Patent Law

Course Number: 533K

Description: (Formerly DCL 564) This course provides a general introduction to patent law, introducing students to the basic legal rules and policies that constitute this important field of intellectual property law. Subjects covered include claim interpretation and patentable subject matter. Students will then spend the majority of the course studying the specific requirements for a valid patent, including the utility, written description, enablement, novelty, and non-obviousness requirements. Patent litigation topics such as infringement, defenses and damages will be covered as time permits. The course will focus on the new America Invents Act (AIA) but will also incorporate older rules as many currently existing patents will be analyzed under pre-AIA standards for the foreseeable future. Although patent cases often involve complicated scientific discoveries or technologies, the essential legal principles or policies rarely depend on understanding the underlying science or technology. Accordingly, students with non-technical backgrounds are encouraged to take this course, particularly given that intellectual property assets, such as patents, are increasingly important to commercial clients the world over.