The course provides an introduction to Swiss and European intellectual property law (trademarks, copyright, patent and design rights). Aspects of competition law are treated insofar as they are relevant for the protection of intellectual creations and source designations. The legal principles are developed based on current cases.
The aim of this course is to enable students at ETH Zurich to recognize which rights may protect their creations, and which rights may be infringed as a result of their activities. Students should learn to assess the risks and opportunities of intellectual property rights in the development and marketing of new products. To put them in this position, they need to know the prerequisites and scope of protection afforded by the various intellectual property rights as well as the practical difficulties involved in the enforcement of intellectual property rights. This knowledge is imparted based on current rulings and cases.
Another goal is to enable the students to participate in the current debate over the goals and desirability of protecting intellectual creations, particularly in the areas of copyright (keywords: fair use, Creative Commons, Copyleft) and patent law (software patents, patent trolls, patent thickets).
Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)