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Module Descriptor School of Computer Science and Statistics

Module CodeCS4102
Module Short Title
Semester TaughtMichaelmas and Hilary Term
Contact Hours1 1.5 hr lecture through MT and HT
Module PersonnelWilliam Kingston
Learning Outcomes

After successfully completing this module, students will be able to:

  • Distinguish between invention and innovation, and be able to deal with the individual creativity that is involved in both. They will be better equipped  to negotiate the fundamental incompatibility between bureaucracy and any kind of innovation.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the central importance of economic innovation, how ideas are turned (or not) into concrete realities, and the role played by legal rights, especially the property righs that confer market power.
  • Administer the use of patents, trademarks and copyright effectively to protect the ideas of their businesses.
  • Use international intellectual property databases skilfully to find both the stimulus for new ideas and information about already discovered solutions to problems, from these unique resources.
  • Distinguish between seed and venture capital, so as to avoid wasting energy seeking either or both for new projects from sources which are not structured to provide what is needed.
Learning Aims

To enable students to handle economic  innovation (“getting new things done” in business) effectively;  with special emphasis on creativity, the use of intellectual property and the problems of raising seed and venture capital for innovative projects.

Module Content

SYLLABUS - Michaelmas term    

1              WK         Creativity and innovation - Text, Chapter 1 and 5
2              WK         Case Study (the antibiotics revolution)-Text, Chapter 3
3              WK         Economic innovation - Text, Chapter 1
4              WK         Market Power-                 Text, Chapters 1, 2, 4
5              WK         Specific  Market Power:  Patents, Trademarks and Copyright - Text, Chapters 1, 2, Refs. to “Beyond Intellectual Property”
6              WK         Innovation databases and Assignment 1 instruction.      
7              WK         Reading   week.               
8              WK         Assignment 1 Reports   
9              WK         Assignment 1 Reports   
10           WK         Capability Market Power -Text, Chapters 1, 2, 4
11           WK         Persuasive Market Power -“Trade Mark Registration is not a Right
12           WK         Internationalization of  Market Power -“Removing Some  Harm from the World Trade Organization”

SYLLABUS – Hilary term
1              WK         The damage done by  financial innovations -“Schumpeter and the End of Western Capitalism    
2              WK         Legal changes needed -                “Restoring the Primacy of Technological  Innovation”     
3              WK         The Irish case in particular -“Transforming the Conditions for Economic Innovation          
4              WK         Dealing with uncertainty and risk-“Financing innovation ; The US shows a Better Way”
5              WK         Seed and Venture Capital-The US Small Business Innovation  Research Programs - The US shows a Better Way”
6              WK         Innovation databases and Assignment 2 instruction                        
7              WK         Reading   week
8              WK         Assignment 2 Reports   
9              WK         Assignment 2 Reports   
10           WK         Practical applications 1   -Special  paper for this Class       
11           WK         Practical applications 2  - Text, Chapter 5.
12           WK         Revision of Course - All relevant readings

Recommended Reading List

The Course is buillt around two books by the Lecturer, whose publishers make copies availoable for members of this class at  a large discount. Students can therefore obtain Text No. 1 from the Department of Computer Science  for €23.00 and Text No. 2 for €28.50

Text No. 1:

Kingston, W. (2003) Innovation: the Creative Impulse in Human Progress, U.S. edition (LRSP Publishing, Washington, D.C.). 

Text No. 2:

Kingston W (2010) Beyond Intellectual Property:Mathcing Information Protection to Innovation. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

If you wish to purchase either or both of these books, please transfer the appropritate amount to the following online bank account:

Name: William Kingston
Sort Code: 900017
Account number: 18954240
Bank of Ireland

Please use your own name as the title of the transfer so we can keep track of your lodgement.

Email the course administrator to advise when you have made this transfer and as soon as the amount is visible on the online account, you will be emailed to advise when your copy is ready for collection from the course office.

Please note that we cannot accept cash in the course office.

Other Readings

Smith, D. K., Alexander, R. C. (1999) Fumbling the Future: How Xerox Invented, then Ignored, the first Personal Computer. (LEN 658.57 N9) 
Kinder, G.(1998) Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea. (LEN 387.2 N8)
Kingston, W. (2007) Interrogating Irish Policies (LEN 320.9415 P79)

Other relevant articles by the Lecturer will be made available to the Class.

Module PrerequisitesNone
Assessment Details

Students will take a 3 hour written examination in Trinity term, which will require them to do four questions out of six. Coursework will consist of prescribed work on  two databases which are considered to be of particular use to students taking this Course, and the production of a report for each search. The  time for the research will be the study week in each term. Each report will count for 10% of marks for the examination.

Module Website
Academic Year of Data2014/15