Course Objectives

This course covers fundamental patent, trademark and copyright law pursuant to multilateral treaties and in the European Union (EU) and the United States. It is a survey course designed to alert the student to the basic and peripheral issues involved in an intellectual property law practice. There are three sections to the course and each will be covered in approximately 16 hours of class.


This is an LL.M. level course. Students who are not in the LL.M. program are admitted only upon Pericles’ determination that the student’s English level and knowledge of law are sufficient to complete the course work, and upon the permission of the Professor.

Course Length

Approximately 64 in class academic hours (48 clock hours) plus final examination. Students should expect to complete about 4-6 hours of homework each week in preparation for the class.


The course will examine intellectual property law through lecture, discussion and review of hypothetical cases that students will prepare after each section of the course.

Section 1 - Patent Law, will include 1) legislative framework: TRIPS, Paris Convention, European Patent Convention, U.S. Constitution, U.S. Patent Act, and the proposed EU Directive on computer programs; 2) eligible subject matter (including biotech, business methods, computer programs) and the four requirements for patentability (novelty, utility, non-obviousness and disclosure); 3) infringement; and 4) three peripheral issues: licensing, competition law, and trade secrets.

Section 2 - Copyright Law, will include 1) legislative framework: TRIPS, Berne Convention, Berne + treaties, U.S. Constitution, U.S. Copyright Act, EU Directives; 2) eligible subject matter (including databases and the EU Database directive); 3) infringement; and 4) four peripheral issues: anti-decryption measures (the DMCA), copyright protection for software, ISP liability (the DMCA, and Information Society and e-Commerce Directives), and protection of moral rights.

Section 3 - Trademark Law, will include 1) legislative framework: TRIPS, Paris Convention, EU Directives, U.S. Constitution, the Lanham Act (U.S.); 2) eligible subject matter (distinctiveness, functionality); 3) infringement (including dilution and passing off); 4) domain names (ACPA, UDRP); and 5) peripheral issues: unfair competition, protection of personality, celebrity and publicity rights.

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