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Innovation Law

  • Teacher(s): V.Junod
  • Course given in: English
  • ECTS Credits: 3 credits
  • Schedule: Autumn Semester 2019-2020, 2.0h. course (weekly average)
  •  séances
  • site web du cours course website
  • Related programmes:
    Master of Science (MSc) in Management, Orientation Marketing

    Master of Science (MSc) in Management, Orientation Business Analytics

    Maîtrise universitaire ès Sciences en management, Orientation Behaviour, Economics and Evolution

    Master of Science (MSc) in Management, Orientation Strategy, Organization and Leadership

    Master in Law and Economy

[warning] This course syllabus is currently edited by the professor in charge. Please come back in a few days. --- For your information only, here is the old syllabus :


This course is open to both HEC and Law students.

This course should give a taste for the rules (yes, they are some, more than some) encouraging and restraining innovation. You should have a better grasp of which rules are helpful and which ones can create problems.

Upon completion of this course, you should:

- be confident when using common legal tools, such as statutes and court decisions;

- read and understand a patent and other legal documents such as a court brief;

- be acquainted with your rights and obligations as entrepreneurs.

You should also be able:

- to understand how the IP system is organized at the national and international level;

- to identify and prevent legal threats of sanctions (e.g., fines in antitrust law) or loss of benefits (par ex. revocation of patent);

- to better appreciate how courts and administrative agencies operate.

An associated but yet important objective is to improve your public speaking skills. Therefore, you are to present cases, solve problems and participate in class discussions.

The primary focus is on EU law, with some emphasis on Swiss law and sometimes also US law.


This course analyzes the legal stakes and constraints of innovation. It deals with situations faced by entrepreneurs and managers, by answering the following questions:

- Can I protect my ideas by a patent, a design, a trademark, a copyright, a trade secret or a contract?

- What legal tools may foster the creation and commercialization of innovative products?

- What constraint my company's practices towards competitors and clients?

The two main body of laws covered during this course are the intellectual property (IP) laws and the antitrust laws. Statutes analyzed will typically be European Directives and Regulations, and to a lesser extent Swiss, American statutes.

A choice among various topics will be proposed and then decided by votes of the students. Among the possible topics, will be: internet regulations, privacy regulations, product liability regulations, marketing regulations. Suggestions of additional topics from students are very much welcomed.

This course complements the legal analyses with an interdisciplinary perspective. Intellectual property law and antitrust law have generated a lot of controversy at the international level. The economic, social and ethical implications of the legal regimes are constantly being debated. New IP treaties are under discussion. This course offers opportunities to discuss these contentious issues.


The course uses principally:

- statutes;

- court cases;

- powerpoint presentations.

We cover mainly EU law.


You should be able to understand and read in English. Your oral English can be "just ok".

You should be able to write in English, but you can have your assignments "proofread" by a native speaker if you desire.

Students should have some basic knowledge of business law. Students who have not taken the mandatory HEC legal courses at the bachelor level may want to briefly review the material of these courses (available through the HEC course website).

Students coming from the Law Schoold are of course welcome and do not face any prerequisite.



First attempt

Without exam (cf. terms)  

After a first (successful) trial period last year, the course will not have a final evaluation, but a continuous evaluation.

The grade wil be based on the following:

- active class participation (25%)

- group (team) oral presentation (25%)

- group (team oral paper (or other format if preapproved) (25%)

- individual paper (or other format if preapproved) (25%)

Your grade will be communicated to you before the start of the exam period.



Oral 0h30 minutes
Not allowed

Makeup session:

Oral exam: 30 minutes preparation; 30 minutes of student presentation + questions. The grades obtained during the semester (even if equal or superior to 4) are no longer taken into consideration.

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