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Core Intellectual Property Curriculum

Intellectual Property Fundamentals: A survey of intellectual property law, including copyright, trademark, patent, and other subject matters. This serves as the foundational course for the specialist who wishes to pursue the Intellectual Property Certificate, but the class is also a good choice for the generalist who simply wants to learn the basics of intellectual property law.  3 sem. hrs.

Copyright Law: A detailed examination of the law that protects literary, musical, artistic and other works of authorship, with particular attention to the 1976 federal copyright statute, as amended. Topics include the requirements for and scope of copyright protection, ownership and duration of copyright, copyright rights and remedies, fair use, the interaction of copyright and digital technologies, the liability of third parties for the copyright infringement of others, and the tension between copyright and other areas of the law, such as free speech, patent, and contract law.  3 sem. hrs.

Intellectual Property and Transactional Law Clinic: Students represent for-profit and nonprofit organizations, as well as social entrepreneurs, artists, authors, and inventors from a variety of backgrounds. Students help business startup clients by engaging in business formation counseling and provide legal services to clients, including negotiating and drafting contracts, providing corporate legal services and analysis, and facilitating strategic decision-making. Students also assist clients in the assessment and potential licensing of a variety of intellectual property rights. The classroom seminar will provide clinic students the opportunity to study and reflect on the theoretical framework and application of related substantive subjects.

Intellectual Property Law and Policy Seminar: This seminar will examine the legal and public policy considerations regarding intellectual property protection in various fields and industries. In particular, the course will explore whether intellectual property protection and enforcement is beneficial and necessary for the creation, development, and commercialization of different ideas, expressions, and other intangibles.  2 sem. hrs.  Satisfies upper-level writing requirement.

Patent Law: This course covers the fundamental doctrines of patent law and is designed to serve as a basic course for those who wish to specialize in this field, as well as to provide a general background for a corporate or business practice. Topics will include eligible subject matter for patenting; conditions for patentability, including utility, novelty, non-obviousness, enablement, best mode, definiteness, and adequate written description; patent infringement; defenses; and remedies. The course will study statutory aspects of patent law, as well as judicial interpretation by the Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit. Further, this course will consider the justifications for the patent monopoly. An engineering or science background is not required to take this course.  3 sem. hrs.

Entertainment Law: Issues of law and policy affecting the entertainment industry.  2 sem. hrs.

Computer Law: Develop and refine practical skills in transactional drafting in the context of legal arrangements that govern most digital goods-based businesses (such as computer software and information technology companies) and related transactions. Drafting assignments involve issues of contract law, intellectual property law, and privacy in the context of digital goods and include license drafting, Digital Millennium Copyright Act safe harbor compliance, and privacy policies. Satisfies the Law Skills IV requirement. 3 sem. hrs.  

Trademark and Unfair Competition Law: This course will familiarize students with the academic principles of trademark law and provide practical instruction on how to handle a trademark practice. Among other things, the course will examine the following subjects: The differences between trademarks and other types of intellectual property such as copyrights, patents and trade secrets; sources of trademark law, including the Lanham Act, the Federal Trademark Dilution Act of 1995 and the Trademark Amendments Act of 1999; different types of trademarks (name, logo, slogan, etc.), and characteristics of protectable marks, and strong and weak marks; preservation of trademarks rights; trademark infringement and litigation; licensing and assignment of trademarks; domain names and other trademark issues in cyberspace; and international trademark law.  3 sem. hrs.

Patent Preparation and Prosecution: This course explores the art of drafting a patent application and the subsequent prosecution of the application through the Patent and Trademark Office. The course will include some necessary detail with respect to PTO Rules, but it will also cover the strategy and reasoning behind various drafting techniques. The course is directed to students who plan to become patent practitioners as well as those who are simply interested in the process.  2 sem. hrs.

Sports and the Law: A survey course addressing legal issues presented by both professional and amateur sports in a variety of settings. Examines such issues as the legal concept of amateurism, the organization of amateur sports associations, and eligibility for participation as an amateur, especially in the context of intercollegiate athletics Also focuses on gender and disability discrimination issues, the organization of professional sports with the power of the commissioner and the organization of leagues. The application of antitrust law to amateur and professional sports will also be examined, along with issues presented by the representation of professional athletes and the enforcement of sports contracts. Criminal and tort liability issues presented by sports participation will also be discussed, along with workers compensation and drug testing issues. 2 sem hrs.

Intellectual Property Drafting: Will focus on developing and refining practical skills, including conducting intellectual property audits, filing domestic and Madrid Protocol applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, trademark examination rules and procedures, conducting opposition proceedings, copyright filings, franchising issues, developing and implementing trade secrets policies and programs for businesses, licensing, and ethics. 2 sem. hrs.

Satellite Intellectual Property Courses

Administrative Law: The common process by which the law produced by government agencies is produced and challenged. Study of the constitutional limits on bureaucratic power and structure and examination the most important sections of federal and state statutes that impose uniform procedures for the promulgation of regulations and the decision of cases before administrative tribunals. Specific examples from the work of agencies such as environmental protection agencies, industrial and professional licensing boards, labor relations boards, workers' compensation tribunals, and schools. Includes federal and state law. For their grades, students are invited to take a final examination or to produce case notes suitable for law review publication. 3 sem. hrs.

Remedies: Putting legal theory into the practical context of its ultimate remedy for the client, covers primarily equitable remedies Covers the equitable remedies of bills of peace, receiverships, injunctions to enforce contracts, injunctions to prevent torts, constructive trusts to prevent unjust enrichment, restitution, equitable defenses, contempt of court, etc and a broad range of general legal topics, including the remedies available for breach of contract, commission of torts, waste and nuisance to property, civil procedure (injunctions and contempt of court), etc. Looks at the broad areas of the law from the point of view of the remedy available to the litigant. Method of Assessment: The students argue each of the cases, and then there is class discussion. At the end of the course, each student will be required to write a 1,000 word essay on some topic of equity, and there will also be an examination. 3 sem. hrs.

Antitrust: Control of private economic power in the United States, focusing on the law regarding monopolies, mergers, and restrictive business practices as regulated by the Sherman and Clayton acts. Some attention to other federal antitrust legislation such as the Federal Trade Commission Act and state antitrust enforcement. 3 sem. hrs.

Scientific Evidence: Technical and legal aspects of scientific aids in the trial of civil and criminal cases. Scientific experts participate as guest lecturers.  2 sem. hrs.

Bioethics: Seminar with primary focus on bioethical legal issues that confront society today. Among topics to be considered: distinctions, if any, between ethical and legal issues; philosophical models for analyzing bioethical issues, including deontological models (rules and rights), theological models (utilitarian, economic), and models of care; informed consent and autonomy versus utility debate; genetic engineering; shortages of organ supply; termination of life support; quality- of-life issues; beginning care and infants; cost issues, including how much to treat; and the cost of technology versus other societal values.  2 sem. hrs.

Sports and the Law: A survey course addressing legal issues presented by both professional and amateur sports in a variety of settings. Examines such issues as the legal concept of amateurism, the organization of amateur sports associations, and eligibility for participation as an amateur, especially in the context of intercollegiate athletics Also focuses on gender and disability discrimination issues, the organization of professional sports with the power of the commissioner and the organization of leagues. The application of antitrust law to amateur and professional sports will also be examined, along with issues presented by the representation of professional athletes and the enforcement of sports contracts. Criminal and tort liability issues presented by sports participation will also be discussed, along with workers compensation and drug testing issues. 2 sem. hrs.

First Amendment Law: Examines American constitutional law pertaining to religion, speech, and the media, including the law pertaining to aid for sectarian schools, prayer in public schools, conscientious objection, censorship, association, and access to trials and state secrets. 3 sem hrs.

Law and Economics: Application of economic analysis to legal concepts. Using goals of efficiency and wealth maximization, shows how economic theory can unify property law, contract law, tort law, criminal law, and family/sex law, as well as offer new insights to old problems.  3 sem. hrs.

Cultural Property: Archaeology, Ethics, and Law: Cultural Property: Archaeology, Ethics, and Law:  Who owns the past? This course explores current issues of archaeological ethics and cultural heritage management. Topics range from the ancient history of looting and appropriation to the illicit antiquities market and site preservation today, and how local and international property and tax laws affect collecting practices. Students will prepare class presentations and research papers to explore these legal and ethical issues through specific case studies, primarily from the Mediterranean region.   3 sem. hrs.

Contact Us

Intellectual Property Institute
University of Richmond School of Law
28 Westhampton Way
Richmond, Virginia  23173
Phone: (804) 287-6398
E-mail: ipi@richmond.edu