Greg R. Vetter

Intellectual Property Survey, Fall 2007

Course Description

This course covers domestic intellectual property laws - patent, copyright, trademark, and trade secret - through statues and cases. It is designed to afford the student who intends to practice in other areas an acquaintance with key IP issues, principles and doctrine, and to provide the intellectual property and information law specialist an introduction to the overall subject. The course will provide roughly equal treatment of patent, copyright and trademark law, approximately four weeks for each, with the remainder applied to the law of trade secrets, introduction, and/or review.

Generally Applicable Syllabus Information

Please read carefully the Generally Applicable Syllabus Information. This document sets forth course policy for attendance, preparation and participation, use of computers, examination and grading, and other items. A complete understanding of this document is necessary to take full meaning from the Class Schedule and Other Information set forth immediately below.

Class Schedule and Other Information

Name: Intellectual Property Survey
Course # / Section #: 5201 / 9981
Place: 111 TUII
Time: Tuesday & Thursday, 6:00 p.m. to 6:50 p.m. (2 class sessions per week, 2 credit hours)

Note
: There will be one class day where I will be unavoidably unavailable. This day is listed in the table below, and will be scheduled for a makeup.
 
Required Text:

Robert P. Merges, Peter S. Menell and Mark Lemley, Intellectual Property in the New Technological Age (Revised 4th ed. 2007) (Aspen Law & Business).

Supplement?: There is no requirement to purchase a statutory supplement.

Certain documents may be assigned from time to time from sources other than the casebook. These documents will be provided via links in the class assignment table below or in a separate page of class links. Paper copies of these documents will typically not be provided in class, so students should plan to print them or review them electronically.
Prerequisites None.
Grading: The course grade will be primarily based on an open-materials final exam.

"Primarily" means that at least 95% of the course grade will be based on the final exam. Probably 100% of the course grade will be based on the final exam, but I want to have given notice of the possibility of a small percentage of the grade coming from other sources, most likely one or more small exercises.

Notwithstanding the above, my assessment of your in-class participation performance will not be a component of your grade.
Brief Description of Coverage: This class will meet in two 1.0 credit-hour blocks each week. The coverage goal is approximately fifteen to twenty pages per block. Assignments will be detailed in the table below as the semester progresses.
 
Absences Limit: Assuming two class meetings a week, six or less absences constitutes attendance meeting the eighty percent requirement. More than six absences means that the eighty percent requirement is not met.
Attendance will be taken via a roll sheet passed throughout the class each session.
"Pick your seat" seating chart date: The second class session during the first week of class:
- Thursday, August 23, 2007.
 
Final Exam Date/Time: Tuesday, December 11, 2007; 6-8 p.m.
Final Exam Information: click here for the Final Exam page.
First day/week's assignment: Read this course web page, the linked Generally Applicable Syllabus Information, and the assignments detailed in the table below for the first day/week of class.
 
{reserved} {reserved}
Audio Recording of Class Sessions I will audio tape the class sessions using a portable recorder attached to my person and post links to the audio tracks on the class web site for the sole and limited educational purpose of allowing students to stream the recorded sessions to review or to enable students who missed a class to hear the class presentation. Any audio tracks created will be deleted and destroyed shortly after the final exam for the class. Since I call on students, there is a slight chance that your contributions to class discussion, whether voluntary or while on call, may be included in the audio recording. The chance is slight because the recording technology I use does a poor job of picking up any voices other than my own. Your continued registration in this class indicates your acquiescence to any such incidental recording for the purposes described above unless, if you have concerns about this, you come speak with me as soon as possible but in no event later than the first day of the second week of class.
Cancellation Day Thursday, Nov. 8
Scheduling Note: There is no class on Tuesday, Nov. 27; that day is not a "Tuesday" from the perspective of Law Center courses.
Makeup for Cancelled Day: Friday, Nov. 16; 6:00 p.m. to 6:50 p.m.; 111 TUII

Contact Information and Office Hours

These are posted on my home page at:

www.law.uh.edu/faculty/gvetter/

Course Materials Links by Category

The links below are for general reference and may be used for some class assignments.

Patent Law

  • United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) Patent Page
  • Selected patent law sections from 35 U.S.C. xxx extracted from the U.S. PTO consolidated laws

Copyright Law

Course Coverage Table

The tables immediately below provide the detailed assignments for this course. It also may provide links to materials for each class and other items related to the course. In order to allow flexibility in the class, assignments beyond those posted for the next week are subject to change; therefore, students who may wish to read ahead are urged to contact the professor before doing so. The rate of progress through the modules depends on the class dynamics.

Class presentation slides are provided as links below in association with each module title. I will generally have the slides available about a week before we start a new module. If students want hardcopy of the slides for use during class, please download and print the linked slides file.

After each class session, the class date will become a hyperlink to the audio for that class.

The casebook makes liberal use of "problems" - which in many cases are fact patterns adopted from actual cases. The problems' purpose is to illustrate twists in doctrine and provide additional context. When a problem is included in the assigned reading, there is no reason to write out an answer to the problem. Rather, it is sufficient to think about the problem and if desired make a few notes. Problems in the assigned reading may be the focus of class discussion, but will not always be touched upon in class.

Case names are listed in the table below as assignments. Sometimes there are several paragraphs of introduction before the case when the case is the lead case in a new subheading in the book. These introductory paragraphs are part of the assignment and should be read along with the case.

The call group assignment list will be posted here for downloading as a .pdf file, with a password required to open the file. That password will be given out in class.

In the table each casebook assignment is given a page range to go with the assignment title. Unless the "Comment/Note" column indicates otherwise, read the entire assignment, encompassed on the indicated pages, including any notes or associated problems.

Module 1: Introduction and Overview (slides)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
Introduction
1-2
1.1
Tues., Aug. 21
All
Overview of IP
24-30
stop before Prob. 1-3
The Natural Rights Perspective
2-6
Prob. 1-1 is food for thought, it likely won't be discussed in class

The Utilitarian/Economic Incentive Perspective
10-24
Prob. 1-2 is food for thought, it likely won't be discussed in class
 
Module 2: Trade Secrets (slides)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
Trade Secret (TS) Protection Introduction and Overview
33-36
 
2.1.a
Thur., Aug. 23
All
UTSA
36-37
try to parse out the elements of TS misappropriation from the model statute
Theory of Trade Secrets
37-39
 
Metallurgical Indus. v. Fourtek
39-49
 
Rockwell v. DEV
49-53
Tues., Aug. 28
L
Rockwell, notes
53-57
 
Problem 2-5
57-58
 
Disclosure of Trade Secrets
58-62
Dupont v. Christopher
62-67
 
Smith v. Dravo
67-72
stop before Problem 2-9 on pg. 72
2.20.a
Reverse Engineering
74
Kadant v. Seely Machine
75-80
Thur., Aug. 30
L
Warner-Lambert v. Reynolds
101-104
 
Module 3: Patent Law (slides)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
Patent Law: Historical Background
117-124
skim through pg. 124
n/a
Tues., Sept. 4
R
An Overview of the Patent Laws
124-127
 
3.1.a
Read the 4-page patent available here. This is a different kind of reading. I think it would be a good investment if you spend at least an hour with this document. Trace the words to the picture via the numbered items. Write down in your own words the key inventive aspect of the claimed invention. Also write down how claims 2 & 3 restrict or narrow this aspect.
n/a
Note any questions you have about why the patent instrument looks and is written as it is. I may ask some members of the call group to tell me their questions so we can discuss them in class.
The Elements of Patentability
128
 
3.10.a
Diamond v. Chakrabarty
128-135
 
Thur., Sept. 6
R
Parke-Davis v. H. K. Mulford
135-142
stop before Problem 3-2 on pg. 142 
Note on Patent Office Utility Guidelines
152-154
3.20.a
Note on Different Types of Utility
155-158
Describing and Enabling the Invention
158-163
stop at the end of pg. 164 
Tues., Sept. 11
L
The Written Description Requirement
173-174
 
Novelty and Statutory Bars
185-186
Rosaire v. National Lead
186-190
stop before Inherency note
Statutory Bars: Publications - In re Hall
192-195
stop before Problem 3-7 on pg. 195 
Statutory Bars: Public Use - Egbert v. Lippmann
196-200
stop before Problem 3-8 on pg. 200 
Thur., Sept. 13
L
The Experimental Use Exception - City of Elizabeth
202-206
stop before "Priority Rules" on pg. 206
3.30.a
Nonobviousness - Graham v. John Deere
212-224
Tues., Sept. 18
R
In re Dembiczak
240-245
3.40.a
KSR Intl. v. Teleflex
224-237
 
"Secondary" Considerations
248-249
Claim Interpretation
250-252
Thur., Sept. 20
R
Problem 3-5 (sharpylene)
183-185
 
Phillips v. AWH Corp.
252-268
U.S. Pat. No. 4,677,798 to Phillips
Tues., Sept. 25
L
Literal Infringement - Larami v. Amron
268-274
 
The DOE - Warner-Jenkinson v. Hilton Davis
275-278
 
PHE - Festo . . .
279-291
3.60.a
Thur., Sept. 27
L
Disclosed but not claimed - Johnson & Johnston v. R.E. Service
292-300
stop before "After-Arising . . ."
3.70.a
Tues., Oct. 2
R
 
Module 4: Copyright Law (slides)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
A Brief History of Copyright
383-388
 
4.1
An Overview of the Copyright Regime
388-389
 
Philosophical Perspectives on Copyright
390-392
 
Original Works of Authorship
392-394
 
Feist v. Rural Telephone Service
394-402
 
Fixation
402-405
 
Formalities
405-410
stop before "Note on the Restoration of Foreign Copyrighted Works" on pg. 410;
skip Problem 4-2 
Copyrightable Subject Matter
411-412
 
4.10.a
Baker v. Selden
412-417
 
Thur., Oct. 4
R
Problem 4-3
417-418
 
Morrissey v. P & G
418-421
 
Useful Article Doctrine
421-423
 
Tues., Oct. 9
L
Brandair v. Cascade Pacific
423-431
Problem 4-6 through Problem 4-8
431
 
Domain and Scope - Illustrative Works
436-443
skip Problem 4-11
4.20.a
Roth Greeting Cards v. United Card
443-446
Ownership and Duration - Work for Hire
446-447
 
4.30.a
CCNV v. Reid
447-454
stop before "Joint Works", pg. 455
Thur., Oct. 11
L
Rights in Electronic Compilations
462
 
Duration and Renewal
465-468
stop before Problem 4-18, pg. 469 
Division, Transfer and Reclaiming
469-474
Traditional Rights of Copyright Owners
474-476
Copying - Arnstein v. Porter
476-482
Music substantial similarity proposal: Yvette Joy Liebesman, Using Innovative Technologies to Analyze for Similarity Between Musical Works in Copyright Infringement Disputes, 35 AIPLA Quarterly Journal 331 (2007)
4.40.a
Tues., Oct. 16
R
Improper Appropriation - Nichols v. Universal
482-490
 
Improper Appropriation - Steinberg v. Columbia
490-497
NOTE: the ordinary observer standard for the "law of the class" is that given in note 8 on pg. 490
Problem 4-21 through just before "Anderson . . ."
498-499
stop before "Limitations on the Exclusive Right to Copy" 
4.50
Thur., Oct. 18
R
Derivative Work Right - Anderson v. Stallone
500-510
 
Tues., Oct. 23
L
Distribution Right
510-514
 
Public Performance and Display Rights
514-518
 
Limits on various rights
499-500, 516-518
 
Fair Use - Harper & Row v. Nation
522-535
stop before Problem 4-29, pg. 535 
Sony v. Universal
536-541
 
4.60.a
Thur., Oct. 25
L
Am. Geophysical v. Texaco
541-555
 
Campbell v. Acuff-Rose
555-566
4.70.a
Tues., Oct. 30
R
Other Defenses
567-569
 
Module 5: Trademark Law (slides)
Assignment Start Page Comment/Notes
Start OH#
Date
Call Group
Introduction
633-640
 
5.1.a
What can be protected as a mark?
640-642
 
Qualitex v. Jacobson
642-648
Certification and Collective Marks
648-650
 
Distinctiveness - Zatarains v. Oak Grove
650-664
 
5.10.a
Two Pesos v. Taco Cabana
664-669
Thur., Nov. 1
R
Wal-Mart v. Samara Brothers
669-676
 
5.20
Tues., Nov. 6
L
Priority - Zazu v. L'Oreal
676-686
Tues., Nov. 13
R
Geographic Limitations
686-688
stop before "Note on Priority and Trademark Theory"
Trademark Office Procedures
696-699
5.30
Geographic Marks - In re Nantucket
700-704
 
Surnames as Marks
704-706
 
Opposition; Cancellation; Concurrent Reg.
706-708
 
Incontestability - Park 'N Fly v. Dollar Park and Fly
709-715
 
Thur., Nov. 15
R
AMF v. Sleekcraft
725-732
5.40.a
Types of Confusion
732-737
 
Fri., Nov. 16
L
Dilution
737-740
Trademark Dilution Revision Act of 2006, signed 10/6/2006
Nabisco v. PF Brands
740-754
Note: this case is under the old Federal dilution statute before the Act of 2006, but is largely consistent with the Act’s revisions. However, not all definitions and statutory language tracks.
Tues., Nov. 20
R
Genericness - Murphy Door Bed v. Interior Sleep
787-798
 
5.60
Thur., Nov. 29
L
Functionality - TrafFix Devices v. Mktg. Displays
798-808

 

Last modified on November 29, 2007, by Greg R. Vetter