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? Can you trademark red shoe soles? These are some of the questions that U.S. Congress and the courts have addressed in recent years — and in this IP course, we will, too.
Touching on most areas of commercial and artistic activity, intellectual property (IP) law is an essential component of modern society. In this course, Part 1 of a two-part series, learners will be introduced to a broad overview of the intellectual property laws, the theory underpinning this area of law, and an individual look at patent law.
Part 2 will explore copyright, and trademark law, and consider alternatives to IP and the future of this exciting area of the law.
The focus of this two-part series is on learning some of the seminal legal cases in each area, while also considering the policy implications of the law as it stands.
No previous law experience is required. Join us as we explore the laws and policies that influence and shape our modern lives.
A survey of intellectual property law and policy, including patents, copyright, and trademarks.
The theories of intellectual property right and the central debates about IP.
Week 3: What is a patent?
An introduction to patents, and the disclosure requirements.
Week 4: What makes a valid patent?
The novelty and nonobviousness requirements.
Week 5: What do you get with a Patent?
Understanding the scope of patents and the way they are enforced.
Week 6: Exploring tradeoffs
The patentable subject matter requirement and patent policy questions.