Intellectual Property Survey

Fall 2021

Course Description: This course provides a broad overview of intellectual property law. After discussing the policies underlying the protection of intellectual property rights, we will cover trade secret, patent, copyright, and trademark law, and related doctrines such as the right of publicity. These topics will be examined with a focus on new technologies, but a science or technical background is not required. This course provides a foundation for advanced intellectual property courses and is also appropriate for students who seek only a general understanding of intellectual property law.

Required Materials: Volumes I and II of Intellectual Property in the New Technological Age 2021 by Peter Menell, Mark Lemley, Robert Merges, and Shyamkrishna Balganesh (IPNTA2021 Vol I ISBN-13: 978-1-945555-18-3 and IPNTA2021 Vol II ISBN-13: 978-1-945555-19-0). The book is now available for purchase on and other places like the USD bookstore. For more information about the book, click here. Also note you can download the first two chapters of the casebook for free at the following SSRN link provided by the authors.

Reading Assignments

I. Introduction

8/24: Pages 1-39 of Volume 1 of the casebook (CB)

II. Trade Secret Law

8/26: CB 44-92 (introduction, subject matter, misappropriation of trade secrets); Distribute trade secret assignment due on Sept. 1

8/31: CB 92-140 (proper means and immunity, agreements to keep secrets, the case of departing employees)

9/1: Trade secret assignment must be posted on TWEN no later than 10 p.m.

9/2: CB 140-52 (remedies); Skip CB 153-58 (federal preemption); Review answer to trade secret assignment in class

III. Patent Law

9/7: CB 164-205 (introduction, elements of patentability); Skip CB 205-209 (Griffith)

9/9: CB 210-41 (elements of patentability cont'd - novelty and nonobviousness)

9/14: CB 241-81 (elements of patentability cont'd - utility and disclosure)

9/16: CB 281-324 (elements of patentability cont'd - patentable subject matter)

9/21: CB 325-67 (administrative patent review, claims and claim construction); Skip CB 368-75 (claim indefiniteness)

9/23: CB 376-402; CB 410-32; Skip CB 403-09 (joint infringement); 433-440 (patent misuse)

9/28: CB 440-487 (remedies, design patents)

9/29: Patent and trade secret assignment must be posted on TWEN no later than 10 p.m.

9/30: CB 487-502 (design patents cont'd, international patent law); Skip CB 502-07 (federal preemption)

IV. Copyright Law

10/5: CB 512-59 of Volume 2 of the casebook (introduction, requirements, copyrightable subject matter)

10/7: CB 559-67; CB 579-612 (copyrightable subject matter cont'd); Skip CB 568-78 (Lotus and comments)

10/12: CB 612-51 (ownership and duration)

10/14: CB 651-75; CB 690-712; CB 721-23 (rights and infringement); Skip CB 676-89 (computer software); CB 713-20 (Kirstaeng)

10/19: CB 724, 736-70 (rights and infringement cont'd); Skip Aereo and problems (CB 725-35)

10/21: CB 770-812 (rights and infringement cont'd; defenses)

10/26: CB 812-52 (defenses cont'd)

10/28: Class rescheduled to 10/30 on Zoom

10/30 at 10 am on Zoom: CB 852-95 (defenses cont'd, remedies)

11/2: CB 895-918; CB 923-936 (remedies cont'd; international copyright law; Trademark law - introduction; what can be protected as a trademark?)

V. Trademark Law and Right of Publicity Law

11/4: CB 936-83 (establishment of trademark rights - distinctiveness)

11/9: CB 984-1012 (functionality, priority); Skip priority and trademark theory (CB 1013-17)

11/11: Class rescheduled to 11/30 at 10 am in our regular classroom

11/16: CB 1018-1066 (trademark office procedures, incontestability, trademark infringement)

11/18: CB 1066-1114 (infringement cont'd, dilution, cybersquatting, indirect infringement)

11/23: CB 1084-1114, 1261-78 (dilution cont'd, cybersquatting, indirect infringement, false endorsement and right of publicity law); Skip Comedy III and notes

11/30 at 10 am in WH 2B: CB 1132-77 (defenses, remedies)

12/1: Copyright and trademark assignment must be posted on TWEN no later than 10 pm

12/2: CB 1177-91 (damages cont'd, international issues in trademark law)