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JOHN CABOT UNIVERSITY

COURSE CODE: "LAW/PL 368"
COURSE NAME: "Intellectual Property Theory and Law"
SEMESTER & YEAR: Summer Session II 2018
SYLLABUS

INSTRUCTOR: Michael Grace
EMAIL: [email protected]
HOURS: MTWTH 1:40-3:30 PM
TOTAL NO. OF CONTACT HOURS: 45
CREDITS: 3
PREREQUISITES:
OFFICE HOURS: Mondays immediately after class and by appointment

COURSE DESCRIPTION:
This course examines key concepts of intellectual property rights and their philosophical foundations. Students will explore different theories of property as put forward by Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Hobbes, and Locke, and interpret US, UK, and EU judicial opinions on patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secret rights.
SUMMARY OF COURSE CONTENT:

Classes will consist of a mixture of lectures and question-and-answer discussions based on a close reading of original texts, legal opinions, and transactional documents such as computer software licenses.

LEARNING OUTCOMES:

By the end of the course, students will understand the philosophical underpinnings of property and apply basic concepts of intellectual property law to real-life hypothetical problems.

TEXTBOOK:
Book TitleAuthorPublisherISBN numberLibrary Call NumberComments
Check the list in the Schedule...  
REQUIRED RESERVED READING:
NONE

RECOMMENDED RESERVED READING:
NONE
GRADING POLICY
-ASSESSMENT METHODS:
AssignmentGuidelinesWeight
Mid-term Examination (Essay Questions) 35
Class Attendance and Participation 15
Moot Court Advocacy 10
Final Examination (Essay Questions) 40

-ASSESSMENT CRITERIA:
ADirectly addresses the question or problem raised and argues coherently for a position while displaying familiarity with relevant information. Careful critical analysis and original thought are expected.
BHighly competent performance that directly addresses the question or problem raised and solid analysis that does more than repeat class discussions. No major errors or omissions.
CAcceptable performance that addresses the question or problem raised with clear but limited answers based on information offered in the lectures and class readings.
DInadequate performance that lacks completeness or coherence; the bare minimum.
FDemonstrated lack of knowledge or understanding of the issues raised in the course.

-ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS:
ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS AND EXAMINATION POLICY

Attendance is essential.  Students should read the assigned texts carefully and be prepared to answer questions about them in class and to listen with critical attention to the contributions of others.

 

You cannot make-up a major exam (midterm or final) without the permission of the Dean’s Office. The Dean’s Office will grant such permission only when the absence was caused by a serious impediment, such as a documented illness, hospitalization or death in the immediate family (in which you must attend the funeral) or other situations of similar gravity. Absences due to other meaningful conflicts, such as job interviews, family celebrations, travel difficulties, student misunderstandings or personal convenience, will not be excused. Students who will be absent from a major exam must notify the Dean’s Office prior to that exam. Absences from class due to the observance of a religious holiday will normally be excused. Individual students who will have to miss class to observe a religious holiday should notify the instructor by the end of the Add/Drop period to make prior arrangements for making up any work that will be missed.
ACADEMIC HONESTY
As stated in the university catalog, any student who commits an act of academic dishonesty will receive a failing grade on the work in which the dishonesty occurred. In addition, acts of academic dishonesty, irrespective of the weight of the assignment, may result in the student receiving a failing grade in the course. Instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of Academic Affairs. A student who is reported twice for academic dishonesty is subject to summary dismissal from the University. In such a case, the Academic Council will then make a recommendation to the President, who will make the final decision.
STUDENTS WITH LEARNING OR OTHER DISABILITIES
John Cabot University does not discriminate on the basis of disability or handicap. Students with approved accommodations must inform their professors at the beginning of the term. Please see the website for the complete policy.

SCHEDULE

TEXTS

Plato, The Republic, Books I and V.

Aristotle, The Politics, Book 1, Ch. 1 through Book 2, Ch. 5.

Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae II-II, Questions 62 through 66.

Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan: Of Man, Of Commonwealth (selected excerpts).

Locke, Second Treatise of Government, Chapters 1-5 and 9.

U.S. Constitution; selected U.S. Supreme Court landmark decisions on patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secret rights; U.K. House of Lords and European Union judicial opinions.

Selected “Open Source” Computer Software Licenses.

July 2018

2: Course Introduction.  How to read texts of philosophy and law.  Questions to ask Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Hobbes and Locke this summer.  Dissecting Book I of Plato’s Republic. 

First Assignment:  Read Book I of Plato’s Republic carefully in preparation for the first class session.

3: Republic, Book V on Property.

4: NO CLASS – BUT READ THE U.S. CONSTITUTION AS PART OF YOUR CELEBRATION

5: Politics, Book 1. 

6: Politics, Book 2, Chapters 1-7; Book 7, Chapters 9-10.

9: Summa, Questions 63-65; 66 and 62; Leviathan: Of Man (excerpts).

10: Leviathan, Of Commonwealth (excerpts).

11: Second Treatise on Government, Chapters 1-5.

12: Second Treatise, Chapter 9; U.S. Constitutional Foundations of Intellectual Property Rights.

16: Midterm Examination:  Four essay questions, one hour.

 In the second hour:  Making sense of judicial opinions; Trade Secrets v. Patents; Trademarks v. Copyrights.

17: Evening Library Session: Introduction to Online Legal Research, followed by dinner together at a local pizzeria.  This session is optional but very useful for legal research.

18: Trade secrets in depth:  Uniform Trade Secrets Act; common law and statutory protection; criminal statutes; industrial espionage.  Special problems in protecting against industrial espionage; international enforcement issues.

19: How to read a patent.  What’s in a patent?  What’s a patent troll?  Analysis of selected landmark patent cases.

23: The European Patent.  International Treaties on Patent Protection.

24: Trademarks:  The U.S. Lanham Act.  Review and discuss landmark trademark cases.  European trademark protection; the Madrid Treaty.

25: Copyright issues for particular works:  literary works, sound recordings, visual images, motion pictures, software, architectural works, websites, databases.

26: Copyrights: Discuss landmark copyright cases; the Berne Convention.

30: Contemporary Issues in Intellectual Property:  Identity in the Internet Age, Open Source Software, Fair Use, Mixing, and Academic Freedom.

31: What’s Wrong with IP Law Today?  Policy issues and grappling with future technologies.

 

August 2018

 

1: How to prepare for appellate oral argument; breakout practice sessions.

2: Moot Supreme Court Oral Argument:  ”Is Life Patentable?”  Celebratory pizza at Dar Poeta (the best pizza place in Trastevere).

3: Comprehensive course review for final examination.

4: Final Examination:  Six essay questions (two hours).