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Intellectual Property Law

Application Form
Complete Online Application Form at

Start Date
15 July 2024

Apply By
21 June 2024


Duration & Format
This is a semester-long course where participants attend evening lectures from 17:30 to 19:00 once a week during the period 15 July to 22 October 2024. Exams will take place on the 30 October 2024 to 26 November 2024.

The certificate course in Intellectual Property Law analyses current issues and policy developments in intellectual property law, emphasizing the role of IP law in protecting public rights and the public domain in information.

Course Outcomes
At the end of the course, the student should be able to:

  • Explain the impact of the constitutional right to freedom of expression on trade mark law
  • Discuss the current agenda of the international intellectual property law institutions and what are the implications of this agenda for the development of intellectual property law in South Africa
  • Appraise the technological shift from physical to the virtual in the modern information economy and the impact this shift has had especially on copyright law
  • Evaluate the theories of the roles of public rights (such as compulsory licenses, fair use exceptions and term limits) and their place in existing legislation, an examination of the growth of licensing to create open content (such as Creative Commons) and the technical and policy infrastructures being developed to expand the creation and use of public rights
  • Examine current law reform initiatives in South African intellectual property law. These are the Intellectual Property Rights in Publicly Funded Research and Development Act 51 of 2008; the Intellectual Property Laws Amendment Bill 2010 which aims to protect indigenous traditional knowledge through the IP System; and recent attempts to resolve the long-standing controversy over performers’ royalties – the ‘needletime’ legislation.

Course Content
The course consists of the following modules:

  • The constitutional context of South African intellectual property law
  • The role of international intellectual property law institutions
  • Implications of the shift from the physical to the virtual
  • The public domain fights back
  • Law reform.

Target Audience
IP lawyers, inventors, entrepreneurs, creative professionals, and individuals interested in IP rights.

Application Process
A relevant Bachelor of Laws or Bachelor of Commerce in Law or Bachelor of Arts in Law or equivalent qualification is a prerequisite for admission to the postgraduate certificate courses; OR

Applicants with any other undergraduate qualifications must complete the bridging course Introduction to Law for Non- Lawyers or equivalent courses first as well as have relevant legal work experience in the specific legal field before they would be considered for other courses.

You will be required to submit a copy of your Bachelors Degree, academic record as well as a copy of your identity document or passport.

Kindly note that all foreign qualifications must be submitted with a SAQA Evaluation Letter.

Additional Information
One of the following certificates can be obtained: 

  • Certificate of Attendance: To obtain a certificate of attendance, students are required to attend and participate in 75% of the lectures. 
  • Certificate of Competence: To obtain a certificate of competence, students are required to attend and participate in 75% of the lectures and to complete the assessments as required in the course.

This postgraduate certificate course is accredited by the university in accordance with its statutory mandate.  It does not lead to a qualification registered on the National Qualifications Framework.

Mahlatse Masemola Tel No: +27 11 717 8438; Email 
Ursula Dillner-Dangor Tel No: +27 11 717 8435; Email: