European Business Law: Competing in Europe (Coursera)

European Business Law: Competing in Europe (Coursera)
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European Business Law: Competing in Europe (Coursera)
This six-week course titled Competing in Europe is the third in a series of three exploring some of the main business aspects of European Union law. Besides providing learners with a sound knowledge base of European laws and regulations, the series explores business considerations within a broader perspective by including inputs from leading law practitioners in the field. More specifically, the third course discusses how to compete on the internal market and protect your brand, product or invention.

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It includes legal disciplines such as Intellectual Property law (IP law), Competition law and specific branches within Public law, such as public procurement and state aid.

At the end of this course, you will have a basic understanding of how to:

• Find and understand relevant laws and regulations governing the internal European Union market

• Protect and defend a company’s products, brands and inventions by obtaining and licensing trademarks and patents

• Create a competitive edge for a company and apply the basic principles of EU competition law

• Construct and present a persuasive legal argument

Syllabus and Format

Each course consists of a number of modules where one module represents about one week of work. A module includes a number of lectures and readings, and finishes with an assessment – a quiz or a peer graded assignment. The assessments are intended to encourage learning and ensure that you understand the material of the course. Participating in forum discussions is voluntary.

Course I - Understanding the Fundamentals

Module 1. Introduction

Module 2. Legal Method and Sources

Module 3. Constitutional Freedoms and Fundamental principles

Module 4. Freedom of Movement

Module 5. The External Dimension

Course II - Doing Business in Europe

Module 1. Making Business Transactions

Module 2. Establishing a Company

Module 3. Employing and Working in Europe

Module 4. Paying Taxes and Complying with Environmental Standards

Module 5. Case Clinic

Module 6. Resolving Cross-border Disputes

Course III - Competing in Europe

Module 1. Obtaining Trademarks

Module 2. Defending Patents

Module 3. Competition: Illegal Agreements

Module 4. Competition: Abuse of Dominance and Mergers

Module 5. Advocacy and Legal Writing

Module 6. Selling to the State and State Aid



Trademarks as Essential Assets

The first module examines trademarks, one of the most valuable assets that a company actually has. It gives a brief description of the history of intellectual property law (IP) protection. The module considers the main sources of law, case law and pertinent trademark strategies. It also looks at how a proprietor can exercise their trademark rights in a useful way, successfully preventing a third party from using an identical or similar sign.


Defending Patents

The second module examines the role patents play in business transactions. It examines strategies and advantages/disadvantages of patent protection. The module looks into the substantive rules regarding the requirements for patent protection and how to obtain a patent. It introduces strategies to capitalize and possibilities to license rights to third parties. Finally, it discusses potential ways to misuse a patent.


Competition: Illegal Cooperation

The third module gives an overview of the European competition regime. Competition is a key element of an open market economy that stimulates European economic performance. The module describes the three core regulations pertinent to European competition law, including article 101 and 102 TFEU, as well as the European Merger Regulation. It considers how particular agreements or behaviour is anti-competitive and the four main aspects when establishing a breach of article 101 TFEU.


Competition: Abuse of Dominance and Mergers

The module examines article 102 TFEU, which prohibits the abuse of a dominant position within the internal market. It also provides an overview of secondary law and EU merger regulations. The module provides a brief history of merger regulations in the EU, the substantive elements and finally, the procedural rules in merger cases. The last three lectures provides practical aspects of competition law, looking at how the Commission carries out an investigation, its powers to reach a conclusion and to implement sanctions.


Legal Writing and Argumentation (optional)

The module includes a series of lectures on how to create a legal argument and present it to a court. It focuses on universally applicable advocacy strategies, without regard to the particular legal system in which the learner practice or study. It includes classical rhetoric while also considering practical aspects of constructing a persuasive written argument. It concludes with a lecture on structuring an oral argument and its delivery.


Selling to the State and State Aid

The final module addresses some of the key interactions taking place between law, politics and economics. It considers the role Public Procurement law plays within the EU and the main legal framework. It outlines the State aid control system and the procedural elements of the State aid assessment.

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