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Course Details

Intro to Intellectual Property Law (Wagner)

Spring 2023   LAW 507-001  

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R. Polk Wagner

Michael A. Fitts Professor of Law

Additional Information

Skills Training
Oral Presentations
Team Projects
Expository Writing

20% Participation,
80% Exam

Multiple Choice,
In Class,
Partial Open Book (Closed-book multiple choice and open-book essay)

Satisfies Senior Writing Requirement



Class meets in person.

Course Continuity
Students are encouraged to stay home if you are ill or experience flu-like symptoms. If you miss a class for any reason, it is still your responsibility to make up the work missed.

I offer the following to students who miss class due to illness:

- Class sessions are regularly recorded. If you are absent due to illness or some other unavoidable circumstance, email me and I can send you an email with instructions for accessing the recording for the class session(s) you missed.

- I will make PowerPoint slides or other class materials routinely available on the course site to everyone in the class.

Meeting Times/Location
MW 3:00PM - 4:20PM
Gittis Hall 214



Can you trademark red shoe soles? 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? These are questions that Congress and the courts have addressed in recent years and we will, too.

Touching on most areas of commercial and artistic activity, Intellectual Property Law and Policy is increasingly becoming an essential component of a modern legal education. In the course students will be introduced to a broad overview of copyright, patent, trademark and trade secret law. The focus is on learning some of the seminal cases in each area, while also considering the policy implications of the law as it stands.

This is a course both for those who know they want to do IP and those who know they don’t: It provides the essential background for those who want to take some of the large number of upper level courses the law school offers in IP. But it’s also a brief (1 course) and fun way to learn about a lot of very dynamic areas of the law, even if you never take another course in the subject. While it is a 1L elective, students from all years are strongly encouraged to enroll.

Course Concentrations

Intellectual Property and Technology Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate a core understanding of intellectual property law; Perform legal analysis in the context of intellectual property law; Communicate effectively on topics related to intellectual property; Demonstrate an understanding of the interconnection between technology and intellectual property, and how they affect other areas of law and society.


"Intellectual Property & the New Technological Age: Volume I" by Merges, Menell, Lemley, Balganesh
Edition: 2022
Publisher: Clause 8 Publishing
ISBN: 9781945555213

"Intellectual Property & the New Technological Age: Volume II" by Merges, Menell, Lemley, Balganesh
Edition: 2022
Publisher: Clause 8 Publishing
ISBN: 9781945555220

"Intellectual Property Statutes 2022" by Merges, Menell, Lemley, Balganesh
Edition: 2022
Publisher: Clause 8 Publishing
ISBN: 9781945555237