Although the details of intellectual property law are best left to specialized lawyers, no modern business leader can afford to be unaware of the opportunities presented by, and the pitfalls associated with, patent law, copyright law, and the state trade secret regimes. In this course, we therefore set out to examine this legal infrastructure, not only by learning the fundamental rules associated with each type of protection, but more importantly by studying the business strategies that intellectual property law in some instances supports and in other instances undermines. Examples and case studies will be drawn from across the content, technology, and pharmaceutical industries. No prior familiarity with legal doctrines or materials is needed. Grades will be based on class participation (35%), a take-home problem set (15%), a group project (15%), and an open-book final exam (35%). This course is a joint offering with the Anderson School of Business and will include students from both schools.
Law students who take this seminar, Law 407, cannot also take Law 307, which is the conventional Intellectual Property Law course. Students who have already taken Law 307 are therefore ineligible, and students who plan to take Law 307 also should not enroll. So who should take Law 407 as opposed to taking Law 307? Students who are confident that they will practice intellectual property law should consider taking this seminar in order to gain a broad introduction to intellectual property strategy, as long as they commit to then separately take the stand-alone copyright and patent courses. Students who are unsure of their future plans, or who are for some other reason likely to take only one intellectual property course at the Law School, should instead opt to take the conventional, comprehensive survey course.