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Postgraduate course

Law, Regulation, and Technology

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterAutumn
  • Course codeJUS298-2-A
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

Main content

ECTS Credits


Level of Study

Master level

Teaching semester


Place of Instruction

Bergen Law Faculty

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 objective 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 10 seminars (total = 15 hours) during the first semester, following this or a similar schedule:

Class 1: Law, Regulation, and Technology

  • The nature of Law, Regulation, and Technology
  • IP Law historically and today: the music industry; medical R&D; brands
  • Technology as a source of regulatory opportunities and challenges for States: Technology as a regulatory tool; Technology providers as regulatory actors; Artificial Intelligence
  • The evolution of regulatory systems: the domain name system
  • Comparing (e.g., European and US) approaches to (IP) Law, Regulation, and Technology
  • Conceptions of IP, including as a regulatory tool and system

Classes 2 and 3: Patent Systems and Modern Biotech

  • Patents as regulatory system
  • Biotech¿s `disruption¿ of patent law
  • Modern patent disputes
  • Genetic material and essential medicines: nature v. invention; the public interest and morality exclusion; compulsory licensing

Classes 4 and 5: Copyright in Cyberspace

  • Copyright as regulatory system
  • The internet¿s `disruption¿ of copyright law
  • Modern copyright disputes
  • Web-based media monitoring services, hyperlinking, and hosting: original works; the communication to the public right; the quotation exception

Classes 6 and 7: Trade Marks and the Platform Economy

  • Trade marks as regulatory system
  • The internet¿s `disruption¿ of trade mark law
  • Modern trade mark disputes
  • Online selling and advertising: trade mark use; confusion v. dilution; primary v. secondary liability

Classes 8 and 9: (Intellectual) Property and Big Data

  • Data protection as regulatory system
  • Data¿s `disruption¿ of (intellectual) property law
  • Modern data disputes
  • Data property

Class 10: Wrap-up

  • Review of course themes
  • Current and future developments

Schedule of Classes

All students are expected to prepare in advance for class and to participate in class discussions. Homework assignments are posted on the course page on Mitt UiB.

Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this course, students will have:

  • A good understanding of key debates in the field of contemporary Law, Regulation, and Technology scholarship, with a focus on IP particularly;
  • A general understanding of the regulatory opportunities and challenges created for Law and the State by advanced (digital and bio) technologies;
  • The ability to engage critically and reflectively with contemporary (doctrinal and theoretical) debates regarding biotech patenting, copyright in cyberspace, IP and big data, and trade marks and the platform economy;
  • The ability to write reasoned answers to legal and policy questions in the fields covered by the course.

Required Previous Knowledge

Three years of university studies.

Recommended Previous Knowledge

Three years of law studies

Good level of English

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap

No academic overlapping with courses at the Faculty of Law in Bergen.

Access to the Course

The course is available for students:

  • Admitted to the integrated 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 Masters degree in Law 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

All students are expected to prepare in advance for class and to participate in class discussions. Homework assignments are posted on the course page on Mitt UiB.

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 seminar leader. Only students who have had their paper approved will obtain the right to sit the exam.

Forms of Assessment

Three-hour digital school exam.

Information about digital examination can be found at http://www.uib.no/en/education/87471/digital-examination.

Exam language:

  • 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.

Grading Scale

A - E for passed, F for failed

Assessment Semester


Reading List

The reading list will be ready 1 july for the autumn semester.

Course Evaluation

According to administrative arrangements for evaluating courses at the Law Faculty.

Programme Committee

Studieutvalget ved Det Juridiske fakultet

Course Coordinator

Professor Justine Pila

Course Administrator

Studieseksjonen ved det juridiske fakultet


Course teacher:

Professor II Justine Pila

Administrative contact: