Intellectual Property Law Courses

Course Name Number Cr. Description
Advanced IP Law Seminar: Technology and Entertainment 463 2 This seminar will focus on emerging copyright and trademark issues in the major content and technology industries, with a particular emphasis on topics that are encountered in the practice of IP law, including: musical licensing in the digital environment; the Digital Millennium Copyright Act; file sharing, cyberlockers and cloud computing; user generated content; film and television rights clearance; special problems in book publishing; the first sale doctrine and exhaustion of rights; cybersquatting and domain name expansion; and the unique legislative process and role of legislative history in copyright and trademark law. The course will begin with a basic overview of copyright and trademark principles, but students should have already completed the entry level IP survey course or another entry level course such as copyright law or trademark law.
Advanced Trademark Law Seminar 601 2 Covers advanced procedural and substantive topics of trademark law. Course work includes in-depth treatment of complex areas of practice such as protection of trade dress, packaging, and product design, border protection issues, trademark litigation strategies, and recent legal developments in the field of trademark law. Trademark Law is a prerequisite for this class.
Copyright Law 191 3 This course covers the basics of copyright law, including determinations of what is copyrightable, formalities for obtaining protection, and copyright registration practices and procedures. The substantive and procedural elements of infringement actions are examined, including defenses. Technological developments affecting copyright are also addressed, including issues related to computer software and the Internet.
Federal Circuit Practice Seminar 437 2 A seminar on the practical aspects of appearing before the Federal Circuit, as well as the most relevant substantive issues currently before the Court. The seminar discusses the history of the Court, the purpose for its creation, the Court's jurisdiction, rules of practice, and the practical workings of the Court. Practical aspects of appearing before the Court will include opinion analysis, brief writing, and oral argument. The seminar also explores some of the more complex issues currently faced by the Court. Finally, the seminar will discuss Federal Circuit cases recently heard by the Supreme Court.
Intellectual Property Law 367 3 This course focuses on the protection of proprietary rights in inventions, writings, creative expression, software, trade secrets, trade designations, and other intangible intellectual products by federal patent, copyright, trademark and unfair competition law, and by state trade secrecy and unfair competition law. Consideration will be given to the challenges posed for traditional intellectual property paradigms by new technologies and the shift to an information-based economy. This course is designed for the non-specialist, but also serves as a foundation for the specialist.
International Intellectual Property and Policy Seminar 418 2 This seminar examines the major treaties and other international agreements providing protection for patents, trademarks, and copyrights and other forms of intellectual property, including the World Trade Organization TRIPS Agreements, the US free trade agreements and the World Intellectual Property Organization treaties. Particular attention will be given to the roles of the WTO and the WIPO. The course also examines some of the recent issues that have attracted controversy in the international arena as well as relevant recent developments in foreign countries, including the European Union member states and China.
Legal Clinic - Practical Preparation of GMU Patent Applications 358 2

This class will be a working seminar class where students will write actual applications which will be filed for inventors affiliated with George Mason University. The students will each be assigned an invention, and will work directly with the inventor(s), who will likely be George Mason University professors or staff, to write a patent application covering the invention. Students will be instructed as to best practices before meeting with the inventor(s) and drafting the application, and then will be critiqued regarding their written patent applications. The patent applications will be written in stages, including invention disclosure considerations, drawings, claims, andspecification, with critique on each step in the process. Multiple drafts of the complete application will be written and critiqued until it is ready for filing. The two credit hour course will meet for two periods every other week. The instructors will attempt to match inventions with students' backgrounds, if possible. The course is currently limited to those students with a background or facility in computer, electrical or mechanical technology. Patent Law I & II and Patent Writing Theory and Practice are prerequisites to this course. Instructor approval can be obtained in lieu of prerequisites. As of Fall 2010, students receive two (2) total credits for this class. One (1) credit is "in-class" and one (1) credit is "out-of-class."

Legal and Economic Theory of Intellectual Property 264 2 A survey of the legal and economic theory of intellectual property including the common law premises for the protection of ideas and their embodiments and the evolution of statutory and judge-made law. The first half of the course concentrates on the underlying economic and property theory and law, and the second half develops the application to the statutory and common law classes of intellectual property: patents, copyright, trademarks, mask works, and trade secrets.
Patent Law I 284 2 Provides an introduction to the basic principles of the law of patents in the United States. Covers the history, origin and function of the patent system; the nature of patents as property and as legal instruments; comparisons with other forms of intellectual property; subject matter eligible for patenting; the conditions for patentability of an invention; and the disclosure requirements for a patent application.
Patent Law II 292 2 A continuation of Patent Law I. This course focuses on the meaning and function of patent claims as property definitions; patent prosecution, including conduct giving rise to the unenforceability of a patent; post-grant procedures; infringement of a patent, including claim interpretation and acts giving rise to infringement; equitable defenses to a charge of infringement; remedies; patent enforcement; and patent misuse. Patent Law I is a prerequisite to this course.
Patent Litigation and Dispute Resolution Seminar 438 3 The course covers all core stages of a patent infringement action--from the filing of a complaint, to trial before judge and jury. Students work together as a litigation team representing one party in a patent infringement case against a team of students from Suffolk Law School in Boston. The course culminates in a trial either in DC or in Boston depending on the year (2013 will be in DC). Throughout the semester, the students participate in the various aspects of the case including drafting pleadings, working on written and document discovery, briefing and arguing claim construction (before a judge), taking and defending depositions, preparing expert reports, drafting summary judgment motions, and presenting at trial. A wide variety of roles and responsibilities are available and involve varying degrees of writing, research, and oral advocacy skills. Patent Law I is a prerequisite for this course.
Patent Prosecution 294 2 This course builds upon Patent Law I and II by providing an in depth analysis of the substantive and procedural law relating to the prosecution of patent applications in the Patent and Trademark Office. The course emphasizes various strategies for responding to office actions, avoiding and overcoming objections and rejections, and avoiding prosecution history estoppels arising under Supreme Court and Federal Circuit case law. The course stresses how patent prosecution affects the value of patents. Patent Law I & II are prerequisites to this course.
Patent Writing Theory and Practice 351 2 This course applies principles learned in earlier patent law courses to the writing of applications for patents to accord them their maximum legal effect. The readability of patents by lay judges and jurors is also stressed. Patent Law I & II are prerequisites to this course.
Patent and Know-How Licensing 286 2 Covers the business and legal criteria necessary to implement and maintain successful patent licensing programs. Subject areas covered are business objectives in licensing; rights and duties of license parties; determining and negotiating the terms and clauses of the contract; administering and enforcing the license; antitrust and misuse constraints on the business and law of licensing; and special problems in trade secrets, know-how, and show-how contracts. Patent Law I is a prerequisite to this course.
Trade Secrets Law 347 1-3 Considers the law and theory applicable to protection of confidential business information ranging from computer programs and manufacturing processes to customer lists. Covers reverse engineering of products; invention/idea submissions from employees and outsiders; employment agreements; consultant agreements; considerations regarding drafting of agreements; remedies; defenses; misappropriation; trade secret-defeating publications versus patent-defeating publications; implied and express duties of confidentiality; trial tactics; use of trade secret clauses to effect non-compete agreements; the inevitable disclosure doctrine; Federal Economic Espionage Act of 1996; and various public policy considerations associated with the foregoing. The procedures and requirements for preserving trade secret protection for confidential business information are reviewed. The economics of trade secret law is considered relative to other types of protection such as patents and copyrights.
Trademark Law 327 3 Covers procedural and substantive law in obtaining trademark registrations in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and enforcement and licensing of federal and state registrations after they are obtained.
Trademark Prosecution 311 2 This course will illustrate the practical aspects of trademark search, clearance, strategy, counseling, prosecution and enforcement. Class discussion will focus on the law, USPTO rules and procedures, pleadings and forms, and client counseling. The course is designed to give the students a background of what practicing trademark law would be like in a law firm or corporate environment. A background in Trademark Law (either through a Trademark Law course or work-related experience) will be helpful, but is not a prerequisite for this course.
Unfair Trade Practices 332 3 This course examines the legal determination of what business practices are considered to be unfair. It includes the problem of entry, deceptive practices, interference with business relations, trade secrets, and misappropriation. The bodies of law studied include the common law and various federal enactments, such as the Federal Trade Commission Act and the Lanham Act.