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Intellectual property law consists of four primary areas of expertise: patents, copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets. Sports, computer, and entertainment law are closely intertwined with intellectual property law. The range of legal practice for intellectual property lawyers is quite broad. Lawyers may litigate with respect to any issues arising from intellectual property, or give advice regarding the prospects for litigation.

Intellectual Property Resources

Intellectual Property Faculty

Intellectual Property Path View

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  • Core Course

    Intellectual Property

    3 Credit (Elective)

    This course will survey the three major fields of intellectual property: patent, trademark, and copyright. The primary objective will be to examine the fundamental principles of each discipline. Students will read cases and statutory materials relating to topics such as registration, protection, and infringement. Although class materials will emphasize the essentials of intellectual property doctrine, the course also will explore important societal issues, such as the impact of technology (for example, television, computers, and the Internet) on the development of these critical areas of 21st-century law.

  • Core Course

    Patent Law

    3 Credit (Elective)

    Surveys several topics that are essential to patent practitioners, such as the standards for patentability, patent applications, and patent infringement. These topics also are of interest to those who do not intend to practice patent law but who recognize that clients' intellectual property needs occasionally require them to work with patent lawyers.

  • Core Course

    Trademarks and Unfair Competition

    2 Credit (Elective)

    In this course, students investigate the state and federal systems of trademark law. This study includes trademark creation, registration, protection, and litigation. The class also explores other, more general theories of unfair competition, including right of publicity law.

  • Recommended Course

    Business Organizations

    3 Credit (Elective)

    Examines the similarities and differences among various types of business organizations (sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, and limited liability companies). Important issues studied include organization and formation requirements; roles, responsibilities, and potential liabilities of persons acting on behalf of the business organization and/or owning the business organization; the procedures and most frequent grounds for litigation involving business organizations; corporate social responsibility; and a brief introduction to the law of securities regulation and corporate control.

  • Core Course

    Entertainment Law

    2 Credit (Elective)

    Focuses on the legal and business aspects of entertainment related to the music industry. Topics include artist personal management agreements, recording agreements, production agreements, music publishing, film music, band agreements, and new technologies. Emphasis is placed on the role of the entertainment lawyer in the areas of negotiating and drafting contracts, copyright and trademark, and the formation of legal entities.

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Core Course

    Sports Law

    2 Credit (Elective)

    This survey of sports law investigates a wide variety of topics in the context of sports law. For example, the course considers the nature, operation, and evolution of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Both the equal protection and due process clauses of the Constitution also are studied, as applied in an athletic setting, as are the treatment and rights of women and foreign student athletes. The differing treatment by the courts of the worker's compensation--e.g., is a recruited athlete an employee of his or her university?--are analyzed. Antitrust law, as applied to both amateur and professional sports, also is reviewed. Title IX and drug testing are considered, as are the role and ethics of lawyers involved at the various levels. Representation of the athlete by both lawyer and nonlawyer agents and the role of unions and collective bargaining in professional sports are considered, as are both tort and contract law.

  • Recommended Course

    Business and Intellectual Property Law Clinic

    2/3 credits Credit (Clinic)

    Placements in settings that expose students to the practice of business and/or intellectual property law are within the broad scope of the clinic. Students in this clinical component spend 10 (2-credit) or 15 (3-credit) hours per week on fieldwork. Given the broad range of possible placements, students might work in government agencies, private law firms, nonprofit organizations, the legal department of businesses, or in placements through which students may work in the area of compliance. Students will submit weekly journals, describing and reflecting on their experiences in the field, and will meet in a series of seminars with the course instructor and/or the Clinical Director to explore the relationship between the principles covered in the substantive class and the students' fieldwork. While Business Organizations is the co/prerequisite for all placements, certain Intellectual Property courses may additionally be required by the course instructor for eligibility for placements in the Intellectual Property area. This course satisfies the Experiential Education/Professional Skills Requirement.

  • Recommended Course

    Federal Courts

    3 Credit (Elective)

    Deals with the Article III courts, with special emphasis on the relationship among constitutional, statutory, and judicially imposed restrictions on the jurisdiction of federal courts. The relationship between state and federal courts is analyzed, as is the historical growth of federal judicial remedies for civil rights violations. The law-making authority of the federal courts and their relationship with the federal legislative and executive branches also are considered.

  • Other Course

    Administrative Law

    3 Credit (Elective)

    This course is designed for students interested in regulatory law and those who seek additional coverage of pertinent constitutional law topics. Coverage includes the sources and nature of agency authority, agency rule making and adjudication, and judicial review of agency action. Constitutional issues addressed include the interplay of power among the three federal branches, procedural due process, and justiciability issues such as standing, ripeness, and mootness. Special emphasis is placed on the federal Administrative Procedure Act; state analogs may be studied as well. Attention also may be given to the internal functioning of typical administrative bodies and to the relationship between regulators and the regulated community.

  • Other Course

    Alternative Dispute Resolution

    2 Credit (Professional Skills)

    Other Stage Two Options:

    Mediation OR Negotiation

    This course focuses on alternative methods of dispute resolution, including negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. In-class simulations of fact patterns are used as a means of illustrating certain resolution methods. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirements.

  • Other Course

    Mediation

    3 Credit (Professional Skills)

    Other Stage Two Options:

    Alternative Dispute Resolution OR Negotiation

    Students are introduced to the principles of conflict resolution through the mediation process and through evolving mediation hybrids, including learning about the legal, ethical, sociological, and procedural aspects of mediation through a series of simulated exercises. Students participate directly in simulations drawn from many areas involving conflict, such as family law, trusts and estates, land use and real estate, business, sports law, construction, entertainment, and employment. During the second half of the course, the focus is on the role of lawyers in the mediation process and the skills needed to be an effective and appropriate advocate in resolving disputes for clients. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirements.

  • Other Course

    Negotiation

    3 Credit (Professional Skills)

    Other Stage Two Options:

    Alternative Dispute Resolution OR Mediation

    Explores the theory and the art of resolving conflict through negotiation. Various styles are presented for comparison and analysis. Students are urged to evaluate their own intuitive style and to experience others. Practical experience is achieved through one-on-one and group negotiations exercises. The theory of conflict, strategic choice, ethical issues, and the negotiator's dilemma are presented in a variety of substantive contexts. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirement.

  • Core Course

    Patent Litigation

    2 Credit (Elective)

    Teaches the fundamentals of patent litigation, including prefiling considerations, discovery, claim construction, the use of technical and damages experts, summary judgment practice, trial preparation, and trial. Please check the most recent course registration information to determine if this course meets the Experiential Education/Professional Skills requirement.

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Other Course

    Antitrust

    3 Credit (Elective)

    Considers the major federal antitrust laws (Sherman, Clayton, and the FTC acts) and the "classic" antitrust offenses, e.g. combinations in restraint of trade, monopolization, price fixing, trade association activities, "tying" practices, territorial divisions, and other horizontal and vertical offenses, boycotts, and mergers.

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Other Course

    Business Planning

    3 Credit (Professional Skills)

    In today's increasingly fast-paced and competitive business environment, attorneys must be prepared to provide business leaders with timely, appropriate, and valuable analysis and advice. In this course, we will learn to blend practical and theoretical approaches in meeting the needs of entrepreneurial clients, who are typically highly committed to their business, organization, concept, or venture. Using present-day examples and vignettes, we will learn to identify priorities and develop practical, translatable legal solutions relating to: entity selection; risk analysis and mitigation; managerial control; capital development; use of media; property rights and patent concerns; ethical considerations; contract negotiations; employment and tax issues; and growth and exit strategies. Throughout the course, we will examine successful (and some not so successful) examples of critical stage business decision making. Finally, we will explore the attorney turned entrepreneur's mindset and what new lawyers may face when starting or managing their own ventures, in law or business.

    This course may be offered every other year.

  • Other Course

    Contract Drafting

    2 Credit (Professional Skills)

    This course will focus on a series of realistic commercial transactions, with particular attention to the incorporation of the business terms into various agreements, as well as a review of how the standard key legal provisions and concepts interact within an agreement. Students will consider how business terms affect the legal provisions in an agreement and how precise drafting can convey the deal terms as intended. Students will analyze term sheets and letters of intent from a corporate, real estate, or other deal-making context for purposes of incorporating deal terms into transactional agreements, which may include asset, stock or purchase and sale agreements; assumption and assignment agreements; employment agreements; shareholder agreements; leases; operating agreements; loan agreements; escrow agreements; settlement agreements; closing agreements, and the like. Students may work in groups and draft documents based upon real transactions. Additionally, students will be exposed to the types of drafting assignments that a law firm setting might provide or require.

  • Other Course

    Information Privacy Law

    2 Credit (Elective)

    This course explores the many legal issues that concern information privacy-the personal interest in maintaining control over information. Among the topics we will consider are: privacy and law enforcement; health and genetic privacy; privacy and government records and databases; and developments in consumer privacy. This course will be taught as a colloquium, after an initial introduction to legal and philosophical perspectives on information privacy, teaching will be undertaken by students in the course: each student (or team of students) will be responsible for leading discussion on a topic related to information privacy.

    This course may be offered every other year.