Programme structure (courses and timing)
The LL.M. in IP/ICT Law consists of the following courses:
European Copyright and Neighbouring Rights LawThe aim of the course is to offer an in-depth introduction to the basic rules of international and European copyright law. The place of copyright amongst other IPRs is discussed and includes an overview of the international and European legislative framework. Basic concepts of traditional copyright law such as the criteria for protection, issues of authorship and ownership, economic and moral rights and exceptions and limitations are reviewed. Another part of the course deals with related protection schemes and in particular focuses on the protection of neighbouring rights, databases, computer programs and technological measures (DRM). A final chapter aims at exploring several topical issues that emerged from challenges of the information society such as peer-to-peer technologies, user generated content sites, collective management on-line and digital libraries.
European Patent LawThe objective of this course is to provide an in depth analysis of the European patent law system and to offer some practical training in patent claim drafting and patent prior art search. In addition, some topical aspects in current patent law will be highlighted. During the first part of the seminar emphasis will be placed on the legal framework and case law of the European Patent Office. Particular attention will be drawn to patentable subject matter, patentability requirements, granting and appeal procedures, scope of protection and rights of patentees. References will be made to the regime in a selection of member states, the implications of the TRIPs Agreement and the United States patent framework. Emphasis will also be placed on practical aspects of patenting. The structure of a patent, the patent classification system, patent databases and search methods, as well as patent claim drafting will be examined. Especially this practical part will require the active participation of attending students. During the second part of the seminar attention will be drawn to some delicate issues in current paten law. The patent regime for biotechnological inventions will be examined from technical, legal and ethical perspective. The patentability of software and business methods will be studied as well.
European Trademark LawThe aim of the course is to offer an in-depth introduction to the basic rules of international and European trademark law. Following an introductory chapter introducing the important international treaties (such as the Paris Convention, the Madrid Agreement and TRIPS) and exploring the harmonization efforts in the European Union, the course will provide an in depth review of the provisions, application and procedural aspects of the European Community Trademark system. In particular, the course will provide an extensive examination of the legal provisions that deal with basic concepts and validity requirements, registration proceedings, scope of the exclusive rights, invalidity and revocation grounds, collective marks and procedural aspects. The emphasis is on close analysis of the 1998 Trademark Directive and the 2003 Trademark Regulation as well as on case law of the Court of Justice. Features of trademark law which vary from country to country will also be looked at. Other topics to be covered are the EU strategy to enforce intellectual property rights and the problems raised by use of trademarks on the internet.
Electronic Business LawThe objective of this course is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the most relevant legal aspects of doing business online. - Electronic commerce in Europe: facts and figures, EU policies, general and sector-specific trends and developments - Starting an online business in Europe: legal issues related to identity management and internet domain names; - Which law is applicable to internet commerce? Which jurisdiction is competent in case of disputes? - Market rules: competition law issues related to e-business with an overview of the most relevant EU cases in this area; regulation of specific online markets (e.g. health sector, pharmaceuticals, online gambling, etc.); legal framework of B2B markets; the EU 98/34 procedure; - European electronic commerce directive (information society services, co-ordinated field, rule of origin, commercial communication, electronic contracting, regulated professions, liability of intermediaries); - E-money and e-payment: internet and mobile payments, the EU payment services and e-money directives; - Electronic commerce and taxation, incl. legal issues with regard to electronic invoicing - Consumer protection: application of the EU legal framework of consumer protection and distance contracts to online commerce Recent regulatory and policy developments in Europe are studied more closely via class discussions and guest lectures by field experts.
Media LawThis course strives to equip participants with a thorough understanding of European media law and policy. It consists of four major parts: - Protection of freedom of expression and information in Europe, especially under Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Article 11 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights: what is protected and unprotected speech? What can we learn from the case law of the European Court of Human Rights relating to prohibition of hate speech; defamation; obscenity; privacy; court reporting; protection of minors; commercial speech; political and artistic freedom of expression; freedom of speech and religion; the rights of journalists (including journalistic sources secret)? - EU regulation of the audio-visual sector: whereas newspapers and magazines have been mainly left to self-regulate, radio and television broadcasting have always been subject to a detailed body of state legislation because of their perceived greater impact on public opinion and intrusiveness. The Audio-visual Media Services Directive – the cornerstone of broadcasting legislation in the EU – will be analysed in connection with other EU legal instruments and policy documents (e.g. the Council Recommendations on the protection of minors and human dignity, initiatives on media concentration and pluralism etc.). - Co- and self-regulatory mechanisms in the media sector in Europe, in particular in the area of protection of minors, the journalistic profession (e.g. ethical codes for journalists, press councils…) and the advertising sector. - Economic regulation of media markets: competition law and sports media rights; mergers and acquisitions; state aid and public service broadcasting. Throughout the course, special attention will be paid to the impact of the internet and social media on existing legal rules (e.g. citizen journalism and user generated content; connected TV; search engines; online social networks…).
Interdisciplinary Aspects of ICTThe aim of this course consists in introducing the students to a series of non-legal aspects of ICT, ranging from technological and economic to socio-political perspectives. The course presents students with the most relevant ICT technical, business and sociological concepts, such as: - Overview, evolution and trends of ICT products and services markets; - Standardization in the ICT sector; - Fixed and wireless electronic communications networks; - Introduction in information security and cryptography; - Essential technical concepts of computer architectures and system software - Basics of computer programming and program languages; - Databases and enterprise applications - Semiconductors – Nanotechnology - Information retrieval – Search engines – Artificial intelligence - Media systems, policies & governance in Europe and beyond - Media and communications research - Audience and media effects studies Throughout the course, recent technical developments and market trends are studied more closely via class discussions and guest lectures by ICT industry representatives and leading ICT researchers. It is import to stress that this course does not require a technical background and that it is precisely intended to introduce legal students in the most elementary technical and market concepts, necessary to efficiently provide legal services in the field of ICT.
Electronic communications LawThis course offers a comprehensive overview of EU telecommunications regulation. It starts with the international context (WTO, ITU…) and an abridged history of this regulation to gain a clear appreciation of the key regulatory trends. Through a short overview of the various liberalisation and harmonisation directives adopted between 1988-1998, and by zooming in on the two major reviews in 2002 and 2009, the development from liberalisation to regulated competition will be discussed. A major part of the course is dedicated to a detailed analysis of the current regulatory framework, consisting of five Directives and two Regulations (Framework Directive, Access Directive, Authorisation Directive, Universal Service Directive, ePrivacy Directive, BEREC Regulation, Roaming Regulation), which are complemented by a set of Decisions, Recommendations and Communications on, amongst others, spectrum policy and market analysis. Key issues that will be discussed include: SMP regime (General principles; three criteria test; market definition; finding of dominance - SMP designation; remedies), interconnection and access regulation, consumer rights, licensing and access to the market, universal service. The role, organisation and tasks of the national regulatory authorities, and the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC), are analysed in the light of the directives, case law of the Court of Justice and General Court, and national case studies. The course also studies the relation between sector regulation and general competition law, and discusses landmark cases on abuse of dominance (Deutsche Telekom; Wanadoo; Telefonica, Telekomunikacja Polska), cartels (e.g. sector inquiry on roaming) and state aid (e.g. several cases and Commission guidelines on state aid for broadband investment). Throughout the course, recent regulatory and policy developments, including the Digital Agenda, network neutrality, mobile roaming, etc., are studied more closely via class discussions and guest lectures by field experts.
European Privacy and Data Protection LawThe EU Charter of Fundamental Rights makes a distinction between the right of everyone to respect for his or her private and family life, home and communications, on the one hand, and the right of everyone to the protection of personal data concerning him or her. This distinction will also determine the content of this course. Its first part will, after an historical overview of the evolution of privacy rights in Europe and in the USA, in particular be dedicated to a comprehensive analysis of the privacy right and in particular of the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights and of national courts regarding article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights. In the second part of the course the focus will be on the most relevant legislation and case law with regard to the protection of personal data: - Council of Europe Convention 108 and the most relevant recommendations of the Council of Ministers with regard to personal data protection; - Directive 95/46/EC (“the general data protection directive), its transposition in the Member States, the case law of the European Court of Justice, the opinions of the Art. 29 Working Party and of the European Data Protection Supervisor, the European Commission’s decisions on international transfers of personal data, the review of the EU regulatory framework, etc. - Directive 2002/58/EC concerning the protection of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector, relevant provisions of the Directive 2002/22/EC on universal service and users’ rights in the electronic communications sector, Directive 2006/24/EC on the retention of data generated in public electronic communications networks and services, etc. - Framework Decision 2008/977/JHA on the protection of personal data in the framework of police and judicial cooperation (incl. the proposed EU directive). Throughout this part of the course, recent regulatory and policy developments in the field of data protection are studied more closely via class discussions and guest lectures by field experts, leading functionaries of the EC, the Art. 29 WP and the EDPS. A third part of the course will be dedicated to practical workshops on the implementation of privacy and data protection rules in public and private organizations (drafting of privacy policies, contracts for international data transfers, binding corporate rules, etc.). Specialised and experienced legal practitioners will provide guidance to the students during these practical workshops.
Electronic Contracts LawThis course has a double ambition. In the first place it aims at making students familiar with a series of legal issues related to the management of contracts concluded via electronic means (“online contracting”). This part of the course deals with international, European and national rules with regard to pre-contractual information duties and other related issues, choice of applicable law and competent jurisdiction, electronic public procurement, click-wrap and other techniques to collect a contract partner’s agreement, the European legal framework for electronic signatures, legal issues related to the provision of evidence, legal rules on electronic archiving, online dispute resolution, etc. Relevant in this context are the UNCITRAL Model Laws on electronic commerce and electronic signatures. The European approach of the e-commerce Directive will be compared to the US Uniform Electronic Transactions Act and the E-Sign Act. In the second place it aims at transferring knowledge and practical skills with regard to the negotiation, conclusion and management of contracts related to ICT. Examples of such contracts relate to: - application development and hosting; - maintenance and licensing; - service level agreements; - provision of cloud services (ASP/SaaS); - fixed and mobile network infrastructure and services. For these various types of contracts particular attention will be given to crucial issues such as architecture requirements, open standards, reporting, acceptance procedures, data security, ownership, confidentiality, liabilities, termination, migration, disaster recovery, etc. Specialised and experienced legal practitioners will provide guidance to the students in a series of practical workshops.
Public Government and Cybercrime LawThe focus of this course is on the role of the State in the online environment. On the one hand it deals with the most important challenges presented to governments in order to adapt public administration and public law to the digital society. Some of the most relevant topics dealt with in this part of the course are: - General principles of e-government, electronic identity management, interoperability on a national and European level, etc. - Sector-specific regulatory developments in Europe in the area of electronic public administration: e-justice, e-health, e-taxation, spatial data infrastructures, etc. - Access and re-use of government data, incl. Directive 2003/98/EC (PSI directive) and its review; On the other hand the course provides an overview of regulatory mechanisms to protect citizens and society against online risks. In this perspective, course sessions will be dedicated to e.g. - European policy and regulation in the area of cyber security and the protection of critical information infrastructures; - Council of Europe Cybercrime Convention and the EU legal framework with regard to attacks against information systems; - Cross-border police cooperation and information exchange (EIXM), EURODAC, Schengen and Visa Information Systems. Throughout the course, recent regulatory and policy developments, including the Digital Agenda, are studied more closely via class discussions and guest lectures by field experts.
Timing & locationCourses will be taught in the evening (from 6 pm onwards) in Brussels.
It is possible to participate in the programme on a part-time basis, spreading the programme over two years.