Skip to main content

Intellectual Property Law: IP Law

Subjects: Law

Purpose of this guide

This guide is intended for students and researchers studying intellectual property law at the University of Oxford, although students and researchers from any field may find it useful.

Use this guide to find out about sources and commentary for intellectual property law, including ebooks, ejournals, and databases.

Table of contents

Navigate through this guide by clicking on the pertinent tab you can see above this box (below the main title of this guide).

Another Bodleian guide - written by colleague in the RSL - will help with technicalities of getting patents.


IP law: quick start

This is how the Law Society describes Intellectual Property Law:

"Intellectual property law provides a framework to protect the legal rights of writers, artists, inventors, traders and others. This protection may be by copyright over artistic works, by a registered patent in an invention or by a registered trademark for a sign such as a logo."

The Intellectual Property Office identifies four different types of IP:

  • Patents - the way a product works
  • Designs - the look of a product or logo
  • Trademarks - signs or logos that distinguish a product
  • Copyright - applies to any recorded work

But across the world, there are jurisdictions & systems paying (or considering paying) special regard to the protection of domain names (the abuse of cybersquatting), geographic marks, personality rights, trade secretstraditional knowledge, traditional cultural expressions (TCEs) and genetic resources. 


Amendments to the Trade Marks Act and the Trade Mark Rules 2008: Trade Marks Regulation 2018 (SI 2018/825), implementing the Trade Marks Directive (EU) 2015/2436, came into force on 14 January 2019.

KZ on Level 2. This section has Halsbury's Laws of England , Halsbury's Statutes & SI, The Digest and the Current Law Statutes and Yearbook Services. Combined these would give an quick route to the leading primary sources and an excellent overview of the English law. if you don't have an Oxford SSO to use LexisLibrary or Westlaw, KZ is the ideal "quick start" section.

 Intellectual property monographs can be found in a number of different areas of the Bodleian Law Library.
As it is a taught topic look out for the location Reserve Collection. (See the second example below) Ask for these books from staff at the Enquiry Desk.

But the majority of the collection are on open shelf as below:

  • English IP law: Floor 2, shelf marks KN111 to KN118
  • International IP: Floor 3, shelf marks beginning Internat
  • European Union law: Floor 3 shelf marks beginning Euro Comm
  • Multi-jurisdictional/comparative studies: Floor 2, shelf marks General.
  • Foreign jurisdictions: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and USA monographs are shelved in the KN111 to KNI18 with cutters A8, C1, I5, N4, and U4 respectively on the third line of the shelf mark.
  • Foreign jurisdictions: individual European countries are on Level 3.
  • Foreign jurisdictions: remaining nations on Level 1.

The Law Bod now has some material from the former Oxford Intellectual Property Research Centre (OIPRC), which had previously been based at St Peter's College.

This collection can be found in the rolling cases on Floor 0. It is an "historic" non-growing collection. It is discoverable by normal SOLO searches