What's the big idea – and how do you protect it?

Whether you're an inventor, a coder, a poet or an entrepreneur, you're in the I.P. business – even if you don't know it. Learn how to protect your creations, or how best to work with others in bringing great ideas to life.

This course offers a general overview of intellectual property law in Canada, from a practical perspective.

It explores trade secrets and patentable inventions, how to recognize and protect trademarks, when copyright applies and when it’s infringed, and reviews typical license terms. 

Students will learn the forms of intellectual property protection available, and why it’s important to their future careers and/or business ventures. 

Course Learning Outcomes (CLO)

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • CLO 1: Identify what IP applies to protect various subject matter.
  • CLO 2: Explain the appropriate steps to ensure various forms of IP protection.
  • CLO 3: Identify issues in Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) and confidentiality clauses, specifically when applied to IP protection.
  • CLO 4: Analyze options for commercializing and/or sharing IP for particular subject matter and desires of ‘inventor’/owner.
  • CLO 5: Construct a license clause to reflect particular IP sharing/licensing desires to a professional standard.
  • CLO 6: Apply appropriate rationale for mode of protection.
  • CLO 7: Assess IP infringement claims, risk, and weigh consequences thereof.
  • CLO 8: Describe foundational concepts of intellectual property relevant to a business.

Assessment Weighting

Quizzes (3)


Discussions (3)


Fact Scenario (Individual) 20%
NDA Exercise (Group) 10%
Licensing Exercise (Individual) 15%
Licensing Exercise (Group) 15%
Final Quiz 10%

Course Materials 

Required Textbook from the Queen's Campus Bookstore:

Intellectual Property Law, 2nd Edition, Toronto: Irwin Law. Vaver, D. (2011)