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Subject: LEGAL ISSUES FOR ENGINEERS (A.A. 2024/2025)


Course year 2
Teaching units Unit Legal Issues for Engineers
To be chosen by the student (lesson)
  • TAF: Optional subjects SSD: IUS/02 CFU: 6
Teachers: Isabella FERRARI
Exam type written
Evaluation final vote
Teaching language inglese
Contents download pdf download


Isabella FERRARI


1. Develop students' ability to identify and analyze legal issues related to their specific field of activity (eg producer / designer liability; consumer liability; patents; intellectual property, etc.)
2. Strengthen students' ability to understand contemporary challenges for research and development in the technological and engineering field, on an international and comparative scale (eg where to register the patent to maximize the economic and business results? How to protect yourself against plagiarism? etc.)
3. Introduce fundamental notions in the tech law sector, necessary for an active and productive participation in the course, in their social and professional lives
4. Encourage analysis and critical reflection through the reading of relevant court cases
5. Provide comparative knowledge and skills (through comparison with foreign countries)
6. Make students aware of the main national and international instruments aimed at protecting the relevant rights, as well as the international conventions and European regulations in force in the automotive sector, the protection of intellectual property and privacy
7. Guide students through a path that allows them to develop regulatory and protection strategies for their specific research products.

Please refer to the section on expected learning outcomes for the training objectives.

Admission requirements


Course contents

The scanning of content by CFU is intended as indicative only. It may in fact be subject to change in the course of teaching in light of student feedback.

2 CFU-ECTS credits (20 teaching hours):
1) Introduction to Private Law for non-legal students
2) Comparative Private Law: teaching comparative law to non-lawyers, the Langdell method
3) Civil liability: definition; scope; rules
4) International overview: Vienna Convention on Road Traffic 1968; United Nations Regulation ECE 79
Directive 2009/103/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009 relating to insurance against civil liability in respect of the use of motor vehicles, and the enforcement of the obligation to insure against such liability
6) Autonomous vehicles and civil liability
7) Focus on Italy: Law No. 990/1969; Legislative decree No. 209/2005; the Private Insurance Code; the New Road Traffic Code; Art. 2054 civil code
8) Germany: 2017 reform of the Straßenverkehrsgesetz
9) UK: from the 1988 Road Traffic Act to the Automated and Electrical Vehicles Act 2018

2 CFU-ECTS credits (20 teaching hours):
10) France, the Netherlands and other countries in derogation
11) AV: Smart Road Decree (Decree No. 70/2018 MIT)
12) AV tests around the globe
13) Civil liability and robots: non-contractual liability under Art. 2043 civil code
14) Product liability: comparison among the various domestic disciplines in the EU
15) Vendor liability
16) Consumer liability and misusage
17) IP laws
18) Copyright protection

2 CFU-ECTS credits (20 teaching hours):
19) Patents
20) Trademarks
21) Trade secrets
22) Non disclosure agreements
23) The World Intellectual Property Organization and its Treaties
24) The Paris Convention for the protection of Industrial Property
25) The Hague Agreement concerning the International Deposit of Industrial Designs
26) Patent Law Treaty and Patent Coopeeration Treaty
27) Implementation of WIPO treaties and EU Directives.

Total 6 CFU (ECTS credits) (to be divided into 2 CFUs for the contents above under Nos. 1-9, 2 CFUs for contents Nos. 10-18, and 2 CFUs for contents Nos. 19-27).

The course's contents may be modified in relation to contingent situations (possible entry into force of new Italian or European regulations on the above topics) or in line with student feedback.

Teaching methods

Learning activities include: - professor's lessons, with the presentation of theoretical contents; - reading and analysis of jurisprudence (decisions by Italian, English, American and EU courts); - results' processing through open class discussion. The above approach aims at deepening students' theoretical knowledge and enhancing their interdisciplinary competences . Course attendance is not mandatory. The course will be in English.

Assessment methods

METHODS: This examination will take place in oral form, according to the modalities of an interview between the teacher and the candidate, lasting approximately 15/20 minutes, during which the candidate will be asked approximately three questions on different areas of the program. The exam performance is evaluated according to the following criteria: 1. the correct definition of the theoretical concept required by each application, 2. develop an example related to said concept. ATTENDING STUDENTS (have attended 75% of the online course): the exam will cover the content of the lectures and handouts prepared by the teacher, and the first question will be of the candidate's choice. NON- ATTENDING STUDENTS: the exam will focus on the content of the handouts available on Dolly. The grade is expressed in thirtieths and it is necessary to reach the threshold of 18/30 in order to pass the exam (i.e. a reasonably sufficient preparation from the point of view of both content and expository language used). The assessment indicators of the test are: -Ability to use knowledge (25%). -Ability to link knowledge (25%) -Proficiency in legal language (15%) -Ability to discuss topics (20%) -Ability to explore topics in depth (15%). The student is not required to bring any kind of materials on the day of the final test.

Learning outcomes

1) Knowledge and ability to understand
At the end of the course, students shall be able to navigate the set of regulations in force on the domestic stage and the international one. They shall also be able to identify and analyze the main issues underlying the relationship between law and product.

2) Applied knowledge and understanding
The course provides knowledge and understanding of rights, institutions and organizations operating in connection with the world of engineering and technology, helping students to develop:
(a) critical reading skills in regard to regulatory and case law texts;
(b) knowledge of guidelines and major regulatory approaches adopted on a global scale.

3) Independency of Judgment
Students will be able to test their degree of understanding and learning of the concepts exposed, by virtue of class discussions. This represents a very useful chance, especially for non-law students, who will be able to verify the correctness or otherwise of what they understood in class (without any evaluation of these class discussions).

4) Communication skills
Students will be able to express the acquired knowledge in a clear and precise language, through the correct reference to basic technical-legal terms.

5) Learning skills
Students will be able to assimilate and process independently the information and concepts presented and discussed within the course activities.


Professor's hand-outs