Greg R. Vetter

Patent Law, Spring 2010

Course Description

This course covers the substantive U.S. law of patents including eligible subject matter, utility, novelty and nonobviousness requirements, requirements of the patent specification, scope of claims, and modern infringement law.

Generally Applicable Syllabus Information

Please read carefully my 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: Patent Law
Course # / Section #: 5332 / 17779
Place: 240 BLB

Tuesday & Thursday, 6:00 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. (2 class sessions per week, 3 credit hours)

Required Text:

Martin J. Adelman, Randall R. Rader and John R. Thomas, Patent Law (3rd ed. 2009) (West)

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 1.5 credit-hour blocks each week. The coverage goal is approximately twenty-five to thirty 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: Thursday, January 21, 2010
Final Exam Date/Time: Tuesday, May 11, 2010; 6-9 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 here 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.
Special Class Session

Thursday, February 25, 2010: the class session this evening will be held by attendance of the students in the course at this lecture:

Cancellation Day(s)

Thursday, March 25, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010

Makeup(s) for Cancelled Day(s): Friday, January 29, 2010 (same time and room)
Friday, February 26, 2010 (same time and room)

Contact Information and Office Hours

These are posted on my home page at:

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
  • Patent Case Management Judicial Guide - Federal Judicial Center (.pdf file)

Course Coverage Table

The table linked below provides 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 some 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.

Course Coverage Table Link

Last modified on March 5, 2010, by Greg R. Vetter