison will be made between the system in place in the European Union and the US doctrine of 'first sale'.
Finally, certain international issues linked to the interaction between intellectual property and other freedoms and fundamental rights - specifically protection of public health and access to culture - will be dealt with.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of the course, students will be able to:
- perform research into the online registers in order to assess the scope of protection of immaterial assets, including its territorial scope;
- determine the competent courts for a conflict in the area of intellectual property, as well as the applicable legislation
- understand the complex relationship between IPRs, trade and development, at both the EU and the international level;
- follow up and comprehend new developments regarding TRIPs.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

A mastery of the basics of European substantive law is required.
Earlier participation in an introduction to IP law is useful.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The basic principles will be explained by the professor in light of the relevant legal texts.
The students are invited to perform preperatory readings.

Mode of delivery (face-to-face ; distance-learning)

Face to face learning

Recommended or required readings

Readings will be recommended throughout the course, with a view to preparing the next class.
They include:
- the applicable international conventions and regulations
- case law of the CJEU and the WTO panels
- articles from journals and legal reviews
In order to prepare the first class, the students are invited to read:
- the Paris convention For the Protection of Industrial Property
Paris Convention
- The Madrid Agreement and Protocol concerning the international registration of trade marks.
Madrid Agreement 
Madrid Protocol 
- The Patent Cooperation Treaty.

Assessment methods and criteria

The students will be evaluated on:
- A short article or note regarding a very specific topic of choice, connected with international intellectual property rights.
- Oral exam during January session.

Work placement(s)

Organizational remarks


Bernard Vanbrabant
B33 - IEJE (2nd floor)
Dietger Glorieux dietger.glorieux@ulg.ac.be

Brieuc Geuzaine