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. 


Emma Douglas
Emma Douglas
As a Biology major, I really enjoyed what Intellectual Property had to offer: it complemented my science degree with the differences between patents, trademarks and copyrights - which are incredibly important for scientific developments and inventions. I also found the material to be very interesting.
Emma Douglas
Alex Gonzales
Alex Gonzales
The interesting thing about IP law that you begin to understand as you move through the course is that every product, service and advertisement you encounter is a product of the development of IP.
Alex Gonzales

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.

Course Offering (may be subject to change)

Intellectual Property Law (Law 206/706) is offered every January and May. 

Assessment Weighting (may be subject to change)

Quizzes (Individual) 15%
Discussions (Individual) 15%
Fact Scenario (Individual) 20%
NDA Exercise (Group) 10%
Licensing Exercise (Individual) 15%
Licensing Exercise (Group) 15%
Final Quiz (Not Proctored) 10% 

Course Materials 

Required textbook can be purchased through Queen's Campus Bookstore or directly from Irwin Law

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