Course Descriptions

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Spring 2018 Intellectual Property Class Descriptions

Antitrust (LWBC503)

Instructor(s): Mark Lee

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Intellectual Property Law, Business and Corporate Law, Intellectual Property, LLM in Business and Corporate Law, Public Interest Law

Courts (through the Sherman Act and the Clayton Act) have regulated a wide variety of business practices including price-setting cartels, trade association activities, distribution agreements, franchising, package selling, boycotts, long-term contracting, and mergers. This course focuses on the issues raised by these regulations.

Understanding and formulating the arguments bearing on these issues requires the use of elementary microeconomics, but students need not have studied economics. The course will include instruction in the relevant economic concepts as they arise. Class discussion will focus on questions about cases and problems. Students will develop their analytical skills through these exercises.

Grade is based on the final examination. Push points for quality participation may be awarded.

Note: There are limitations on Intellectual Property (JD) concentration eligibility. Please check the Intellectual Property Concentration web page for more information.
Additional Information: Intellectual Property Concentration (JD)

Copyright Law (LWIP525)

Instructor(s): David McGowan

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Intellectual Property Law, Intellectual Property

This course surveys the law relating to rights in expressive works. We will study what copyright covers – such as books, movies, musical recordings, and software – and distinguish copyright from other forms of intellectual property, such as trademark and patent. We will focus on the exclusive rights granted in copyrightable works, rules governing the transfer of those rights, what acts infringe those rights, what remedies the law provides for infringement, and what limitations the law places on those rights, such as the fair use doctrine. We will discuss some topics of current interest, such as the rules governing the copying and distribution of music over peer-to-peer networks, digital rights management, and open-source software development. 

Note: May be applied as part of the six required credits for the Intellectual Property Concentration (JD).
Additional Information: Intellectual Property JD Concentration

Corporate Counsel Externship I (LWVL591)

Instructor(s): Beth Baier

1-4 credit(s), P/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Intellectual Property Law, Environmental and Energy Law, Employment and Labor Law, Intellectual Property, Business and Corporate Law, LLM in Business and Corporate Law, Health Law

The Corporate Counsel Externship Program consists of a work component and a class component and allows students to earn academic credit working in the legal department of a corporation, company or other business entity. Students may also work in other departments of a corporation as long as they are supervised by an on-site licensed attorney.

Students work a minimum of 50 hours per unit of credit and may receive 1-4 credits. Academic requirements include: mandatory orientation, journals between student and professor relating to the field placement; periodic discussion boards on legal practice topics; a three-five page reflective paper at the end of the semester; an example of work product for professor review; and, satisfactory completion of work experience. The Externship is graded on a Pass-Fail basis. To review all the pertinent course resources, including course information, form, and helpful internet links, please see the Corporate Counsel Externship Handbook.

If you have been offered and have accepted a field placement, meet the eligibility requirements, agree to meet the course obligations and want to register for the Externship course, fill out the Field Placement Form. The Office of Career and Professional Development will then confirm your placement and instruct you on registering for the course.

Contact lawcareers@sandiego.edu with placement questions. Contact Professor John Sansone, Academic Director, at jsansone@sandiego.edu with academic questions.

Note: There are limitations on JD concentration eligibility. Please check the JD concentrations web pages for more information. Contact Law Student Affairs to find out if your work in this internship qualifies for a concentration.
Additional Information: JD Concentrations Web Page, Email Law Student Affairs

Corporate Counsel Externship II (LWVL589)

Instructor(s): Beth Baier

1-4 credit(s), P/F Graded
Requirement(s): Experiential
Concentration(s): Intellectual Property Law, Employment and Labor Law, Intellectual Property, Business and Corporate Law, Health Law

Externship II students refine their skills, with a longer opportunity to specialize their training in a specific area. Externship II is limited to students who have previously worked at a Corporate Counsel Externship placement. Please refer to Corporate Counsel Externship I description for additional requirements. To review all the pertinent course resources, including course information, form, and helpful internet links, please see the Corporate Counsel Externship Handbook.

Corporate Innovation & Legal Policy (LWIP528)

Instructor(s): Orly Lobel

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing
Concentration(s): Intellectual Property Law, Intellectual Property

What are the optimal policy ingredients and business strategies for managing innovation? How can business leaders, inventors, lawyers, and policymakers benefit from the connections between corporate success, intellectual property, and human capital? The course will introduce foundations of intellectual property law and employment and organizational practices. We will examine corporate policies and disputes over the control of ideas, secrets, skill and intellectual property. In particular, we will analyze non-compete contracts, trade secrets and non-disclosures, information privacy, economic espionage, employee duties of loyalty, including prohibitions on customer and co-worker solicitation and raiding for competitive endeavors; and employer ownership over inventions and artistic work, including pre-invention patent assignment agreements and work-for-hire disputes. In the past few years, the black box of innovation has been pierced with a plethora of new interdisciplinary research and practice. At the same time, industry and policymakers in the United States, like other countries around the world, are debating the benefits of existing EIP laws. In the course, we will bring together these various developments to identify how companies can sustain their innovative capacities, commercialize science, and manage creativity, and to assess how differences in regulatory and contractual arrangements in the employment relationship can impact key aspects of innovation, such as the rate of patent filings, the level of network participation in intellectual and creative endeavors, individual motivation to innovate, organizational behavior, and talent mobility.

Entertainment Law (LWBC553)

Instructor(s): Staff

2 credit(s), Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing
Concentration(s): Employment and Labor Law, Intellectual Property, Intellectual Property Law

This course is designed to introduce participants to the legal dynamics that undergird the American entertainment industry, a global economic and cultural juggernaut.

At the core of Entertainment Law are two legal regimes:

1)intellectual property (“IP”), including copyright, trademark and rights of publicity, and

2)Contract law.

Entertainment Law explores these regimes, from deals, such as “360” sound recording agreements to disputes, such as Lil’ Wayne’s breach of contract suit against Cash Money.

Using interactive media, video and music clips, Entertainment Law will use materials, including cases, contracts and statutes to explore the motion picture, video game, television and music industries from transactional, economic, clearance and litigation perspectives.

From rapper Jay Z’s copyright infringement lawsuit in the “Big Pimpin’” case, to Run-DMC’s trademark infringement suit against Target, and Pamela Anderson’s breach of contract case by film producer, and more, Entertainment Law will immerse participants in the law behind the glitter and glitz of the entertainment industry.

Participants will write a scholarly paper on a relevant topic in lieu of an exam for this course.

European Union Commercial Law (LWIC522)

Instructor(s): StaffStaff

1 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): LLM in International Law, Intellectual Property Law, International Law, Intellectual Property, Business and Corporate Law, LLM in Business and Corporate Law

As business is becoming more international so must the law and lawyers. In a world of international trade and transactions companies and their advisers need to have a global legal horizon. Until quite recently, it would not have made any practical sense to talk about an “EU commercial law”. However, due to the ongoing harmonization of the law of the EU countries a body of truly common European law is emerging from the melting pot of the national laws and traditions and EU institutions and courts. The course draws on the results of 30 years of continued and ongoing EU harmonization to provide US law students with an overview of some of the central aspects of European commercial law. The course focuses on the practical legal problems facing an American enterprise doing business in Europe but at the same time provides for a basic understanding of the EU legal framework. After a brief general introduction to EU law the course falls in two parts. Part I deals with the transfer of goods and covers such topics as general contract law (PECL Principles of European Contract Law), the EC directive on Unfair Contract Terms, and the EC directive on Products Liability. Part II deals with the trade in intangible rights notably patents and trademarks. This part opens with a general presentation of the European systems for the protection of inventions and trademarks. It then moves on to discuss aspects relating to the exercise of those rights in regard to the Treaty rules on the free movement of goods (“parallel importation” and the principle of “exhaustion of rights”) and to tech-trans agreements and other issues involving competition law. The course requires no prior knowledge of European law.  There will be a final exam scheduled in March.

Global Antitrust (LWBC566)

Instructor(s): Staff

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing
Concentration(s): Intellectual Property Law, Business and Corporate Law, LLM in International Law, International Law, Intellectual Property, LLM in Business and Corporate Law

This course introduces students to antitrust law in leading jurisdictions worldwide. As economies become increasingly global, U.S. and other businesses can be directly and indirectly affected by these laws, including especially laws outside the U.S., which are materially more restrictive than corresponding U.S. law. The course is designed to provide students with at least rudimentary familiarity with basic concepts, as well as approaches to utilize with business clients regarding their operations and expectations. In addition, the course will cover the impact of politics, industrial policies and the enforcement process, all of which are often determinative in lieu of antitrust principle and evidence.

Note: There are limitations on Intellectual Property (JD) concentration eligibility. Please check the Intellectual Property Concentration web page for more information.
Additional Information: Intellectual Property Concentration (JD)

Intellectual Property Seminar (LWIP540)

Instructor(s): Ted Sichelman

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing
Concentration(s): Intellectual Property Law, Intellectual Property

This seminar will explore cutting-edge topics in intellectual property law, such as the major theories of IP rights; the role IP plays in innovation and creativity; how trademarks promote product “branding”; the use of patents in commercializing inventions; the effects of trade secrecy and non-competition agreements on R & D and employee mobility; the use of IP by startup companies; private markets for buying, selling, and licensing IP rights; copyrights in the entertainment industry; IP & software; alternatives to IP; and IP, global development & access to knowledge. Students are required to write a research paper and present the paper during the second half of the semester. The final grade is based on the paper (but not the presentation), with push points for class participation. 

Note: There are no prerequisites for the course, but completion of one IP course or work experience in IP will be helpful to understand the course material.

Patent Prosecution (LWIP571)

Instructor(s): Mark Abumeri

2 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Intellectual Property Law, Intellectual Property
Prerequisite(s): Intellectual Property Survey or Patent Law

This course provides an overview of practical aspects of U.S. patent practice, with a particular focus on issues that will be faced by a patent attorney in the early years of his/her career. Topics covered include preparation and prosecution of patent applications before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, discussing strategic and practical considerations in addition to the applicable law, regulations and procedures. The course will also cover development and execution of an IP strategy for a client, evaluation of the scope of issued patents, and issues relating to ownership, assignment, and licensing of patent rights. In addition, ethical issues related to inequitable conduct, duty of candor, and proper representation of clients are addressed. Students will complete a series of real-world assignments, including the drafting of claims and other patent application content, responses to Office actions, and provisions directed to the transfer of patent rights.

Prerequisite: Intellectual Property Survey, or Patent Law. No technical background is required. Grade will be based on a series of practical projects over the course of the semester.

Privacy Law (LWGC581)

Instructor(s): Alan Blankenheimer

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Requirement(s): Writing
Concentration(s): Intellectual Property Law, Intellectual Property

Privacy and data security issues are becoming increasingly important to businesses, individuals and governments in light of new information technologies and new threats to their, and our national, security. From the Equifax and Sony hacks to the NSA to iPhone encryption, information privacy law is now essential knowledge in boardrooms and courtrooms. This course will provide an introduction to the constitutional and common law origins of the law of privacy and to the statutory framework in California and at the federal level for protecting private information. 

Note: There are limitations on Intellectual Property (JD) concentration eligibility. Please check the Intellectual Property Concentration web page for more information.
Additional Information: Intellectual Property Concentration (JD)

Trademark Law (LWIP580)

Instructor(s): Abraham Bell

3 credit(s), Letter Graded
Concentration(s): Intellectual Property Law, Intellectual Property

This course provides an overview of trademark and unfair competition law. We will discuss the purpose of these laws, the requirements for trademark protection, and the scope and enforcement of trademark rights. Specifically, we will cover the concepts of distinctiveness, functionality, and use of a trademark; the procedural and substantive aspects of trademark registration; geographic limits on trademark rights; trademark infringement, dilution, cybersquatting, counterfeiting, false advertising, false endorsement, and the right of publicity; and defenses and remedies in trademark actions.