Law, Regulation, and Technology - Master
- ECTS credits
- Teaching semesters
- Course code
- Number of semesters
Objectives and Content
This course considers contemporary issues at the interface of Law, Regulation, and Technology. Its starting point is the traditional idea of Law as the primary means by which social and political life are regulated, and of the State as the primary regulatory actor. Through a series of case studies involving intellectual property (IP), we ask how this conception sits with the reality of regulation in the current advanced technological age. The objectives are to introduce students to some of the most important and pressing legal issues of today, and to enable them to engage in contemporary debates regarding (a) Technology as a source of regulatory opportunities and challenges for States, and (b) the role of Law, including IP Law particularly, in exploiting and negotiating them.
Schedule of Classes
The course will be taught in 12 seminars during the Autumn semester, following this or a similar schedule:
Class 1: Law, Regulation, and Technology
- The nature of Law, Regulation, and Technology
- Technology as a source of regulatory opportunities and challenges for States
- Law in an advanced technological age
Class 2: Intellectual Property
- The nature of Intellectual Property
- The role of IP Law historically and today
- Conceptions of IP, including as a regulatory tool and system
Classes 3 to 5: Patent Systems and Modern Biotech
- Arguments for (and Against) Patents
- Modern Biotech and its disruption of Patent Law
- Contemporary Patent Issues: inventions, incentives, and public benefit; gene and medical patenting
Classes 5 (continued) to 7: Copyright in Cyberspace
- Arguments for (and Against) Copyright
- The Internet and its disruption of Copyright Law
- Contemporary Copyright Issues: works, rights, and third-party freedoms; media monitoring, hyperlinking, and online hosting
Classes 8 and 9: Trade Marks in the Platform Economy
- Arguments for (and Against) Trade Marks
- The Platform Economy and its disruption of Trademark Law
- Contemporary Trademark Issues: brands, TM functions, and liability; extended protections, keyword advertising, and platform operators
Classes 10 and 11: (Intellectual) Property and Big Data
- Arguments for (and Against) Data Protection
- AI and its disruption of Data Protection
- Contemporary Data Protection Issues: regulatory agendas and approaches, (surveillance) capitalism; privacy, property, and proposals for reform
Class 12: Concluding Themes
All students are expected to prepare in advance for class and to participate in class discussions.
After successful completion of this course, students will have:
- Advanced knowledge of key contemporary debates in the field of Law, Regulation, and Technology, including specialised insight into some of the regulatory challenges created for Law and the State by advanced digital and bio technologies;
- Thorough knowledge of scholarly theories and methods in the field of Law, Regulation, and Technology, particularly as they relate to IP;
- The ability to apply this knowledge to new areas within the fields of Law, Regulation, and Technology, and IP;
- The ability to analyse academic problems on the basis of the history, traditions, distinctive character, and place in society of Law, Regulation, and Technology, and particularly of IP.
Students will also have developed certain skills and general competence, including:
- The ability to analyse and engage critically with doctrinal, policy, and theoretical sources of different types, and to use those sources to structure and formulate persuasive scholarly arguments in the fields covered by the course;
- The ability to apply their knowledge and skills when thinking about new problems in the fields of Law, Regulation, and Technology, and IP;
- The ability to work independently and to carry out independent, limited research in the fields of Law, Regulation, and Technology, and IP;
- The ability to write clearly, coherently, and persuasively on legal and policy issues in the fields of Law, Regulation, and Technology, and IP.
Level of Study
Semester of Instruction
Place of Instruction
Faculty of Law, University of Bergen
(The course requires in-person attendance and is not suitable for online/remote study)
Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
Combined with JUS298-2-A Law, Regulation and Technology or JUS2305 Law, Regulation and Technology, this course will generate no new credits.
The course combines successfully with several courses offered in Spring, including:
Access to the Course
The course is available for students:
- Admitted to the five-year master programme in law
- Admitted to the two-year master programme in law
- Granted admission to elective courses at the Faculty of Law
- Granted additional right to study following completed Master in Law degree at UiB
- Exchange students at the Faculty of Law
The pre-requirements may still limit certain students' access to the course.
Teaching and learning methods
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Students are required to submit a paper of between 1,800 and 2,000 words (not including footnotes or appendices) on a designated topic. The paper must be approved by the Class leader (Professor J. Pila). Only students who have had their paper approved will obtain the right to sit the exam.
Students who fail the paper will have a chance to resubmit their paper before the exam.
Forms of Assessment
One three-hour digital school exam, sat after the final seminar in the Autumn semester. (Information about digital examination can be found at http://www.uib.no/en/education/87471/digital-examination.)
- Question paper: English
- Answer paper: English
Examination Support Material
Support materials allowed during school exam
See section 3-5 of the Supplementary Regulations for Studies at the Faculty of Law at the University of Bergen.
Special regulations about dictionaries
- According to the Regulations for Studies, one dictionary is permitted support material during the examination. Bilingual dictionaries containing for example both Norwegian-English and English-Norwegian are considered as one dictionary;
- Bilingual dictionaries to/from the same two languages - for example Norwegian-English/English-Norwegian - in two different volumes are also considered as one dictionary (irrespective of publisher or edition);
- Dictionaries as described above cannot be combined with any other types of dictionaries;
- Any kind of combination which makes up more than two physical volumes is forbidden;
- In case a student has a special need for any other combination than the above mentioned, such combination has to be clarified with/approved by the course coordinator minimum two weeks before the exam. Students who have not been granted permission to have a special combination minimum two weeks before the exam will be subject to the usual regulations (Section 3-5) about examination support materials.