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Course Details

Intro to Intellectual Property Law (Wagner)

Spring 2024   LAW 507-001  

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R. Polk Wagner

Michael A. Fitts Professor of Law

Laura Dolbow

Sharswood Fellow

Additional Information

Skills Training
Oral Presentations
Team Projects
Expository Writing

100% Other (For Spring 2024, I am re-thinking assessments. This is TBD but I think we will not do a traditional end-of-semester exam.)

Multiple Choice,
Short Answer,
Take Home,

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. I will make these recordings routinely available on the course site to everyone in the class.

- 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 own a color? Is an idea itself a commodity that can be protected? Can a business really claim a fruit's name as its exclusive brand? How will the rise of AI shape our conception of intellectual property? These are just a few of the questions at the heart of Introduction to Intellectual Property Law & Policy.

This course propels you into the vibrant world of intellectual property law, a domain that governs the intangible, yet supremely valuable, assets of our modern society. Here's where creativity meets commerce, where innovation confronts legislation, and where legal minds engage with some of the most pressing issues of our times.

Spanning the fundamentals of copyrights, patents, trademarks, and trade secrets, we dive into the landmark cases that have shaped the field. With every court ruling and every debated policy, you'll uncover the riveting stories that have defined the boundaries of ownership and creativity.

In Introduction to Intellectual Property Law & Policy, you'll not only dissect current laws but also grapple with the legal challenges of tomorrow. From understanding how technology giants have patented design elements to exploring the legal quandaries posed by AI, you'll be at the forefront of the legal implications of innovation.

Ideal for those just dipping their toes into intellectual property law or for the legal enthusiast who wants to comprehend the ins and outs of a rapidly-evolving field, this course paves the way for a deep dive into advanced IP law studies. Even for those who won't be specializing in IP law, this is an invaluable part of your legal education, as understanding IP law is crucial in a myriad of legal, business, and creative arenas.

So, ready to claim your spot in the debate on the ownership of ideas? Whether you're a 1L or not, join us in this fascinating exploration of the intersection between creativity, policy, and law. Your journey into the thought-provoking world of intellectual property law starts here!

*** All of the above was written by ChatGPT 4, and very lightly edited. It did a pretty good job. ***

A few additional items: - The Spring 2023 syllabus and much of the course materials are available here: https://bit.ly/IP-Syllabus-2023 - For Spring 2024 we will be adding substantial material on AI and IP. - For Spring 2024 we are re-thinking assessments. This is TBD but most likely there will not be a traditional final exam. - The course will have at least two TAs to supplement instruction and be your 'tour guides' on the journey. - Absolutely no technical background is required or assumed. Seriously.

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.

Perspectives on the Law Learning outcomes: Demonstrate an understanding of how the law affects, and is affected by, the individual course topic; Perform legal analysis in the context of the individual course topic; Communicate effectively on the legal and other aspects of the individual course topic; Demonstrate the ability to use other disciplines to analyze legal issues relevant to the individual course topic, including economics, philosophy, and sociology, as appropriate.


"Intellectual Property in the New Technological Age" by Peter S Menell (Author), Mark A Lemley (Author), Robert P Merges (Author)
Edition: Vol II 2023
Publisher: Clause 8 Publishing
ISBN: 9781945555251

"Intellectual Property in the New Technological Age Perspectives, Trade Secrets and Patent" by Peter S. Menell, Mark A. Lemley, Robert P. Merges, Shyamkrishna Balganesh
Edition: Vol. I 2023
Publisher: Clause 8 Publishing
ISBN: 9781945555244