Intellectual property (IP), in particular copyright, trademarks and patents, covers innovative and creative human achievements. Its protection progresses according to technological advancement and economic and social changes. As a result, the scope and shape of IP regimes is fluid: they require continuous adaptation and devise solutions for evolving challenges. The purpose of the seminar is not to cover the entire field, but to introduce into and reflect upon the function of IP protection and its guiding principles. Accordingly, the seminar proposes a functionalist perspective, under which IP protection in a given field / for a given achievement (invention, creation, investment …) is granted by the legislator only because, and to the extend needed, to achieve certain public objectives and results. Under a functionalist approach, the scope and shape of a given field of IP should be determined by its public objectives and capable of achieving them as best as possible. Allegedly, this is not always the case with existing legislation. From that angle, the seminar discusses EU IP law as it stands as well as the policy driving the development of that body of law.
Professor: Thomas JAEGER