ELSA Copenhagen’s Summer Law School 2016

Intellectual Property Rights in an European Perspective


ELSA Copenhagen’s summer Law School 2016 focused in the subject of ‘Intellectual Property Rights in a European Perspective’. The law school will take place from the 24th to the 31st of July 2016 and will be held in English. The target group of the law school is every European law student who wishes to use their law education across borders as well as to show their interest in a specific subject that reaches beyond their curriculum.

The ELSA Law School focused on the increasing globalisation and the effect this has on international trade and competition. Every company has to compete to be the best and it is therefore crucial to apply for patents, trademarks, industrial design protection and other intellectual property rights to avoid being left behind by competitors from close as well as distant parts of the world. A way for the European companies to survive the globalisation is their knowledge, know-how, inventions, inventiveness and creativity. The globalisation requires a set of common rules for intellectual property rights to ensure similar rights around the world.

The legislation of intellectual property and the enforcement for infringement is different in each country, even within the European Union Member States. There has been made international attempts to align the legislation and it has partly been achieved through international treaties and conventions such as the World Trade Organization Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, The European Patent Convention, but also the European Union has made legislation that harmonises the intellectual property rights through regulations and directives. All the common legislation has ensured certain common rules that make protection possible in more countries and the requirements for protection uniform, but enforcement is still regulated by national law.

Large companies often use a lot of resources protecting themselves against copies and exploitation of their work and characteristics, like their trademark or design. If a company has a trademark with a certain reputation and that trademark is used unlawfully or if it gets plagiarized and is of poorer quality than the original product, the company undeservedly risks bad publicity which can cause irreparable damage to their previously good brand.

The purpose of this law school was analyse how the right-holders can best protect themselves against infringement of their rights such as copies of patent or copyright protected works, illegal use of trademark and how the intellectual property right is enforced in the case of misuse.

The law school included classes and lectures with a possibility for the students to actively participate in discussions of the benefits and problems regarding Intellectual Property Rights. The first lecture was an introduction to Intellectual Property Rights, including the purpose for the legal area and a short overview of each area within the topic. There was also several visits to some of the top law firms in Denmark, and each of them had a certain topic that they would lecture about. It was also possible to experience how intellectual property rights work at a practical level and outside the law firms, when the participants visited one of Denmark’s most important manufacturers of medicine, Novo Nordisk A/S.