Categories: Intellectual Property

Instructor(s) Frenchick, Grady

This overview of intellectual property law will be taught from the perspective of a practicing life sciences intellectual property (IP) lawyer. We will develop the theory and applicability of the major bodies of IP law as they relate to the usual chronological development of IP in a given project, i.e., from idea stage through, to trade secret, to patentable inventions, to trademark and to copyright coverage. State and federal law theories of IP protection, conflict, and accommodation will be discussed. We will connect the basic theory and practice of IP law with newsworthy societal and business events, e.g., the Apple/ Samsung iPhone dispute, proprietary/ generic drug developments, state and federal trademark law and branding conflicts in the pot industry; the expansion of 1st Amendment law as it impacts IP; the Google Books Project and the expanding doctrine of fair use;university IP disputes, life science regulatory vs. IP rights issues, IP issues raised by native knowledge, drug trade dress issues, exhaustion of copyright/ patent rights, the copyright “robust public domain’ its creation and impact and non-practicing entities, aka patent trolls.

We will use Merges et al, Intellectual Property Law in the New Technological Age: 2017, vols. I and II, (pub. July 2017 by Clause 8 Publishing) as our casebook. The distribution of subject matter will be about ½ ideas, trade secret and patent, 1/3 trademark, branding, and social media issues, and 1/6 copyright.

Evaluation will be a combination of in-class participation and an in-class exam we will discuss during the first class.

Graduate school, business, engineering, medical, and pharmacy students are invited to investigate this overview class. No science or engineering background is assumed or is required.

Please feel free to call or email:; 608-334-3014.

Student Learning Outcomes—Introduction to Intellectual Property Law 753:

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:
1. Generally understand and define the more common forms of intellectual property and their interaction;
2. Understand and describe the strategic strengths and weaknesses of the more common forms of intellectual property.;
3. Understand and describe the manner in which the more common forms of intellectual property are used to define, to protect, and to exploit the intangible products of an intellectual endeavor;
4. Understand and describe the nature of the liability created by and defenses to allegations of the unauthorized use of the more common forms of intellectual property.
5. Generally describe the federal and state statutory and administrative regulation of intellectual property.

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