Law Course Catalog

7715. Intellectual Property

3.00 credits

Prerequisites: None.

Grading Basis: Graded

This course is concerned with the legal regulation of mental products. It affects such diverse subjects as the visual and performing arts, new plant varieties, electronic databases, advertising, insulin producing bacteria and video games. Five intellectual property regimes form the core of the course's focus: trade secrets, trademarks, rights of publicity, copyright and patent law. This course seeks to mix practice-directed material with public policy concerns. It will approach intellectual property as a regulatory system, balancing incentives to foster human creativity while at the same time seeking to unduly restrict its diffusion. Since intellectual property is such a dynamic, rapidly changing area of law, many of the cases and statutes discussed are of quite recent vintage. In order for the course material not to become obsolete within just a few years, the organizing focus of the course is conceptual, linking the core doctrines of intellectual property with one another. Our discussion will directly confront the question of legal change itself: how are intellectual property regimes evolving? What new judicial and legislative developments are in the works? And how should we respond?