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Intellectual Property Law Courses

Intellectual Property and Technology Law

  • Advanced Regulatory Law and Policy - The Advanced Regulatory Law and Policy seminar provides a unique educational opportunity for anyone interested in contemporary developments in regulatory law and policy across a variety of issue areas. Throughout the term, seminar participants follow regulatory developments in real time as well as encounter some of the most up-to-date research on regulatory issues. The primary work of the seminar centers around the production of RegBlog, a daily online source of writing about regulatory news, analysis, and opinion. The format of weekly seminars varies, ranging from early lectures on the regulatory process to in-depth discussions of contemporary regulatory issues, and from critique of peer writing samples to analysis of current research articles. Enrollment in the Advanced Regulatory Law and Policy seminar is subject to permission of the instructor. Participants in Advanced Regulatory Law and Policy meet at the same time and location as participants in the Regulatory Law and Policy Seminar. The advanced seminar participants will take a leadership role in producing RegBlog, both preparing their own writing assignments, providing oral presentations about regulatory or writing issues, and conducting a peer editing process overseen by Professor Coglianese. This seminar meets weekly throughout the year, and students in the advanced seminar are expected to enroll in both terms. Starting in 2013-2014, prior enrollment in one or more terms of the Regulatory Law and Policy seminar will be a prerequisite for enrollment in the advanced seminar.
  • Computer Crime Law - This course studies the legal issues raised by computer-related crimes. It considers three main questions: First, what conduct involving a computer is a crime? Second, what law governs the collection of electronic evidence in criminal investigations? And third, which governments have jurisdiction over the investigation and prosecution of computer crimes? Topics covered include the computer hacking statutes; the law of computer viruses; Internet fraud crimes; Internet gambling; criminal copyright offenses; Internet threats; child pornography laws and online undercover investigations; the Fourth Amendment in cyberspace; the Electronic Communications Privacy Act; Internet surveillance law; international computer crime investigations; the role of federalism in computer crime cases; and the intersection of computer crimes and national security surveillance.
  • Copyright - This course will focus on the protection of literary, musical and artistic works through copyright and related doctrines. Topics will include the concept and purposes of copyright (including a brief discussion of patents and trademarks), copyrightable subject matter, ownership of copyright, formalities, and rights, limitations, and remedies provided by copyright. There will be an in-class examination. Class participation will be taken into account in grading.
  • Copyright Theory - The objective of this Seminar is to expose students to the various theoretical and policy debates that are today endemic to the copyright system. Each week, the readings will focus on one or more theories that purport to explain and justify the institution of copyright. Topics will include economic theories, labor/desert theories, personality theories, democratic/free speech theories, natural rights theories and theories of cultural production. Classroom discussions will then focusing on evaluating these theories against the actual workings of copyright doctrine. In the process we will ask if copyright is indeed the best way of stimulating creativity in different settings, whether there might indeed be other values/goals that drive copyright law, and whether at times the copyright system imposes more costs than benefits on society as a whole. Each student will be required to help lead class discussions during one class session. Additionally, every student enrolled in the seminar must complete a research paper that satisfies the law school’s senior writing requirement.
  • Cultural Heritage & the Law - This class will meet in the seminar format with 20 students. The subject matter will be presented by Sharon Lorenzo who holds advanced degrees in art history and law. The text will be the third edition by Dr. Patty Gerstenblith entitled Art, Cultural Heritage and the Law. Additional readings and movies will be posted for all students on the courses portal. Two Saturday field trips to New York City for visits to private art collections, museums, galleries and auction houses as well as a UNESCO conference at Rutgers University will be part of the offerings this term. One class will meet in the Penn Museum on campus with museum staff and faculty. The first half of the semester will address the many issues relating to artists rights, regulations of auction practices and museums as well as copyright and authenticity questions involving art works. The second half will address the illicit trafficking of looted art, destruction of cultural heritage in times of war, and the historic preservation of artifacts on land and underwater. Each student will meet with the instructor to pick a research topic of his/her choice for a 20 page paper to be summarized in a short class presentation at the end of the term. This class may be used to satisfy the writing requirement of the law school. There will be no mid-term or final exam but occasion short homework assignments will be given by the instructor. There are no advanced requirements for this course except an interest in the subject matter which will be addressed.
  • Cybercrime - This course studies the legal issues raised by computer-related crimes. It considers three main questions: First, what conduct involving a computer is a crime? Second, what law governs the collection of electronic evidence in criminal investigations? And third, which governments have jurisdiction over the investigation and prosecution of computer crimes? Topics covered include the computer hacking statutes; Internet fraud crimes; theft of trade secrets; criminal copyright offenses; Internet threats; child pornography laws and online undercover investigations; the Fourth Amendment in cyberspace; the Electronic Communications Privacy Act; Internet surveillance law; international computer crime investigations; the role of federalism in computer crime cases; and the intersection of computer crimes and national security surveillance. A basic course in criminal law and criminal procedure is needed to understand this material.
  • Detkin Intellectual Property Clinic - This clinical course challenges students to straddle the worlds of law, business, technology and the arts as they apply theory to practice by taking primary responsibility for real-life IP matters. Working out of the Gittis Center, Penn’s teaching law firm, students address all manner of transactional patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret issues specifically chosen to provide an overview of different IP law career settings. Clients will vary by size, focus and industry to provide a rich experience for the class, and may include scientists, entrepreneurs, artists, and large and small for-profit and non-profit entities. A central client for the Clinic will be Penn's Center for Technology Transfer. A simultaneous seminar provides a supportive and dynamic learning environment for students to develop and practice essential skills -- including interviewing, drafting, negotiating, and client counseling -- through simulations and exercises. The Clinic also provides opportunities to interact with students from other professional schools and members of the Philadelphia Bar formally and informally to deepen students’ professional understanding of how to be an effective counselor in business, technical and arts-oriented settings. Case rounds and weekly supervisory sessions with an experienced faculty-practitioner reinforce and expand concepts presented in cases, and give students a chance to reflect upon and deepen their understanding of ethical, practical and substantive issues. Note: the Clinic does not handle litigation matters. Students do not have to have a technical background to apply; however, this course assumes some familiarity with the legal subject matter. Introduction to Intellectual Property is strongly recommended. Students enrolled in joint or dual degrees or certificates in business or the sciences are encouraged to apply. Students must attend the first seminar meeting, or risk being dropped from the roster. Due to case assignments, the drop/add period for the Clinic ends earlier than normal -- at 4 p.m. on the first Friday after the start of the semester. Students may apply their enrollment in the Clinic toward their public service requirement, but will receive one fewer credit for the Clinic.
  • Development of US Intellectual Property Law - This seminar will introduce students to major developments in the history of American patent and copyright law. One objective of the seminar is to explore how intellectual property institutions took their modern shape and to draw lessons about their possible future development. The other aim of the course is to reflect on the uses of historical argument in recent IP law and policy, especially in decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court. Students must complete a paper on a major case in patent or copyright law, placing the case in its legal and economic context, tracing the strategies of the parties, and explaining the subsequent importance and implications of the decision. No prior experience of legal history or historical research is required.
  • Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic - PLEASE SEE IMPORTANT ENROLLMENT PROCEDURES FOR CLINICS AVAILABLE ON THE REGISTRATION INSTRUCTION PAGE. The Entrepreneurship Legal Clinic provides direct representation to entrepreneurs, businesses, and social ventures from the Philadelphia area. The ELC is the transactional practice group within the Gittis Center’s “teaching law firm.” With support, supervision and individualized mentoring by full-time faculty with significant practice experience, students are vested with primary responsibility for counseling both for profit and non-profit clients on real-life challenges connected to business structuring and formation, contract drafting, review and negotiation, intellectual property protection, employee management, asset acquisitions and dispositions, business strategy, regulatory requirements and more. The ELC does not litigate. Weekly seminars utilizing case studies, simulations, lectures and case rounds discussion introduce students to substantive law, professional competencies and skills, and business concepts useful to understand and counsel clients. In addition to the twice-weekly seminar, students will meet with faculty supervisors for at least one hour each week to discuss and develop strategies for resolving challenges and dilemmas encountered in their client work. These combined lessons provide students with a foundation in lawyering fundamentals and perspective that enables them to find the best solutions to their clients’ problems. Students also present teamed public legal education workshops to local entrepreneurs which take place on a Saturday or weeknights during the semester. Ultimately, the ELC experience challenges students to develop a professional identity and create frameworks for exercising judgment as reflective, responsible, ethical lawyers in a variety of contexts while impacting communities and providing an invaluable service to clients. Enrollment is limited to 16 students. You may not enroll in this course if you are enrolled in another clinical course, or an externship in the same semester. You must appear at the first meeting of the course, or you may be automatically dropped from the course (unless you have advance permission from the instructor). The drop/add period for this course ends at 4 p.m. on the first Friday after the start of the course.
  • First Amendment in the 21st Century - The First Amendment's guarantees of freedom of speech, press and assembly occupied a central place in the Supreme Court's docket during the second half of the twentieth century. As the century closed, the"information age" brought new urgency to some elements of the discussion, and began to transform others. This seminar will examine the development of the federal doctrines protecting freedom of expression, and the ways in which these doctrines are likely to occupy the courts in the next decade. Discussion will include problems of incitement and threats, compelled speech, anonymity, libel, obscenity, emotionally abusive speech, intellectual property, privacy, access to public fora and media structure. Students will be expected to prepare a research paper on an issue of free expression, and to present their findings in class.
  • GRS: Private Law, Nation-building & Economic Growth - This Global Research Seminar will examine the connection between different areas of private law (i.e., the law governing private interactions between citizens) and a nation’s realization of its social and economic objectives, through a comparative study of the private law of India. The course will focus on understanding the private law of India using some of the methods, techniques, and approaches used in the study of private law areas in the U.S. The seminar will approach the study of Indian private law from a comparative perspective, and examine how distinct areas of private law developed differently in the U.S. and India after they were transplanted to both countries from England. In carrying out the comparison, our focus will be on understanding how Indian courts and law-makers use private law as a mechanism of achieving certain policy goals, and what this means for the traditional divide between private and public law. The areas of Indian private law that we will discuss in this class will include: (i) tort law, (ii) contract law, (iii) the law of property, (iv) the law relating to private remedies, (v) the law of corporations, (vi) intellectual property law, and (vii) antitrust law. There are no pre-requisites for enrolling in the seminar. No prior knowledge of Indian law or of the substantive areas that we will discuss is needed. Over Spring Break in 2013, the class will undertake a 7-day field visit to India. In India, we will visit New Delhi, and meet with Indian lawyers, judges, legislators, regulators, and scholars to observe how some of the private law areas discussed in class, actually work in practice. The field trip is a mandatory part of this class, and students unable to commit to the trip over Spring break should not enroll. This class is open to 2L, 3L , and LL.M students. In order to be considered for the seminar, students must submit a short personal statement (of no more than 1,000 words) describing their reasons for wanting to take this class and their interest in the topic.
  • Giles S. Rich Patent Law Moot Court Competition - This course involves students in the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) Giles S. Rich Intellectual Property Moot Court competition, a national inter-school moot court competition on IP issues. It is best if students have completed Patent Law prior to taking this course, but only Intro to IP is required. Students interested in joining the course should contact Professor Wagner.
  • Global Antitrust - Modern antitrust law is becoming increasingly global. Cartels in one nation affect supply in others. As the parallel cases against Microsoft in the U.S. and the EU demonstrate, antitrust authorities can take widely divergent views of the permissibility of unilateral action. Mergers between large corporations must typically get approval in both the United States and in Europe. Countries are increasingly entering into agreements about the enforcement of competition laws. Thus, businesspeople, lawyers, and lawmakers can no longer content themselves with understanding only the antitrust and competition law of their home country. This course will examine EC competition law cases and decisions within an analytical framework strongly based on economic theory. Scheduled topics include horizontal restraints, monopolization, vertical restraints, proof of anticompetitive agreement, mergers, and international enforcement. The introductory course on antitrust is a prerequisite.
  • IP & Corporate Lawyering - This course acclimates students to the perspective of intellectual property as a business asset and teaches how to use the law and lawyering skills to achieve business objectives. The course is particularly suited for students who plan to become corporate transactional lawyers and seek a deeper understanding of laws applicable to key assets of most businesses, as well as for students who plan to become intellectual property specialists and seek a broader understanding of the context in which they will practice their specialty. Underscoring the core corporate lawyering principle that lawyers must know their clients’ businesses to represent clients most effectively, the course explores the strategic utilization of intellectual property laws in an organization’s business objectives. For example, we will examine when and how corporations use trademarks, copyright, trade secrets and patents to advance and protect their products and services in the marketplace. Examples include the business assessment underlying an enterprise’s decisions regarding its trademark strategy, when to pursue patent protection versus trade secret protection, and how to navigate the ever-changing legal terrain that surrounds many new technologies. Students will have the opportunity to prepare and present strategy recommendations and relevant intellectual property filings for business case studies and hypothetical scenarios. Students must complete a final group project and write an end of semester paper. An introductory intellectual property course is a prerequisite.
  • Intellectual Property & National Econ Value Creation - This course will explore the legal structure of intellectual property laws in the United States and select foreign countries and the effect of these laws on the countries national economic development. In this process, we will explore the nature of the correlation between different types of intellectual property laws and national economic development. We will also discuss the quantification of the economic value of different types of intellectual property laws. Lastly, we will engage in a discussion as to whether intellectual property laws can be effective tools for social engineering.
  • Intellectual Property: Trademarks - This course examines ways in which the manufacturer can establish and protect his /her identity and the identity of his/her product in the marketplace. Attention is directed to the various devices which can be used for this purpose, particular focus being given to trademarks and trade-names under the Lanham Act, common law and various state laws. Attention is also given to related areas of unfair competition, including such topics as false advertising.
  • International Business Transactions - This course provides an overview of the legal issues—domestic, foreign, and international—that arise when U.S. companies do business abroad. Transactions discussed include export sales, agency and distributorship agreements, licensing, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, privatization, project finance, and foreign government debt. The course also covers U.S., foreign, and international regulation in such areas as antitrust, securities, intellectual property, tax, and foreign corrupt practices. The course does not cover U.S. rules on import restrictions or W.T.O. matters.
  • Intro to IP Law and Policy - Can you trademark red shoe soles? Can you really get a patent on a rectangular cell phone shape? Do artists and musicians need over a century of copyright protection for their works? These are questions that Congress and the courts have addressed in recent years and we will, too. Touching on most areas of commercial and artistic activity, Intellectual Property Law and Policy is increasingly becoming an essential component of a modern legal education. In the course students will be introduced to a broad overview of copyright, patent, trademark and trade secret law. The focus is on learning some of the seminal cases in each area, while also considering the policy implications of the law as it stands. The course is a 1L elective, but students from all years are encouraged to enroll.
  • Patent Law - In our modern technologically-based economy, the creation and enforcement of patent rights can make or break a business. With record numbers of patents being issued every year, the stakes for inventors (and, indeed, their lawyers) continue to increase, even as the patent law and its administration faces growing criticism. This course seeks to equip students with a detailed overview of the law and policy of the United States patent system. We'll organize our inquiry into four components. The first considers the justifications for (e.g., economic, moral, political) and creation of patent rights as well as the relationship between patent law and other "intellectual property" concepts. The second will delve into the details of the statutory requirements for patentability, with a focus on both the "black letter" law and the underlying policies. Third, we'll consider the scope and enforcement of patent rights, again considering how the policies expressed in the legal doctrine relate to the justifications for patent rights we discussed in section one. And finally, we'll conclude with a look at the subject matter of patents -- considering specifically the cases of biotechnology, computer software, and internet business models -- drawing together the ideas introduced throughout the course. Class exercises and simulations will be used throughout to highlight important concepts. Last year's syllabus and additional information can be found at http://patents.pennlaw.net/.
  • Patent Law - Appellate Advocacy - This is an intensive course in appellate advocacy in the patent law - that is, focused on Federal Circuit practice, procedures, and jurisprudence. Students will be divided into teams of two and work on a complete simulated appeal, including issue identification, litigation strategy, brief drafting, and oral argument. The course will include participation in the AIPLA Giles S Rich National Patent Law Moot Court Competition. Students should sign up for both fall and spring seminars, and ideally would identify a teammate (though this is not required). Students interested in taking this course should contact Professor Wagner prior to signing up.
  • Patent Litigation Seminar - This course examines the basics of litigating patent disputes in a United States District Court and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, including pre-suit investigation, drafting of pleadings, fact and expert discovery, "Markman" claims construction proceedings, dispositive motions, in limine motions, trial, post-trial motions and appeal. Policy implications will also be considered, e.g., the cost of litigation as a tax on innovation (and its effect of understanding this as a tax on the desirability of deciding these cases summarily, in a bench trial, and without extensive discovery); Markman hearings and the allocation of authority between judge and jury; the advisability of jury trials in patent cases; appeals and specialized adjudication; and the allocation of authority between trial and appellate court.
  • Privacy and Data Protection - This lecture and discussion course explores the role of the law in the regulation of privacy, personal autonomy and access to personal data. Part I of the course examines the origins of state common law privacy law and its subsequent growth. We will consider recent uses of the four common law invasion of privacy torts recognized in most states and by the American Law Institute’s Restatement of (Second) of Torts. Part II takes on the voluminous privacy jurisprudence spawned by the Bill of Rights-- most importantly, the First and Fourth Amendments’ jurisprudence of associational, physical, and informational privacy. What are the values at stake in constitutional privacy controversies; are they the same values at issue in the common law and in discussions of social networking, web-based commerce, cloud computing and government surveillance? Part III explores the federal privacy statutes, a dynamic source of privacy and data protection law. It surveys nearly a dozen federal privacy statutes, covering government record management; health, education, and financial data; video rentals; communications; the internet; and government surveillance. Course evaluation will be based on the final exam. Class attendance is mandatory for all students.
  • Regulatory Law and Policy - This seminar provides a unique educational opportunity for anyone interested in contemporary developments in regulatory law and policy across a variety of issue areas. Throughout the term, seminar participants follow regulatory developments in real time as well as encounter some of the most up-to-date research on regulatory issues. The primary work of the seminar centers around the production of RegBlog, a daily on-line source of writing about regulatory news, analysis, and opinion. The format of weekly seminars varies, ranging from early lectures on the regulatory process to in-depth discussions of contemporary regulatory issues, and from critique of peer writing samples to analysis of current research articles. Seminar participants complete short weekly writing assignments which may be selected for posting on RegBlog through a peer editing process overseen by Professor Coglianese. Participants have the opportunity to focus their work on the regulatory law and policy issues that interest them the most. This seminar meets weekly throughout the year, and students may enroll for the Fall Term, Spring Term, or both terms. The seminar is open to students from outside the law school by permission. Starting in 2013-2014, prior enrollment in one or more terms of the Regulatory Law and Policy seminar will be considered a prerequisite for enrollment in the Advanced Regulatory Law and Policy seminar.
  • Risk Regulation - Society faces a range of risks, from both natural sources and economic activities. A core challenge for society’s major institutions – governments, businesses, non-profits – is to understand these risks and learn to manage them effectively and efficiently. This seminar will focus on how society deals with risks, ranging from, on the one end of the spectrum, voluntary action by business to, on the other end, strict rules imposed by government on the private sector – with many variants in between. These risk management responses also include the design of institutions to identify, monitor, and provide information about risks. Understanding what makes for effective institutional responses to risk is especially challenging, for it calls for not just an understanding of institutions themselves -- e.g., law and business -- but also an understanding of how these institutions interact with and affect the risks they are supposed to reduce or mitigate. This seminar will meet on alternating Tuesday afternoons throughout the entire 2010-2011 academic year. One seminar meeting each month will feature a guest speaker presenting new scholarship or policy analysis related to risk regulation. The other sessions will provide general background on risk regulation, further consideration of the specific topics covered by the guest speakers, and discussion of research papers seminar participants will be expected to complete by the end of the spring term.
  • Technology and Policy - This course will explore the various legal regimes that apply to the Internet. Topics will include FCC regulation of the Internet, network neutrality, voice over Internet protocol, backbone regulation, pornography, municipal broadband and the digital divide, ICANN, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, cybersquatting, the use of trademarks in domain names, file sharing, regulation of search engines, and privacy.
  • Telecommunications Law and Policy - This seminar examines legal, technical, and policy aspects of telecommunications in the United States. It will consider broadly the purposes of regulation and difficulties inherent in the regulation of technology, as well as the specific regulatory regimes that govern telephony; broadcast, satellite, and wireless communications; cable television; and the Internet. There will be a particular focus on current issues and challenges posed by the Internet and technological convergence. Grades will be based 25% on class participation and 75% on three response and counter-response papers written during the semester. Students will write brief papers that explore and make a substantive normative claim about a topic from class; they will then receive copies of three or four papers written by their peers and write brief critical responses to them. Each brief paper and set of responses will be worth 25% of the total grade.
  • Trademarks - This course examines ways in which the manufacturer can establish and protect his /her identity and the identity of his/her product in the marketplace. Attention is directed to the various devices which can be used for this purpose, particular focus being given to trademarks and trade-names under the Lanham Act, common law and various state laws. Attention is also given to related areas of unfair competition, including such topics as false advertising.